I was able to try out the Garmin Delta Smart Collar on my two Shih Tzus this week.
In case you haven’t heard, we are now proud parents of a 13 week old puppy, and have a 6 year old dog (plus a French Angora Rabbit).
It is such a cool product and I’m happy to provide you an overview of my experience and my thoughts.
Here’s the sweet and simple:
- Garmin Delta Smart Collar attaches to your collar (it won’t attach to any harnesses we’ve tried)
- The collar tracks your pets activity and has 3 features to utilize for obedience training + uses personalized bark detection to correct your dog. The Three types include:
- Tone (it is a high pitched ‘beep”)
- Sensor (It flashes a red light at your dog, since the collar is placed on the chin)
- Vibration (the collar vibrates at your dogs chin)
- The Collar works with Garmin Canine™ via bluetooth on your smart device.
- The set includes 3 different colored bands that can be changed out and is made of a sturdy plastic.
- Keep Away Tags (Sold separately) can be purchased together or separately and will steer pets away from undesired areas by signaling your choice of corrective tone.
- Optional remote (we all love our phones, but when we are with our pets, we don’t always have them, which makes this addition a smart choice for Garmin.)
- Has up to 3 Weeks Battery life and charges through a USB adapter.
I know, not as simple as I would have liked this product to be, but its strength is that it brings two items to the pet industry that have not worked together before, corrective training with bark detection (bark collar) and activity tracking to check the health of your pooch. I’ll list some pro’s and con’s next, but continue reading until the end if you want the detailed review of the product, app, and more.
- Reliable brand. Garmin consistently provides quality products, and although they may not always invent the next best thing, they are usually tweaking it to make it better.
- Keep Away Tags – something that has not really been integrated with a mobile activity tracker before, and it is not restrictive like an invisible fence can often be.
- Healthy for the pet in so many ways, one way being that the product corrects the dog with stimulations that do not harm them. (See cons to understand the other side of this). The activity tracking is crazy detailed, which we love.
- Garmin Canine Mobile app has many features that set it apart from it’s competitors.
- Bark detection works well and you can set it up to only alert when a bark is too loud or rapid.
- Bulky – the poor puppy couldn’t really wear the collar too long, I felt like it was weighing him down. It is also hard to add to a collar and adjust, and make sure it is secure. Once you have set it up, you don’t want to take it off unless you have to.
- Stimulations may or may not be effective, as they are meant to be corrective tools to aid you in getting your dogs’ attention, and then providing the correction. I will say, both my dogs were surprised and turned their heads the first time wearing this product, but within a day, they were already used to it. Maybe I didn’t use it correctly. But because I love products that are easy to use, this was hard for me to see the value of paying for a training tool when I was only really using the activity tracking.
- Price. Although most pet tech wearables range from $60-$99, and Bark collars can be really expensive, we feel the $150 price point isn’t the best for your pet tech wearable consumers. Is it worth it, yes! It does more than any other product out there (minus GPS).
- No major online community. We featured an awesome post by one of our health techies, Mandi Stewart, on her Garmin Fitness tracker/ Smart Watch. In this post, we found a similar trend with both Garmin products, the Garmin community is just not as big as its competitors. You have to be in range to connect with friends, and when we tried this, there weren’t any friends for miles.
There are other pros and cons we could mention, but since this product is still fairly new, we wanted to shorten our list to what we thought would be best for our readers. Just so you know, we have also used the Fitbark for over a year and although the product did not stay charged very long, the community and personal touches on the mobile app (plus a connection with your fitness tracker to compete with your pet) was something we felt we didn’t see in the Delta Smart Collar. However, the Garmin Canine App is a remarkable app plus it’s so clean, and customizable. With other trackers not having all of the skills that the Delta Smart Collar does, we would recommend that if you are curious about the stimulation features and looking to have just one product that does bark detection and activity tracking, you should pay the extra money and invest in this tracker.
Along with this new product from Garmin on the pet market, Fitbark has come out with their latest model that can only be purchased through their website, and Whistle has come out with a new model as well. You can check out all of the available pet trackers on Amazon on our profile/wishlist with reviews here.
So tell us, what are your thoughts based on our review of the product? Do you have one of your own to share?
Comment below, and read on for more details about the Delta Smart Collar.
Cheers – Jonna
Garmin Delta FAQ’s?
How do I discourage bad behavior?
Use the handheld remote on the Garmin Canine mobile app, or the optional remote, and press one of the keys to send your dog a vibration, tone alert, or corrective stimulation from the collar. Once this signal is sent and your dog responds, you will need to be prepared to provide a distraction from, or incentive for stopping the unwanted behaviors.
What health tracking does the device include?
With the Garmin Canine mobile app, you can track how long your dog completes activities (and behaviors, such as barking) and the intensity levels. Even though it isn’t health tracking, it also shows you how many Keep Away Tags your dog encountered so you can understand if they are improving. You can see the day or week at a glance, and even a month.
What’s the range of the Keep Away Tags?
The tags create a geofences range (1- to 3-foot range) called “alert zones” that prevent your dog from going toward unwanted areas (trash cans, the dining room, etc)
What if I only want to correct my pet while I am away?
You can set up your personal preferences for the Bark control alerts and the Keep Away tags based on your bluetooth range.
How does the Bark Detection work?
The smart collar uses Garmin industry-leading bark detection (as Garmin has other products that use this tech as well). this detection can be set to “No barking allowed”, “Some barking allowed”, or custom. You can then customize if you want the collar to vibrate, the tone to alert, or sensor light to shine, once the bark is detected.
I have two dogs, how does that work if one is barking but they are both wearing collars?
We get, Garmin’s technology is designed to detect bark signals through vibrations (which is why the collar needs to be installed correctly) from the dog’s throat. This wonderful technology works well to almost completely eliminate the chance of it correcting from your other dog, or even loud neighbor dogs or other pooches at the dog park. We did notice, however, that the alert went off when one of our dogs was eating out of a ceramic bowl. Not sure if this was the vibration of the dog eating and hitting the side of the bowl, or what, but it was a little concerning and something to be aware of.
Tell me about the design!
Although nothing really is “one size fits all”, we were able to use this on both our 6 year old fur covered (like crazy fur covered) Shih Tzu, and a 13 week old puppy. The material is Garmin reputable and durable, and is water rated up to 10 meters, although we haven’t tested this yet. It is a bit bulky, but it is very lightweight and the dogs didn’t seem to be a bit uncomfortable wearing it.
You can purchase the Garmin Delta Smart Collar as is, or buy the bundle which includes one keep away tag here.