Training with a professional field trialler

I would make sure that I had an recall that was absolutely rock solid as that is such keystone of training.

Pickle came having had a recall whistle blown before every meal and that made such an enormous difference. Both to how easy it was to get her back, and how positive an experience recall became but also what I could do with her in terms of training BECAUSE I was confident that I could recall her from almost every situation. If you haven’t done it, I would highly recommend blowing your whistle every time before you feed at 12 weeks.
I agree, for me recall is the most important thing ever.

I've been hit and miss using a whistle- tending to use ' Bear come' as the cue (the same as I would do for Monty) but, yes, it would make life much easier for any future gundog training if I was more consistent.
I would also work at doing what ever I could to make my dog as confident as possible.
He's not short on this! Though a bit more cautious when we are outside, which is no bad thing. The only sound that has slightly unnerved him was the sound of a collie howling next door.
We couldn't work on recall for obvious reasons, but she has the best recall out of the four of them. Literally, will turn on a sixpence.
that's brilliant, considering where you've come from.