Following up on today's trial, the water blind was 50y land, 40y stick pond, and 100y of clumpy, uneven meadow to the blind.
I didn't need to blow the whistle until Laddie had come out of the water, and it'a possible I didn't need to blow it then. But I thought it best not to let him veer at all, since I've noticed that a wet dog can get out of control unexpectedly in a strong crosswind, which we had. If the wind had pushed Laddie behind a mound that was lurking on the right, he'd have gone out of sight and been dropped as out of control.
Of course, blowing the whistle ended up being our undoing, but I still think it was the right thing to do. Laddie just needs to learn to stop better.
In any case, here are two nice positives, besides of course Laddie's great initial line (I think every other dog needed to be handled in the water): Laddie did not pop (I believe that means he has only popped in competition once in his career, a trial earlier this year), and he did not vocalize at any time running today, including the water. I'm not suggesting he's cured of vocalizing on water blinds -- Laddie did not have to deal with a point today, and I had the luxury of just letting him roll -- but it was good to see, nonetheless.