Thanks for the feedback. I was very pleased with his alerts. In the field or larger spaces I would definitely have the ball either in a pouch, pocket or other. This was not practical in the house or smaller space here as he wants me to throw it for him. But, yes, I do have places to carry a ball when working. He is usually a very careful dog in the forest, the exception being when he spots wildlife, I have had him react to trying to catch a squirrel jumping on the log, and almost up a tree before I could even react! He was safe on harness and a longer leash, but he really likes to try and get those pesky squirrels. The other would be if he saw a deer, which here is almost on a daily basis! He cannot chase them, but he certainly makes a lot of noise trying to chase and get that deer. So, I am on top of the watching out for safety, probably a lot more than he would like!
That is interesting on the different alerts you mentioned with your dog, I will have to see if W ends up alerting different on how deep it is or not. Something to watch for in our future progression.