On August 14th 2018, Garmin announced the release of the Garmin PRO 550 Plus, a revolutionary e-collar training system that takes everything we love about the PRO 550 and adds tracking abilities to it. This is a system that we are really excited about. It has simple controls, futuristic design, and ease of use. It is everything that is great about the PRO 550, while being easier to operate than the Alpha 100.
What makes the PRO 550 Plus unique?
The PRO 550 Plus is the first dog training e-collar system to have a tracking feature included. Yes, the Garmin Alpha, SportDOG TEK 1.0, TEK 1.5, and TEK 2.0 have both tracking and training features, but they were designed as tracking systems with the added feature of training. The PRO 550 Plus is designed around training. It takes the customer favorite PRO 550 design of three dog capability with low, medium, and high stimulation as well as vibration and tone using the same familiar ergonomics and adds an easy to read tracking screen. With the PRO 550 Plus, switching between dogs is as simple as switching the dog on the toggle switch, no more needing to go into menu screens or clicking arrows on the screen. Adding a new dog is easier, no more switching screens and menus, it’s now as simple as turning the system on and following the prompts.
Pairing made simple:
- Turn on the system while the dial is on N
- Press the tone button
- You will be prompted to pair or calibrate. Select Pair Collar by hitting the low stimulation button
- Select treeing, pointing, or auto by selecting the button displayed on the prompt.
- The handheld will then go into pairing mode waiting for the collar.
2 Mile Range:
The PRO 550 Plus has a range up to 2 miles using both the full size and mini collar. This range is double that of the Garmin PRO 550 system. With the system being designed as primarily a training system, 2 miles tacking capability is a great feature.
As with all the newest Garmin systems being released, the PRO 550 Plus has the ability to connect with the Drive Track series in-vehicle dog tracker and GPS navigator, as well as the Garmin Fenix series watches. This is a great feature when hunting with your dog. You can have the PRO 550 Plus holstered or strapped safely in your vest but still make use of the tracking features using your Garmin watch.
A nice feature of the PRO 550 Plus is that it uses the Alpha and Astro collars, which include the TT15, TT15 mini, TT10, T5, and T5 mini. Since it uses the collars from the Alpha and Astro, you can also use an Alpha or Astro to track or train the same collars as the PRO 550 Plus.
The PRO 550 Plus has 18 levels of continuous and momentary stimulation, one through six selection on the dial with low, medium, and high stimulation buttons on the handheld. Low stimulation being the upper button, medium being the lower button, and high being both at the same time. The system also features vibration, which is selectable on the dial, as well as tone which is performed by the hitting the green button above the toggle switches.
Coming over from the Alpha and Astro series, the PRO 550 Plus features a treeing and pointing alert. When the system sees that your dog goes on point or is treeing, the handheld will vibrate as well as display an icon indicating pointing or treeing in the top left corner of the display screen.
Some drawbacks of the system:
As with any product, it is impossible to be perfect and hit 100 percent of user needs. One of the biggest drawbacks that I have found using the PRO 550 Plus is that, because of the GPS tracking collars needing satellite connect to function, this system cannot be used indoors if signal cannot be received. Another drawback that some users might complain about is also a side effect of the tracking collars. The dog devices have long antennas. I have personally talked to several customers that loved the Tritronics Trashbreaker G3 system but hate the PRO Trashbreaker due to the collar’s long antenna. I am also surprised at the 2-mile range and it not being 3 or 4 miles. With the PRO Trashbreaker having 4 miles of range, and the tracking series collars all have 4-9 miles of range, I would think that they could have stretched that range out more. However, I have been seeing in field-testing that this system does get over 2 miles of range in most conditions.
Overall, we at Lion Country Supply think this is a great system and are really excited to get this in the hands of customers and hear your feedback. This system will be a great training tool for those that use the Garmin PRO 550 system already but would like the added tracking feature to be able to see your dog’s distance and movement notification. We also think this will be a great addition to those using the Garmin Alpha 100 but who would like an easier-to-use training device when fine-tuning a dog’s training or working with those young pups.
Thanks for reading,
LCS Marketing Manager