Best E Collar for Hunting Dogs
There are a lot of e-collars available today. Some more prominent brands like Dogtra, SportDog, and E-Collar Technologies have multiple product lines and models to choose from. Choosing one that would fit your needs can therefore be a daunting task. Buying an e-collar (also called an electric collar, a remote training collar, or a dog shock collar) is not something you want to mess up. For one, the wrong e-collar could be detrimental to your dog’s training. Plus, good remote trainers can cost a bit of money. So, you don’t want your money to go to waste either.
E-collars can be used for basic to advanced obedience training. They are also employed in training service dogs and K9 units. In this blog, though, we’ll talk about one of the more popular uses for e-collars - training hunting dogs.
Good hunting dog e-collars allow hunters to train their dogs and instruct them for tasks during an actual hunt.
But what makes a good hunting remote training e-collar? What features should you look for in a remote training collar specifically for training hunting dogs? Are they all the same, or should you choose one depending on breed and the type of hunting you intend to do?
5 Most Important Factors to Consider in Buying a Hunting Dog E-Collar
When it comes to hunting collars, these are the most important factors to consider.
If it’s your first time buying an e-collar, or if it’s the first time you’ll be using a remote trainer for a particular dog, it may be hard to anticipate how they’ll react. Some dogs can be stubborn in everyday situations but may be very sensitive to stimulation even at the lowest settings. Others may not even react to static at all and may need different correction types.
Take the easy route and choose an e-collar that has more features so you can adjust and adapt accordingly.
For example, the SportDog Brand WetlandHunter® 1825X has static stimulation, vibration, and tone options, so you can find the correction type that works best for your dog. The Dogtra 1900S Wetlands has low to high power output, so you have the flexibility to adjust according to temperament. The Upland Educator UL-1200 has 100 levels of static stimulation, among other features.
Pay extra attention to how well the transmitter allows you to toggle between dogs or switching individual settings, too.
Some e-collar models can have a range as short as a couple of hundred yards. And while it may have all the bells and whistles for basic training, it would hardly be enough out in the field. Imagine your dog at the edge of the accessible range, and they suddenly spot and go after the game. How will you be able to call them back?
Out on fields, forests, marshlands, or swamps, you’ll need an e-collar that has a decent range, so your dog is always within calling distance. You need to ensure your dog can perform tasks freely while still controlling them over the distance.
When it comes to range, though, you can’t go wrong with more.
One other thing you need to consider along with this feature is signal stability. A good connection between the remote transmitter and collar receiver is required. Otherwise, you may not be able to instruct your dog promptly and adequately.
Most hunters rarely ever go out with just one dog. In this case, you’ll need a remote trainer that is expandable and can handle multiple dogs simultaneously. The Dogtra EDGE is a popular choice and can handle up to 4 dogs. Some models can have as many as 21 dogs in the same system.
4. Stimulation Levels
The stimulation level is essential regardless of whether you’re training a hunting dog or just a regular house pet. More stimulation levels mean gradual stimulation increase between levels. It lets you find the right working level for your dog with minimal risk of them over-reacting.
The dog’s breed can affect what collar you need. Most common hunting companions like beagles need a collar with a minimum range of 1-mile. And since beagles are a mid-sized breed, you don’t want to saddle them with a collar that’s too big or too heavy.
Hounds, especially those trained for bigger game, will be better served by a collar with at least a 2-mile range. Because they’re also usually a bit bigger, you can opt for big, high-powered collars like the SportDog Brand ProHunter® 2525.
Retrievers, meanwhile, don’t usually need a lot of range, especially those trained for waterfowl and upland hunting. They typically are okay with a 1/2-mile range. What you do need to make sure, though, is that the collar is fully waterproof with a wide range of stim levels. These dogs can get distracted, and you’ll want stronger stim to get their attention.
A few other factors to consider:
- Durability – to handle all the drops and falls
- Floatability - for when you accidentally drop the device in water
- Camouflage – so your device does not stand out too much in your immediate surroundings, or alternatively,
- Orange Color Finish – so your dog can easily be seen and avoid accidents
- LED – so you can see and adjust the remote settings even in low light conditions or for added collar visibility
- Quality Batteries – because you don’t want to be caught without control of your dog in the middle of a hunt
Loyal hunting dogs are vital for every avid hunter. But more than just loyalty, you want a dog that’s well-trained to pull off a successful and safe hunt. A good hunting dog does not become one overnight. You’ll need to exert time and effort to train them into one. And the first step to helping you achieve your goals is finding the perfect hunting e-collar.