E-collars have changed dramatically in the last few years, and features now offered on many top-of-the-line models—rising stimulation, tone, vibration, digital readouts, GPS tracking capability and containment systems—were virtually unheard of a dozen years ago. All this requires a learning curve on the part of the trainer, but it’s worth it. Today’s collars are more effective and easier on the dog than they’ve ever been, and any way you look at it, that’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 levels—plenty for most training needs—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 haven’t been disappointed. This year, Garmin introduced the Alpha 100, which marries Garmin’s superb GPS units with Tri-Tronics’ 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 dog’s location as often as every 2.5 seconds. Also extremely handy is the unit’s ability to track the dog’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 button—which is about the size of a quarter—can be mounted almost anywhere—the stock of your gun, gun barrels, your finger, on your wrist like a watch, or on your whistle lanyard or duck call. There’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 series—the Junior G3, Basic G3 EXP, Combo G3 EXP, and Upland G3 EXP—are great entry-level collars with all the features you’ll need to train just about any dog, with ranges from a ¼-mile on up, and plenty of stimulation levels…and all at prices that won’t have you skimping on top quality dog food for your pup.