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Ecollar buying help/questions...

Ecollar buying help/questions...

Postby Mike da Carpenter » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:07 am

Hello all, my GSP, Levi (5 months), is progressing extremely well. In all honesty, I don’t think I could be a happier owner. With that said, he is a totally different animal than my old (gone) Chocolate Lab. I’m now in the market for an Ecollar (just to get him used to wearing it now, and correction down the road for trash breaking and a recall reminder) and figure I would pick ya’lls brains to get a better idea of what brand/model I’m going to do best at spending the money on.

A bit about Levi....he was bred to be a “foot hunter”, and rarely gets more than 100 yards out on our daily walks, and is constantly checking in to see my location. When I see him stop and look for me, I turn 90-180*, and he is quick to get back in front of me and continue his search. If I want him to “come” when he checks in, I raise my hand and let it fall down, and he is on his way to me. I started working a double blast on a whistle yesterday in conjunction with a raised and lowered hand, along with treats (his food kibble) when he gets to me. Like I said, everything is moving along just fine. BUT, the grassy areas are short, and there are no leaves on anything so it is quite easy to track him now. In another month or two, it will be a whole new world, and quite possibly, neither of us will know where the other is.

I’m thinking I need a beeper collar if for anything to know when he is on point, or to be able to press the locator button to find him. Then what got me to thinking about an Ecollar more, as another tool, was on our run yesterday, there happened to be some Sand Hill cranes in the field, and he was off to the races. Once they took flight, there was no stopping him. My only saving grace is the cranes decided to fly in 500 yard circles for about 6-7 minutes, and he finally got downwind from me, and I believe he was then able to hear my voice YELL “come”, which he stopped in his tracks, looked at me, saw my raised and lowered hand, and came on a string right to me, where there was a couple pieces of kibble waiting for him. Then he was ready to go on our run that I had planned before the whole crane incident. That was a pretty concerning 6-7 minute timeframe. I’ve been doing research on Ecollars for a while, it decided right then, I’m gonna need one, and had better get him used to wearing one for a couple months then slowly work my way into using it.

Currently, We have an underground hidden fence that when Levi goes outside to use the bathroom, we put on his Ecollar for tha. We have had the hidden fence for 5 weeks and after the first 2 weeks of training the last 3 weeks have been a breeze. As soon as he gets the warning tone (loves to chase robins), he slams on the breaks and doesn’t encroach into the “Zap” zone. So actually, he kinda already is conditioning himself to the Ecollar usage for when in the field.

Levi will mainly be used for grouse/woodcock in Northern Michigan, wild pheasants in the MI thumb (I’m very fortunate to have a friend that grew up there and has the run of many farms from his family ties), and a yearly trip to S. Dakota. I don’t believe a GPS collar will be needed, and in my guesstimating, a 1 mile range is plenty for my purposes, but I could be wrong.

Sorry to ramble on, but I figure the more information I can give, the better and more informed answers I can get from folks who have been down this same road many times, and for longer periods than I. I like to spend my money wisely, and asking these questions is all part of my homework. The below picture is what I’m kinda leaning towards, but PLEASE, if there is a better product for my intended purpose, let me know.

The collar is a R.A.P.T. 1450 Upland Beeper which has an Ecollar too. Here is a link since the picture is so large http://www.collarclinic.com/product/1450Upland.html
Wish I know how to resize the picture so it would be easier to see, instead of having to scroll down and around to see it.

F67867BC-5C32-4CE2-9F69-3C8BE31634F0.png
F67867BC-5C32-4CE2-9F69-3C8BE31634F0.png (1.65 MiB) Viewed 1081 times
Last edited by Mike da Carpenter on Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ecollar buying help/questions...

Postby averageguy » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:27 am

Mike, I use a TT/Garmin 550 pro for training. I like the instant ease of varying stimulation levels while training. I use a Garmin Alpha while hunting. I like silence while hunting. Train my dogs to recall to the tone button and use it sparingly. The GPS capabilities allowed me to let my pup's search develop without interference from me. I never had to call him back just because I could not see him but instead just let him go explore his new world and find and work game within reason. I would include one or two good recalls in his training/development on each daily run in game cover/country but otherwise let him go. I set the remaining two buttons on my Alpha to a low level constant stimulation level which I use rarely as needed and higher level which is used to discourage his interest in coyotes or deer as needed. The Alpha works really well for me for hunting in high winds and heavy cover, keeping silent but knowing where my dog is hunting and when he is on point at all times. I have used TT and now Garmin products for over 30 years and they have performed well enough for me to stick with them. Best of luck with your pup.
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Re: Ecollar buying help/questions...

Postby deseeker » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:03 am

Most e-collars will only have about 1/2 the distance they list--if it says 1 mile it is probably 1/2 mile. If it says 400 yards it is probably 200 yards. These collars are tested on flat ground with nothing in the way between the collar and controller(trees, hills, valleys, etc). This is not a hunting situation, there is usually a lot cover in between the person and the dog--cutting the distance it works--Just something to think about when you make your final choice on collars. JMO I have a TT100 that I use with an add on TT beeper that I use point only and locate. Good luck with your pup and post pictures after hunting season (or we won't believe ya! :D )
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Re: Ecollar buying help/questions...

Postby gonehuntin' » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:01 am

As an old duffer that's been doing this for a loooooong time, I'd tell you first, to scrap the beeper collar and go with an Astro. There are a lot of reasons for this but basically the quieter you can hunt the more birds you'll kill. I run my dog's with an Astro for location and a TT Pro 100 (old like me) because I like the instant variability of correction and don't like looking at a screen to do it. Keep it simple and quiet and you'll be a happy hunter. And NO, you aren't always looking at the screen to find the dog, 90 % of the time you'll pretty much know where he is. If he's on point the beeper will tell you and then you can look at your screen. I may go an hour and never look at the GPS unless I'm lost and want to know where the heck I left the truck. :D
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Re: Ecollar buying help/questions...

Postby Sharon » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:53 pm

I've been using the Dogtra 2500 Beeper/trainer for 15 ? years. Never a problem with it. The beeper feature has several choices from silent to ..... I use the 2 dog unit but you wouldn't need that.

http://www.gundogsupply.com/dogtra-2500.html
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Re: Ecollar buying help/questions...

Postby Mike da Carpenter » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:32 pm

Someone brought the Garmin Alpha to my attention today. Would this be a “Cure all” for what I’m looking for, or is it way overkill for my intentions?
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Re: Ecollar buying help/questions...

Postby gonehuntin' » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:44 pm

The only thing I don't like about the Alpha is that if either function goes and you send it in, you have nothing for correction or for hunting. I prefer the two collar system.
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Re: Ecollar buying help/questions...

Postby averageguy » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:34 pm

Mike, I posted about my use of an Alpha for hunting and a 550 for training.

I travel alot and like GH posts, I like to have some redundancy in the truck so I always take both with me. I already owned the 550 and I like packing only one transmitter on me and one collar on the dog, so I went the route of the Alpha for hunting. Garmin incorporated all its handheld GPS features into it which makes it more complicated than a guy my age would prefer to have to learn and deal with, but I find it an excellent tool overall none the less.

When I started with my own birddogs decades ago I used a bell. Which made noise constantly except when the dog went on point. Then I went to point only beepers that I could also turn on and off with my TT transmitter. That was better, but the beepers malfunctioned pretty frequently with grass seeds, and in heavy tall CRP cover and high winds it is often very difficult to hear them and hone in on their location. I hunt public area wild pheasants from the beginning of season to the end. Running silent is a big advantage. So the Alpha was an improvement over beepers for me. Also eliminates the shrill beeper going off in my dog's ear.

Opinions vary, but that is how I come out on the tools.
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Re: Ecollar buying help/questions...

Postby Mike da Carpenter » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:33 am

Very good points AG, quiet being the #1 for both my dogs ears and the birds. I’m really liking the idea of the Alpha (all in one), not to mention that Garmin has always stood behind their products. Customer Service means quite a bit to me.

Our GSP is only 5 months now, so I have some time to research further and hope Garmin comes out with a new model so I can save a few $ on the Alpha 100.

I appreciate everyone’s feedback.
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Re: Ecollar buying help/questions...

Postby averageguy » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:57 am

Mike I bought the full size collar first and then the mini 15 collar. The mini is all I use. It's size allowed me to put it on my pup at an early age and let him roam/explore in game country with little to no interference from me. Which was instrumental in developing his independent search.
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Re: Ecollar buying help/questions...

Postby mgrucker » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:36 am

I really like my Alpha but only when we are hunting. It is too bulky, both the collar and handheld, with too poor of a battery life for day to day use. For training and any other time we aren't hunting I have a Sportdog 1825 that I use but any collar would work fine. My main complaint with the Alpha is that the regular collar is too heavy. Even on my 65lb dog I constantly have issues with it tearing up his neck due it wanting to rotate. This year I have a second dog and will be trying a mini version for him, if that works OK I will be switching both to the minis.
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Re: Ecollar buying help/questions...

Postby huntindog1 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:10 am

I was cautious about buying a Sport Dog Beep / ECollar . I wanted all the features it had.

I havent had any issues with it as its worked flawlessly.

I think most of what you read is from years ago when they first started up.

I did get me some rubber caps to put over the beeper with different size wholes for added volume control.

The beeper does have some hi and low options but some of the tone options only had one sound level so just put on a rubber cap.

I like the e collar options lots of them as its a very programmable system. I usually hit them them with a low stimulation then after that the vibe works for a good reminder.
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