Learning to track a dog with any of the GPS systems that we sell is easy to do but learning how your system works while hunting or with the system on a moving dog is a bad idea.
The easiest way to learn how to track is to leave the collar at your house and drive away from it. That way you know exactly where it is and it’s stationary.
This also allows you the time to select the best screens and options for you to use with your new tracking system.
Using this method allows you the opportunity to see exactly how the system tracks and how the features work without some of the issues you are going to see with a running dog.
Once you are comfortable with the tracking features when the collar isn’t moving, you can move on to tracking something that moves but a dog isn’t always the best idea. I like to give the collar to one of my kids and give them a general idea of where I want them to go but not be so specific that I know exactly where they will be. If things go sideways or I get confused with what my system is showing, I can call them on their cell phone and see what’s going on.
Once you fully understand all the features of your new tracking system, you can then start tracking your dogs.
The thought behind this statement is based in wanting to do the right thing but it comes from a lack of understanding. It’s too broad to be based in fact.
First off – dogs are not people. I know some folks have a hard time with this idea but they ain’t little people in dog suits. They are designed differently and can deal with things that we can’t. This is especially true of certain breeds. It’s actually much crueler to have these dogs in the South with our summers than our mild winters.
Next – it’s about whether your dog has been conditioned to live outside. If you have one that’s been inside his entire life and then you stick him outside in this kind of weather, that’s going to be a problem. If he’s used to being outside then this is a different story.
Dogs require three things to stay warm.
They need to be dry, out of the wind and enough calories to generate the body heat that they need to stay warm.
The question should be – are your outside animals protected from the weather?
Mine are. They have insulated dog houses that are warm, dry and out of the wind. The funny part is that many of them still spend a large part of their time outside and on top of their houses.
They also get double the calories this time of year vs the summer. This allows them the ability to burn extra to stay warm.
The bigger issue is keeping open water. Making sure they can get to enough water can be a problem. I feed dry most the year but I add water to their food in these kinds of weather situations to help keep them hydrated.
We also sell dog house heaters and water bucket heaters. I don’t use them myself (well not for the dogs but our tortoise has one) since our winters are generally mild.
The question needs to be about protection more than anything. Having outside dogs is a year round thing and giving them what they need all year is important. This is also true in the summer when it’s 100 degrees. They need cool shade and plenty of water. We run fans that time of the year and have multiple checks on them daily to make sure everyone is safe.
If you don’t have this kind of setup than you either need to get it or you need to provide protection for them in this kind of weather.
If you are not willing to do these things for them, then maybe you don’t need to have a dog. You might just not be worthy of that kind of relationship.
I’m sure some of you won’t like these statements and I’m ok with that. Keep in mind that I love my dogs much more than I like most people.
The Garmin Pro Bark collar is the regular Pro PT 10 training collar but you just put it in “Bark Mode” and it works as a stand alone bark collar.
This set up is the most expensive bark collar we sell but i prefer it for a couple of reasons.
For folks that have dogs that need to wear a bark collar on a regular basis, the Pro Bark comes with the “Extended Wear” plastic probes. These are perfect for dogs that get neck irritation from wearing a bark collar daily. I have found that these probes virtually eliminate pressure necrosis on even the most sensitive dogs that need a collar everyday.
The other reason that I use it as my bark collar is that it allows me to have a “back up” remote training collar system without carrying extra gear especially when I am traveling with my dogs. I also want to have bark collars with me when I’m staying at hotels with my dogs.
I use a Pro 550 3 dog as my back up ecollar system. The 3 collars double as bark collars. This way I have both if needed and the collars get used regularly which is better for the batteries.
You can do the same thing using the Sport Pro system and the Sport transmitter allows you the option to program the Bark collar to direct set levels. If you use the Pro 550, your bark collars can only be set in the rising stimulation mode.
If you already have a Pro system and want to add the “extended wear” probes click here
An additional advantage for me using my 550 as my back up ecollar system / Pro Bark collars is that the Garmin Pro Bark uses the same chargers as the Garmin Alpha TT15 mini collars so I can carry less chargers for all my gear. It’s win, win, win!
The Garmin Pro Bark has these advantages over other bark collars but the options and combinations can be a bit confusing. If you are not sure which bark collar set up is better for your needs, do not hesitate to give us a call.
I’m not a fan of booting dogs. It’s a pain in the butt and it takes time that I would rather spend hunting. You really can’t do it early on most dogs. If you try and boot them and then leave them in the dog box, you are going to end up with some chewed off boots. Best to boot them right before you run them.
I do carry dog boots with me everywhere I go. You never know when having boots will make the difference between a successful hunt and a completely ruined day.
I mainly use boots for Sand Spurs. Perhaps the most evil of plants, the sand spur’s only purpose in life is to crush a bird dog’s spirit. It’s a rare, rare dog that can hunt through the pain of sand spurs.
The thing about sand spurs that makes me carry dog boots is the unpredictable nature of when they will show up. It’s a combination of drought and soil disturbance. This means you might not have them on a piece of ground one year but they show up the next. I think this catches folks off guard. Best to have dog boots and not need them.
Another reason I carry boots is to prevent or to help a dog that blows out a pad. My experience has been that some dogs are worse about pad injuries early in the season than others from a genetic standpoint. Thin pads and lots of drive are a bad combination that can lead to a hunting dog on the injured
Pad toughness can be improved with off season running and the use of pad conditioners like Tuff Foot. It takes several weeks and you need to start slow and build up over time. If you have neglected to do this or you didn’t get enough of it done, boots can help.
I still run into issues with some dogs because I can’t replicate the ground conditions at home that we see out west. We just don’t have the sand and rocks. It can be rough the first few hunts.
For folks that travel places to hunt but don’t have a large number of dogs, I recommend booting your dog for the entire trip. Even if his feet are in good shape, using boots can extend his ability to hunt longer and over more days. This can make a difference in a successful hunting trip.