Review by Renee
(Posted on 12/22/15)
Great concept, not perfect yet
I have tried all kinds of collar lights, and none have really stood up to the test. This admittedly is the best so far, but here are my issues:
1) when my dogs wrestle, one of them always ends up biting off the cover off of the other dog's light (so far, we have been lucky and I have noticed right away and have to lost one).
2) they are hard to turn on and (especially) off (but at least the dogs aren't turning them on and off when they wrestle, which was the major issue with other lights). I use a prong from a collar clasp to turn them off. You really can't do it with your fingers (at least I can't)
3) the carabiner broke after a week of use. It made the light hang down a little too far anyway, and my puppy just bit at it (although with the light swinging on the carabiner, I found it to be more visible than my other dog's which is attached to his collar strap). My puppy bit the cover off of her own a couple of times and nearly swallowed it. But again, each time I managed to rescue the cover and the batteries. My older dog wears it on the Sportdog collar strap. This works better, but on a lab with lots of skin around his neck, it makes the light a little less visible. I really need two for his collar. It is very bright, but from the opposite side, I can't always see it. Now that I am training the puppy on the Sportdog collar, I will attach hers to that...but again, will probably need to buy another for her.
The light is very bright. I have a blue one and a white one, and they are blinding when you look right at them (but don't expect them to act like a flashlight). It's hard to explain why it isn't always really visible when directed away from you. It might just be the loose neck skin of my lab.
In all, it's the best solution I have found for our nighttime walks in the woods/fields. But it still isn't perfect for my needs. Maybe my expectations are a bit high...but at $15 each, I would love to not have to purchase two for each collar.
Thank you for sharing your experience, Renee! We are glad to hear that the Locator Beacon is keeping your dogs in sight, but sorry to hear that it has not met your needs and expectations fully. Please know that your feedback will be passed along to the appropriate parties for research and development purposes. If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call at 1-800-732-0144.
Review by Christy
(Posted on 12/17/15)
Good Product, but has issues
I purchased this product last year for by lab/golden cross. I loved how bright it was and I am able to track my dog better in dusk. The carabiner clip that came with the light was not sturdy enough at all, only lasted one or two walks.
I had difficulty with the on/off switch at first as well, so when it started shutting off by itself, I became perplexed and came to this site looking for answers.
On our walk last night, I turned it on 3 different times and finally just gave up and left it off. When I got home, I turned it on and it stayed on for several minutes and did not turn off. The same thing happened tonight, but we stayed in the yard, so when it turned itself off, I left it. When we were done playing, I tested in the house again, and it worked fine.
Wondering if the product is sensitive to cold??
Thank you for sharing your feedback on the SportDOG Locator Beacon. We are glad to know that your pup is easy to see when the beacon is bright. It is possible that the batteries are low, the battery tab inside the housing needs to be lifted a bit to give it some spring, or that it simply needs to be replaced. Please also know that any and all batteries are somewhat affected by extreme temperatures. For troubleshooting and assistance on your beacon, please give us a call at 1-800-732-0144.
Review by Brett McLane
(Posted on 10/3/15)
Great, durable product
We walk our dogs around a 2-mile loop every day at 6am - rain or shine, light or dark. Our two terriers tend to "disappear" in the sage brush and cheatgrass, so having an easy way to keep track of them in case they take off after a jackrabbit or a coyote is not just nice, it's necessary. We've tried other off-the-shelves collars with various methods of collar attachment, but the SportDog product has proven itself to be the most durable product with the best battery life.
Review by Michael
(Posted on 4/6/15)
like the concept..but.
Had to buy the second one because top came off...lost it ..then the second one came off within two hours of use....actually found the top of light on the second one...but had to buy new batteries. ...should I have to glue it on to keep from losing it again....
Thank you for sharing your experience with the Locator Beacon, Michael. We're sorry to hear that they haven't been holding up for you. Typically they are very durable and can stand up to heavy use. Please keep in mind that they do come with a one-year warranty which should cover this type of damage. We'd be happy to discuss this with you. Please give us a call at the number 1-800-732-0144. Hours of operation are 8AM-8PM EST Monday-Friday and 9AM-5PM EST on Saturdays.
Review by Mariann
(Posted on 1/11/15)
When my 4 year old Chocolate lab came into my life this past August, she would run outside on the 5 Acres and I couldn't see her nor could I keep up with her with my flashlight. This Beacon light has been a life saver for me, I also thought it was hard to turn it on and off as well. So when my friend came for a visit and she said when you need to turn it off, just twist the top and it turns off. So that's my advice, I use the collar clip to help me turn it on then I place it on my dog.
Review by Rodney M.
(Posted on 1/6/15)
Liked the old style better
These little buttons are frustrating, especially when your fingers are numb from the cold. The old style; twist to turn on or off were much easier to use. The only problem was the soft rubber holder which broke too easily. Maybe a hard plastic holder for the old style lights?
SPORTDOG RESPONSE: We're sorry you're having trouble with the button. It is difficult to push when first getting used to it for sure, but this is by design. We want to be sure that the dog cannot switch modes or turn it off in the field. The "trick" to it is that there is a plastic overhang on top of the silver button to protect it. Make sure you are pressing the button from under that and it will push just fine. It takes three full seconds to change modes and ten full seconds to turn it off.
Review by James
(Posted on 12/12/14)
This is for your engineers, have given you a five star in "farm tested" above
Lots of pros and lots of use as noted in my previous rating but 1) If you use the snap link and cloth strap (because the lights do not fit on a standard nylon dog collar), the cloth that the used is a sandbur magnet. I regrettably forget this almost every time I reach down to either turn the lights on or off or remove them from he dog. 2)The "O" ring that seals the light is also a source for a future leak. Opening and closing the light to remove and insert batteries, or possibly just because of time, his ring expands just a bit. When it does, it is prone to get "pinched" between the light and the base causing a small loop of the ring to "ride out". Even though the light has been twisted into place, this now flawed seal will allow the lite to fill with moisture - and kill it. (This is not uncommon to "o" ring seals and for a penny or two - you could provide one or two extra, or just provide a bit of a better seat/groove to hold it in place). 3) The strap on two of my lights have broken off the base. Have resorted to just hanging the light directly on the dog tag ring, but this is sort of rinky dink solution. May be worth looking at.
Review by Bob
(Posted on 12/3/14)
I just picked up three of these at Bass Pro. Paid too much but that is how Bass Pro is some days. I was perplexed by the switch at first. But after reading the reviews here I got it figured out. I have a huge, medium, and small dog. We live in the mountains and let the kids run at night when they need to go out. These lights are great. And yes, they are difficult to turn on and off. BUT!!! That means the dogs are not doing it when they are playing or running around the house. They only come on or off when we push and hold the buttons. This feature will save us a sizable amount in batteries. I have 3 different colors so we now know who is doing what where.They did not fit on the regular collars as someone else stated, but they do fit on the training collar straps. And the little guy now has 2 wire ties on his. All is good. Thanks for the good product. We appreciate them.
Review by J. Maas
(Posted on 11/5/14)
Not too user friendly
I understand that it is designed for the dog out in the field, but hard to turn on and off. Will be breaking fingernails. I will try to use a pencil eraser next time. The light is very bright and we can see our lab when he goes out for the last potty break when we go to bed. I am sure with time we will enjoy it more, figuring out an easy way to turn it on and off.
Review by James
(Posted on 9/25/14)
When I take the three dogs out in the evening or into the night, it is so, so nice to be able to track them and see when they are coming around the tractor or going out into the cattle. I have red, blue, and yellow, lights and can easily see from a quarter mile off "who" is where. (I'm sure I could see from further away but the rolling land won't quite allow that.) There are a number of ponds where the dogs swim (I have the lights hanging down off their collars) and the lights are quite water proof - so far. I like the common size battery (2032) and can see the need to not make them too easy to turn on and off. Just remember "six seconds" and you're fine. There are dirt roads near the farm and while I want the dogs to generally stay away from he road I feel much better at night knowing that they can be seen from much further out. Overall I am very satisfied with these.
Review by Diane Desimone
(Posted on 2/15/14)
great while it lasted
The lights worked fine at first, but went out after about 10 hours of use. I can't find any information on how to change the battery.
SPORTDOG RESPONSE: We're sorry that the light has gone out. It's possible that the battery was stored for a long period and lost a charge. Generally these last 100-200 hours depending on frequency or mode of use. To change the battery, you turn the colored lens counter-clockwise and then lift up. It can be a little difficult to remove the lens. This is a safety feature to ensure the lens will not pop off in the field.
Review by Andrew Gross
(Posted on 1/27/14)
Very bright but very directional and difficult to turn off
It takes dozens of cycles to get this darned thing to turn off, sometimes I get so aggravated I leave it and come back in 15 minutes or so to try again. The light is the brightest around bug it is very directional so you see it reflecting off tree bushes or snow sometimes faster than you see the light or the dog. It is very durable and when fitted direct to the collar has the lowest profile, least chance of getting hung up on something, than any other light.
SPORTDOG RESPONSE: Thank you for your review. We appreciate the detail. They can be difficult to turn off and on. The reason for this is that many of the dogs that use our products are hunting and sporting dogs. This often requires working in dense terrain. We want to ensure that it is impossible for any vegetation to turn off the Locator Beacon because if you are using a light to track your dog and that light turns off, that could mean big problems. For most people the small shield above the button is what makes it hard to turn off and on with your finger. If you use a pen or other slender object you will find it much easier to turn off. You will need to hold the button for 3 seconds to change modes and 6 seconds to turn off the collar. This is another safety feature to ensure the light cannot be turned off in thick cover.
Review by Laura
(Posted on 12/20/13)
Almost impossible to turn on and off . Design flaws at at best.
SPORTDOG RESPONSE: We're sorry you are dissatisfied with the operation of the Locator Beacon. They can be difficult to turn off and on. The reason for this is that many of the dogs that use our products are hunting and sporting dogs. This often requires working in dense terrain. We want to ensure that it is impossible for any vegetation to turn off the Locator Beacon because if you are using a light to track your dog and that light turns off, that could mean big problems. For most people the small shield above the button is what makes it hard to turn off and on with your finger. If you use a pen or other slender object you will find it much easier to turn off. You will need to hold the button for 3 seconds to change modes and 6 seconds to turn off the collar. This is another safety feature to ensure the light cannot be turned off in thick cover.
Review by shane wilkins
(Posted on 10/23/13)
I run coon/cat hounds and beagles, both of them I run the beacon on both. Great product!!!
Review by Mike
(Posted on 10/21/13)
Would be great IF...
This beacon would be great IF it were engineered better to properly fit on ALL dog collars . The Beacon is bright, and works great. However the problem lies in the engineered design of the plastic case and the method in which to attach it to a collar
The SPORTDOG Package (and this website) states it fits on dogs collars that are either a 3/4 inch or 1 inch in width. While this is somewhat true, the SportDOG instructions doesn't specify that the collar MUST BE a "belt type" collar. The retail packaging prohibits the customer to seeing exactly how this fits to the dog collar
That said, the majority of dog collars today use "fastex" type buckles which will not slip thru the beacon slots. The design of this beacon is terrible. If you purchase, you will most likely have to also invest in another collar for your dog if you are like me.
SPORTDOG RESPONSE: We are sorry if the packaging was confusing. The Locator Beacon is designed to fit on flat collar straps, or be attached by utilizing the included caribeaner. We offer these collars for sale on our website and many of our retailers offer them as well. The advantage of these 'belt-like" collars is that the material will ensure that your Locator Beacon will not move while your dog is working better ensuring consistent visibility of the Locator Beacon.