That was the first tool we tried on day one. It works okay to reinforce body language if I hold it against me, but at longer distances he completely ignores it. My trainer said the only other dog she's ever met who cares so little about herding direction sticks and poles is her own IPO-trained GSD. He only moved off objects thrown at the ground when she was training him.
I don't have any problem proceeding as I have been already. He's making very good progress and pays attention to me and responds really well to body language. It's just really frustrating having no reach to provide direction.