In the past 25 years, dog training has greatly improved because of major advancements in the tools used to teach our canines how to behave and hunt better. E-collars in particular have become more sophisticated with a multitude of high-tech features that have made lessons in learned behavior and the control of impulsive behavior easier, more efficient and more humane.
In addition, keeping a gun dog located when out of sight has undergone big changes with GPS tracking systems that tell where a dog has been, where it is, and what direction it is headed. Training gear such as retrieving dummies and launchers have likewise become more effective as ways to replicate more accurately the process of fetching gamebirds and getting some good exercise while doing so.
Take a look at the best dog training tools to get your canine ready for the season.
D.T. Systems R.A.P.T. 1400
The R.A.P.T. 1400
transmitter can be operated with one hand in three different ways to give any trainer greater speed in delivering stimulation. With the 'Knuckle Grip, ' the transmitter is attached to the back of the hand; in the 'Palm Grip, ' the transmitter is held like a stopwatch to give immediate access; and the 'Pistol Grip ' allows one thumb and the trigger finger to push transmitter buttons. There are 16 levels of stimulation for 'nick ' and 'continuous ' with each controlled by an adjustable 'jump ' for instant power increase. A 'vibration ' with audible tone feature is also part of the system. The transmitter is waterproof and will float if accidentally dropped overboard. The collar battery is a rechargeable NiMH with an LED read out indicating charge status.
Tri-Tronics Pro 500 G3 EXP
The PRO 500 G3 EXP
with tube type transmitters and an easily accessible series of buttons provides 16 levels of instant low, medium, and high 'nick ' or 'constant ' stimulations as well as tone. A 2½-inch 'fixed antenna ' on the transmitter eliminates loss and breakage of this component. The waterproof transmitter can operate up to three collars as well as an add-on Tri-Tronics beeper/locator and Tracer Light. The PRO 500 has a 1-mile range and two-year comprehensive warranty.
SportDOG Upland Hunter SD-1875
combines the basic nick and constant e-collar stimulation features with a remotely activated beeper/locator in the Upland Hunter SD-1875
. With seven levels of stimulation, the SD-1875 also has 'vibration ' and nine selectable 'tones, ' up to a 1-mile range, a waterproof, audible beeper (up to 500 yards), and an 'add-on ' collar receiver option for training multiple dogs from one transmitter.
One of the most affordable e-collars on the market, the Garmin Delta
has 18 levels of momentary or continuous stimulation, a non-stimulating tone, a vibration mode, and half-mile range. It's expandable to three dogs, and both the transmitter and collar are waterproof and powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries with 60 hours of running time. The transmitter has a bright, easy-to-view LCD display indicating power levels and operating mode and a simple-to-operate push button for delivering stimulation, tone and vibration and side buttons for power level adjustments.
A customizable and expandable unit (up to four dogs can be trained on the system), the Dogtra EDGE
is easy to operate. The waterproof transmitter features interchangeable intensity dials with a rheostat dial and another clickable step-level dial with each mode clearly indicated on an LCD screen. Along with the nick and constant stimulation is a pager-vibrator. 'Location lights ' on the receiver can be activated from the transmitter to show where a dog is. The entire system is powered by rechargeable and user-replaceable lithium polymer batteries with a two hour charge and a two year warranty. The Dogtra EDGE has a 1-mile range.
is the place to go for e-collar repairs on a wide variety of product lines, including Tri-Tronics, Dogtra and D.T. Systems. Collar Clinic will complete most repairs in five business days with a six-month warranty. All major brands of e-collars are also sold, along with Garmin Tracking and Tracker GPS units, as well as anti-bark collars and invisible fences. Most trade-ins are also accepted towards the purchase of a new one.
Dokken's DeadFowl Trainer
Available in 33 different birds, Dokken's DeadFowl Trainers
are made with a firm foam body and hard plastic head and feet, designed to reproduce the appearance, feel and weight of a real gamebird. Because of the hard head and feet, dogs are encouraged to grasp any DFT by its softer foam body. All DFTs will absorb commercially manufactured wild bird scent for another training advantage.
Price: $29.99 to $49.99
D.T. Systems Super-Pro
The Super-Pro RDL
is designed to propel dummies several hundred feet at adjustable angles up to 75 degrees. With a 1,200-yard operating range, it is compact, lightweight, and portable (the aluminum hand unit weighs seven pounds), and can be activated remotely or manually. The Super-Pro is compatible with the D.T.'s standard Bird and Dummy Launchers and can be set to operate 16 launchers from one transmitter. A beeper/locater is audible up to 450 yards to make finding the Super-Pro easy.
Designed as a powerful launcher big enough to send a live bird or retrieving dummy up to 45 feet straight up or at an angle, the Zinger Winger
can be triggered manually or by remote transmitter. In four models (the Field Trialer, the Mini-Zinger, the Uplander, and the Zinger Winger II), each is manufactured from tubular aluminum. Each can be folded up into an easy-to-carry package that can be assembled and disassembled in a few minutes. The propulsion system uses heavy-duty, long-lasting rubber bands or steel springs that are replaceable.
Price: $299 to $479
Though it looks like a toy, the Proball Go-Frrr
is really a serious tool for teaching all dogs to be better retrievers and improve every canine's physical condition and stamina. In 10 minutes of GO-Frrr Ball retrieving, the average dog will run one mile. For most gun dogs, the GO-Frrr is irresistible because when launched this ball will travel through the air 75 feet high and up to 150 feet in distance. In addition to using the GO-Frrr on land, this training tool can also be launched into a lake or pond to simulate water retrieves. The GO-Frrr is inexpensive, durable, compact and convenient.
retrieving dummies are hand-made from super-sturdy polyester fabric fire hose material, double-stitched and stuffed with super-buoyant granulated cork. Available in four sizes, each Real Duck has a built-in, sewn-on 24-inch throw rope. The fabric and granulated cork work well to float any Real Duck high in the water for greater visibility and to absorb commercially-manufactured game bird scent.
Price: $11.95 to $20.95