Marissa Sunny got started in dog training working with various German Shepherd rescues in the LA and OC areas. She worked with the aggressive dogs to get them bathed and cleaned up to help them find their forever home! This started her on the path of learning dog psychology, body language, and overall how dogs communicate. Her colleagues and friends like to say she speaks "fluent dog". She then furthered her career by working at PetSmart teaching classes and private lessons over 30 hours a week allowing her to strengthen her skills and learn how to work with clients and dogs on a personalized level. She also worked in their grooming department as a bather learning how to properly bathe a dog, clip their nails, etc. She worked hard to make sure the dogs had a safe and fun grooming experience, and continues to stress the importance of training the dog to love grooming even now. She was also called on to consult on a dog’s behavior in grooming and veterinary circumstances. After several years as a dog trainer at PetSmart she was asked to help mentor other trainers in the area and take on difficult cases. She fell in love with working with aggressive dogs from the beginning and truly believes every dog deserves a chance. She continued her education, mentoring for herself under several highly educated and respected trainers, and mentoring trainers new to the field.
Marissa then felt the need to go above and beyond what her current position allowed her to offer to clients, and she started Epiphany Dog Training. The goal of Epiphany is to help dog parents have their “epiphany moment” like she did when she learned how to communicate with dogs. She believes that the biggest issue surrounding canine care and training is that the people and pets involved do not speak the same language! That is where she comes in, her philosophy is all science-based, force-free methods which follow the industry standard of LIMA (least invasive, minimally aversive). She says that dogs are constantly trying to communicate with us, and so often we miss it leading to painful moments and frustration with our pets.
Marissa is committed to continued education and is a member of several professional organizations. She believes the most important thing for trainers is to keep up with the continuing science is the dog world.
Marissa is dedicated to seeing, treating, and working with the whole dog. She has the knowledge and a background in canine nutrition, fitness, psychology, mental and physical exercise, and works closely with vets, groomers, and other experts in the field to make sure your dog lives a happy, healthy, confident life!
Marissa has been training for 5 years and lives in Long Beach with her two dogs, Winter the Samoyed and Valhalla the German Shepherd.