darlene2Darlene Francis, Ph.D. is a Behavioral Neuroscientist who specializes in the study of stress, development and the interactions between nature and nurture She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of California at Berkeley with her primary appointments in the School of Public Health and the Neuroscience Institute. She teaches several courses per year in a variety of departments on campus including Psychology and Integrative Biology.

Darlene is currently training her young German Shepherd Dog, Ollie, in a variety of sports including Nosework, AKC Rally & Obedience, and IPO/Schutzhund. As a ‘novice dog handler’ but simultaneously a ‘stress expert’, Darlene is fascinated by the observation that handlers often have extremely high expectations of their dogs and demand much of them while forgetting that the ‘human’ is 50% of the equation! The ability to minimize stress, in both dogs AND handlers, during training and trialing is critical to successful performances. Her goal is to help handlers recognize their own ‘stress profiles’ during both training and trialing conditions and to provide practical tools to help moderate these responses, ultimately improving the overall experience for both dogs and handlers!

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