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Waterfowl gear with focus on camouflage e-collarWaterfowl gear with focus on camouflage e-collar

How To Choose An E-Collar For Retriever Training

Posted by Charlie Jurney

Opinions on the right way to choose and use a remote electronic collar for retriever training are as varied as the countless training methods used to create a top-notch waterfowl dog. I’ve been fortunate that my time and experience in retriever training have allowed me to experiment with a lot of different gear. This has helped me formulate some solid opinions about what features are important in an e-collar.

SportDOG Brand® recently asked me to explain the features and benefits I believed were most important in an all-around retriever-training system. Keep in mind that I tried to make my points with the idea that the ideal retriever-training unit could be used for day-to-day training exercises, as well as actual waterfowl hunting.

The first thing I ask (demand, actually) is the unit be waterproof. If you’re going to hunt and train in wet areas, sooner or later your transmitter is going to take a dip. “Water-resistant” isn’t good enough for me, and if you’ve done any duck hunting at all, you know what I’m talking about.

My wants list in this area includes a choice of continuous and momentary (nick) settings via buttons that I can easily feel, even when I’m wearing gloves; the ability to control more than one collar, which cuts down on the amount of gear I have to buy and maintain; and stimulation levels across a wide range to give me versatility in how I train.

Another area of consideration is that the transmitter unit be small enough to easily carry in a wader pocket or on a lanyard around my neck. I also want it to fit my hand well. These two factors, along with the easy-feel buttons, mean that once I get used to the transmitter, I rarely, if ever, need to look down to operate it.

Battery Life
Every hunter wants an e-collar that doesn’t require you to constantly wonder whether you’re about to run out of juice in the middle of a hunt. Rechargeable batteries are with good battery life are key.

Ultimately, the WetlandHunter® 1825X is the e-collar that meets all of my needs. It’s DryTek® waterproof up to 25 feet, features continuous and momentary stim abilities, along with 8 stimulation levels in low, medium, and high settings at up to a mile of distance, and 40-60 hours of battery life per charge – all in a compact design. One nice touch is that the transmitter, collar receiver, and collar strap are all camouflaged in the Realtree Max-5® pattern.

That’s my story about how I arrived at my decision on which e-collar to use. For you, the bottom line is this: Outline the factors you believe are most important in a retriever-training system, like I did, and then go shopping. And don’t forget to consider price and warranty. Altogether, you’ll have the information you need to make the right decision.

Charlie Jurney

Piedmont, NC

Charlie Jurney has been training performance and hunting dogs for more than 30 years. During that time he has produced hundreds of titled dogs including Grand Hunting Retriever Champions, Hunting Retriever Champions, Master Hunters, Grand Master Hunting Retriever Champions, and Master Hunting Retrievers. His writings have been featured in The...

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