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Dogtra Pathfinder 2 System Review
The Dogtra Pathfinder 2 Complete GPS Tracking and Training System is a complete GPS e-collar system that allows you to map, monitor, track and train your dog or dogs remotely. The Dogtra Pathfinder 2 is for dog owners who hunt and train with their sporting dogs. This advanced collar and remote work with your iPhone or Android cell phone, allowing you to track your dog or dogs up to nine miles which is fantastic for hound hunting. We found this also works on a single dog in an upland field of tall grass. This system shows exactly where your dog is without having to panic. We also like the integration with the Apple Watch.
The Dogtra Pathfinder 2 system comes with a GPS receiver as well as a GPS connector that connects the system to your Dogtra Pathfinder 2 app. The system is simple enough to quickly get up and running in about 15 minutes with a little reading from the manual. The system runs with the GPS receiver on your dog and the GPS connector with you. You run the entire system with your cell phone on the Pathfinder 2 App. The system uses lithium polymer batteries that fast-charge in under four hours and last up to about eight hours.
The Pathfinder App is incredibly easy to use. Regardless of which phone you have, it is important to ensure that while hunting and training you have solid external battery as a backup. The last thing you want is to be in the field and without a cell phone battery with several dogs on the hunt.
I also recommend a solid waterproof case for your phone and something rugged to keep your phone safe. Hunting can be a contact sport and it’s important to keep your expensive gear safe. The GPS connector is lightweight and I was able to tie it to my pack to keep it out of the way; it is so lightweight you never know it is there. We like the bright yellow color on this receiver as it helps us find it when we need it. It is also waterproof.
We found the Bluetooth connectivity on our phone to quickly and easily pair with the system. We took our pup out into the field and I was able to set up a Mobile-Fence which is perfect for knowing exactly where your dog is within a defined space based on a radius that is adjustable. This allowed me to keep my dog within a defined space and know she was not getting too far ahead of me. When she stepped further than I wanted, I could quickly and easily tone her to let her know that I wanted her to return. I purposely have trained my dog that any tone, regardless of what she is doing at that moment, is her call to return to my side and heel.
The Pathfinder2 system also has a Geo-Fence that allows you to contain your dog based on points that you select on a map. You will be alerted and the app will give you notice of the dog’s status on whether they are inside or outside the fence. The Geo-Fence will not automatically correct the dog but it will allow you to make corrections to your dog based on the alerts you get.
The Pathfinder 2 has a new E-Fence that allows you to contain and correct your dog automatically if it leaves the containment area that you set. The E-Fence has the option to deliver automatic corrections when your dog leaves its boundary. The collar will vibrate when the dog is close to the boundary and give a five second stim command when it steps outside the boundary. This E-Fence solution can help to train your dog to stay within your property and without the expense of installing a true electronic fence.
This system can track and work with up to 21 dogs, perfect for the coon or hound hunter. One of the things we liked about that was that we could use the Patrolling feature and it would switch between tracking devices for each of our dogs every five seconds and see everything via a satellite map that uses Google maps. Switching over to Fit All to Screen, we could view all of the dogs at once on a big map. We can switch between a topo map and an aerial photo view. The Pathfinder 2 app allows you to quickly and easily customize the settings to you and it has built-in profiles for upland hunters, coon hunters and hog hunters.
The collar on the dog is waterproof to 33 feet. With the amount of swimming our dog does while training as well as hunting, we are thankful for a solid waterproof collar. Daily submersion of this collar during summer training sessions have proven to us that it is will handle just about anything we can throw at it.
While this collar is specifically for training and hunting, it is kind of nice when we are not hunting just so we know exactly where our dog is at all times. The one time that our dog busted away from us to chase a fox while on a neighborhood walk, it was nice to know exactly where our dog was and to be able to call her off the fox in our neighbor’s back yard.
I recommend that you download all of your maps for the areas you are hunting so you have offline maps to use where you might not have cellular service. Several of our best pheasant and grouse hunting spots get very spotty cell service. and downloading offline maps has made a difference in our ability to see where we are. Speaking of training, you can easily disable the e-collar tab in your settings, select tracking only mode and the collar can be used in field trials and competitions where tones, vibration or stimulation are not allowed.
I found this system to be intuitive and easy to use, but it does require very heavy usage of your cell phone. After utilizing the Dogtra T&B Dual system for the last several years, the Pathfinder 2 system is feature rich but I find myself missing my remote control and the ability to quickly hit a button. I also find myself staring into my screen to see if I am hitting the correct buttons on my phone. However, if you need tracking and you are working with multiple dogs, I would not hesitate to make the leap over to the Pathfinder 2 system for the tracking alone and the extended reach of the entire system: nine miles is pretty substantial for tracking. The Dogtra Pathfinder 2 system is available and retails for $429.99. Additional collars for each dog will come in at $279.99. Overall, for a system with the features and capabilities of this system, it’s worth considering.
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