The best opinion I ever heard on e-collars came from an old trainer in South Dakota. He worked big-ranging pointers that roamed the wide-open uplands for pheasants and sharptails, and he made retrieving machines out of labs that earned their kibble snagging downed ducks in the prairie pothole country. “An e-collar is like a long arm,” he said. “It puts you in control, but use it like you would your hand.”
Looking for your own long arm of control can be a daunting task. So here’s a review of eight top electronic collar systems from four leading manufacturers. Take a look, consider your options, and get ready to extend your reach.
See how we tested here.
Meet the Test Dogs
Rascal the Brittany (left)
I belong to the guy who coordinated this test. I’m purely an upland dog—roosters and ruffs are my specialties. Water work is not in my contract, although I’ll splash out to get a pheasant if Dumbo shoots one over the slough. I ride in the front seat of the truck. I’m pretty soft and mellow, and don’t need much stimulation.
Bob the Lab (middle)
I’m a duck dog. My guys hunt me 30 to 45 days a year. My favorite time is when the divers come in and I get to jump into freezing water to retrieve canvasbacks and bluebills (when my guys actually hit one, that is). Snow makes it even more fun! I’m a hardhead though. That’s why they keep a collar on me.
Clint the Chesapeake (right)
I do it all: upland birds, waterfowl, deer (heh heh). You name it, a Chessie can do it and I’m the best of the best. Oh, and another thing: Don’t get too near my master or look at me sideways and we’ll be just fine. I weigh about 110 pounds. If I had a dog like me, I’d put an e-collar on him too.