Lost electronic controller question


Not to be confused with freestoneangler
OK, so I'm in big trouble. While creek fishing with my fiancee's English Setter last night, I lost his Dogtra controller. I re-traced my steps but I couldn't find it. It finally got too dark to continue the search. I'm going to try to leave work early today and go look for it. I'm hoping someone knows a trick to find it: some device that will pick up a signal, remotely activate something in it, metal detector, anything? Dogtra said I'm SOL but I'm still holding out hope as I don't want to have to replace a $300-$400 controller.
I don't want to sound like an ass, but what do you need a Dogtra controller for?
I have had some bad dogs in my day and they got to stay at home if they didn't behave.
Gagits, $300/400 $ I think that is way out of line.


Not to be confused with freestoneangler
Gary, no offense taken as they are not my dogs - I'm dog sitting one of them. But I couldn't resist the urge to fish and as I was gone overnight, I had to take him with me. All I know is his setters are trained and hunted with the e-collars. This one came from a hunting kennel in MT where he was used for guided hunting trips and when he wasn't hunting, he lived in a kennel for 5 years. When my fiancée bought him last year, he didn't even know how to be a pet or even know basic regular obedience, but he's a hunting machine. He's learning to be a pet as well as a hunter but I didn't trust him out in the bush without the e-collar especially as he's not mine and doesn't respond as well to me. All in all, I guess it was better to have lost the controller than the dog. I went back up for 2 days and searched for it (and fished some) but never found the controller. The dog stayed in the car this time - and whined his head off! Guess I'll be buying a new controller instead of a new rod...
It is a cheap investment....if you don't lose it. I don't know why anyone would hunt a good dog without one, unless it's a shoe polisher and even then temptations can arise. It can save the dogs life, you a lot of grieve and frustrations, and keeps the dog responding under adverse conditions..i.e deer, elk, jack rabbits, coyotes jumping up in front of the dog.


Active Member
collars work for some people and not for others. The one thing i am a firm believer of is that there should be a collar for both the owner and dog. I have seen way too many collars abused by owners that are trying to make up for their own mistakes by putting a collar on the dog and burning the hell out of them.
Dogtra has a control from 1-60, I hate being shocked but I can turn it up to 10-15 before I start to feel it. E-collars have come a long way since the first ones back in the 70's, when I first became a professional horseback, field trial handler/trainer. I have one in the field trial hall of fame, 11 time Ch. Jerry’s Runaway Bandit so I do have some experience in training dogs.

You don't necessarily train a dog with the collar but you can reinforce not obeying a command the dog already knows, instantly, which makes it a great tool and at the level of intensity that a particular dog needs.

The new collars can be turn up at the controller; the older collars during the first transitions the intensity settings were on the collar. The newer collars have several different stimulus controls, vibration and sound along with the electrical stimulus.

With the new collars, they can be used to "train" the dog. The dog does what it is suppose to and turns the stimulus off. That method could not be used with the old collars, too much stimulus.

The New E-collar, used correctly is as human as any training method. Everything can be abused. I would much rather someone use an e-collar than shout, scream, yell and blow an annoying whistle all day or finally get hold of the dog still in a rage and kick or beat or shoot at the dog.
Sorry, but you'll need a new controller and collar You'll be a better man for it. Think of it as a 1 credit class on honor. Dogtra has a website.

Thanks, Jerry, for the wisdom. My dad trained beagles to hunt uplands back in the 60's with a primitive collar. It was just fine for beagles: 2 intensity levels. Off, and toenail smoke. He had similar ideas about his sons.

Consequently, I've been against 'em all my life, trained 3 decent retrievers and myself with check cords, whistles, cookies, riding crops, you name it. No champions or trial dogs, mind you, but pets and sporting companions.

Got a dogtra for my newbie this last winter. Vibrate mode and fairly low intensity shock. The dog is happier and more responsive, and frankly safer around roads and porcupines and deer. I haven't swallowed a whistle, tied myself up with a checkcord, or yelled a lot. And he got his first birds at a pheasant ranch a couple of weeks ago.

Yeah, I have screwed up and probably will again, but man this is better for everyone.


Active Member
I understand then, if the dog was trained to obey the collar and not a handlers voice.
Gary - having trained a lot of dogs - a few to national titles - I can tell you that a collar is a very valuable training tool - and it is just that - a tool. Too many people treat it like an instant cure and neglect the 2 - 3 months of collar conditioning time. All dogs will test the owner at some point. If that dog is out of your range to correct them you just told them that it is OK to get away with whatever behavior it is that they displayed.

In some cases dogs just make errors in the field, and its important to know when a dog is screwing with you, when the dog truly doesn't understand what you want it to do (far more the case) and how to handle each situation so that it is a positive learning experience.

A collar is part of a trainer's quiver of tools - nothing more, nothing less. $300 - $400 (your figure and somehwhat inflated) is nothing compared to the price of a puppy, time, birds, traveling to training, traveling to trials / hunt tests (if you do that), etc. It is part of the investment of developing a finished bird dog.
This collar sounds pretty humane compared to the old school collars. It's better than a redneck I knew from OK who believed that whipping his coon dogs with a chain was training.
I'm a strong believer in the collar. My 6 month old shorthair, Gertie, now pays close attention to the preliminary beep option on the collar. My most serious command is "come". I have always used the beeper before the shock stimulation and now I rarely need the shock. Even if she is trailing deer the beep option brings her in.
You should call Dogtra, they probably can send you a new controller. There should be a code on the collar which matches the contoller which they can re-program a new one for you.
Hope this helps.