Today on the phone I spoke to one of the pros from our just-finished seminar about possibly taking another seminar with him in the near future, and we also talked a little about the training Laddie and I would benefit from in the meantime. He suggested a drill called bird-boy blinds, or BB blinds, and described a version that would be particularly helpful for Laddie and me.
I believe a BB blind is typically to help relatively inexperienced dogs gain confidence running cold blinds. But the version the pro suggested for us was to work on whistle sits and vocalizing.
With distances of 100-140y, and a bird-boy (or in today's case, a bird-girl) carrying a bunch of orange bumpers and setting up one blind after another in quick succession, we were able to run eleven blinds in much less time than the usual training day setups would take to get that much practice.
As Laddie has learned, a show sit results in me walking out and escorting him back to the start line, while vocalizing results in me calling him back. Either result in denying him the opportunity to continue the retrieve. The result in today's session was that his whistle sits were mostly tight with only three times for me to walk out, and his vocalizating ended after a single call-back.