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.
D.T. Systems Border Patrol TC1
The clever folks at D.T. have designed the D.T. Systems Border Patrol TC1
, which acts as a containment system, in the same way buried lines have been used in the past. The GPS 'fence ' can be set up to a 800-yard radius, and offers a variety of warning zone notifications (beep, vibration, or vibration/beep with delayed stimulation), as well as a 'welcome home ' feature that will allow your dog to cross back over the border without being corrected.
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.
Hawx Outdoors Pro DG
Like every other e-collar on the market, Hawx Outdoors
has a hand-held transmitter and collar for the dog that receives the electrical stimulations. But here's where their product differs: also included in the transmitter/collar relay is a small, hand-held button that allows quicker, more precise corrections.
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.
LCS Bird Dog Trainer 800
The LCS Bird Dog Trainer 800
is extremely reliable, waterproof and rechargeable, and will reach out and touch your dog at up to a ½-mile away. It has eight levels of stimulation and will also operate the LCS Universal Bird Launcher and LCS Backing Dog, also up to ½-mile away — all from the same hand-held transmitter.
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.
Dogtra SureStim H Plus
The Dogtra SureStim H Plus
expands to a two-dog unit and has a pager in the hand-held transmitter, which lets you know when you've fully engaged the transmitter buttons. No more wondering whether or not your dog received the stimulation. The H Plus vibrates when you hit any transmitter button, which you can feel even with gloves on, and it also features nick, continuous, and pager modes.
Dogtra's Edge is designed for serious trainers and hunters. The Edge has an interchangeable rheostat intensity dial with nick, constant and a non-stimulating pager mode. A clear LCD screen, 1-mile range, and LED lights that help you locate the dog are among included features.
SportDOG Tek 1.0
The SportDOG TEK 1.0
is the first e-collar to integrate GPS into a single unit. It features a 7-mile range, 90 stimulation levels, tone and vibration, 12-dog capability (for you hound guys), and a two-hour charge. It's light, easy to use, and reliable. If your dog ever gets more than 75 yards from the gun, you need a unit like this.
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.
Tri-Tronics Pro 500 G3 EXP
The Tri-Tronics Pro 500 G3 EXP
has a fixed antennae, a no-stim setting to avoid accidental stimulation, insulated contact points (more reliable performance in wet conditions), a multi-dog selector switch, and a battery life indicator on both the transmitter and receiver. And all of it is housed in a cool and bulletproof case.
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.
Garmin Alpha 100
came out with their first GPS collar a few years back, it set the bird dog world on its ear. Finally, someone had invented a way to keep track of a dog under just about any hunting condition.
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.
Do you want to buy, trade-in or repair a Tri-Tronics, Dogtra, D.T. Systems, Einstein, SportDOG, Innotek, Garmin, Lovetta or Tracker e-collar? The Collar Clinic
is the place to go for all these products as well as a full line of anti-bark collars and electronic 'invisible ' fences. Repair and reconditioning usually are done in one week with a six-month warranty on all fixed products.
PetSafe Elite Big Dog
If you're looking for a simple, easy-to-use e-collar, PetSafe
offers a line of no-frills, basic trainers at rock-bottom prices, in a variety of models that will fit lap dogs to full-sized hunting dogs.
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.