SportDog TEK 1.0 GPS+E-Collar Review

Sportdog Brand Yardtrainer 350
SportDOG Brand TEK Series 1.0 GPS Tracking + E-Collar

A newer trend in technology that is spreading to all kinds of markets is having one device that can provide multiple features. These so-called "hybrid" devices are more and more present and the sporting dog market is no different.

So having the ability to track and train your dog in one single device?

Sounds enticing, but before you grab your credit card read the review we prepared and then decide if this is the right product for you. There is a lot to like about this model, but some quirks might be a deal-breaker for you.

So let's get right into it.

​Specifications

  • GPS-based tracking and remote trainer device
  • Tracks 12 dogs simultaneously
  • Can cover a range of up to 7 miles
  • 99 levels of static stimulation levels
  • Vibration and tone-only mode
  • Rechargeable batteries
Collar fits dogs that weigh 8 pounds or more
5 -22 inches neck size
Eight levels of static stimulation and tone-only mode
Waterproof and submersible
300 yards of range
Fits neck sizes 6-23 inch
Compatible with PetSafe PIF-300 wireless fence
Fits dogs weighing 5 pounds or more
Five levels of correction as well as a tone-only mode
Rechargeable batteries
In-ground system
Waterproof collar
Four levels of stimulation plus vibration
Utilizes a conventional 9V battery
Low battery indicator light
System supports multiple collars

SportDog TEK 1.0 GPS Tracking Collar – The Basics

Sportdog Brand Yardtrainer 350 – The Basics
Petsafe Stay and Play Fence Receiver – The Basics

This unit was designed with the idea of combining a GPS-based tracking device with the functions of a remote trainer, hence the implementation of the e-collar. The concept is great since you can utilize the tracking range of 7 miles thanks to GPS, and still retain all the perks of a remote trainer - like correcting unwanted behavior. The SportDog TEK 1.0 GPS+ E-Collar system is expandable which means you can track up to 12 dogs simultaneously with the addition of more collars.

The 99 different levels of static stimulation make this unit one of the better remote trainers we've tested so far, also it has a vibration and tone-only mode which you can use at the introductory part of the training process or even as positive reinforcement. Both the handheld device and the collar are waterproof and submersible up to five feet. They are powered by rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries which are also fast-charging so you will actually have more time to use them in the field instead of leaving them on the charger all the time or spending additional money on replaceable batteries.

While not offering as much insight into your dog's movement as some of the competition does, the SportDog TEK 1.0 GPS tracking collar does a well enough job of letting you know where your dog is, which direction is he moving in and what distance is he from you. The refresh rate is pretty amazing considering this device utilizes GPS technology.

This particular model is designed for owners with particularly stubborn and feisty pets. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it on dogs without behavioral issues, but the sole purpose of it is to deliver a somewhat uncomfortable static signal which is responsible for toning your pet’s behavior down.
As you can tell, it has eight levels of correction. Most other models on the market usually don’t have more than four or five. Those three more levels are what makes this collar so effective when restless pets are in question. The 300 yards of range gives you more than enough time to react properly if something goes wrong. In other words, you can rest assured that it won’t go out of signal range before you press any of the buttons on the controller.
The first thing you need to know is that this isn’t a fully functional system but a collar. That means it won’t work without a proper transmitter. In this case, if you have the PetSafe PIF-300 system already installed, this particular collar won’t have any issues when synchronization is in question.
This model offers five different levels of static correction and a tone-only mode for training. Five levels offer more than enough variety for you to fine-tune the unit and find the one that doesn’t over-stimulate your pet. It fits on any breed as long as they weigh more than five pounds. Therefore, if you own a particularly small breed, you might want to look for something with less correctional intensity.
The batteries are rechargeable, and the charger is included with the unit. You have the choice of buying the collar without the charger, but do that only if you already own one. In case this is your first PetSafe product, we recommend buying the whole set in order to avoid unpleasant surprises and additional costs.

​The ​Features

​The ​Design

The first impression you get when unboxing this product is the quality. It truly is a well-made product and the people at SportDog deserve all the praise they get. The handheld device is compact and durable. It features a great color LCD display which is very clear and readable. However, the interface is pretty simple so don't expect to extract a lot of information from it besides the basic stuff. Some would argue that SportDog is more focused on the remote trainer feature, and we would agree to a certain extent, but keep in mind you are still getting all the info you need.

While we can defend the product for it's GPS shortcomings, there is absolutely no excuse for making the receiver collar so bulky. While the thing is built like a tank and should withstand the most severe conditions, the weight and the size make it barely usable on smaller dog breeds. It comes with a rubberized strap that fits neck sizes of 13 inches and above.

The collar is pretty neatly designed. The biggest upside of it is the fact that it isn’t bulky or cumbersome. That being said, we did find the two contact points on the collar a bit peculiar and invasive, but it’s not a massive concern as it is more of a matter of your pet getting used to it. The on/off button might not seem like a big deal, but many other models simply don’t feature one. When you have a battery powered gadget, an on/off button is of utmost importance when it comes to efficiency and energy saving.
The transmitter works well and it’s quite easy to get the hang of it. It features two buttons of which one sends a short-timed signal whereas the other sends a continuous signal. On top of that, you can choose between eight different levels or even select the tone-only mode if you’re just getting started. Keep in mind that you need to find the optimal level of correction as soon as possible because not all dogs react the same to respective impulses.
Hunting Dog And Green Collar

The Battery

Both the handheld device and the collar are powered by rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries which is something we are a fan of to a fault. A typical battery life on the handheld is about 20 hours if fully charged, and about 30 hours on the tracking collar. They are both fast-charging and take about 2-3 hours to get a full charge.

Since these use Li-ion technology make sure to charge them frequently even if not in use for longer periods. This way you will be able to extend their lifespan significantly. Also, make sure to have a full charge on the handheld when going out on the field, if your battery runs out of power you won't have a way to track your dog.

This model features rechargeable NiMH batteries that last about 40-60 hours per charge. The biggest complaint most people have is the fact that this model does not feature Li-Ion batteries which are more efficient and offer better performance.
Both the collar and receiver feature a low-battery indicator and can be charged at the same time thanks to the included split-end charger. Make sure to keep them charged at all times and you shouldn’t run into any major issues.
While many people consider this feature pretty irrelevant, the difference between rechargeable and switchable batteries does exist and it’s worth mentioning. As far as the advantages go, the biggest one is the fact that you don’t have to stack on batteries and plan ahead. Instead, all you have to do is plug it into the charger and let it recharge. The cycle lasts only about two or three hours, meaning there isn’t much downtime in the first place.
The drawback of this system is that the battery is built-in. In other words, if anything happens to the battery itself, the whole unit becomes more or less worthless. Luckily, these batteries aren’t prone to failing and breaking often.
The correction levels are excellent. The difference between levels isn’t massive which allows you to adjust the collar quite precisely. Furthermore, if you don’t want to use the correction system right away, there is a tone-only mode which is designed to help your pet get used to wearing and using its new accessory. The fact that everything is wireless makes this model perfect for parks, camping, RVs, and etcetera.
One of the great features is the vibration mode. It allows the owner to train their pet without having to use the electric stimulation. It helps you to gradually train your faithful companion instead of making you use progressive methods immediately.
Other features
While most pet collars look pretty similar to each other, some crucial differences need to be pointed out. As far as the advantages go, the biggest one is the build quality. One can easily tell that this unit is made to last, even in case you have a particularly feisty furry friend. The gadget isn’t too bulky or cumbersome, but it’s not the most comfortable thing on the market either. The collar features a plastic clip which does its job relatively well.
The system box is pretty straightforward, and there’s not much more to it. It comes with an adapter which can be a nuisance for some people due to its somewhat short wire. Therefore, make sure you plan the positioning thoroughly and install the box near an electric outlet to avoid issues with the length of the adapter wires.
While most pet collars look pretty similar to each other, some crucial differences need to be pointed out. As far as the advantages go, the biggest one is the build quality. One can easily tell that this unit is made to last, even in case you have a particularly feisty furry friend. The gadget isn’t too bulky or cumbersome, but it’s not the most comfortable thing on the market either. The collar features a plastic clip which does its job relatively well.
The system box is pretty straightforward, and there’s not much more to it. It comes with an adapter which can be a nuisance for some people due to its somewhat short wire. Therefore, make sure you plan the positioning thoroughly and install the box near an electric outlet to avoid issues with the length of the adapter wires.

PROS:

• Good build quality
• Combines GPS tracking with remote training
• Fast and responsive

​​• Easy to use
​​• Affordable
​​• Good coverage
​• Easy to setup
​• Good build quality
​• Smooth correction levels
• Easy to use
• Affordable
• Good build quality

CONS:

• Clunky collar design

• Doesn't provide too much information

​​• Underwhelming battery
​• Batteries are built-in
​• No on/off switch
• Batteries don’t last long
• No OFF button

What We Liked about It

While the tracking capabilities of this unit were a bit underwhelming, we really enjoyed how good it works as a remote trainer. SportDog as a company mainly focuses on building great dog training products so it is somewhat expected for this particular unit to perform well in that aspect.

Having 99 levels of static stimulation at your disposal gives you more than enough leeway to find just the right level that works for your pet. Also, the tone-only mode works even if the device is in tracking mode so you can alert your dog from far away.

The best thing about this particular model is its portability. In other words, you don’t have to set up any invisible fences or hassle with miniature flags. All you have to do is put the collar on your pet and start the training. Also, the user manual is well-written, and it contains quite a bit of useful information on how to start the training process if you’re a complete novice.
The other thing we liked is the price. Many people expect it to be more expensive than the wireless containment system, but it’s not. In fact, it comes at an affordable price meaning that most pet owners can indeed plan on investing in such a gadget without having to think about their budget too much. However, it may not be as versatile as some containment systems that are available on the market nowadays.
The overall versatility and build quality are the things that we liked the most. In the sea of cheap and underwhelming dog collars, this stands out as one that’s worth investing in. As we already said, if you own the PIF-300 system, this particular unit is one of your safest bets.
The fact that it’s very easy to use makes it ideal for beginners and inexperienced pet owners. It’s also an affordable piece in comparison to some other models that offer similar capabilities and features. It isn’t the best thing on the market, but it’s certainly a piece that’s worth checking out.
People who are searching for high portability combined with great efficiency should find this collar interesting, to say the least.

​What We didn’t Like

What We didn’t Like

When purchasing a 2-in-1 product more than often there is a trade-off. While you get the flexibility, one of the features is usually sub-par in comparison to a more specialized model. Now that isn't necessarily the case with the SportDog TEK 1.0 GPS tracking collar system which performs pretty good by average dog owner's standards, but what you need to understand before making a decision whether or not to buy this model is that it is more of a remote trainer than a GPS tracker.

It will not display any kind of trail or history and it won't show you information like dog performance or timings. The information you will get will be delivered at great speed and should be enough to exactly provide you with the location of your pet.

The batteries are probably the weakest point of this product. While they aren’t bad per se, the engineers could have implemented Li-Ion batteries without a problem. The included ones may be considered obsolete and subpar in comparison to Li-Ion. While 40-60 hours seems long and sufficient, you may run into battery issues occasionally.  
The other thing a lot of users complained about is the inconsistency of the signal. In other words, if you select the level seven, the device might output a level four signal. It’s not a frequent occurrence, but it can happen. If you’re worried about consistency, consider checking some other models out, this one might give you troubles in the long run.
The battery is okay, but the fact that it cannot be changed might be a deal-breaker for some people. The recharging cycle doesn’t last long, but it can catch you off-guard. However, there is a low-battery LED light on the collar, meaning you should keep an eye on the levels.
The pet area cannot be changed into a square or rectangular shape. While this is usually typical for most wireless containment systems, it’s still worth mentioning. If you have anything against a circular shape of the area of effect, you might want to look into wired units as they offer more adjustability.
The lack of the OFF button is a major issue for many pet owners. Even though the process of changing the batteries is incredibly simple, it’s not uncommon for people to forget about it. That means you’ll have to go to the nearest store in case you forgot to stack on batteries the last time you were shopping.
As we already said, this fence does not come with wire included. While it’s clearly stated in the description, you would be surprised by the number of people that oversee it. Therefore, if you don’t have wiring installed in the yard, make sure you purchase it separately.

​Conclusion


Overall we were pretty satisfied with the SportDOG Brand TEK 1.0 GPS + E-Collar and gave it a rating of 3.2 out of 5.

We think that a lot of dog owners out there are going to like having both features at their disposal neatly packed into a compact and versatile product, but we wouldn't consider it to be a game changer on the market. In order to make it more competitive and appealing to buyers, SportDog gave it a somewhat affordable price tag so that is definitely something to consider if you're on a tight budget.

It's an excellent system for basic tracking, but if you're looking for something more comprehensive, at the cost of having correctional features, consider spending a little bit more and buy the Garmin.

The Yardtrainer 350 is a decent remote trainer; there is no question about that. Is it the best one on the market? It certainly isn’t. Is it worth checking it out? Yes, it definitely is. In the end, it all comes down to your requirements and preferences. If its features and capabilities fit your idea of a perfect dog trainer, don’t hesitate to give it a chance. On the other hand, there are plenty of other models to choose from.
As far as the advantages go, the biggest one is its ease of use. If you’re an absolute beginner, this model won’t be much of a challenge thanks to its simplistic concept. As for the downsides, the battery and signal inconsistency should be your primary concerns.
This collar is a universal answer for most of your problems. If you have a feisty or disobedient pet, the Stay and Play Fence Receiver can help you when it comes to behavioral corrections. On the other hand, you have to be prepared for trials and errors because nothing happens overnight, especially when it comes to radical changes.
Beginners and inexperienced owners love the ease of use and simplicity of this unit. On the other hand, people who already trained their pets usually look for something with more features. In the end, it all comes down to your needs and preferences. As far as we are concerned, it’s definitely worth checking it out.
If you’re looking for a long-term solution when it comes to training your pet and correcting their behavior, an invisible fence is one of your safest bets. Now, make sure you fully understand your possibilities and responsibilities towards your furry friend. These things can easily become an instrument of abuse if you don’t use them correctly. That doesn’t always mean it’s the owner’s fault, but it does correlate with owner’s ignorance or lack of experience.
As far as your budget goes, you won’t damage it too much. As we said earlier, these fences aren’t cheap but are certainly a good investment, especially if you own a problematic dog. Many people spend hundreds of dollars on professional trainers, and they don’t always guarantee success. This way, you can take a role of a trainer even if you don’t have any experience, and train your pet according to your own preferences. It does take a bit of effort and time, but it definitely pays out in the end.

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