Testing GARMIN Sport PRO
Good day friends!
I’ll start with the fact that not so long ago from the administration of the hunting forum Siberian Hunter (www.hunting.ru), I received an offer to test Garmin products (www.garmin.ru) – long and well-known in the Russian market.
I gladly agreed.
First, this is a real opportunity to learn something new in the field of electronics for hunting needs, and secondly: to test this equipment yourself and share your feelings with hunters like me.
Within a couple of days, legal issues were resolved to transfer the equipment into my hands, and a week later, the devices themselves came.
Already at the first stage of negotiations, I liked the fact that there were no conversations about the commissioned report, or any other “specific” conditions for writing it. I received only one call from an official representative of the Garmin company in Moscow and a girl with a pleasant voice asked if I had received the equipment and if everything was in order.
Three dog training devices came into my hands:
GARMIN Alpha 100/TT15;
GARMIN PRO 550;
GARMIN Sport PRO.
To be more precise, there are two devices exclusively for training dogs with a conditional-possible function of using them for hunting, and one device that is entirely sharpened for hunting, tourism and with the function of using it for training dogs.
So, all in order.
I’ll start with the” younger brother ” of this family – GARMIN Sport PRO.
In the kit there are:
the control device itself (hereinafter we will call it the remote control);
receiver on the strap (we’ll just call it a collar);
220 V charging unit with two replaceable plugs (three-and two-pin);
cord-splitter for joint charging of the remote control and the collar;
clip for charging the collar;
key for changing electrodes;
larger replacement electrodes;
user’s manual including Russian translation;
GARMIN Sport PRO
The control panel is a small device weighing 124 g. it looks like a very good thing, without any visible flaws. The remote almost completely fits in the palm of the average man.
The case is hermetically sealed. Doubt in this regard is caused only by the Central metal switch for selecting a particular collar (the remote can serve up to three collars). Although I doubt that someone will purposefully train a dog in the pouring rain or with a deep dive.
However, the declared protection according to the IEC standard-IPX7-can withstand a dive to a depth of 1 meter, lasting up to 30 minutes.
Now learn more about the remote itself:
In the hand it is natural and tactile pleasant.
On the front of it, there is a mode switch in the form of a wheel – a very convenient and practical solution (except for working with the left hand).
There are three modes available:
Full remote lock;
Selecting the power level of the electric pulse (from 1 to 10);
At the top, in the center, there is a lever for switching between collars.
Just below is a large button for the continuous electric pulse function. The duration depends on the time you hold this button, but not more than 8 seconds according to the passport. I also had 8.5 seconds-according to the trainer’s stopwatch from the Soviet times. This button is also responsible for enabling the “anti-FLY” function in the ” AUX ” mode, which I will talk about later.
The second large button, located in the middle of the console, is responsible for short-term impact of the electric pulse on the animal, and also disables the “anti-FLY” function.
Garmin Sport PRO remote
The lower left button of the smaller size is responsible for sending a vibration signal to the collar (no more than 8 seconds), and when you press it in the ” AUX ” mode, it turns on two bright LEDs on the collar body – a completely working function for tracking the dog in the dark.
The lower right button is responsible for giving an audio signal, the duration of which depends on the duration of pressing the button. It should be noted that this signal is very weak, and already at a distance of a little more than 20 meters in the noisy forest, it is almost indistinguishable, but it will certainly be sufficient for the dog and can be used for a certain command, for example, returning to the owner.
On the back of the console, you can see the seat for the clip, which, unfortunately, is not included in the kit.
Then there is the rubber cover of the charging socket of the mini-USB remote.
And at the very bottom of the eyelet for attaching a lanyard for carrying.
The receiver with stimulation electrodes is made of black plastic. The weight of the receiver with a collar is 152 g.
The receiver has the electrodes themselves, an on and off indicator, two white backlight LEDs, a contact group for charging the built-in battery, and a button for turning on the receiver.
Everything is hermetically sealed, and the manufacturer claims that the device can be safely submerged to a depth of 10 meters. That is, the dog can safely flounder in the pond when working or in a puddle when resting, not to mention the rain.
GARMIN Sport PRO
Replaceable electrodes of two sizes: 9.8 mm (for smooth and short – haired breeds) – standard and enlarged 15.0 mm.
The strap for attaching the receiver to the animal’s neck is made of reinforced plastic, is very strong and has many holes that allow you to attach it to a dog the size of a Dachshund, or even less. It is possible that problems may arise with Saint Bernard and larger dogs, since the length of the belt is 60 cm.
Well, in the fields?
In our case, the forest, the benefit of it begins immediately behind the fence.
The subject of the ZSL Haze is 5 months and 14 days old, having an initial training course for obedience, such as: commands to me, a place to sit, walk, you can also forbid the command OTRYSCH-borrowed and taken root since the days of hunting with hounds…
Garmin Sport PRO tests
The first thing I experienced was the range of equipment receiving and transmitting.
The manufacturer claims that the range is up to 1.2 km. The absence of any external antenna on the receiver gave me reason to doubt the figures given. In addition, the very use of this equipment at such distances is questionable…
Perhaps the influence of the forest is great, or the fact that the battery of the collar has not yet reached its full capacity, but at the first exit, the signal from the remote control stopped reaching the collar at a distance of just over 200 meters.
However, I was not upset at all – personally, I think that this is quite enough for training our Pets. This is the distance at which a hunting dog can and should be managed during training.
(Later, tests were carried out in an open field, where the equipment functioned correctly at a distance of 500 meters. I didn’t test it for a long distance, considering it unnecessary. In addition, a second check in a medium-density forest showed a distance of 500 meters, and the declared 1.2 km was decided not to check because of practical impracticability).
Garmin Sport PRO test
After several measurements and confirmation of the working distance for the device, I decided to check the action of the electric pulse.
The manufacturer warns against testing this kind on humans, but we, hunters, not only appreciate our Pets, but also love them. So I did the tests on myself. Already in the “2” position, the current discharge was very noticeable. Therefore, I did not test myself further.
I STRONGLY recommend that you do not repeat or check this information on yourself or in General on people!!!
Having fixed the collar on a young husky, I realized that I had made a mistake with the electrodes – the young bitch had not yet faded and the standard electrodes did not contact the animal’s skin due to the thick wool cover. In this exit the dog was lucky…
GARMIN Sport PRO
Still, we got our first experience.
After the announcement of the nickname, a vibration was given and followed by a performing command, for example: “sit”. Thus, the skill of responding to vibration as a call to attention was fixed. And after a two-hour walk with unobtrusive training, the dog reacted to the vibration signal sent by turning its head and observing the owner.
There was an opportunity for the use of a forbidding command, in my case, “burp” with the use of an electric pulse-the dog ran into someone’s remains and, as “it should”, began to RUB against the carrion. The distance to the dog was no more than 30 meters but, as I said above, standard electrodes did not allow me to use the stimulator because of the dense and long hair.
I had to turn on my legs…
Haze, of course, did not wait for punishment, having escaped from the “crime scene”, and to catch the dog and punish after the incident is considered the height of stupidity.
Now it’s time to try out the “anti-FLY” feature.
Its essence lies in the fact that when a barking sensor is triggered in the collar, a vibration signal is automatically applied to the collar, or electrodes with a given or increasing electric discharge force are activated.
To be honest, I don’t think that this function will be in demand for hunting dogs, since, having weaned a dog to bark in an aviary or in an apartment of a high-rise building, where the content of a hunting dog is itself wrong, you can completely ruin a four-legged assistant and never hear his joyful barking during a hunt. This is especially true for the Laika breed.
Perhaps I am wrong, because I am a hunter, not a professional dog handler, and this function will be in demand by other dog breeds.
GARMIN Sport PRO
So, what did I learn from my first experience with this device?