NADA Instructors

All of our classes are taught by NADA members who volunteer their time to the club, as both instructors and instructor assistants. Without the efforts of these members we would have no classes to offer!

Agility Instructors

International, Masters, Handler-Only Courses, and Instructor Development Program

Dianne Ford has been training, instructing and competing in agility since 1994 across Canada (AB, SK, ON, NS, NL). She has competed at Canada Cup (2013), and is the first Newfoundland agility competitor to qualify in the AAC NS/NL Regionals and represent Newfoundland at AAC Nationals (2014) with her current partner, Kelsey (Welsh Springer Spaniel). Dianne’s background includes several years as a competitor in equestrian show jumping, hunters and dressage, a B.A. Honours in Psychology in which she learned the Psychology of Learning and Comparative Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Management, all of which she uses in her training of club instructors and handlers. She has trained with many of the top handlers and instructors Internationally and within Canada. These include: Susan Garrett (ON:2011-present), Lynda Orton-Hill (ON: 2011-present), Dave Munnings (UK: 2012-present), Kimberley Anderson (SK: 1995-2000;2012), Cheryl Bartlett (SK: 1995-2000;2012), Justine Davenport (AB: 2014), Greg Derrett (UK: 2012/2013), Laura Derrett (UK: 2012), Lauren Langman (UK: 2012/2014), Mathew Rouse (UK: 2012/2014), Adrian Rooyakkers (ON: 2003), Lynda Yielding (ON: 2004/2008), John Cullen (ON: 2013) and several across Canada, all of whom exclusively subscribe to non-corrective training methods. Dianne's teaching philosophy focuses on maintaining a fun and safe environment for the dogs and handlers, while striving for quality and strengthening the communication and relationship between dog and handler through the use of non-force training techniques. Dianne, who is the founding instructor for NADA’s agility training, has taught all levels of agility. Dianne also has provided several workshops, including: Foundations for Agility, Play Workshop, Reading and Running Workshops (workshops on course reading from starters up to masters/international level), Handler-Only Skills Workshop, Jump Workshop, Weaves Workshop, Verbals Workshop, Directionals Workshop, Drive & Motivation Workshop, Mental Game (sports psychology) Workshop, and five workshops for Instructor Development Program (Class Management; Theory of Learning; Power & Influence; Pre-agility; Beginners). Dianne is available for private lessons on a limited basis.

Level 3 and Level 4 Agility Instructors

Carolyn Parsons is the Agility Training Director with NADA and has been training in agility since 2009 and has completed all agility classes offered by NADA. Carolyn also has attended most offered workshops as either a participant or auditor. Once exposed to NADA’s positive reinforcement training techniques and experiencing the absolute joy in training and working with her All-Canadian girl "Miss" Chip and her Australian Shepherd, Sailor, she quickly became hooked on the sport. Sailor continues to teach her about the joys and challenges of dog training! Carolyn has both assisted and taught most of the agility courses offered at NADA and strongly promotes the use of positive reinforcement, play and having fun during training.

Heather Skanes has been playing agility, since June 2007, and instructing since 2009. Having completed all agility classes and many workshops offered by NADA, she currently instructs level 4 agility, focusing on positive reinforcement and bonding with canine companions, while having fun. Heather has competed in several AAC-sanctioned trials both on and off the island with her two border collies, Queen and Eve.

Foundations, Level 1 and Level 2 Agility Instructors

Mikael Collette started training in agility in early 2010 with his All-Canadian dog, Ben. He was looking for a way to build a better relationship with Ben and wanted to learn more about dog training using positive reinforcement. He began instructing in late 2010 and really enjoys helping others with their dogs. He currently instructs the dog sports foundations class.

Sandy Delaney became involved in agility in 2010. She was hooked immediately and joined NADA (Newfoundland Athletic Dog Association) as it uses positive-reinforcement training methods providing a wonderful avenue to build a better relationship with her dogs, build new skills and meet other dog enthusiasts. She has taken every class from Level 1 Agility (formerly known as Pre-agility) to Advanced and Master’s sequencing and all available training workshops with one or both of her dogs. She has completed and passed all 3 levels of NADA’s Instructor Development Program and has been instructing Level 1 and level 2 Agility (formerly known as Pre-agility and Beginner’s agility) every session since 2011. In addition to the amazing trainers Dianne Ford, Aaron Froude and Carolyn Parsons, she has trained under Susan Garrett, Dave Munnings and Sarah Mairs. Her professional career as an occupational therapist for 28+ years provides an excellent background in developmental theory, activity analysis and teaching others to learn new skills. She loves to teach and hopes to inspire others to learn a new way to have fun with their beautiful canine friends. She is currently on the Agility Training Committee and is the Arena Manager with NADA.

Jennie Murphy has been involved in the world of dog training since 1990. It was at this time she acquired a 5 week old GSD/terrier cross (if only she knew then what she knows now!). Realizing she had her hands full, she quickly enrolled in a local obedience school. Her mentor at the time saw “something’ in Jennie and asked her to be an instructor. Jennie attended several obedience instructor camps in the U.S and you could say the rest is history. However, history took a turn for the better as in 2009 her method of training (correction based) was challenged by one of her dogs. She began to explore totally positive based methods and was extremely pleased with the results. In 2012 she attended the Behavior Adjustment Training Instructors Camp in the U.S. This specialized force-free training program deals with fearful, aggressive and frustrated dogs. In 2013, after many months of intensive training certification Jennie became a certified Behavior Adjustment Trainer. Jennie has also completed several on-line courses ranging from Susan Garrett's Recallers, Susan Garrett's Puppy Peaks, a canine Nose work course and Karen Pryor’s Foundation clicker course. She is a Canine Good Neighbor Evaluator and volunteers her time at the St John’s Humane Society in hopes of making the shelter dogs more adoptable. She is also a member of the Association of Positive Pet Trainers. Jennie continues to teach and compete in obedience, having accumulated several high in trial ribbons over the years. She also partakes in Rally O and has Rally Excellent titles on her dogs. Jennie enjoys training her dogs in search and rescue skills, nosework and fun scent games. Up until her dog retired last year, she was involved in Pet Therapy. With the Newfoundland Athletic Dog Association, she brings years of experience in teaching agility, puppy classes and our dog sport foundation class. She is currently working towards a master’s agility title with her dog Lexi. In addition to her many years of experience, the most important things that Jennie brings to her classes is her love for dogs and her passion for helping owners excel in their training needs. (For more information on Behavior Adjustment Training check out or email

Other Instructors:

Shauna Wells

Marion Phillips

Dawn Bignell

Flyball Instructors

Stephanie Conway has been training in flyball since 2005 with her Border Collie/Terrier mix , Sasha. She first got interested in flyball when she was doing research on Border Collies and finding things to keep them happy and active. She first started in both flyball and agility. By doing both sports at the same time, Steph quickly saw which one she and Sasha liked the most. While they still participate in both sports, Steph and Sasha like to focus primarily on flyball, which is Sasha's forte. Steph's teaching philosophy centers around teamwork, safety, fun and patience. She does not allow dogs under a year old jump or do heavy box work for their safety, and likes to remind students to be patient and not get discouraged. After all, it takes time to train in flyball but the end result is a very happy and mentally stimulated dog. Stephanie is available for private lessons.

Other Instructors:

Andrea Dillon

Terry Parrell

Joe Boutilier

Melissa Hanna

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