Before this gets out of hand...Lanse has and continues to use the Van Engen's to start his pups...he has let Dave Rorem handle Rosa at a National,and uses David as a sounding board and to critique how he is handling Rosa....and Lanse was an original Rex Carr client.....any other claims by individuals claiming to have trained his dogs is a stretch of the truth....There is one person who can claim that without blinking and that is his former wife Dana.....
Lanse is a character, he rubs many people (including his friends/family) the wrong way at various times...in many ways that is part of the allure, he is also the most generous individual with his time and resources...BUT there is no better tactician in the FT game than Lanse..he knows the game, and the game inside of the game..He knows when to gamble if he is behind, and he knows how to play it safe when he is ahead..He is also VERY realistic about his performance at a trial, he knows when his gals have performed worthy of a blue ribbon, and he knows when their performance is only worthy of a JAM..
The best time to talk/listen to Lanse is when he is watching the test being set up, if you are fortunate enough to listen to is advise on how to attack a test and where the pitfalls are within that test, you should take notes....the worst time to talk to Lanse is when he has gone to the truck to get one of the gals ready to run, his concentration is intense and he is singularly focused on the task at hand (which in itself is a great lesson for those looking to be a good handler), he is already playing out the sequence in his mind of how the birds will fall and how he will pick them up
It sounded awesome.
I spent a day on his Bankes Alabama property training. I think you could spend a month there and never leave the entrance driveway. That awesome. Lance was a wonderful host.
I think anyone who has been a pro for very long has a favorite dog/owner story or two, and Lanse's dog "Chaos" was mine. I won't go into the whole thing here, but this also illustrates the main reason I've found him to be so easy for me to love. If Lanse does or says something out of line, you don't have to wait for rumors of it to get back to you. He'll openly tell you the whole thing himself; take full responsibility. In this case it was a dog/trainer interaction gone badly wrong. She was a great youngster that he had taken to a very dysfunctional level, and he was as open and honest about it as any human being could be. He asked me if I thought I could help her.
I said, "Lanse, I don't know. But if I take her, I want her for a year. And I don't want to see you until or unless I call you because, as you know, you're the problem. If I have her for a while, and it doesn't look like she's not going to make a comeback I'll send her home. That's the best I can do."
The result, in brief, is that about a year later my home club, KCRC, hosted the PRTA trial on successive weekends. He judged the Open the first weekend, and entered her in the AM the next (not wanting to double stake her the first time back at the game). By that time I had two of his other dogs, one all-age, and the other a Qual dog. The week between the two events was his first time back handling her in training, and we only did simple marks so as to avoid friction. I asked him not to con her, or to do anything he didn't always do to handle his dogs. The trial at which she ran the AM, I had taken 3 of 4 places in the derby and was waiting to hear who did what. Lanse pulled in to the derby (driving Auggie Belmont's old blue van), hopped out with tears streaming down his face. He came over to me and said "She won it! My God, she won it!" For me, that's as good as it gets.
Was told to me recently from an old time great that Lanse was one of the last "great dog minds left in the game."
Lanse is the real deal and a genius, I will never forget the training philosophy's he's shared with me....
I don't know about training with him, but the one time I spoke to him on the phone, he discovered I was a hairdresser. Being excited to chat with a dog training stylist, he requested that I bring enough haircolor to match his whole body to his head if I ever made it down to train! Red was the choice...
Lanse is fluent in all languages, including three that he only speaks.