Good discussion here on this guys, glad, (real glad), to see it can be discussed civily for once
Labman is right, there is training material out there that would be considered more informative than Waterdog, that can offer up some more solid fundamentals in terms of field work and/or a reliable Gundog trained for utility.
Although Waterdog a little antiquated, it was material that a lot of us have used, (and some still do) that did in fact, get a dog to a level that a dog would retrieve most birds. Can't remember what pro said it, but "If you can teach a dog to take an OVER and a BACK a fella' can find most birds.
While that's somewhat true, I've always tried to impress upon folks that the training material that you choose to use should be based on a couple things-
for the dog in the end
*Your ability to dedicate the time
to properly train regardless of the training material that's chosen.
The 1983 copy of Waterdog I used back then got me to a point, however that level left me with a lot of training holes and blanks that needed to be "filled in" as the years went on. There's nothing any more disheartening than casting your dog BACK to a blind where the dog needs to swim out across the creek, run through cover, negotiate an obstacle, then cross another creek to pick up a bird, and he just sits there looking at you as if to say- " Huh,..you talkin' to me boss
So for me, if you're happy with what you've trained up in your dog, then that's great! As long as it works for ya', that's what's important.
On the flip side-
Would hope that those who've chosen train to a more advanced level would get the same respect and not be judged as well.
Folks that believe training a dog is "easy" might have a different definition of "trained".
And that's o.k. too.
However,.. find it amusing when the statement is made. Believe that sooner or later for some, there's tasks that one may ask of their dog and the dog simply doesn't have to skill set to perform what's being asked of it.
- one will discover that it really ain't so "easy".
Swampbilly1980- I got a feeva',..and the only cure is more Mergansers and face paint.