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First time ecollar question


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Hi,

 

I have a 4.5 month old GWP and would like to get an ecollar for her. Something that works well for both training and hunting. I live in MA and she does get out there while hunting to the point where I cant hear her bell in thick cover. Maybe 100 - 200 yards. I'm using a little #1 jingle bell from New England Bells and am going to get a larger bell (Sunkhaze medium nickel) so I can hear her better as she gets further out.

 

I'm torn between the Garmin 550 pro plus and the Dogtra 2700 T&B. A LOT of people on various forums seem to have GPS tracking capability as a "just in case" and there are stories of dogs running off for hours and in some cases days that seem to cause people to buy these tracking devices. I've read a lot of threads on this site and it seems that the majority are using GPS tracking: Astro, 550 plus, Pathfinder, etc. perhaps for similar reasons: mostly for practicality of finding the dog on point but also as an insurance policy in case the dog is long gone.

 

In my limited experience, my biggest problem is likely to be finding her when she is on point - but thats going to be within 100 - 200 yards not a mile away so a GPS seems like overkill for that scenario and I am thinking that the locate button on the T&B should do it. It doesnt sound fun to have to use the Garmin handheld (or an add-on Garmin watch) to locate the dog, looking down at a watch or handheld versus looking where I'm going listening for the locate tone. The tone just seems "easier" and a better experience. I think if the Garmin had a locate tone it would be a no-brainer. Absent the locate tone the experience doesnt seem optimal.

 

Cost is also a factor at almost double for the Garmin, but an extra $300 is better than a lost dog. I come back to these stories about dogs that would have been lost without the ability to find them 3 miles away with a GPS. Is this really likely? Did people lose dogs all the time pre-GPS? I dont know if being in New England factors into it - there's only so far she can go. Its not like we're out west where the plains stretch for hundreds of miles and were hunting on horseback - does the geography matter when making this decision?

 

Anyone have any helpful feedback?

 

Thanks!
David

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Congrats on your pup. I think that if one could afford it, I would buy the Garmin Pro 550 for training, and get the Alpha for hunting. If I couldn't afford that, I would get the 550 Plus for both. Gives you a very good e collar for training, and gives you a basic GPS to keep your dog located.

I was one of the guys scoffing at the GPS units until about 4 years ago when I couldn't find one of my dogs, and realized that she was a mere 40 yards away on point. Even though we were in "open country", she was standing behind some sagebrush. Hunting pheasants in thick cover, they are also invaluable. I've lost my dogs numerous times being on point in a heavily covered pheasant field.

After using one for the past several seasons, I would never turn a dog loose without one. Just too many things can happen, even with a closer working dog. Enables to be able to find my dogs quicker, and get to their points faster. It's also a piece of mind. 

You also mentioned the Dogtra. The nice thing about the Garmin units is that you can add additional collars later if needed, whereas the Dogtras, you have to either purchase the single or two collar units.

 

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What's your priority ? Stimulation for correction or ability to track your dog ? If you've ever lost a dog (even in Ma) for more than an hour or been with someone that has lost a dog , the point is mute . I have Dogtra TB 2500 beepers but never use them . 200yards away you will never hear them . A lost dog 200 yards away or 2,000 yards away is still lost . 

Buy once , cry once . I have the Alpha and the Fenix watch and the watch makes the hunt sooo much more enjoyable now . I rarely use correction now but it's nice to know it's there . 

 

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I have the Dogtra. I hunt MN and the Dakotas with a medium ranging pointing dog. I like the dogtra-I don’t run with the beeper collar on, just use the locate button if I do lose sight of her. I’m very pleased with it.  I found mine for $300.  The Astro’s are cool if you have big runners though. 

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@jdligon how far away can you hear the locate beeper & do you have the 2500 or 2700 with the beeper on the bottom? Would you specify what range is "medium ranging?" Thanks!

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I have the 2700 T&B for my 1.5 year old DL. It’s only her second season. She ranges maybe 50 yards in the grouse woods unless she’s running up birds. We just got back from our second trip to SD and she was ranging 100-150, 200+ if she was chasing wild flushes or jackrabbits. You can set the tone for low or high. The low tone seems to carry well in the woods. 

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I would choose the 550 plus for both training and hunting if I didn't already have an Alpha and another Garmin training collar setup. At times I do lose track of the dog even with a loud bell!

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2 minutes ago, WMassGriff said:

I would choose the 550 plus for both training and hunting if I didn't already have an Alpha and another Garmin training collar setup. At times I do lose track of the dog even with a loud bell!

+1

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