Hunting with your dog is a rewarding and exciting experience. It is also a great way to bond with your canine companion and help them improve their confidence by making themselves useful. However, hunting dogs require training and preparation before they can be helpful in the outdoors.
One way to achieve this and to ensure that your dog becomes a great hunting dog while keeping them safe when on a hunt is with the use of some of the best hunting dog collars. There are different brands and types that service a specific purpose, so here is everything you should know before making a purchase.
What to Look for In a Hunting Dog Collar?
If you already have one of the top hunting dogs coming along with you and you're now shopping for hunting dog collars to use, there are a few things you need to consider before you make a decision.
Perhaps the most important factor for a hunter is the range that the hunting dog collar has. Keep in mind that getting full range may not be possible when you are hunting because many things are likely to come between you and your canine, weakening the signal range. For this reason, getting a hunting collar with a greater range is extremely beneficial, even if you don’t anticipate that you will need that long of a range.
Obviously, the longer the range, the more expensive the collar will be.
When shopping for best hunting dog collars, take your dog breed into account when considering their range. For example, bird dogs need greater range, no less than 400 yards. On the other hand, retrievers are unlikely to go that far and probably don't need an extra long range hunting collar. Most of them won’t go further than 150 yards, so they can do with a collar with a smaller range.
- static shock
- electric shock
Stimulation level allows you to control the amount of shock or vibration that your dog receives in order to train them, or later, when the dog is trained and goes hunting with you, to let them know what they should do.
Of course, every dog reacts differently and requires different stimulation levels. This may depend on your hunting dog's skin and fur thickness, as well as their temperament. Among the best hunting dog collars, it's best to start with the lowest stimulation level so you can find out a few stimulation settings that your dog responds to positively.
With that in mind, look for hunting collars that have more stimulation levels and allow you more wiggle room to fine-tune the shock and/or vibration that your dog receives.
This feature allows you to send a pre-stimulation warning to your hunting companion if he isn’t following commands, but you can also use it as positive reinforcement. However, it can only be heard if the dog is close to the collar.
Also, keep in mind that this feature is not the same as the beeper function, which is instead used to locate your dog when he is out in the field.
If you have more than one hunting dog, having a transmitter that allows you to control more than one collar at a time should be one of your priorities. Several brands of best hunting dog collars listed below will allow for this, but you have to buy additional collars for each dog separately.
There are a few other important features to consider:
- Is the collar waterproof?
- What's the type of batteries and how do they last?
- Is there an LCD display?
For example, if you have a retriever hunting dog, you need to focus on waterproof collars because they will often go into the water to retrieve the prey. The LCD display can be a very helpful feature because it can show you various statistics, battery levels, range, etc.
As far as batteries go, models with rechargeable batteries are cheaper in the long run. However, if you spend a few days outdoors when you go hunting with dogs, then models with batteries that can only be replaced are perhaps a better choice. A lot of this depends on you, your hunts and your dog, but a few brands of best hunting dog collars offer most of the essential features and we've reviewed them below.
Top 5 Best Hunting Dog Collars
1. SportDOG SportHunter Family Remote Trainer
SportDOG is one of the most trusted brands among hunters and dog trainers (the other two being Dogtra and Garmin, both of them listed below). This collar in particular has a range of 880 yards and multiple-dog training capabilities. That means that you can train up to 3 dogs with one remote, as long as you buy additional collars. The device also comes with 7 different levels of static stimulation, as well as vibration and tone.
- E-collar that features 1/2...
- Handheld Transmitter allows...
- Both the Handheld Transmitter...
- Rechargeable lithium-ion...
- Handheld Transmitter button...
Dogs that weigh 8 pounds or more can wear this collar, which is extremely adjustable to fit any neck size in the range of 5″ – 22″. The remote and collar are both waterproof and can be submerged up to 25 feet.
The device comes with researchable batteries with a solid battery life of 50-70 hours. There is an indicator on both parts of this remote trainer for low battery levels. However, while this wasn't our experience, just like with many other products including the rest of listed best hunting dog collars, there are some reports about the collar not working properly, or starting to malfunction after a couple of months. Those are rare.
PROS: Easy to Use, Different Stimulation Types, 7 Intensity Levels, Solid Range (880 Yards), Multiple Dogs Capability, Waterproof
CONS: Expensive, Reports of Malfunctions, Collar Is Not Reflective
2. Dogtra 1900 Series
As noted above, Dogtra is also favored by many hunters with dogs and trainers. It's a popular brand making not only one of the best hunting dog collars but a series of different types. This one in particular comes with a great range – 1300 yards. The collar itself has a sleek and classy design, with a strong collar strap that can fit most breeds. Both the remote and collar are waterproof, while the remote also includes an LCD screen that displays all the necessary information.
- SEAMLESS DESIGN: The 1900S...
- IPX9K WATERPROOFCERTIFIED: The...
- 3/4-MILE RANGE: The range of...
- PRECISE CONTROL: With 127...
- STIMULATIONS: This e-collar...
The collar has 127 stimulation levels that include different stimulation types like vibration and momentary and constant shock stimulation. The batteries are rechargeable and have a solid battery life. However, despite a steep price, this unit can’t be used for multiple dogs. Some users also reported questionable durability and malfunctioning products but we didn't find that to be the case with our item.
PROS: Easy to Use, Different Stimulation Types, 127 Intensity Levels, Rechargeable Battery, Great Range (1300 Yards), Waterproof, LCD Display
CONS: Expensive, Not Suitable for Multiple Dogs, Collar Not Reflective, Some Reports of Malfunctions
3. Garmin Sport PRO Bundle
Once again, if you are looking for a high-quality hunting dog collar with great range and useful features, this is yet another great choice (all three of these stand pretty close together, depending on the features you need). However, Garmin's one is also a pretty expensive choice. The collar has a range of 1300 yards, easy to use remote with 4 training buttons and a collar belt made out of strong materials.
- QUICK TURN DIAL - Quick turn...
- 4 TRAINING BUTTONS - 4...
- TONE AND VIBRATION - Buttons...
- BEACON LIGHTS - Remote control...
- Includes:-Sport PRO handheld,...
You can use momentary and continuous stimulation, tone and vibration, just like with the other two best hunting dog collars mentioned above. At your disposal are 10 different stimulation levels as well. You can use the remote to train up to 3 dogs simultaneously.
This collar also has LED beacon lights to make your dog visible in low light conditions. In fact, you will be able to see these lights at distances up to 100 yards. The batteries are rechargeable and come with an AC adapter but no USB charger. On the flip side, some users reported that the charger was not working well and that the collar was sending shocks intermittently.
PROS: Easy to Use, Different Stimulation Types, 10 Intensity Levels, Rechargeable Battery, Multiple Dogs Capability, Great Range (1300 Yards), Includes Beacon Lights for Visibility
CONS: Expensive, No USB Charger, Reports of Malfunctioning AC Charger, Reports of Random Shocks
4. HOLDOG Dog Training Collar
Here's a new and less popular item that worked well for us. This dog hunting collar has a very practical and simple wheel design that allows you to adjust intensity levels in a matter of seconds. Intensity can be adjusted to any level between 1 and 100. In addition to this, you can choose tone, vibration or shock stimulation.
- 3 TRAINING MODES - Dog...
- 100% WATERPROOF & RECHARGEABLE...
- UP TO 400 YARDS Remote Range -...
- Rechargeable & 100% IPX7...
- ONE-YEAR REPLACEMENT...
HOLDOG's hunting collar for dogs is also completely waterproof and fits any dog between 10 and 100 pounds of weight. You will also receive two adjustable belts. The remote has an LED display that shows battery levels, while the batteries in remote and collar are both rechargeable.
However, this device doesn’t have a great range – the signal can only be received on distances up to 400 yards. Also, some dog owners reported that this collar sends shocks at random times, while others complained about the quality of the collar material. When comparing it to the three best hunting dog collars, it's obviously not a strong contender.
PROS: Affordable, Easy to Use, 100 Intensity Levels, Different Stimulation Types, Waterproof, LED Display, Rechargeable Battery
CONS: Low Range (400 yards), Not Suitable for Multiple Dogs, Reports of Random Shocks, Reports of Bad Quality Materials
5. A+ Trainer Remote Dog Training Collar
Last on the list is this hunting collar for dogs that's the most affordable. It is a well-designed collar with a remote that includes an informative LCD display that tracks battery levels, among other things. The range of this device is 800 yards, which is pretty solid by itself, but especially when you take the price into account.
You can adjust the belt on this dog collar to fit most breeds, while the remote is easy to use even for beginners. The collar is waterproof and can receive the signal through various obstacles, even walls.
This device includes beep, vibration and shock stimulation, each of them with a separate button for easier control. There are also 8 different intensity levels you can choose from, which is pretty standard for hunting dog collars.
The battery is rechargeable, with a USB charging cable included. However, while it's the cheapest among best hunting dog collars, its battery life is not that great and it simply doesn't compare well with the top three choices. In addition to this, some users reported that the remote is made out of cheap plastic and easy to break.
PROS: Affordable, Easy to Use, Different Stimulation Types, 8 Intensity Levels, Solid Range (800 Yards), Waterproof
CONS: Short Battery Life, Remote Breaks Easily, Not Suitable for Multiple Dogs, Collar Is Not Reflective
Having a good hunting collar is crucial for successful training and hunting safety. Some of the most important features of hunting dog collars include range, stimulation types and levels and the ability to train multiple dogs.
While there are many dog collars for hunting available in home goods stores, pet stores, hunting stores, outdoor stores and online, there are only a few brands of best hunting dog collars that stand out: Garmin, SportDOG and Dogtra. They don't come at the cheapest price but the companies and their products have proven themselves to dog trainers and hunters over the last few decades.