Menu Close

A Community Of Ryman-type Setter Enthusiasts


Introducing beeper collars?

The Ryman Setters Forum Forums Training Introducing beeper collars?

Viewing 6 reply threads
  • Author
    • #958

        Hi, I got a beeper collar for the first time. (I used to use a GPS collar sometimes but felt like I spent more time looking at a handheld screen than actually hunting, and the whole point of hunting to me is to get out and not stare at a screen, but I digress.) Any thoughts about how to introduce beeper collars? I always imagined it could startle a dog to have a loud beeping collar around its neck…! Any input/experiences would be appreciated.

      • #959

        Hello Carl,

        I had the same concerns last year when I got my first beeper collars, after almost 30 years with bells. A friend who used both a radio/invisible fence type system at home had a dog bolt and run 4 miles flat out away from home the first time the collar was on her. We think she equated the beeper collar with the warning tone on the containment system. So my approach was to turn a collar on and hold my hand over the speaker apparatus to mute down the noise, introducing it while the dogs were eating. After that I used duct tape over the speakers to mute the sound down with the collars on my dogs, then onto some experience with the collars with no obstruction of the tone at all. The dogs did not present any adverse reactions. I can’t say this accomplished anything or prevented anything, but seemed the smartest course of action I could think of.

        I switched to beepers because I believe the constant jingle of a bell interferes with the dogs’ ability to keep track of me. Totally unproven but I do think this is true. I am still not completely happy with that unnatural tone as part of the total experience.

        • #961
          Thunder Bay Setters

            I switched to a beeper when a theory came out that grouse were getting bell wise, wondering if it’s time to go back to the bell with the beeper in point only mode.  Love the ease of finding a dog on point in the grouse woods with a beeper.  For that matter, dogs would be impossible to find in much of the CRP or cattail slews we hunt without said beeper.?

        • #960
          Thunder Bay Setters

            Take the pup out for a run at the park, you carry the beeper.  When the pup is out running​ and having fun turn on the beeper wnile continuing to allow it to swing like it would when the dog runs.  Watch the pups response, as the pup gets used to the sound call the pup back to you so that he realizes there is no danger.  Enough for lesson 1, next time you take him out for a play session repeat lesson 1, if no problems turn the beeper off and place it on the dog, if all goes well turn the beeper on and give the pup a treat.  If the beeper is remote contollable you can turn it on while he is out running and distracted.  Good luck, any questions ask.

          • #964
            October Setters

              Many of our pups have been a bit worried about the beeper at first but I think the key is gradual introduction. I wouldn’t strap a beeper on a pup that hasn’t heard it before. Our young dogs typically hear beepers while they’re on other dogs we are hunting, at the same time watching the excitement the noise generates with the rest of our older dogs. I think they learn to associate the beeping with fun while in the truck on hunting trips. We’ve also carried a beeper for a while during yard work, then placed it on the pup after they seemed comfortable with it and had no adverse reactions. Another approach we’ve taken with success is just hanging a collar in the kennel building or yard for a while before trying to place it on a pup. In our experience it doesn’t take much to get them over initial apprehension about the noise, especially if they only hear it during otherwise positive experiences.

              We first used beepers to improve our ability to find dogs on point in grouse cover but we feel there are other benefits as well. I’m sure the bell clanging all the time impairs the dog’s ability to hear commands at a distance. Timing a command between beeps is simple and effective – the dog hears you every time. Another thing we’ve discussed is the possibility a beeper is easier on a dogs’ hearing. A loud bell constantly ringing seems like it could cause more hearing loss than the intermittent beeping. Not sure about this but it seems likely. I’ve also come to enjoy hearing the dog running through cover and hearing their breathing, strange as that still sounds. The electronic sound may not be for everyone but I’ve really come to appreciate the benefits of a beeper.

              As far as birds being spooked we haven’t noticed a problem (yes we’ve looked for it) and we both feel it has less effect on birds than the bells we used to run. It certainly isn’t as effective at flushing birds as yelling or talking – I’ve seen countless birds flush exactly when they hear a voice, whether it be a command to the dog, narrative of the situation, calling someone’s attention to the dog on point, etc etc. We’ve learned to keep quiet when we know (or suspect) birds are present limiting communication to hand signals whenever possible and it makes all the difference. One thing I would not do is run the beeper in point only mode. I think the sudden noise at close range is more likely to flush birds than the gradually approaching beeps, which actually might serve as a way for the bird to keep track of the dog and make them more comfortable sitting tight(?).


            • #982
              John Wagner

                Great discussion!

                I started with a beeper just 3 years ago. It’s a stand-alone unit I can turn on/off remotely. It was for a well-seasoned dog, but I still was careful in introducing it. As with all my field training/hunting equipment, she was only exposed to the collar when she was going hunting or out in the field. I tend to do this so she knows it’s time to do her “job”  and this time is her favorite thing in the world. I started by carrying the collar and letting her know I had it, and during a run I turned it on. She did notice it, came and checked it out. Next time started with me carrying it turned on, then turned it off and put it on with her bell collar. Next, I didn’t turn it on and she wore it. Next time put a couple cotton balls in it and duct taped over it. Randomly turned it on in run mode while she was running, tried to turn it on when she was distracted and leave it on for a while. Took half the season before I had all the cotton out and the duct tape off.

                My experiences are similar to the posts above.  I think a beeper may have an advantage on not spooking birds.


              • #989

                  My method for introducing the beeper was to completely cover the horn with tape, thus muffling the sound to almost nothing.  Turn the beeper on and place it on the collar and after the dog seemed comfortable with the noise, slowly remove a small amount of tape to increase the volume.   Keep repeating the process until the tape is gone.

                  My last setter, Cider, would come to another dog’s beeper and honor almost every time.


                • #993

                  I have two ways. One is similar to Eric’s, although I start out with at taped beeper in another room in the house and move it closer to family room, as the pup becomes unaffected. After they have been accustomed to this, I put it on them when they are about to do something fun, like run around the back yard. The second way involves putting it on an older dog and going out for a run. In my experience the pups will gravitate to the older dog to see what is going on and since it doesn’t bother the older dog they pick up on that. In fact, I’ve seen the pup get excited because they see the older dog get excited.

                  – Chuck

              Viewing 6 reply threads
              • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
              Ryman Setters Forum