SportDOG vs Dogtra: Comparing the Top Dog Training Collars

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Sportdog Vs Dogtra

Training your dog to behave properly is an essential part of responsible dog ownership. Using the right training tools like dog collars can make a big difference in the effectiveness of training. In this guide, we’ll compare two of the top brands of dog training collars – Sportdog and Dogtra.

Introduction to Dog Training Collars

Dog training collars are devices worn around a dog’s neck to reinforce commands during training. They allow the trainer to deliver cues like vibration, beeping tones, or static stimulation if the dog does not comply with voice commands.

There are several types of electronic dog collars:

  • Remote trainers – Allow the trainer to deliver cues from a handheld remote control. Best for field training or any situation where the trainer needs flexibility to correct behaviors from a distance.
  • Bark control – Automatic collars that detect barking and deliver an automatic correction. Good for curbing excessive vocalization.
  • Electronic fences – Paired with a boundary wire to keep dogs contained in a certain area using warning beeps and corrections. GPS pet trackers like Whistle and Findster can help keep track of dogs that manage to get loose.
  • No-bark collars – Automatically detect barking and emit annoying sounds to deter dogs from barking excessively. A more humane alternative to shock for bark training.

Benefits of Using Dog Training Collars

When used correctly under the guidance of a professional trainer, dog training collars can provide the following benefits:

  • Reinforce voice commands for reliable off-leash control
  • Stop unwanted behaviors like lunging, excessive barking, or chasing
  • Smart collars like the Fi collar can reinforce training
  • Keep dogs safely confined to your property
  • Correct behaviors even at a distance in the field
  • Get your dog’s attention and establish focus
  • Train dogs safely, humanely, and effectively

However, dog training collars can do more harm than good if misused. We’ll cover tips for safe, humane use later in this article.

SportDOG vs Dogtra Overview

Now that you understand the basics of dog training collars, let’s compare two top brands head-to-head:



Founded in 2003, SportDOG is a subsidiary of Radio Systems Corporation which makes pet-related products under other brand names like Invisible Fence and PetSafe.

They manufacture a wide range of dog training equipment including remote trainers, bark collars, and electronic dog fences. Their products are generally more affordable than competitors with models starting under $100.

Notable features:

  • Rugged, waterproof construction
  • Easy-to-use, ergonomic transmitters
  • Expandable systems for multiple dogs
  • 500+ yard range models available
  • Stimulation levels from low (1) to high (21)
  • Tone, vibration, and static stimulation modes


Dogtra Logo

Founded in 1991, Dogtra is solely focused on making professional-grade dog training collars and equipment for hunters, field trainers, and dog sport competitors.

Their products are precision-engineered with features tailored for advanced radio-controlled training. Dogtra is a common sight at trials and competitions. Their collars start around $150.

Notable features:

  • 1⁄2 mile and 3⁄4 mile range available
  • Stimulation levels from 1 to 127 for precise control
  • Nearly constant stimulation possible for advanced training
  • Highly adjustable, snug-fitting collar design
  • Waterproof collars and transmitters
  • 2 hour rapid charge lithium batteries

Now that you have a basic understanding of Sportdog and Dogtra, let’s do a detailed feature comparison.

Detailed Feature Comparison

Training Range

One of the first considerations with any remote training collar is the range it provides. This determines the maximum distance you can correct your dog’s behavior.


  • Entry-level collars: Up to 500 yards
  • Advanced models: Up to 1 mile


  • Entry-level collars: 1/2 mile
  • Advanced models: 3/4 mile

For most homeowners, 500 yards of range should be sufficient for basic obedience training. However, field trainers and hunters may require collars with a mile or more of range.

Both brands make models with plenty of range for home or field use. Dogtra specializes in building collars for wide open spaces, so they take the win here.

Winner: Dogtra due to availability of 3/4 mile range

Stimulation Type and Intensity

Static stimulation collars deliver a small shock when a metal contact touches the dog’s skin. The stimulation level determines the intensity of the shock.


  • Lowest stimulation: 1
  • Highest stimulation: 21
  • Also features tone and vibration
Sportdog Training Gear


  • Lowest stimulation: 1
  • Highest stimulation: 127
  • Also features tone and vibration
Dogtra Training Gear

While both collars offer multiple stimulation levels, Dogtra’s range of 1-127 gives trainers more precision. Their highest setting of 127 is also useful for advanced training of high drive field and competition dogs who may not respond to low-level correction.

Winner: Dogtra for its 1-127 stimulation range

Waterproof Rating

Since dogs love water, you’ll want to look for a fully waterproof dog training collar. Submerging a collar that’s not waterproof can fry the electrical components.


  • Waterproof rating: Fully waterproof in both fresh and salt water


  • Waterproof rating: Fully waterproof in both fresh and salt water

No clear winner here – both manufacturers claim full waterproofing for all their collars and transmitters. Just make sure to buy a waterproof model from either brand if your dog spends time in or around water.

Winner: Tie

Battery Life

Long battery life is crucial to a hassle-free experience. Frequent charging is time-consuming and means missed training opportunities.


  • 60-70 hours of battery life depending on stimulation usage
  • Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries
  • 2 hour typical charge time


  • 48-72 hours depending on model and usage
  • Rapid 2 hour lithium polymer recharge
  • Extended battery kits available

While battery life is comparable between the brands, Dogtra batteries recharge slightly faster. But SportDog batteries last a bit longer in general. For the average pet owner, battery life should not be a major distinguishing factor.

Winner: Tie

Collar Receiver Size

The collar receiver contains the key electronics that receive signals and deliver stimulation. Smaller is generally better for comfort.


  • Collar receiver size:
    • Standard – 2.5 x 1.5 x 1.25 inches
    • Miniature – 1.75 x 1.5 x 1.25 inches (for dogs as small as 8lbs)
Sportdog Collar Receiver Size


  • Collar receiver size:
    • Compact – 1.75 x 1.5 x 1.25 inches
Dogtra Collar Receiver

Dogtra’s collar receivers are more uniformly compact, while SportDog offers both standard and miniature sizes. For giant breed dogs, SportDog’s larger size may actually be a better fit. But for most average dogs, Dogtra receivers will provide a more low profile fit.

Winner: Dogtra for compact, streamlined profile

Collar Fit and Adjustability

The collar strap needs to be snug enough to keep the contacts touching the dog’s skin. But loose enough to avoid discomfort or choking.


  • Adjustable collar strap fits neck sizes 5 to 22 inches
  • Available in multiple colors


  • Two sizes cover neck sizes 12 to 26 inches
  • Fully adjustable for snug fit
  • Side release buckle for quick removal

Both brands offer a wide range of size adjustability. Dogtra uses a side release buckle for quicker, easier collar removal. Dogtra’s collars also have a more streamlined profile.

Winner: Dogtra for smoother silhouette and easy-release buckle

Ease of Use

When training, you don’t want to fumble with complicated controls or settings. The simpler, the better.


  • Ergonomic, user-friendly transmitters
  • Easy to adjust stimulation intensity
  • Backlit LCD screen shows settings
Sportdog Remote Transmitters


  • Less intuitive controls with small buttons
  • Stimulation levels adjustable with wheel or buttons
  • OLED screen shows settings
Dogtra Remote Transmitters

For ease of use, SportDog pulls ahead. Their remotes feature an intuitive layout with large buttons and dials. Compared to Dogtra’s busier remotes with more complex controls.

Winner: SportDog for simpler, more ergonomic transmitters

Training Features and Modes

Advanced collars include specialized training features and modes for versatility.


  • Tone, vibration, static stimulation
  • Progressive correction levels
  • Multiple dog collars supported
  • Bark limiter available


  • Tone, vibration, static stimulation
  • Continuous, momentary and nick modes
  • Rising stimulation feature
  • Alternative collars: pager, beeper

Both offer the standard stimulation types. But Dogtra collars include more nuanced stimulation modes along with extras like a pager vibration option. This adds more complexity but also greater flexibility for advanced training regimens.

Winner: Tie. SportDog offers better ease of use, while Dogtra has more modes.

Buying Considerations

When choosing between SportDog vs Dogtra, keep these key factors in mind:

  • Your needs – For basic obedience, SportDog is likely sufficient and more affordable. For advanced field use, Dogtra has the edge.
  • Dog size – SportDog offers better size flexibility. Dogtra uses a more streamlined, uniform design.
  • Water exposure – Both are waterproof, so safe for water training.
  • Battery life – Expect 40-70 hours from either brand depending on use.
  • Training approach – SportDog models the basics well. Dogtra has more advanced mode options.
  • Budget – SportDog is generally cheaper. Dogtra costs more but justifies it with extra features and range.

Best SportDog and Dogtra Collars

Based on the comparison above, here are my top recommended collars from each brand:

SportDog 425X

Sportdog 425x
  • Best for: Basic obedience training, field use, 3 dog handling
  • Range: 500 yards
  • Stimulation: Low – High (1-21)
  • Modes: Tone, vibrate, static stim
  • Waterproof: Yes

An excellent mid-range model with all the essentials for the average pet owner. Quality SportDog construction with excellent range and an easy-to-use remote.

Dogtra 1900S

Dogtra 1900s
  • Best for: Field training, competition training, advanced obedience
  • Range: 3/4 mile
  • Stimulation: Low – High (1-127)
  • Modes: Tone, vibrate, static stim, nick, constant
  • Waterproof: Yes

Dogtra’s advanced 1900S collar offers the range, precision, and features I want for serious field work. The continuous stimulation mode is perfect for reinforcing steady commands.

Using Dog Training Collars Safely and Humanely

While dog training collars can be useful tools, they must be used responsibly to avoid harming your dog. Follow these tips:

  • Seek guidance from a certified trainer on proper use. Never use a collar for punishment or abuse.
  • Only use the lowest effective stimulation level matched to your dog’s temperament.
  • Ensure the collar has a snug but comfortable fit with contacts touching the skin.
  • Properly introduce the dog to the stimulation sensation before formal training.
  • Limit stimulation sessions to 10-15 minutes max, with positive reinforcement too.
  • Remove the collar after training sessions so the dog does not associate it with punishment.
  • Use alternate modes like tone and vibration before applying static stimulation.
  • Always combine with positive reinforcement like treats and praise for good behavior.


In summary, when comparing SportDog and Dogtra dog training collars, both brands offer quality collars with respectable performance. For most pet owners, the more affordable SportDog models have everything needed for basic obedience training.

But if you need superior range or extra stimulation modes for advanced field use, the premium Dogtra collars justify their higher cost. Whichever brand you choose, be sure to use their collars humanely and under the guidance of a professional trainer.

Key Takeaways

  • SportDog and Dogtra both make high-quality dog training collars suitable for home and field use.
  • SportDog collars are more affordable and easier to use. Dogtra collars have more advanced features and longer range.
  • For basic obedience training, SportDog is likely the better value pick.
  • Dogtra justifies its higher cost with specialized features tailored for pro trainers.
  • Make sure to use any electronic collar safely and humanely. Seek guidance from a certified trainer.


Q: What’s the difference between SportDog and Dogtra collars?

A: SportDog collars are typically more budget-friendly and user-friendly, while Dogtra collars offer more premium features and maximum range for advanced field training. But both brands make high-quality collars suitable for the average pet owner.

Q: Are dog training collars safe for my dog?

A: Used properly under the guidance of a certified trainer, modern electronic collars are safe and humane training tools. Make sure to match the stimulation intensity to your dog’s temperament and use the right fit. Avoid excessive or prolonged use.

Q: How much range do I need in a dog training collar?

A: For home obedience training, around 300-500 yards is usually sufficient. For field training and hunting dogs, you may want a collar with up to a mile of range. Consider your specific needs.

Q: Should I get a SportDog or Dogtra bark collar?

A: For occasional nuisance barking, a cheaper SportDog model should work fine. If your dog barks excessively, invest in a premium Dogtra bark collar with more adjustable sensitivity options to get the desired results.

Q: What are the best training features to look for?

A: At minimum, look for tone, vibration, and static stimulation. Other great features include multiple intensity levels, rechargeable batteries, waterproof construction, and support for multiple collars on one remote.

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