Jackie Moyano, BS, CPDT-KA transitioned careers from a respiratory therapist to dog training. In addition to caring for patients, she also taught both patients and respiratory therapy students. Jackie's medical teaching experience lends itself to teaching people how to train their dogs. Jackie's dog training education includes completing 3 of Pat Miller's academies, attending Ken Ramirez' Animal Training Seminar at SHEDD Aquarium, attending Sue Sternberg's Eden Internship working with sled dogs, along with completing all 5 of the Bailey-Farhoody chicken workshops where Jackie learned animal training science and practiced training skills with chickens. Jackie's training partners are her Siamese cat and her terrier mix. Jackie and her terrier mix currently practice competition obedience and compete in Nosework.
Amy LaFerrera, BA Psychology, KPA CTP, previously worked with children with Autism and people with traumatic brain injuries. She volunteered for a rabbit rescue group and for a small rural shelter; these experiences sparked her interest in pursuing a career in animal training. Amy’s animal training education includes Pat Millers Level 1 academy, completing the Professional Dog Trainer course at Karen Pryor Academy, completing three levels of the Bailey-Farhoody Chicken Workshops, becoming a Family Paws Parent Educator, attending Sue Sternberg’s Eden internship working with Alaskan husky sled dogs, and the Behavior By Bailey at Sea seminar. She also worked at an animal shelter and has volunteered with HSUS, both of which have influenced her interest in animal behavior science. She currently lives with three mixed breed dogs and volunteers at the National Zoo.
We met at an animal shelter in 2013. Amy was working in the behavior department where Jackie started volunteering. Jackie assisted with dog behavior assessments, playgroups, and enrichment. Both Amy’s beagle and cattledog mix were adopted from the shelter, and Amy and Jackie did the behavior assessment on the terrier mix Jackie would eventually adopt.
After much appreciation of each other’s dry humor, we decided to go on a double date with our husbands. Most spouses of dog trainers become friends if only to avoid talking about dogs ad nauseum. Our two husbands hit it off so well that we started spending weekends, holidays, and even vacations together.
In 2015, the LaFerreras and the Moyanos traveled to Costa Rica together. Sprinkled in between the lounging and touring was the beach dog watching. Amy and Jackie took great pleasure in playing with the beach dogs, giving them silly names (you know who you are, No No Bad Dog), helping other tourists retrieve sarongs from the beach dogs’ mouths (again, we’re talking to you No No Bad Dog), and speaking with the people who cared for these dogs. On one occasion, Jackie tried to trade the beach dogs playing tug-of-war with her shorts for coconut husks. Amy assisted by laughing.
It was in Costa Rica where we first thought about being entrepreneurs. Or, as Amy likes to say, when Jackie began to wear her down. Stateside, we continued our roles as dog trainers for other businesses but always had that whisper of “what if” in our hearts. In March of 2018, our business lens came into focus and we launched Behavior United LLC!
Bringing some Pura Vida back from Costa Rica, our mission is to help you live your best life with your best furry friend. We bring all of the behavior science we have learned and the training skills we have honed into your home. We look forward to helping our clients bring the fun of training into their day-to-day lives with their pets. Oh, and when appropriate, our dry humor as well.