Meet Our Seminar Clinicians!
Learn from the best! Our group of experienced and talented instructors will help you better understand NADAC's philosophies on training, handling and course design, and teach you to handle the unique challenges found on NADAC agility courses.
Sharon Nelson has been involved in the sport of agility since its inception in the United States. She is internationally renowned for her training seminars throughout the US, Canada, Australia and Japan. Sharon is considered by her peers to be one of the top agility handlers of all time and has put titles on 30 dogs from 14 different breeds, including the terrier, toy, hound, herding, sporting and working groups. These dogs have been large, small and of mixed heritage.
Sharon and her dog Lucky “set the bar” when it comes to distance handling, teamwork, and skills. They are yet to be surpassed, having earned six of NADAC’s top award, three Purple Achievement Cups and three Purple Versatility Achievement Cups. Together they qualified more than 1600 times and earned over 20,000 points in NADAC!
Sharon has been a trainer in a number of other disciplines, including personal protection dogs, obedience and herding as well as the show ring with her Malinois and Bernese Mountain Dogs! Sharon has been a behavioral consultant since the mid-1980’s.
In addition to training, competing, teaching training seminars and running her ranch in Oklahoma, Sharon is the founder and the President of the North American Dog Agility Council. With her vision, knowledge and insight, NADAC has grown to be one of the leading agility organizations in the world.
Sharon is known for her intuitive and innovative training methods. She has an innate ability to be able to “read” a dog/handler team and offer practical solutions to behavior problems.
Sharon grew up with horses and competed in a variety of equine sports. She spent 14 years working with race horses and then showed horses in English Pleasure, Hunter/Jumpers, Western Pleasure and Working Cowhorse. Sharon currently owns cutting horses and several pleasure horses.
Amanda Nelson uses training methods and tools such as a clicker and targeting to help create a thinking dog -- the more the dog engages his or her brain the more connected a partner you will have. Throughout all of her training Amanda gives the dog opportunities to make right and wrong choices. Making a wrong choice does not mean the end of the world, it simply means there is another choice available. Amanda's goal when working with her own dogs and students is to help the dog and the handler work as a team both in and out of the agility ring.
Amanda has been competing in agility for 19 years and has been teaching agility seminars for 8 years. She also practices Canine Massage and Reflexology as well as Canine Nutrition, Herbology and Energy Therapy.
Amanda’s accomplishments in NADAC include being the first Junior Handler to earn a NATCH, V-NATCH and JH-NATCH as well as the first Junior to earn Top Dog of the year. She is the first (and only) handler to earn three NATCHes in all three Divisions. (Standard, Veterans and Junior Handlers)
Amanda has taught seminars throughout North America as well as Australia and Japan. She also filmed two training videos for Dog Sports Video, that were released in the spring of 2006. She wrote a series of training articles that were published in CleanRun Magazine starting in January of 2006 and handling articles in the summer of 2007.
For more information on Amanda, you can visit her web site at http://www.fluidmotionagility.com
Becky Woodruff grew up with a love for animals. She spent a great deal of her childhood shared with her best friend, a beagle mix. Adolescence and young adulthood were spent with horses. Horses and dogs, what more could a girl ask for!!! Training her beagle mix to do tricks and raising, training and showing her mare gave Becky great insight at a young age, into understanding the human/animal bond and what can be accomplished!
Becky went on to train formal obedience and was a familiar figure on the California obedience circuit. Her Labrador Retrievers were consistently in the placings and top rankings each year. She taught obedience classes at a large obedience school and says she enjoyed Beginning classes and advanced Utility classes best. Becky also ventured into field dog/retriever training and tracking. Her fascination with training dogs and her love of working with people led her to the San Francisco SPCA Hearing Dog Program. She was the Training Supervisor for 8 years, overseeing the selection, care, training and placement of shelter dogs for the Deaf and hearing impaired.
In the late 80’s, through Becky’s obedience contacts, she heard of a new game called Agility and jumped right in! She and her business partner at the time, introduced and promoted agility through teaching classes, doing demonstrations at various events, as well as hosting clinics and competitions. Becky has also represented NADAC in Japan and Australia.
Becky’s Agility accomplishments include training and sharing her life with the first Aussie to earn an ADCH, the first Aussie to earn an agility dual championship (ADCH and a NATCH), and a trip to Switzerland compliments of Pedigree and the World Agility Team. She has also put a number of NATCH’s on a little Corgi/Border Terrier mix called Zoom, her Border Collies Chirp and Bug and is working with her current border collie Mace. Chirp and Bug are both members of NADAC’s MOD Squad!
Becky says what she loves best about training and teaching is working through problems/puzzles and seeing improvement in understanding between dog and handler teams.
Keri Daun was given a Shetland Sheepdog puppy for her 15th birthday. She enrolled in conformation and obedience classes which launched her way into the dog world. Keri has competed in Obedience and Scent Hurdle Racing. She started instructing obedience classes for a number of years in Winnipeg, MB.
Keri and her dogs also toured with the Real Canadian Superdogs for the first ten years of their productions.
In 1989 Keri moved to Alberta and became Alberta’s first Agility instructor. Soon after moving to Alberta Keri began competing in USDAA, a newly formed agility organization. Her Sheltie, Fancy, was the first dog in western Canada to compete at the Masters level as well as the first to qualify for the USDAA Nationals.
Over the years NADAC and AAC were formed and Keri participated in them as well. She was invited by Sharon Nelson, founder of NADAC, to travel the US assisting with Agility seminars, camps and judging NADAC trials. Keri recently did a second whirlwind tour with Sharon assisting in or instructing agility seminars for six months as well as helping to rehabilitate and re-home rescued dogs.
Keri has competed and earned many titles and awards with her shelties and her border collies. She has trained and titled other breeds of dogs for other people. Although Keri is very proud of her own accomplishments, by far her greatest pride is in knowing that many of her students have gone on to compete, earn titles and awards, and even become the next generation of agility instructors. Read more about Keri at www.Adeptagility.com .
A Personal Note: The most noteworthy thing I can say about myself is that I have always been involved in some way with dogs. I have participated in Conformation, Obedience, Scent Hurdle Racing, Flyball, Superdogs and Agility. The moment I heard about agility, I knew it was the sport for me. My dogs and I absolutely loved it and have not looked back.
Lisa Bonker has been active in agility for over 10 years. She is a NADAC certified Clinician and gives seminars across the continent. Lisa hosts over 15 NADAC Trials yearly as In The Zone Agility and In The Zone Agility of Illinois. Lisa has won the NADAC Championships six years in a row with three different dogs. Her dogs are consistently in the NADAC Top 10 with Jet being the Highest Scoring Skilled Dog in 2007 and Moxie the Highest Scoring Skilled Dog in 2008. Moxie and Expedite have also earned six NADAC Platinum Speed Star Awards. Lisa and her dogs have earned over 50 MEDALS/NATCHs. A complete list of Lisa's accomplishments is on her website at: http://inthezoneagility.com/accomplish.html.
Lisa currently has six dogs – four Border Collies, an Aussie, and a Boston Terrier Mix, two of which are rescues. Two of Lisa's dogs fall into the double digit category and two of them are just starting out their agility careers. Lisa's dogs cover a wide spectrum; from soft to hard, slow to fast and pre-novice to multiple championships. This allows Lisa to bring real life experiences into her training. The core of which is good foundation training, motivation and consistent, clear handling all in a fun positive way.
Paula Goss comes from a competitive horseback riding background, which led very easily into dog agility. She has been involved in competitive agility for 20 years competing at the highest levels in AKC, USDAA, and for almost 10 years, exclusively in NADAC. She began with her labrador and currently competes with her border collies as well as with as many “borrowed” dogs as she is fortunate to be asked to run. She has been ranked in NADAC’s Top 10 for the past 9 years, earned over 18 NATCHs and MEDALs, over 20 Platinum Speed Star awards, and attended numerous championships winning with her border collie, Split in 2007; and with Trae in 2009 and 2011. Trae and Paula are also one of a select few in the country to have earned the prestigious MOD SQUAD award in the NADAC venue.
Paula is incredibly motivational and her experience and upbeat attitude makes her a pleasure to work with. There is so much that contributes to the success of a team and Paula evaluates the entire team in her seminars – contact/jumping/weave pole performances, handling, specific skills needed for greater distance handling/discriminations, etc. – she looks at the whole picture and works with you to figure out what each individual team needs.
Paula teaches seminars across the US and Canada as well as being a NADAC Clinician and teaching for NADAC throughout the US.
Becoming an empty nester brought me into the world of dog training, with no intention of competing. Starting with a big black lab named Jade I found dog training addicting, so Jade and I started competing. Though her career was short she earned a CD, RN and multiple agility titles in NADAC and AKC.
With my new obsession, I went looking for another dog. We found Flagg, an 8month old Border Collie. I have felt he is able to read my mind and many times comforts my hurts a connection cannot be put into words. November of 2004 was our first competition. In 2007 we were at our first NADAC Champs and were surprised to get in the 20”finals. While there I saw the SuperStakes Class. It was so amazing; I wanted to be part of that kind of connection between Handler and Dog. The following year we entered the S.S. class and place 3rd in our Division.
Since then Flagg has earned a Silver MOD SQUAD, multiple NATCHES and V-NATCHS, Been in the Top ten in Bonus Lines, the 2012 SuperStakes Champion, Silver Achievement Cup and Silver Versatility Achievement Cup. And my favorite the “Lucky Award.” Along with agility Flagg has Obedience CDX title with HIT, his RAE Rally title, one leg from his Utility Title.
Vesta is my second BC, which I also got at 8months old. From the start I have trained her as a distance dog. She has earned Silver, Gold and Purple MOD SQUAD’s, 2009 SuperStakes Champion and Highest Bonus points as a 3 year old, 2010 Champs was 2nd Place SuperStakes (behind Sharon) and Highest Bonus Points, 2014 2nd Place in Superstakes with the Highest Bonus points. Vesta has placed in the Top Ten Bonus list, Silver Achievement Cup and Silver Achievement Versatility Cup, NATCH’s and V-NATCH’s. Vesta also has her Obedience CD title with HIT, CDX with all three legs HIT, her Rally RN and RA.
I now have Deizel, a puppy that was picked out for me by Amanda Nelson! It has been exciting to start with him from nine weeks old. I love seeing the light bulbs come on and the Love that happens when you train the NADAC way—build a relationship first and the rest will come. I have done other venues but NADAC is the place for me, Love, Safety and Comradery.
This is a wonderful sport and we need to teach that you may have a list of accomplishments but the true blessing is that Love relationship with your teammate that lasts far longer than their competing career.
Shirlene Clark has been involved in the sport of dog agility for around 12 years and for the past 10 years has been actively involved in the introduction, promotion, establishment and administration of NADAC in Australia. Shirlene’s passion for facilitating NADAC is apparent to all who meet her. Through the facilitation of NADAC in Australia Shirlene has been fortunate to have mentoring and guidance from the most amazing people within NADAC. Through this mentoring, predominately via email and her trips to the USA, Shirlene has evolved as an agility handler. As her skills developed so too did a new passion. Shirlene has always believed that with the acquisition of knowledge comes the responsibility to share that knowledge with others. With a Clinical Nurse Specialist background and a love of teaching others it was only natural that she began holding private agility lessons. One thing led to another and Shirlene is now a popular seminar presenter in her own right.
Shirlene’s training philosophy is centred on building a strong and solid foundation. A foundation that will support and enable the dog and handler be the best team they can be together. She believes to be that team there needs to be a combined effort between both dog and handler, and that each team member needs to be willing, enthusiastic and able to think and perform their roles. The handlers role to visualise, create and support a path for their dog making sure that what they do creates impulsion for the dog in the right direction. The dog’s role is to correctly perform the obstacles presented on the path created by their handler. The foundation is what holds everything together and stops it all from collapsing.
Shirlene says the following about her 3 dogs;
“Toto” is a 14 year old Cairn terrier who has only just retired from agility. She is an amazing little dog who still has a zest for life. Whenever she stepped into an agility ring I only had to say “Toto do you want to do agility” and that was enough to turn her into an excited, wriggling, squirming little dynamo who lifted her head and barked with anticipation and glee. At the end of each and every run she would look up and smile with what I am sure was pride in what she had just done. That joy…that smile is what has fuelled my passion for facilitating the NADAC agility program in Australia. We have achieved many things together including a NATCH and consistently ranking in Australia’s Top 10 in various classes each year. What I am proud of most is that look and smile Toto gave after every run.
Another Cairn terrier with a NATCH-S called “Kansas”. With her impressive distance and directional skills, she has the nickname around trials as “the Chances Queen”. Kansas certainly confirms that little dogs can do distance successfully. Kansas is likely to become the first dog in Australia to earn a Triple, Triple Superior.
My youngest dog Smudge is a Koolie. Smudge and I have only just begun our journey together but we have big dreams for our future. We have already successfully achieved a number of bonus qualifying runs together. She is fast and fun and I can’t wait to see where our journey takes us.