Garmin DC-50 GPS Collar Review

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

Garmin DC-50 GPS Collar Review

by Geoffrey English

Garmin DC-50 collar
The Garmin DC 50 GPS Collar features a high-sensitivity, top mounted  Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) and GPS enabled receiver.   The new stainless steel braided VHF antenna adds additional reliability and extends the range. Plus, the Garmin DC-50 collar now has bark detection.  The collar is 100% waterproof and submergible up to 10M.  With additional DC-50 collars, you can track up to 10 dogs simultaneously using a Garmin Astro 320.  The dog's position can be updated on the handheld every 5, 10, 30, or 120 seconds.  Unfortunately, the DC-50 is only compatible with the Garmin Astro 320 handheld - it does not work with the Astro 220 or the Garmin Alpha handhelds.


The collar's new top mounted receiver and its ability to track additional satellites using a combined GPS and GLONASS system means you will be able to locate your dog more quickly and maintain his/her position even in heavy tree cover or deep canyons. Garmin boosts a nine mile range for the new DC-50 - depending on the terrain.

What is GLONASS?

The Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) is based on a constellation of active satellites which continuously transmit coded signals in two frequency bands, which can be received by users anywhere on the Earth's surface to identify their position and velocity in real time based on ranging measurements. The system is a counterpart to the United States Global Positioning System (GPS) and both systems share the same principles in the data transmission and positioning methods. GLONASS is managed for the Russian Federation Government by the Russian Space Forces and the system is operated by the Coordination Scientific Information Center (KNITs) of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. 

Bark Detection

The Garmin DC-50's behavior detection can alert you when your dog is running, sitting, pointing or treeing an animal.  It also adds bark detection technology to the collar - so you will alerted even if your dog is barking beyond audible range. 

Extended Battery Life

One of the biggest complaints customer had with the Garmin DC-40 (the DC-50's predecessor) was the battery life of the unit.  When the DC-40 was operated on a 5 second position update rate, most customers were seeing 15 to 17 hours from a single charge. This means if your dog is lost at the end of a day's hunt you only have a few hours to find him prior to the battery completely discharging. 

Well, to address these concerns, Garmin has made two major improvements.  First, Garmin has extended the standard battery life of the lithium-ion batteries to 21 hours (with the same 5 second update rate).  If you run the collar at a slower update rate you can expect to get up to 48 hours from a single charge. 

Additionally, Garmin has added the "Recovery Mode" feature to the New DC-50.  When the battery on a DC-50 collar drops below 25%, the collar operates in rescue mode and changes the update rate to 120 seconds, which prolongs battery life to extend your search. 

Added Security

DC-50 Collar with Accessories
Photo by: Author
Similar to the Garmin Alpha 110, the DC 50 features a PIN based collar lock feature to prevent unauthorized Astro users from tracking your dog.  In order to track one of your dog collars another user must have your 5-digit PIN number and be in range, which makes it extremely unlikely that someone can track your dog without your permission.  This is a huge improvement over standard telemetry dog tracking collars where anyone can track a collar simply by knowing the collar frequency. 

Package contains:


  • DC-50 Transmitter and Collar
  • AC Adapter
  • Vehicle Charging Adaptor
  • Charging Cable
  • Quick Start Manual


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