By: Ben In NevadaI just sold my Dogtra Surestim 7000M to get the SportDog 1825 from you guys. I dream about how I would make a remote and configurable buttons was on my list. Iím trying out the 1825 and I like some things but wish it was a little more configurable.
I donít like that the ďone-second tone followed by continuousĒ mode delivers a nick following the tone even if you release the button during the tone. I also donít like that I canít set the stimulation levels of different buttons independently. Thereís just low/high mode which provides two levels that are close, and +2 mode that only works on the side button and is also fairly close. Iíd rather the levels be independent so I could configure a very low continuous and a very high nick for example. Someday theyíll have a USB interface on these things so I can plug in into my PC and really customize it.
I also think about a slider or lever that would deliver continuous stimulation at a level determined by how far we press the slider against increasing spring pressure. For this to work especially well, the receiver has to have a smoother delivery of stimulation. Right now, we have capacitors that discharge into the dog with pulses followed by a charge from a battery before the next discharge. Itís really not continuous at all, but pulsing and the rate of pulses is too slow, especially for delivering dynamic stimulation levels.
The Dogtra definitely had more granularity of stimulation levels but this wasnít especially useful because the buttons werenít configurable so you had to sweep through a lot of similar levels on the dial to change from low to high or vice versa. Also, Dogtra sells a Low/Med model (7000M) and a Med/High model (7100H) whereas the Sportdog incorporates Low/Med/High all into one receiver. I donít have a way of measuring which system actually has the broadest range of stimulation levels. The Dogtra system suggests a broader range is available from the transmitter without having to touch the receiver. The obvious advantage of the SportDog system is that different dogs can be on different ranges so you can deliver a level 4 stim on the transmitter wheel and three different dogs can get low 4, medium 4 and high 4 depending on their receiver setting.
My 7000M was a one-dog system. The SportDog system is obviously better at supporting multiple dogs with options for up to 6 dogs on this model. However, this is a feature I do not use. For those who regularly work multiple dogs, there may be better systems still. This is not something Iím interested in.
I donít especially miss the Surestim feature, but the Dogtra transmitter is a bit smaller which is nice. The Surestim feature would be quite a bit better if it actually involved a feedback loop from the receiver so we knew the receiver worked and not just the transmitter, but that would add some bulk to the receiver to incorporate a feedback transmitter like on the tracking collars.
Iíve seen some transmitters that accept Bluetooth connections so I suspect eventually weíll see interoperable user interfaces, wrist and finger buttons that link wirelessly to the transmitter in a belt holster the same way a headset works with our phone in a pocket.
Overall, I think the biggest upgrade the 1825 offers compared to the 7000M is the Lithium Ion battery. My Dogtraís NiMH in the receiver was always going flat and takes 10 hours to recharge. Iím expecting the LiIon will be much better. The additional range is also useful but my dog almost always works close (heís not a hunting dog). To be fair, Dogtra does offer models with LiIon batteries and longer range but they are quite a bit more expensive and still lack configurability.
I appreciate that the SportDog comes with virtually all the accessories that youíre likely to want and the charging system includes a dock for the collar. Too bad there is no dock for the transmitter but hopefully it will require infrequent charging. The Dogtra requires wire plug-in for both the transmitter and receiver and does not offer a dock for either. Most of the Dogtra accessories that are available are sold separately and cost more, whereas SportDog includes almost everything. However, the Dogtra receiver can be fit to a Cinch-It collar whereas the SportDog requires a very thin collar like the vinyl buckle collar it comes with. The Cinch-It works like a big zip tie, and micro adjusts better and faster than a buckle collar.
Overall, I like the 1825 but I hope to see continued improvements from what we have today.
Ben in Nevada
-- -- -- EMAIL FROM STEVE
Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply. I appreciate you taking time to comment on your 1825 system. I wanted to point out a couple of things.
>ďone-second tone followed by continuousĒ mode delivers a nick following the tone even if you release the button during the tone.
Toggle Switch Mode 7 is actually "Stim followed by tone". In this mode you get stim first and then tone. It really make no sense but my understanding is that it's used in a European competition sport.
> I also donít like that I canít set the stimulation levels of different buttons independently.
You CAN set the side button to ANY level you want using Toggle Switch Down - Mode 2
On this setting, you can set the side button to any level you want. The dial then controls the front two buttons as a low / high and then you can have the side button set to a much higher level if needed.
I do expect to see some units in the near future that allow the user to select everything from button, setting and levels. I also expect to see units with USB connections and Bluetooth.
I would love to add your comments to our customer review section. If you want me to do, just OK it and let me know how many stars - 1 - 5
Please let me know if you have any questions. We do appreciate your business.
Gun Dog Supply - http:/www.gundogsupply.com
-- -- -- -- -- -- EMAIL FROM BEN
Thanks for the tips. I will definitely keep trying different modes.
Feel free to add my comments to the site. I'll give it 5 stars because I don't think there's
anything better for the money, maybe not even for more money, but of course there's always room
for improvement if someone makes something new.
I'm coming from Schutzhund and Ringsport circles (European competition sports). I'm learning some things from the gun dog people though because I'm doing a lot more with my dog in the real world than on the competition field or ring.
The real world for me is rural Nevada. I think the gun dog people have been doing more in the country and with the remotes for longer. There is one obscure protection sport in the country called "Campagne." As for the remotes, they're definitely used in the protection sports but a lot of people are reluctant to try them and just stick to prong collars.
The only innovation I've seen on the protection side is using two receivers on the same frequency on one collar. This is done because during bitework, the dog's neck muscles swell substantially (over the course of 10 or 15 minutes of biting). Using two receivers allows the collar to be adjusted looser while still maintaining positive contact. When the neck muscles swell, the collar's not too tight. Here's an example: http:/leerburg.com/7000plus.htm If nothing else, you get to sell twice as many receivers! Of course you can also just loosen the collar after you've been training for a while. Dogtra makes the "Plus" kits specially for Leerburg. With Sportdog, I think you could program the transmitter/receiver channel yourself so you just need an extra receiver.
My dog is a Bouvier des Flandres. He's 28" and 80 pounds. A hundred years ago these dogs were general purpose farm dogs (herding, cattle droving, livestock guarding, carting and guard dog work) in Belgium. They were almost wiped out by WWI and WWII but since then they've been bred for police and protecton work (KNPV, Schutzhund and French Ring) and for show. I like mine. He's kind and easy to live with. Maybe someday I'll get a GSP or a Brittany or a field trial Retriever for hunting and competition. I like to do stuff with my dog. With my Bouvier I'm hoping to do work in Schutzhund and Mondio Ring but he might decide on a life of leisure for himself as our pet instead. He's going that way. He just turned one so it's hard to say yet. Most people that do these sports use a Belgian Malinois. Anyway, I thought you might like to see a different kind of dog that can still learn something from the gun dog world.
Ben in Nevada
Review ID: 373
out of 5-stars.