The 2 systems are very similar in operation with the new PRO550 offering new and improved features that I think most people will like. Like the Pro500 the new PRO550 is up to1 mile range, has 3 dog capabilities and has the flexibility to fine-tune correction quickly that lets you get the most out of your training session. The transmitter (handheld device) has the same feel and size as the G3 series Pro Tube models. The stimulation buttons, tone, and intensity dial are similar as the G3. The intensity dial has 7 levels of settings. The two training buttons are top for medium stimulation, bottom button for low stimulation and both buttons pushed together for high stimulation. There are 2 toggle switches; one is the dog selector with black, red or blue collar colors. The momentary/continuous toggle also now has an added "?- accessory position. The accessory option allows the trainer to turn the built-in LED light on and off on the receiver (dog device) as well as turn on the optional Garmin external beeper. The battery is the same 2 hour quick charge, the receiver cradle is much smaller and the power cord plugs directly into the transmitter using no cradle.
The built in bark limiter is a wonderful feature, simply turn the receiver on and continue to hold down on the button until the light turns blue you are now in bark limiter mode. The transmitter will not communicate with the receiver while in bark mode. This will come in handy while hunting with multiple dogs and Billey has to wait her turn to run. I will simply turn on the bark collar mode when we return to the truck.
For the pointing dog folks, you all normally purchased a Field 90, Upland Special or a Pro100. I think you will find the PRO550 an excellent replacement. You have the ability to add the beeper, use a second receiver for a belly strap with the option of vibration for sensitive or young dogs.
Garmin has combined seven Tri-Tronics Pro series into one which I believe is a good move. With all the new features of the new PRO550 anyone who knows the G3 will have no problem using the new PRO systems. With the ability to use 21 levels of continuous and momentary stimulation and the added vibration mode and LED light this is a good value for $399.99 compared to the G3 models that ranged from $359 to $539. Extra dog devices (receivers)are selling for $149.99 and now include a collar strap and charger. Whether you hunt with a pointer, flusher or retriever the new PRO550 will meet the needs of your training requirements.
-Brian Parsons, LCS General Manager