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Dogtra Pathfinder

Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby Vman » Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:07 am

Received my new Dogtra Pathfinder GPS/training collar Friday and tried it out for a couple of hours yesterday. So far I am really impressed with this unit. The compass is much faster than the Garmins and I did not loose contact with the dog once. It is much easier to use than the Garmin also. It is not loaded with all the stuff I will never use like the Garmin. It has a Tone button, stimulation, Compass, and Google map. It tracks me and the dog like the Garmin, but I can go from the Collar, to the compass to the map with a simple shake of the phone. Much faster than the cumbersome Garmin. I ordered a arm case for my phone this morning so the phone will always be handy and not hanging off me or the phone in a pocket and I no longer have to walk around with the Garmin in my hand looking at the small screen. I can keep both hands on my gun and glance at the phone when needed. It has a Geo Fence which you can enter the boundaries on the map and when the dog leaves the boundary the pathfinder will notify you. I think this will come in handy in certain situations.
I am sure there is more to learn with this unit and it will be interesting to see how it performs with more time and abuse, but the collar is very well built so I do not expect any problems there. But at half the price of a Garmin and faster screens and less clutter I think it will be a game changer.
Anyone else try one yet?
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby greg jacobs » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:02 pm

Sounds interesting. How do you change the correction level. Can you use it for training without the phone connection
Last edited by greg jacobs on Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby Ms. Cage » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:16 pm

How long will your phone last before needing recharge ? What type of signal do you get when dog is on point, beep, vib. If beep is it loud ? Howie's hearing is bad. Can you mark your truck for return ? I take it you do not have to have cell phone reception. Does not work off a tower.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby Vman » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:30 pm

How long will your phone last before needing recharge ? What type of signal do you get when dog is on point, beep, vib. If beep is it loud ? Howie's hearing is bad. Can you mark your truck for return ? I take it you do not have to have cell phone reception. Does not work off a tower.


I used it for two hrs with no noticeable power usage, it is an app which does not require data to my knowledge. You do not need cell coverage for the unit to work. I like the idea of having a small power supply in my arm pocket in case i need to charge vs. batteries and stopping and fumbling around.
When the dog goes on point you can have the phone vibrate, tell you dog on point, or five other chimes.
The tone for the dog is much louder than others I have heard, but I also have two hearing aids.
You can back track to your truck for sure. Not sure if there is a go to like the garmin. But I think you can by marking the point.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby Vman » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:52 pm

Dogtra pathfinder.jpg
Dogtra pathfinder.jpg (67.26 KiB) Viewed 8565 times
How do you change the correction level. Can you use it for training without the phone connection


You adjust the correction level by sliding the stylus or hold down the up/down key. The collar in the pic is set at 32 Nick. The large circle with the 32 is what you push for stim.
You can lock out the ecollar and use strictly for tracking.
No phone connection required as in cell reception. The phone, the connector, and the collar all have to be connected via the connector. That is the small piece with the antennae. It is nothing more than a blue tooth connector between the collar and your phone.
Go to the Dogtra.com site and read more about it. They do a much better job than me.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby Ms. Cage » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:13 pm

Do you know the distance capability of the e collar ? Can't find info.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby Dakotazeb » Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:28 pm

I like the price point and what the collar does, I'm just not sure I like that it works through my cell phone. Cell battery life could be an issue. A person will need to have your cell phone readily available and not in your pocket. I wonder if they will have some kind of holder for your phone that you can attach to your vest/jacket or put on a lanyard?
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Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby GSPONPOINT32 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:38 pm

I just purchased the Astro 430. It is in the mail. I like the concept of using existing tech in your phone to keep the price point reasonable. I was thinking about all the training birds I could buy for $650 when I finally pulled the trigger.

Cage: manufacture puts the range at a max of 9 miles so I'm guessing the technology is similar to the garmin as far as receiver and transmitter.

I looked at this unit and decided on the garmin because I like my sportdog controls so much. I also wasn't sold on the Bluetooth as my iPhone will intermittently disconnect. I also run Bluetooth on m vehicles and a few accessories which I thought may complicate things.

Sounds like you are liking the unit I hope you will post a review in the appropriate section on he forum after next season. I will be doing my own review on the 430 after the 17 season.

Happy hunting


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby jczv » Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:41 am

VMan cell phone life I can manage (as you said you can carry an external battery). There's lots of different cell phone carrying devices for runners I suppose could be repurposed if necessary. I'd be interested in how long the collar lasts on a charge in GPS only mode and did they put a 'power save' mode in it like the later garmins where it signals less often.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby Vman » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:36 am

I'd be interested in how long the collar lasts on a charge in GPS only mode and did they put a 'power save' mode in it like the later garmins where it signals less often.


The update rate can be changed from 2 sec,6 sec,10 sec,30 sec, and 120 sec. Obviously the battery will last loger on the 120 sec setting.
There is also Rescue mode. Turning on the rescue Mode activates when the GPS collar battery life is at 25% or less. The device is placed in sleep mode and the updae rate is changed to 120 sec. to reduce power consumption.

Maybe I can charge the collar and connector and leave them turned on and see how long the batteries last for you, I would like to know also.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby jczv » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:44 pm

Vman wrote:
I'd be interested in how long the collar lasts on a charge in GPS only mode and did they put a 'power save' mode in it like the later garmins where it signals less often.


The update rate can be changed from 2 sec,6 sec,10 sec,30 sec, and 120 sec. Obviously the battery will last loger on the 120 sec setting.
There is also Rescue mode. Turning on the rescue Mode activates when the GPS collar battery life is at 25% or less. The device is placed in sleep mode and the updae rate is changed to 120 sec. to reduce power consumption.

Maybe I can charge the collar and connector and leave them turned on and see how long the batteries last for you, I would like to know also.


Good to hear about rescue mode. No hurry but if you could test it sometime to see how long it lasts that would be great.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby oldbeek » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:01 am

If out of cell range, what is the bluetooth range? In eastern CA (big Mountains) cell coverage is very sketchy. Have cell at the truck and walk 400 ft and no cell.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby Urban_Redneck » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:09 am

My concern with units that use cell phones as the base is, water. I know there are phone cases and even a phone or two that pledge 3 meter waterproofness, but, I like knowing my expensive phone safely tucked away in case I need it to find my way out or make an emergency call. Redundancy warms me.

Just a thought
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby bustingcover » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:51 am

oldbeek wrote:If out of cell range, what is the bluetooth range? In eastern CA (big Mountains) cell coverage is very sketchy. Have cell at the truck and walk 400 ft and no cell.


It does not use cell service so you could even use a retired smartphone if you didn't want to use your main phone activated on your account.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby NC Quailhunter » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:05 am

I got the Pathfinder over the summer. I am getting familiar with it and I am a fan so far. The battery life I am seeing on my phone is about 25% of the battery used in an hour and 15 minutes. That is what I have gotten the last two times out. I am not worried about the battery because I always carry a back up power supply/ I am not worried about water because I have a ruggedized phone that is water proof. I can take pictures under water with my phone. The blue tooth does not interfere with my truck because I use the collar when I am away from my truck and the vehicle is turned off so no issue there.
I got it because of the price and simplicity and I am very happy with it so far.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby zrp » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:01 am

Has anyone used the Laelaps collars yet? And if so, how did they compare?
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby oldbeek » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:15 am

Does it need cell service?? Does it give you an indication when dog goes on point??
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby Makintrax73 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:14 am

oldbeek wrote:Does it need cell service?? Does it give you an indication when dog goes on point??



No it does not need cell service. You can download a "basic" map ahead of time, or just use the compass. The actual signal between the collar and the phone relies on a repeater device you carry with you. The phone simply needs bluetooth to connect to the repeater.

Yes it has point indicating.

I got one this week because my Alpha went TU, and I'm waiting for a repair. Need something for a grouse hunt this week.

Frankly I've had a lot of problems with the Garmin that made the pricetag a bit steep. Hopefully the Dogtra works. At least it is cheaper.


Edit: Tried it last night in a training run. A little slow connecting up. Seems accurate on the location. The point alert function is wonky - perhaps it has something to do with the battery saver settings on my phone.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby nevermind » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:43 pm

Vman.... if you're still following this forum how about a update on the pathfinder now that you've used it through a hunting season?
I'm curious about battery life and the process of switching from tracking to correction mode, does the Bluetooth device have a rechargeable battery, also durability of the pathfinder?
I use a Dogtra ecollar and Garmin 320 tracker... thinking about moving on to the Pathfinder.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby DeLo727 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:57 pm

nevermind wrote:Vman.... if you're still following this forum how about a update on the pathfinder now that you've used it through a hunting season?
I'm curious about battery life and the process of switching from tracking to correction mode, does the Bluetooth device have a rechargeable battery, also durability of the pathfinder?
I use a Dogtra ecollar and Garmin 320 tracker... thinking about moving on to the Pathfinder.

I switched from an alpha to a pathfinder and never turned back. I want to track the dog, I don't need all of the other features an alpha has. The pathfinder could be used by an infant and Im already carrying a phone anyways, why carry two when I can carry one. One thing i will say is get a portable power source for your phone if you hunt all day. I just bought a case with a built in battery and have never come close to draining it. If you just hunt a few hours its a non issue
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby nevermind » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:46 am

Thanks for the info DeLo 727.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby Me&Mackinaw » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:57 pm

I’ve had the pathfinder for almost a year. Have used it everyday... close to home for corrections and in the Upper Peninsula bush... it’s a quality tool. It’s been submersed completely in water, took a beating. The wink link is your phone although it’s not that much of a link. I’m using an old iPhone 5 and it stayed charged through 4 hours of hunting. I was paranoid and kept charging it. I carried charge packs in my hunting vest but never used them. I don’t have a long ranging dog but there wasn’t anywhere he couldn’t be tracked or corrected. It was my first ecollar and gps unit... and wouldn’t go back... no regrets.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby NC Quailhunter » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:36 am

This is my first season with a Pathfinder. It has made my hunts a lot less stressful. I have been losing my hearing and can not hear the bell that my dog was wearing. Now I can get a location on him anytime I feel I need to.
It has held up to snow, Rain and a skunk blast. It is a quality tool and I have a decent phone that holds a charge pretty well. I can get about four hours out of my phone. I always carry a back up charger anyway.
It is simple to use and I really like the price.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby shaneroyce » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:54 pm

I've used one all season after using Garmin Astro/Alpha products for several years. I'm sold on it. Very intuitive and lots of features that I use and not many that I don't. Regarding battery life on phone, I use an iPhone 6S Plus. I close all of my apps except the Dogtra app, turn off everything but my bluetooth, put the phone on airplane mode, and have the app set for the screen to shut off automatically when it's covered (in a vest or other pocket) and turn on automatically when I'm looking at it. With these settings, I use about 4%-5% battery life per hour. So...a 4-5 hour chukar hunt, in areas with no cell service (I put my phone on airplane mode where there is service while hunting all the time anyways...don't want to be bothered) will use about 20% total battery. I imagine if you had the phone searching for wifi, running a lot of other apps, searching for cell service where not available, etc, that your battery life could suffer. I have not had any concerns with battery life and love the Pathfinder...won't be going back.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby nevermind » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:28 am

Purchased a Pathfinder and took it for a trial run. I like the simplicity of operation. The only draw back is I wear gloves and can't manipulate my iPhone screen without taking my glove off. Anyone found a way to use the phone without cutting the end of your trigger finger off the glove? Also was thinking about getting a battery charger case for my phone (seems the ones I've looked at have metal case parts), I noticed a warning from Dogtra that a metal phone case might interfere with the compass feature! Anyone with a metal case experience a problem?
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby Fozzie's Mom » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:24 am

nevermind wrote:Purchased a Pathfinder and took it for a trial run. I like the simplicity of operation. The only draw back is I wear gloves and can't manipulate my iPhone screen without taking my glove off. Anyone found a way to use the phone without cutting the end of your trigger finger off the glove? Also was thinking about getting a battery charger case for my phone (seems the ones I've looked at have metal case parts), I noticed a warning from Dogtra that a metal phone case might interfere with the compass feature! Anyone with a metal case experience a problem?


They make many many gloves specifically for use with electronic devises. Something in the fingers allows it to interact with your screen. There are lots of options available. . . .I'm just not sure if there are any available in hunting/shooting specific gloves, but I wouldn't be surprised if you found some.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby JasoP » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:04 pm

Has anyone tried using it with a smartwatch? Or know if its compatible with one? I'm thinking something like garmin's fexix watch capibilities with the astro.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby isonychia » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:56 am

Fozzie's Mom wrote:
nevermind wrote:Purchased a Pathfinder and took it for a trial run. I like the simplicity of operation. The only draw back is I wear gloves and can't manipulate my iPhone screen without taking my glove off. Anyone found a way to use the phone without cutting the end of your trigger finger off the glove? Also was thinking about getting a battery charger case for my phone (seems the ones I've looked at have metal case parts), I noticed a warning from Dogtra that a metal phone case might interfere with the compass feature! Anyone with a metal case experience a problem?


They make many many gloves specifically for use with electronic devises. Something in the fingers allows it to interact with your screen. There are lots of options available. . . .I'm just not sure if there are any available in hunting/shooting specific gloves, but I wouldn't be surprised if you found some.


Having used those gloves in many shapes and sizes, I can tell you that they do not work that well at all. I end up taking my gloves off anyways unless I am just snapping a photo.
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Re: Dogtra Pathfinder

Postby JONOV » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:02 pm

greg jacobs wrote:Sounds interesting. How do you change the correction level. Can you use it for training without the phone connection

It really isn't for training. The correction level is changed on the phone.

I used one on a trip...Nice, and great for making sure you know where your dog is.

If you see the dog beeline away at 50 MPH you can zap him off a deer or jackrabbit or whatever. As I said, I wouldn't use it for drills/training in the yard where I needed the instantaneous correction.

I used the shock function twice in five days, both times for an ignored "leave it."

I was in ND where I didn't get reception, but I didn't need it. For added battery life, i put the phone in Airplane mode and turned on bluetooth. Worked just fine!

The bluetooth receiver charges the same as any handheld remote for any other e-collar.
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