Hi, thanks for dropping by!

I am Vappu Alatalo, a finn living in Finland – at the moment. I specialize in

  • teaching  dogs to jump following Susan Salo methodology
  • helping handlers creating motivation and work drive with their dogs
  • teaching sport psychology and doing sport psycholgy consultations, both with individuals and groups

I work in Finland and abroad – fluently in English, Swedish and Finnish.

Motivation clinic, jump seminar (also online privates), sport psychology training day or personal sport psychology coaching for you?

Contact me by email for details: vappu.alatalo (at) mac.com

My backgroung with dogs

It all started when I was a baby. Our Finnish Spets Pepi used to drag me around in a sled, ”pulkka” and I remember loving him for that. When I learned to read, my first book was about how animals talk. Later we had Finnish Lapphunds at home, and my very first own dog was a Rhodesian Ridgeback ”Ville”. With him we competed agility at highest level, obedience in beginner level and did some Search and Rescue Dog training. Later I’ve had another ridgeback, a Dutch Shepherd, two Spanish Waterdogs and 3 border collies – all training mainly for agility and/or obedience. Every dog has taught me lots and lots of new skills and widened my understanding of canine behavior.


I have MSc in psychology and I am NLP Master Practitioner. I’ve started my sport psychology practice 2001 and since worked with many world class Agility and Obedience handlers plus with indivdual athletes in Show Jumping, Track and field, plus with two Finnish synchronized skating teams – and a few musicians.

Jumping and motivation on dogs I have studied in US 2005-2007 with Susan Salo and Susan Garrett. I learned a lot from other agility trainers as well: Rachel Sanders, Jen Pinder, Wendy Pape, Nancy Guyes, just to name a few. After returning to Scandinavia I’ve grown fond of learning about how animals learn more deeply, and study Operant Conditioning with Trainer’s Choice Finland. I keep on learning from every dog I meet and follow closely the latest advances in this field.

Family and history

I have a family of 3+3 consisting of a husband, a son and 3 dogs. We live in a small rural village in southern Finland, still just an hour’s drive from the capital city Helsinki – and the airport!

We lived in California 2005-2007 and in Copenhagen 2007-2010. I started with my own company Nuppijumppa in 2008. Before that I worked with Nokia in human resources development and management for 5 years. Early years in my career I spent training people and working as a psychologist in health care.