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.