Dog Days: Gun Dog Gear Buyer's Guide

Dog Days: Gun Dog Gear Buyer's Guide

Summer is a critical period for dog trainers. It is the time to reinforce training principles and condition your canine companion for hard hunting, and it's also the time to start thinking about gearing up for the fall season.

There are a host of innovative new products that make life easier for you and your dog, from illuminated collars that keep your four-legged hunting partner safe when they are out in the field to high-tech dummies that mimic a falling bird.


These six items allow you to make the most of these long summer days and be ready to hit the fields or the blind on opening day secure in the knowledge that your dog has the best training and the best equipment for the upcoming hunting season.



Brite Strike | Dog LED Collar and Leash

Brite Strike has been lighting up the hunting world for years, and now the company offers a leash and collar that will keep you and your dog safe. LED technology in the collar and leash power internal fiber optic tubes, and these tubes are illuminated for easy identification of your dog even in complete darkness. There'™s an innovative solar panel on the buckle of the collar that charges the collar fully in eight hours. In addition, there'™s a USB port that allows you to charge the collar in your truck or home in just three hours. The lithium-ion battery keeps the light on for 2 ½ hours of continuous use.

These compact, lightweight collars are great for anyone who owns a gun dog, whether you'™re coon hunting at night in the Mississippi woods or moving in on South Dakota mallards before first light. The illuminated collar also offers a high level of visibility at night, reducing the chances that your dog will be run-over by a driver or shot by some witless hunter after sunset. In addition, the illuminated leash is a great option as well because it makes hooking your dog up after dark that much easier and you won'™t lose your lead in tall grass or murky water near the duck blind.

Price: $50 for the collar; $60 for the leash.

Drake | Quick-Hitch Retriever Stand

Setting up a retriever stand in the minutes before a hunt can be time-consuming and frustrating. To remedy this, the team at Drake designed the Quick-Hitch Retriever Stand with a separate receiver that hooks onto the tree independently of the stand. This means no more tossing a strap around the tree while you try to balance the weight of the stand. Instead, the Drake Quick-Hitch model allows you to quickly and easily mount the receiver to the tree and then slide the platform in place.


The stand is made of solid steel with a powder-coat finish with a rubber coated mesh floor on the platform. This rubber coating allows water to run off the platform quickly so it won'™t freeze and create a slippery and uncomfortable launch pad for your canine companion, and it also prevents your dog'™s nail from becoming trapped in the stand when they jump, a painful experience for your four-legged friend.

Backpack straps make this stand a breeze to pack in and out of the timber, and at just 14 pounds its one of the lightest stands available.

Price: $100.00

D.T. Systems | Scent Strip Winged Dummy

The new Scent Strip Winged Dummy from D.T. Systems will change the way that you and your dog think about training. Made from heavy-duty 18 ounce canvas with durable stitching and heavy-duty seams, this new training dummy from D.T. will provide years of service and, like their other products, they are hand-stitched in the U.S.A.


This dummy features D.T.'™s innovative Scent Strip, which is sewn into the body of the dummy itself and helps retain scent longer for more productive training sessions. In addition to the scent strip, this dummy also comes with D.T.'™s Flutter Wings, which are stitched from contrasting black and white canvas and which mimic the look of a falling bird to make training more authentic.

Even young dogs will immediately associate the fluttering wings of this dummy to those of a falling bird and it will encourage hard, fast retrieves.

Price: $12.99 (2" x 9") or $13.99 (3" x 12")

Gunner | G1 Intermediate Kennel

It'™s extremely important to keep your dog safe and secure when you are traveling, and Gunner'™s brand-new G1 Intermediate Kennel provides you with the peace-of-mind you need. With a width of almost two feet, the G1 is stable enough that you won'™t have to worry about it tipping over during transport, and large rubber feet on the corners provide even more grip for added security.

Pins on all four corners of the kennel offer a place for attaching tie-downs, and the Paw-Proof piano hinges on the door prevent dogs from pawing their way out of the kennel. Heavy-duty kayak-grade handles make loading and unloading this 45 pound kennel easy, and there is a drain plug easy cleaning.

'œMy goal for designing and building this kennel was to have a kennel that I felt was safe enough to put my dog in,' says Gunner Kennel President Addison Edmonds. 'œWe have thoroughly tested the safety aspects of this kennel from dropping a 60 pound weight on it from two stories up to shooting it with a 12-gauge shotgun. The kennel has passed each test with flying colors and it is built to withstand 4,000lbs of force. It'™s not only safe for the dog but comfortable as well for those long trips to your next hunting adventure.'

Price: $449.00

Hard Core | Gun Dog Trainer'™s Kit

If you'™re a serious dog trainer, you understand the value of keeping all your gear together and organized. Check cords, leads, collars, and dummies seem to end up as a tangled mess or simply disappear altogether, which is why the Hard Core Gun Dog Trainer'™s Kit is so valuable. The team at Hard Core knows hunting dogs, and they'™ve compiled one kit that contains all the basics you need to start a pup or keep your old dogs in shape this summer season.

Included in this heavy-duty training bag are small and large plastic training bumpers, small and large canvas training dummies, a force fetch training bumper, 30 foot check cord, a collapsible dog dish, whistle, and six heavy-duty rubber bands for attaching bird wings to the dummies. The Hard Core bag also has exterior pockets for holding wet and slobbery dummies so you won'™t have to stick them back in the dry bag, and the tough exterior surface of the bag insures that it can stand up to many years of hard service in the field.

If you'™re a serious trainer this is an essential piece of equipment. All you need now is a dog.

Price: $149.99

SportDOG | TEK 2.0 LT GPS E-Collar

SportDOG'™s new TEK 2.0 LT GPS/E-Collar combines tracking and training in one compact, lightweight unit, and this e-collar is brimming with state-of-the-art technology. With this new training system you can simultaneously train and track up to 21 dogs, and thanks to the TEK 2.0 LT'™s HOPTEK technology you can track dogs up to 10 miles. The tracking screen shows location and direction of travel for all your dogs, thanks in part to SportDOG'™s pre-loaded 1:100,000 topo maps with unlimited map updates, and the user can set update rates to keep a close eye your dogs as they search for birds or follow a trail.

The home screen features icon-based navigation similar to a smart phone, so it'™s easy to learn the SportDOG system and begin training and tracking your dogs. The e-collar features up to 99 levels of stimulation plus vibration and tone, so you can match the response to each dog'™s individual personality and needs. There'™s even a compass feature that you can use to navigate and keep track of your dog'™s direction of travel. The collar receiver runs for up to 24 hours with three second updates, so you'™ve got plenty of juice for the longest days afield.

If all this technology seems daunting, there'™s a manual and instructional DVD included that covers basic functions of the TEL 2.0 LT. Never has so much technology been hanging around your dog'™s neck.

Price: $819.95; additional collars are extra.

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