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martincho 01-20-2014 02:50 PM

tri-tronics vs. dogtra
Back sixteen years ago I used a two-dog TT collar and was very happy with it. I don't have the equipment any more and now need to buy a brand new setup. I noticed Dogtra coming up in serious circles and wanted to hear from people who have used both brands.

Two things jump out immediately from what I can remember about TT.

First, with the TT transmitter I used to own you had a toggle switch to select between the two dogs. The pushbuttons would give you low, mid and high stimulation (when pressed together). This was great because you could very quickly move up and down a scale of stimulations. Each collar was setup for the corresponding dog. No unexpected changes at any time. Easy to use.

I did not mind the larger tubular transmitter. In fact, I actually liked the feel. In addition to that it was visible. When I sometimes worked the dogs off-leash at large local parks I remember people did notice I had the dogs under "remote control". A tiny little transmitter would not put out that message. This was also effective when approached by law enfocement. A lot of them recognized the TT transmitter and knew I wasn't screwing around with a pair of uncontrolled GSD's off leash. They'd usually ask me to show them what I could do and then ask that I keep them on leash as much as possible (which I did anyhow).

What concerns me about Dogtra is that it doesn't seem to have a quick way to ratchet stimulation up and down.

Hypothetical example: Training dog to not cross the street unless commanded with "cross". After the dog is well trained you might want to up the volume and get him out to a really busy avenue. If the dog goes off the sidewalk it could get killed. In this case, being able to go from a low tingle to a stopping stimulation might be a matter of life and death. With TT that is easy.

With Dogtra, well it seems impossible as you have to fumble with that wheel back and forth to change the stimulation level delivered by the one-and-only button.

The other concern with Dogtra is that the stimulation level can be modified without you knowing it if the knob is turned for any reason. Do they have a lockout?

Similar issues or questions about multi-dog setups. How do you know where your stim is set to? Or if it has changed? And how do yo navigate up/down stim levels with multiple dogs...safely?

To continue with the hypothetical example from above: So I just stopped dog #1 from walking onto the street with a high stimulation after quickly turning the dial and pushing the button (which would take far more time than simply pushing two buttons together). Now I switch back to dog #2 and need a normal light stimulation setting. Do I have to rotate the dial back to a low setting? It sure seems that way. And then, if I forgot that I had rotated the dial to a high stim setting for dog #1 and go to correct him for something minor I am going to stimulate at a far more than desired.

Not sure if I fully understand how the Dogtra's work. It seems to me that the system they use is far from ideal for anything past one dog. Perhaps Dogtra is better for single dog situations for some reason but not so for multiple dogs?

I'd appreciate input from people experienced with both brands as well as using them in the context of running more than one dog at a time.


NancyJ 01-20-2014 03:10 PM

A lot of folks like the Dogtra because the continuous stim adjustment works well with Lou Castle's methods of training. Since more people on this forum seem to use that method, I will mention it because it may skew the responses.

I have precious little hands on ecollar experience but the police K9 I am training with prefers TT over Dogtra for the reasons you stated and his perceived greater durability reliability of the TT for daily use and something about the "quality" of the stim. Right now all their units dogs are on Dogtra but changing over to TT as they retire collars. All outside of my league. I just mentioned that but, take it as second hand. I don't know how Garmin buying TT is going to impact quality.

A lot of folks are talking about a 3rd collar, the Einstein and some of those are folks working in IPO not only pet use (IOW it is a less expensive collar but apparently not a "cheap" collar system and has some of the features you want plus the adjust ability of the Dogtra..

martincho 01-20-2014 03:20 PM


Originally Posted by jocoyn (Post 4869913)
A lot of folks are talking about a 3rd collar, the Einstein

That's the one with the circular transmitter. For some reason that seems to be the wrong form factor. The tubular TT or Dogtra are easy to grab. Maybe it's because I haven't had an Einstein in my hand. It just seems like it could be weird.

mycobraracr 01-20-2014 03:39 PM

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I don't have a ton of experience with them, but do own one of each. I prefer the dogtra just for the reason that I find it easier to fine tune the stim level. The TT jumps up too fast IMO. Example: At 1.5 my dog blows through it, and at 2 she acts like she was struck by lightning haha. I have worn it on myself and the jumps are rather large. I find both easy to use and switching stim on the go is easy enough for me with both.

I have zero experience with the einstein, but the shape of the transmitter really bugs me. I won't use one just because of that.

LouCastle 01-25-2014 08:57 PM

I used to favor TT but since Dogtra improved their quality control, I've been using them.

You're right martincho it is easier in an emergency to bump up the stim on the TT's IF you're working at the low level within the range. If you're at the middle then you only have one step higher and if you're at the high, then you have nowhere to go. Then you have to bump the level.

With the Dogtras you have the entire range of stim available with just a twist of the dial.

As to moving the dial, without meaning to, you have to either intend to move it or to bump it pretty good. It just takes a glance at the LCD readout to see if the level has changed.

With either brand if you try carrying it in your pocket, you're liable to inadvertently change the stim level. Of course there's less chance of it happening with the TT's since they're click stopped. But that also means that the jumps between levels are significant, since there are, relatively, so few of them, and the humps are not smooth. With most of the TT's it's 15 v. 127 on the Dogtras.

It's important to my system of training that the user be able to smoothly change stim levels and the TT's don't allow that.

Each has a lot of brand loyalty with some users steadfastly refusing to change, no matter what advantages another brand has. A lot depends on the method that one is using to teach and work with the dogs.

As to the Einstein, they offer quite few features that many pet owners find useful, lost transmitter feature, the ability to turn on a steady burning light or a flashing light on the collar, from the TX, and the ability to lock in a given setting with a boost stim feature that is customizable. But the "hockey puck" shape puts some people off. I know people who hate it and others who love it. It's very personal. They are available in custom colors and those colors can be switched depending on your mood/mission. For the fashion conscious, you can get them in leopard (fake, of course),breast cancer awareness pink, "tactical" black, orange, yellow, and cammo. WARNING: Don't drop the last one in the woods.

So's you know, I'm a dealer for all three brands. The Dogtras are the most popular sellers with me. They all offer excellent customer service and the same warranty.

mspiker03 01-25-2014 09:14 PM

What I like about the Einstein collar and why I got it over a newer dogtra - you can have one dog locked on one level and the second dog on a completely different level. I never liked having to constantly switch the dial between the two dogs!

Sent from Free App

martincho 01-27-2014 11:21 PM


Originally Posted by LouCastle (Post 4905074)
I used to favor TT but since Dogtra improved their quality control, I've been using them.

I need to figure out a way to evaluate both ... and maybe include Einstein in my evaluation. Thankfully I am not in a hurry. I need to look for some kind of a dog show where the manufacturers or dealers would exhibit these products.

At some level nobody seems to be offering what I really want. I'm halfway thinking of building my own. Not sure how big the market might be for serious users. What I want isn't really for your typical clueless pet owner who's far more likely to use an e-collar to zap the sh-- out of their dog rather to communicate with it.

NancyJ 01-27-2014 11:25 PM

I heard that Einstein is coming out with a more standard transmitter in a couple of months. One thing I do like is that they are 60 days and you can return it if you don't like it. Of course they don't have a long history to know durability.

Suka 01-27-2014 11:36 PM

I have the EINSTEIN K9-400TS EDUCATOR 3/4 MILE REMOTE DOG TRAINER WITH BUNGEE COLLAR and it is my first ecollar and I like it. Of course, it is my very first one that I'm learning on under Jonathan Katz but I am beginning to use a wide variety of collars now with the other dogs at the facility.

LouCastle 01-28-2014 02:35 AM


Originally Posted by martincho (Post 4917938)
At some level nobody seems to be offering what I really want.

What is it that you're looking for that is not now offered?

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