Of all the products we sell on the Bark Control website, electric remote dog training collars are the most common for customers to purchase and then realise they have an item that cannot do what they want it to do. Why? I believe there are several factors that many people may overlook or not take into consideration for their own needs. There is a lot more to it than putting on the remote training collar and pressing the button!
So before you buy your electric collar, or E collar (as they're called in the trade) please take some of the following points into consideration. Remember what you will need as a sheep farmer, pig hunter or a schutzhund competitor may be worlds apart from what the pet owner with the dog digging holes may require. Always consider these important factors:
Probably the most neglected consideration. There is no point having a dog training collar that has a range of 100 metres if your dog is operating from 150 metres away. A simple rule of thumb is to work out what your longest range may be and double it. That way, you know you will always have control of your dog even if he is running towards that busy road chasing a cat. Conversely if your dog is 20 metres from the house pulling washing off the line you do not need one of the training collars that range out to 1.5km!
Having a remote dog collar that has multiple stimulation levels enables you to best find the appropriate training level for your dog that best allows him to learn the behaviour you are trying to teach or discourage.
Quality remote training collars will have a variety of levels to best suit your dogs requirement. Many also have a momentary or nick correction button which gives a very short split second correction.
I have seen on occasions in the past where cheap collars (which unfortunately flood the market from time to time) have very unpredictable and inconsistent levels that may deliver corrections that are too strong for your dog. This can undo your training quicker than anything. If you see any electric collar device selling for way cheaper than reputable brands, be very cautious, particularly on online bidding sites and overseas websites.
If you are a bit rough with your gear or know that collars and transmitters might get banged around a bit because of the work you are doing I would advise going for a Dogtra, SportDog or DT System remote trainer. Definitely avoid LCD screens if you throw your transmitter about a bit. This should not be a worry for pet owners unless you are particularly rough with your gear!
Many quality remote dog trainers have the capability to run multiple collars from the one remote control. If you have one dog currently but are considering a second always consider one that will allow you to add a collar down the track. You do not want two dogs and two remotes!! The male brain cannot do two things at once (or so I am told). Seriously, you will stuff it up and correct the wrong dog. Personally I have never juggled more than two dogs on one remote and that was tricky at first. Three would be more difficult. Some electric training collars advertise up to 5 dogs, which I think is way too many without making mistakes and compromising timing.
If your dog will be working, hunting or training in wet conditions, you will need a waterproof collar and transmitter. All remote training collars in the working dog category are completely waterproof.
If you will be using a remote training collar for training your dog out of nuisance behaviours around the house or yard, you might find that a water-resistant system is perfectly fine for your situation. Of course, if you prefer to have an entirely waterproof system, there are a number of options for you.
This is not as important as some of the other considerations in my opinion. It can be a personal thing really. Many like rechargeable systems, others do not care. Top line dog training collars will recharge both the collar and remote. In saying that many good quality collars have battery operated transmitter. DT systems collars offer car recharging capabilities too! This can come in real handy on camping or shooting trips with no power around.
Now this is not a conclusive list of things to consider when buying your remote training collar, but I think they are the ones that make the difference between a right and wrong choice. Some might think tone and vibration buttons are important factors to. So be it. Some might also like other special feature like the Big Leash which lets you know how far away your dog is by talking to the transmitter. That's fine too, this feature may be hugely beneficial to some dog owners.
Remember if you are a pet owner and like the look or features of a more expensive training collar, buy it. You will more than likely be buying a better product that will last longer and give you more scope if you want to do more advanced things with your dog in the future. Most importantly do not buy something to save a few bucks that cannot do what you want. It will cost you more in the end or become an expensive paper weight!!