B.S. Psychology, UC Davis
Dina Zaphiris has been a professional dog trainer for over 30 years. She is the
first American dog trainer to train dogs for federally funded studies involving dogs detecting early stage human cancer. Her work has been published in a medical journal. Dina has trained over 24 dogs to detect early stage cancer in humans, and has participated in federally, as well as privately funded studies. Dina is the founder of her non-profit, a 501c3, In Situ Foundation, dedicated to training dogs to detect early stage human cancer, and publishing research. Her recent collaboration with Duke University involves screening over 2000 samples for breast cancer, and determining the dogs ability and accuracy levels to distinguish malignant from benign blood samples. Dina’s background as a pet dog trainer eventually brought her tocertifying and training therapy dogs, as well as service animals.
Her dog, Stewie, is a registered and certified Therapy Dog, and works at LA Children’s hospital. Dina has trained the dogs for Al Pacino, Nicolas Cage, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Tony and Ridley Scott, Barry Manilow, Ozzy Ozbourne, Patricia Arquette, Kate Beckinsale, and the Annenberg family. Dina participated in search and rescue, with her wilderness search dog “Django”, and was certified as a mission ready wilderness search dog team, deployed by LA Sheriff’s Department. Dina has taught a classes for police and search dog handlers at SAR City, Barstow College. She is a published author, and appears on several TV shows providing her expert advice and training for dogs and humans. Dina has titles in both competitive obedience and agility work with dogs.
Dina grew up in Chico, California, surrounded by dogs, horses, chickens
andmore. As an only child of older parents, animals became her best friends.
Her entire life is dedicated to the connection between humans and animals,
particularly where we have helped each other survive. Her primary interest is where animals, dogs in particular, help humans.
Seeing eye dogs, bomb-detection dogs, search and rescue dogs, and cancer detection dogs are my inspiration. Very few creatures have coevolved the way man and dog have. We have actually effected each other’s evolution. Dogs guarded our agriculture, livestock, and our communities, helping man to make it past the agricultural stage, and bringing us to where we are now. We, in turn, have allowed these wonderful dogs into our homes, forever changing their evolution, as well. The connection between man and dog is magnificent. We were meant to help each other. There’s nothing else quite like it.” —Dina Zaphiris