Handel is a 3.5 year old German Shepherd (& probably Border Collie) mix that was found running stray at approximately 10 months of age.  

   He came to me as a 'failed adoption' to the limited intake (no-kill) animal shelter I previously worked for in WV.   After a year-and-a-half his adopters were too frightened of his unpredictable (growling, lunging, barking) behavior to keep him any longer.  The family felt they had exhausted every avenue and after spending four months with an 'old fashioned, law-enforcement' style trainer who told them he just needed a firmer hand, they brought him back to us in despair. They said his behavior only seemed to be getting worse the more training he received.  Go figure.   

Fortunately for Handel our shelter had joined the Positive Reinforcement movement with their new trainer (me)!  I began fostering Handel two weeks into his return and so started our journey of cataloguing his fears, insecurities and other issues.    To date he is sound sensitive, touch sensitive, motion sensitive, has some confinement/separation distress and some mild resource guarding behaviors (with other dogs and people he doesn't know well).  His biggest issues revolve around new people (especially men and children).  We are slowly learning who Handel is when he isn't just a bundle of nerves.   That will be our biggest accomplishment.

  Handel (or Handy Man as I like to call him) has his own page, Handel the Fearful Dog,  about the benefits of Positive training methods when working with fear and aggression in dogs.  

  Handel and I are working in Nose Work (on our way to the ORT) and Freestyle.  He's a little worried about training (wonder why), so we've had to be creative and understanding.  He's a natural with his nose though!

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