E-collars have changed dramatically in the last few years, and features now offered on many top-of-the-line modelsâ€”rising stimulation, tone, vibration, digital readouts, GPS tracking capability and containment systemsâ€”were virtually unheard of a dozen years ago. All this requires a learning curve on the part of the trainer, but itâ€™s worth it. Todayâ€™s collars are more effective and easier on the dog than theyâ€™ve ever been, and any way you look at it, thatâ€™s progress.
The collar will also act as a short-distance GPS tracking system, and offers 50 intensity levels of nick and continuous stimulation; as well as vibration, jump and rise stimulation. The more conventional Micro-iDT Plus is a small yet extremely effective e-collar that can expand into a two- or three-dog unit. It has a 900-yard range, 16 intensity levelsâ€”plenty for most training needsâ€”positive vibration (an effective substitute for electrical stimulation), and an extra-mild Gentle Touch stimulation system, all housed in a waterproof transmitter.
When the company bought Tri-Tronics, everyone expected great things. And they havenâ€™t been disappointed. This year, Garmin introduced the Alpha 100, which marries Garminâ€™s superb GPS units with Tri-Tronicsâ€™ e-collar engineering. The new Alpha has a touch screen, increased range, comes pre-loaded with 100,000 U.S. topographic maps, has a 9-mile range, and features a tracking system that tracks the dogâ€™s location as often as every 2.5 seconds. Also extremely handy is the unitâ€™s ability to track the dogâ€™s speed, distance and the direction traveled. On the e-collar side, the Alpha 100 has 18 levels of both momentary and continuous stimulation.
The buttonâ€”which is about the size of a quarterâ€”can be mounted almost anywhereâ€”the stock of your gun, gun barrels, your finger, on your wrist like a watch, or on your whistle lanyard or duck call. Thereâ€™s no more fumbling for the transmitter when your dog creeps or breaks and bolts through the decoys.
The Pro DG Hunter/Trainer offers tone, vibration, adjustable stimulation levels, as well as control of other devices, including remote launchers and has a 1-mile range.
The affordable e-collar ($200) comes with a rechargeable transmitter and receiver. You can try the collar for 30 days, plus there is a limited lifetime warranty.
The Elite Big Dog Remote Trainer has a range of 1,000 yards, 15 levels of static correction levels, plus an instant plus-2 boost button, a tone-only mode, a completely waterproof collar, and a handy digital display on the transmitter. It will also expand to two dogs with the addition of an optional collar.
SportDOG also has the FieldTrainer 425, which takes advanced, industry-leading technology and packages it in a compact unit. Perfect for training, the collar offers effective stimulation, vibration or tone up to 500 yards. The 425 has seven instantly selectable stimulation levels in low, medium or high; and will expand to up to three dogs.
The Sport seriesâ€”the Junior G3, Basic G3 EXP, Combo G3 EXP, and Upland G3 EXPâ€”are great entry-level collars with all the features youâ€™ll need to train just about any dog, with ranges from a ÂĽ-mile on up, and plenty of stimulation levelsâ€¦and all at prices that wonâ€™t have you skimping on top quality dog food for your pup.