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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). Jody was voted Top Trainer among Force Free trainers for St. Charles & St. Peters MO for 2023 via SniffSpot. She has owned dogs all of her life.

                                                                  Professionally, Jody has been training for 17+ years and specializing in

                                                                  behavior modification for 12. 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. Most recently, Jody has held training sessions for St. Charles County Adoption Center teaching body language/behavior, healthy vs. unhealthy play, and bite evaluations for the Animal Control officers.










​​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.

--Ashleigh Warner


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

Saving Grace Animal Sanctuary

in Acton, CA




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

* Phobias

* Separation Anxiety

* Destructive Behaviors (Digging, Chewing, etc.)




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