Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tom Lams

Do any of you know of this guy? The instructor is Tom Lams. He says he's been training and handling dogs since the '50's.
Meeting him has been totally luck of the draw. He took over the handling class in Washougal we had heard about and it's been moved to his house near Camas, about 20 minutes from where we live.
Thomas went a couple of weeks ago and the rest of us watched. Due to illness and lack of transportation we missed a couple of weeks but last night Chloë and I went to his handling class together.
This guy is amazing! He showed me how to get her to stack on the table without lifting her front feet, how to straighten her topline with the slightest, gentlest pressure to her chest, and how to move so she moved well. His attitude is totally positive for both dogs and handlers. He was wonderful with Celie, too. Told us how to deal with her "tantrums" on the table. He was very impressed with Chloë too. Said she has all the makings of an excellent handler. She only came really to help me with Celie because I needed to practice with Kayla. Now she's reconsidering handling again. shh.
There was one particularly funny thing that was said. He worked with a very newbie woman/cocker team first. While showing how to get a dog used to a lead he said, "Dogs learn in threes." Then he handled Kayla. I said, "It's taking her more than three times." "Well, she's a Corgi." We laughed. I'm sure some may have misinterpreted this to mean they were slow but I knew what he meant. All of you know how willful they can be. Kayla's one of the worst.
I googled his name and I guess he teaches seminars. So if any of you find that he is going to be teaching near where you live I strongly encourage you to attend. And if any of you are in the Vancouver area on a Wednesday I'll give you the info for this drop-in handling class.


Traci said...

Oh you're SO LUCKY to have a great person to work with!!! :) Yay for you!!!!!!

Léo said...

One of the places he recently (like in January '07) had a seminar was in AZ. Of course I thought of you. Anyone, even someone with your experience, can learn from this guy. If he's ever there again and I know about it I'll let you know.

Traci said...

Yes, please do! I would LOVE to attend a seminar!

Joyce said...

Tom is absolutely amazing. I first "met" him in 1997 when I called to see if he would do a workshop for our club. I asked him what he would teach me, and he said, "I will teach you to dance with your dog." I was sold. Since then, I have had many, many days training under Tom Lams, and all but one of my dogs has worked with me under his guidance. At the end of each day, he has every student working drop their dog's leash and just start moving: your dog has eyes for you and moves with you as you turn and back and move forward all over the floor. The first time I did this was when I realized that yes, he did teach me to dance with my dogs. Get as much training from his as you can.