One of the main things we point out in this Dogtra Pathfinder Review is that this e collar combines both e collar and GPS technology into a handheld, and a collar receiver.
What this allows you to do is both track and train your dog/s.
Also in this review, we run through the other features, pros and cons that make this GPS e collar what it is.
We consider who it may and may not be for.
Let’s look at it more closely!
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
Dogtra Pathfinder Review: GPS E Collar For Tracking & Training
You can go straight to viewing the Dogtra Pathfinder here if you like:
You can get an add-on collar receiver which allows you to add more dogs to the system (up to a maximum of 21 dogs). They come in black, blue, green and orange colors – Dogtra Pathfinder Extra Collar (on Amazon).
Dogtra Pathfinder: Review
- A ‘2 in 1’ dog training e collar, and GPS tracking collar
- The system’s main components are a collar receiver, a handheld remote – that work with a Pathfinder app you download to your existing smartphone (you need your own smart phone to use it)
- The Pathfinder app comes with a map and compass for tracking, and an e collar program for training
- The handheld remote to collar receiver has a 9 mile range (with MURS band)
- The smartphone to handheld remote has a 33ft range (with bluetooth)
- You can use the app without using data – your phone can be in offline mode
- The Pathfinder app gives you access to Google Maps™ with satellite and terrain views and the ability to track up to 21 dogs or hunters, share locations, playback data and create customizable Geo-Fence alerts.
- You get a two-second update rate and a powerful zoom capability on the app
- There is an option to go into ‘tracking only’ mode on the app
- Refer to the ‘how does the tracking technology work with my phone’ section in the buyer’s guide below for more information. For full information – check out the official Pathfinder product manual
- To add more dogs to the system (expandable up to a maximum of 21), you can purchase separate additional Pathfinder add on collar receivers
- The Pathfinder system is UKC events approved
- All of the e collar training functions are found and used within the Pathfinder app on your smartphone
- There is a static stimulation (shock) training option
- You get 100 different levels of stimulation output that you control with a slider on your phone
- You can use temporary (nick) or constant stimulation
- The power output on the stimulation ranges from low to high, so you can use it on soft up to harder/more stubborn temperament dogs
- There is also a tone/audible training option
- The batteries are 3.5 hour quick charge batteries
- The system is fully waterproof
- It comes with a belt clip
- Comes with Extendable Contact Points (5/8″ to 3/4″)
- The system is expandable to 21 Dogs and Hunters
- The system is for dogs 35lbs and up
- Doesn’t come with a vibration/pager training mode
- The system can be dependent on your phone e.g. in hotter, or colder weather, if your phone has issues functioning, it will obviously effect the collar system as a whole
- In more wooded or denser areas, you won’t get the 9 miles range
- Some people might prefer a handheld device for the training component instead of using their smart phone – especially in cold weather when your hand can get cold
- Sometimes some people have some issues syncing up the collars with the bluetooth – it takes more than a few minutes for them to do it properly rather than it happening instantly
- Not for dogs smaller than 35lbs
Dogtra Pathfinder: Buyer’s Guide
What Is The Dogtra Pathfinder Designed For?
Serious and advanced dog owners, hunters and trainers who want the ability to:
- Track using a smartphone app GPS system/program
- Train using an e collar system
Who Might The Dogtra Pathfinder Be For?
- Dog owners and hunters looking for a 2 in 1 e collar training, and GPS tracking system
- People who want the ability to track their dogs and hunters
- People who want to train with static stimulation and sound/audible options
- People with a compatible smartphone
- People looking for a system that is expandable up to 21 dogs
- Dogs over 35lbs
- Soft to hard temperament dogs
Who Might The Dogtra Pathfinder NOT Be For?
- People looking for a basic e collar
- People looking for a basic tracking GPS collar
- People on a budget
- People who want to train with a vibration option
- People who want to train or track with multiple dogs and don’t want to buy additional collars
- People who do not have a compatible or suitable smartphone for the Pathfinder app and Pathfinder system
- Dogs less than 35lbs
What Do You Get In The Dogtra Pathfinder Kit?
- GPS Connector
- GPS Collar
- Battery Charger and Splitter Cable
- Test Light
- Owner’s Manual
- Carrying Case
- Contact Point Extensions and Adjustment Tool
- Non-Stimulation Contact Point Covers
How Does The Tracking Technology Work With My Phone?
- It works without cellular data (after you’ve downloaded the app) and there’s no extra navigation packages to purchase
- You simply download the Pathfinder free maps app, and use it in conjunction with the collar receiver. Your phone can be in offline mode using no data
- You get access to Google Maps™ with satellite and terrain views and the ability to track up to 21 dogs or hunters, share locations, playback data and create customizable Geo-Fence alerts.
- You get a two-second update rate and a powerful zoom capability
– The Pathfinder App is compatible with iOS 8.1 and up, and Android 4.2 and up
– A device with Bluetooth 4.0 and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is required to operate the Pathfinder.
– Location Sharing requires a separate GPS Connector per user
– It’s definitely worth reading the Pathfinder product manual in full before using
What Might Be The Best Way To Use An E Collar On A Dog?
For professional advice on using a shock or e collar, see a vet or a professional dog trainer, or animals expert.
But, in general, good e collars come with instruction manuals and guides that tell you how to safely and effectively use their product.
Look to buy from a reputable company that cares about the safety and well being of the dogs.
The best way to use an e collar might be as a temporary device for associating negative or undesirable behavior with a cue (such as a vibration or noise), or a stimulus (such as a nick/static stimulus).
They can be used to teach or retrain a certain behavior, and then put away. They may only be brought out again if your dog/s forget that behavior, or need retraining.
So, really, they could be used ideally as a temporary training and teaching tool (not permanent) for happy and healthy dogs.
If you notice any negative side effects to your dog’s physical or mental health from using an e collar, discontinue use immediately.
The benefits of an e collar might be:
- You don’t have to set the collar to shock if it has alternative options like tone or vibration
- The lowest shock settings on good e collars will provide a small amount of discomfort, not pain
- The feedback to your dog is instantaneous and not delayed
- It works at range
- It saves you shouting and getting frustrated
- + many other benefits
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