GUNDOG TRAINING
Peter Blatch
The simple answer to this one: “No.” If you can afford it, by all means buy one but when all said and done a dummy launcher is only one way of throwing the retrieve further.

With a little practice it’s perfectly possible to throw a dummy 30-40 yards by hand, and this is more than enough to start with.

When it comes to marking retrieves at distance you can always enlist the help of a friend to throw the dummies. All you have to do now is stand yourself, and the dog, farther away from the thrower.

Don’t forget, either, that ball throwing devices make good training aids and one of the best – as well as cheapest – is a good old fashioned tennis racket.

A good whack with one of these will send a ball soaring a long way across the training field.