by Steve Snell
The Dogtra Edge (starting at ~$400) is a long-range dog training collar system that's expandable up to a total of four dogs.
The Dogtra Edge gives you true one-handed operation. One button controls each dog, where the button colors correspond to the matching collar straps.
The Edge has a one-mile range, is waterproof, and has a Mode Dial that offers four modes: Nick, Continuous, Pager (Vibration), and Location Lights.
The Location Lights allow you to see your dog in the dark and help to protect him from oncoming traffic. They will be popular with pet owners who walk their dogs after dark, and are also a great addition for our hound and retriever customers.
The Edge should be considered by customers looking for multi-dog systems with lights and vibration including hound, beagle, retriever, bird dog, and pet owners.
The short video below shows you what you get in the box:
The DOGTRA EDGE has a few more really interesting features including:
One of my complaints with most Dogtra systems is that they really aren't easy to use one handed because of placement of the the dial and buttons.
I prefer a system that allows me the option of changing levels and modes one-handed because when I am dog training, I usually have something else in my other hand -- a check cord, a blank pistol, or a bird launcher remote.
And when I am out hunting, I have a gun or my Garmin Astro GPS.
The Dogtra Edge has true one-handed operation. The placement of the stimulation dial allows one handed operation of all features and you can operate the stim buttons with either your
fingers or thumb.
You can access both the stimulation dial and the Mode Dial, plus all 4 dog buttons from either side of the transmitter which gives you a lot of choice in how you hold and wear the unit.
See how I use the EDGE one-handed in this video:
see the DOGTRA EDGE
Here's a quick video pointing out features of the transmitter and collar/receiver:
Another new feature of the Dogtra Edge is the Mode dial. While the Edge is a one button per dog set up, you still have access to nick (momentary), continuous, vibration, and remote control of the lights by selecting your mode from the mode dial.
What's really special about this design is that you can change the mode but keep the stim level set on any level since mode and stim level settings are independent of each other.
This allows you to change from stimulation to vibration mode without changing the stim dial level setting. This is handy because you can keep your stim level set to make a quick correction if your dog does not respond to the pager (vibration) feature.
The same can be said for the light mode. You can turn your lights on and off and keep your stimulation level the same.
Most brands that have one button per dog setups use the stim dial for tone, vibration, and light options. This requires that you change the stimulation dial to use these other features.
The LCD screen on the front of the transmitter gives you several pieces of information. It tells you
Another cool feature of the LCD screen is that the backlight changes colors when you are using it in a multi-dog set up. When you press the orange, green, or blue dog buttons, the LCD background color changes to match the button color which gives you some nice visual feedback from your transmitter.
see the DOGTRA EDGE product page
Here's a quick video on changing the dial:
One of the unique features of the Dogtra EDGE is that you can change the stimulation intensity dial from a Rheostat to a Clickable Step-level dial.
Most Dogtra units have a Rheostat dial. A Rheostat is like a dimmer switch. As you move up or down, there are no clicks -- it's a smooth change between levels while a clickable selector dial allows definitive "clicks" between level settings -- with a clear increase in level as you go from one to the next.
The Clickable Step-level Dial has 8 levels of stimulation
The Rheostat Dial set up has 127 levels of stimulation
Using a flat head screw driver, you can easily change from one kind of dial to the other. Once you have changed from the Rheostat dial to the clickable Step-level selector dial, you have to make a programming change to the unit so that the transmitter knows which kind of stimulation set up you are using.
This is a really nice feature for folks that have never used either kind of dial. You can try both, and pick the one that best fits your dogs and your training style.
I have always preferred a clickable "tactile" dial over a rheostat style dial. This is one of the reasons I have never used many of the Dogtra systems in my training.
The DOGTRA EDGE has a really good dial, and I like the feel of it.
My only concern is that when you use the clickable dial instead of the rheostat dial, the 8 levels of STIM are a little strong for most dogs. It's going to be okay for some retrievers, and it will be great for beagles and hound owners that are only using the system for stopping dogs from chasing unwanted game.
In my opinion, the increase in levels using the Step-level dial are too strong for the average family pet. This is not an issue with the 127 rheostat levels which start out plenty low for all dogs and go plenty high for even the toughest dogs.
Here's a quick video on using the location lights:
All of the Dogtra Edge collars come with built-in remote control location lights that allow you to find your dog in the dark, and keep up with the movements of multiple dogs while running at night.
The location lights are also great for low-light situations and are perfect for duck hunters to help keep up with your dog while headed out to the blind. They can also help keep you and your dog safe while walking at night around traffic.
To control the lights, you change your Mode Dial to L, and then use the button that corresponds with the collar.
You have two different light options - 3 Second Flashing and Continuous Light Mode .
3-Second Flashing Mode
The Dogtra Edge can be set to have a light that flashes every three seconds. This is a good choice if your dog is off leash and you want it to be easy for you or any oncoming traffic to see him. To activate the 3 second flash, turn the mode dial to L and quickly press and release the dog button. The light will now flash every 3 seconds. To turn it off go back to L mode and quickly press the button again.
Continuous Light Mode
If you want to go into continuous light mode, turn the dial to L and hold the dog button down. The collar light will now flash as long as you hold down the button. There is a time out feature after 12 seconds but you can release the button and press it again if you need longer than 12 seconds of continuous light.
You can also use the continuous light mode when your collar is in the 3 second flashing mode. Just turn your mode dial to L and hold down the button. When you release the button you will return to the 3 second flashing mode.
You also have access to both stimulation options and the pager feature while the 3 second flash mode is running by changing the mode dial after you have activated the lights.
see the DOGTRA EDGE product page
Here's a quick video on changing the location light colors on a collar:
Each Dogtra Edge collar can be set to four different light colors -- white, orange, green and blue. To make it easy on the handler, the lights can be coordinated to match both the button colors on the transmitter and the collar straps (the exception is using the white light for the black strap and black button.)
Dogtra has also set up the LCD Screen back light in the same colors so that when you are pressing the green button, the LCD backlight turns green. This makes it much easier to keep up with which dog you are correcting.
You can set up all your dogs on a particular color or you can have a different color for each dog to help you keep up with each individual dog.
Anytime you re-sync a collar to a new color button, it automatically changes the Location Light to the matching button color. If you would prefer the light to be a different color, you can change the color after you have matched the collar to transmitter.
The Dogtra EDGE is an expandable system, which means you can buy it as a one-dog and you can come back and add a second, third, or fourth collar to it at any time.
When you buy the extra collars, they come with a color-coded strap that matches the corresponding transmitter button. However, you can easily swap the collar strap to a different color and sync the receiver to any transmitter button you choose.
See how to sync your collars to your transmitter here.
Anytime you re-sync a collar to a new color button, it automatically changes the location light to the matching button color. If you would prefer the light to be a different color, you can change the color after you have matched the collar to transmitter.
Both the Edge collars and transmitter have built-in 3 color LED battery charge indicators so you can tell when your system needs to be charged.
see the DOGTRA EDGE product page
The Dogtra Edge comes with standard length contact points. If you need longer points for a dog with thicker hair, you can extend the length of the probes with the plastic spacers that are included. The adapters allow probes to be extended from 5/8" to 3/4".
The contact point wrench that comes with the system is set up to tighten both the regular points and the spacer.
Overall, I am very pleased with the Dogtra Edge. It is a well-built and intelligently designed system that will fit in well with the other high-end e-collars on the market today.
-- STEVE SNELL
BUY THE DOGTRA EDGE