About the Trainer
Jody Epstein earned her Masters of Science (MS) degree in Animals
and Public Policy, with a minor in Animal Behavior, from Tufts
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. She has further graduate school
education in Animal Learning & Behavior from the University of Montana
and the University of Louisiana. Jody is the only board certified Applied
Animal Behaviorist (ACAAB) in the eastern half of Missouri. She is also a
Certified Behavior Consultant Canine - Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA), a
Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) as
well as a Fear Free Professional Trainer through the nationally recognized
Fear Free organization. Jody is a Full member of the Association for
Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). She has owned dogs all of her life.
Professionally, Jody has been training for 16 years and specializing in
behavior modification for 10. She was the behavior manager of two
medium sized humane societies for more than a year and has provided
freelance behavior assistance at several other shelters and rescues.
From 2018 - 2021 Jody held the position of Department Chair: Training
& Behavior of The Academy of Pet Careers where she trained aspiring
trainers to be professional trainers. When she returned to seeing private
clients in May, 2021, she continued to teach a weekly behavior class to
the training, grooming, and vet assistant students at APC through July,
2021. She has given several seminars for local rescues and the public
teaching canine body language, safe and defensive leash handling and
how to safely break up dog fights.
Jody strives to address the root cause of behavior challenges, modifying the undesired behavior by helping the dog to make new associations and change their emotional response to a given situation. She does not use aversive tools or techniques which work by suppressing the overt behavior, without addressing the underlying motivation for the behavior. Instead, Jody uses a variety of force free methods such as Counter Conditioning, Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT), Engage/Disengage and Click-to-Calm, to teach owners how to set their dog up for success, allowing the dog's confidence to improve as well as the relationship, trust and bond between pet and person.
Jody takes great pleasure in helping dogs become better companions and teaching pet parents how to communicate more effectively with their four-legged family members.
You can find recent blogs here.
Beneath Every Behavior there is a Feeling. And Beneath Every Feeling there is a Need. And When we Meet the Need Rather than Focus on the Behavior, we Begin to Deal with the Cause, not the Symptom.
When not working or spending time with her family,
Jody shared her expertise answering questions on
from 2009 until the site closed in 2017, where she enjoyed the
highest user rating for both knowledgeability and clarity.
She also volunteers at
in Acton, CA
80% OF TRAINING YOUR DOG IS TRAINING YOU.
Jody will teach you how to effectively communicate with your dog so that you get reliable responses to cues. Ms. Epstein will also teach you how to understand and decipher your dog's body language so that you may better understand what your dog is feeling.
Some of the many issues that Jody is happy to address with you include:
* Shy / Timid / Fearful Dogs
* Pulling, lunging, over excited on Leash
* Introduction of New Family Members (animal or human)
* Barking / Jumping
* Nipping During Play
* Startles at loud or sudden noises
* Separation Anxiety
* Destructive Behaviors (Digging, Chewing, etc.)