This past winter SportDog introduced the Field Trainer 425as a replacement/upgrade of their Field Trainer 400 system. The new 425 is a medium range system that can be used with up to 3 dogs at the same time. The advertised range is 500 yards, and I was able to achieve that pretty easily even in an area where there were numerous obstacles to interfere with the signal.
The new 425 also includes some very nice improvements over the old 400 system. Most significant is the battery technology. The new 425 uses Lithium Ion batteries similar to the ones that are used in cell phones. They allow for a very quick charge time of 2 hours and also hold their charge longer. In using the collar every day, I find that I only need to charge it about once per week. Another upgrade that I really appreciate is the small size of the receiver. The new receiver is very small and only weighs 2.2 oz. It is small enough for my 14 pound Dachshund to wear it comfortably even though he has a very small neck that only measures about 11 inches.
On the older 400 system, when the transmitter was set for multiple dog mode each of the three buttons was assigned to a collar receiver. In this multiple dog mode, the tone function was lost. Not so on the new 425. Sportdog has added a V/T setting on the intensity dial. In multiple dog mode this becomes the selection for vibration or tone for those of us who use them in our training. I particularly like that they have added a vibration feature to this unit. I have been training using it, and I have found that 90% of the time I don't need to use the stimulation. Unless my dogs are really distracted the vibration setting us usually enough. On the old 400 there was no vibration, and the tone option was lost in multiple dog mode. I like the addition of the vibration on the 425, and especially like that it is still available when training more than one dog.
Just like the 400, the new Field Trainer 425 is completely waterproof and shockproof. It is built to stand up to years of use even by the hardest running hunting dogs in the toughest terrain, and it is covered by SportDog's on year warranty.
Overall I have been very happy with the 425 system. Even though it is marketed as an entry level, medium range system my feeling is that it will satisfy the needs of many people, whether they are using it on a hard running hunting dog or for around the home obedience training. I has certainly done all that I need it to do.
-Doug Wennick, LCS Customer Support
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