Sportdog SD-800 Reviewsby Geoffrey English
For dog owners who are looking for an electronic dog collar that is packed with a lot of features at a very affordable price, then we recommend the SportDOG SD-800 system. You can do basic obedience, yard and field training at a very affordable price of below $200. You can operate it at continuous and momentary stimulation and even tone only, which basically lets it go head to head with the more costly collars. Moreover, you get a 2-year Warranty on parts and labor when you buy your SportDOG Electronic Collar.
Photo by: Author
Most of the features that you love in the SportDOG 400 release can be found in SD 800. Even better, you get twice the range that you have enjoyed in the SD400. The SD-800 offers an astounding 800 yard operating range. However, be mindful that the manufacturer’s quotation of the operating range is very much affected by actual weather, topography, foliage and other conditions.When tested, the SD800 operated very well at an average effective range of approximately 500 to 650 yards, considering mild external conditions. You might want to consider the SportDOG SD1825 if you need to operate at a higher range.
You can easily wear the transmitter around your neck using a lanyard since it is quite small at 3.2 oz. Much to the delight of most users, it has a “soft coat” finish. You need not to worry about using it during bad weather as it is completely waterproof and can be submerged in water. However,the unit is slightly more favorable for right-hand users since the intensity dial is situated at the top right-hand corner of the transmitter. For left-hand users, the face of the unit will be facing away from them if they will be using their dominant hand. So using the unit may be quite a challenge for a left-handed user.
SportDOG SD-800 Transmitter
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At only around 4.8 oz, the SD800 collar receiver is among the tiniest in the market. It is 1.5 inches wide x 2.5 inches long x 1.25 inches thick. If yourdog is from the smaller breeds, then this unit is for you. The receiver is attached to a strap (0.75 inch thick) which could fit dogs with neck circumference of around 23 inches. The on/off button is strategically situated at the bottom of the unit which is easy to access any time you want to use the receiver. It is designed with a robust plastic molded casing which protects it even in extreme hunting conditions. The casing also protects its internal antenna. Same as the transmitter, it is also completely waterproof and can be submerged in water.
The transmitter and collar receiver are both packed with NiMH batteries that are rechargeable and replaceable. If you follow the instructions well on how to use and recharge them, you can use these batteries for three or more years. The batteries are very convenient to use with a handy “Low Battery Indicator” which tells you the right time to recharge your unit. Out of the box, the batteries are partly charged. However, before using your unit for the first time, youhave to charge the batteries for one whole day. After the initial charge, you only have to charge your unit for twelve hours. You will know if charging has been completed with the flashing of the receiver Indicator Light. Depending on how frequent you stimulate your dog, you can use your unit for as long as 45 hours after each charging session.
What is inside every box?
- Collar Receiver
- Manual for SportDOG Owners/ Guide for Operation
- Orange collar strap
- User Replaceable, Rechargeable batteries (both collar and transmitter)
- Dual lead battery charger
- Lanyard for the transmitter
- Test Light
You may notice that the words “up to” have been mentioned several times in the product description. Some people, such as me, may become alittle doubtful every time “up to” come up. The others may have their own reason for this, but for me, I have had bad experiences in the past with these particular words. So before even deciding to buy your own SD800 unit, let me clarify first a few important points. Specifically, I will discuss what is meant by “expandable up to 3 dogs” and “up to 16 levels of momentary and constant stimulation”. I will discuss these with you one by one.
Expandable up to Three Dogs
SportDOG SD-800 Receiver Collar
Photo by: Author
If you read through the manual of the SportDOG SD 800, you will see that it allows the addition of up to 3 dogs. Technically, this is correct but doing so has resulted into some decline in its functionality. Here’s why. Straight from the factory, the buttons on the face of the unit are initially designed or programmed to direct the collar receiver. To illustrate,the button at the top is designed for administering constant stimulation, the button at the base is for momentary correction while the side button is for tone only correction. So basically, a different function is programmed to each button. However, the moment you add more collars (note: you have to purchase SportDOG Brand Add-A-Dog collars in order to do this), you are forced to use Mode 4 which basically converts all the buttons to constant stimulation, one button for each dog.
Up to 16 Levels of Constant and Momentary Stimulation
This feature is also another one which results to as light decline to the unit’s functionality. As I have previously mentioned, straight from the factory, the buttons on the face of the unit are initially designed or programmed to direct the collar receiver. To illustrate, the button at the top is designed for administering 8 levels of constant stimulation toyour dog, the button at the base is for giving out 8 levels of momentary correction while the side button is for tone only correction. You will have to simply use Mode 5 or 6 in order for you to increase to 16 stimulation levels.
In Mode 5, the top button is set to send out constant correction to your dog at a level of intensity at the high end of the intensity dial. On the other hand, the button at the base will administer constant stimulation at a level of intensity at the low end of the intensity dial. As aresult, your unit operates with each of the 8 intensity settings of the dial having high and low levels of stimulation. The setting for the side button as“tone only” will be retained in this mode. Simply put, losing the option to use momentary stimulation is the primary disadvantage of this feature.
The settings in Mode 6 are practically similar to Mode 5. The only difference is that the side button is set to send out momentary stimulation instead of “tone only”. The level of stimulation used is the setting of your intensity dial.
After weighing all the pros and cons, the SportDOG SD-800 surely is among the top of its class, especially considering its fairly low price, more so if the dog owner will use it for only one dog.