Effective, adjustable stimulation
Optional Pavlovian conditioning
Complicated to program
Lots of unmarked buttons
Antenna must be pointed at receiver
We purchased the ET-300 Mini Educator Remote E-Collar so our reviewer could put it to the test with her dog. Keep reading for our full product review.
Off-leash training is often challenging for dog owners, which is why products like the ET-300 Mini Educator Remote E-Collar are so common. E-collars allow you to correct your dog’s behavior, even when they’re far away from you, making them a valuable training tool.
I’ve been working on off-leash recall with my young golden retriever, Addy, because she loves to go swimming, and I want to feel confident allowing her to play at the lake without her leash on. Her recall is good, but there are times when she gets distracted and doesn’t respond to my commands right away. To help correct this behavior, we used the Mini Educator ET-300 Remote Trainer in our weekly practice sessions—here’s what we thought about this product.
Design: Kind of confusing
I could immediately tell that the components of this training collar are well-made, but the design itself is far from intuitive. I tried to get the collar up and running without reading the directions, and I was utterly confused. For instance, to turn the collar piece on, you have to line up two magnetic red dots on the controller and receiver—I’d never seen anything like it before. So a word to the wise: Read the instruction manual first.
The round, yellow controller for this collar has five buttons, as well as an antenna and spinning dial. There’s a power button, two stimulation buttons (one for regular stimulation and the other for “boosted” stimulation), a vibration button, and a button that switches the mode. However, none of these are labeled clearly, so it’s easy to get confused when you’re setting it up and even using it.
In general, you can choose between momentary stimulation, continuous stimulation, or a combination. There are also 100 levels of stimulation that you can adjust via the dial. I found it rather cumbersome to change these settings, as you have to lock and unlock the remote. When I was initially trying to find the proper stimulation level for Addy, it was frustrating to have to press several buttons just to dial the intensity up one notch.
The collar itself is made of thick plastic and is 30 inches long, allowing you to cut it down to the proper size for your dog. The manufacturer claims the collar can be used on dogs 5 pounds and up, but I think the receiver would be too heavy for dogs that small—I’d say 20 pounds is a better minimum weight. The collar closes via a metal buckle, and it comes with a longer set of contact points in case your dog has a heavy coat. The receiver also features a light to help you track your dog if you’re using it at night, and you can set the light to flashing or solid.
Battery Life: Not the best
The Mini Educator training collar comes with a split charger that lets you plug in the remote and receiver at the same time, and it takes about two hours to fully charge the battery.
Other e-collars I tested lasted for 50 or more hours per charge, but the Mini Educator ET-300 Remote Trainer needs to be charged more frequently. We did need to recharge it after a few training sessions. The manufacturer doesn’t give a specific battery life, but reviewers estimate it to be around 10 to 15 hours per charge. As such, it’s better for those who use it for brief sessions—if you’re planning on having your dog wear it for an extended period of time, you’re going to end up charging it frequently.
Range: Superior to many other options
Arguably the main selling point of the Mini Educator is its impressive range. The ET-300 can be stimulated by its remote from up to 1/2 mile away, and the company’s ET-400 and ET-800 models have ranges up to a mile. This is ideal for those who are training field or hunting dogs, but for my purposes, it was overkill. Addy never goes more than 100 feet from me!
The only issue with this collar’s range is you have to hold the antenna up to allow it to communicate with the receiver—the manual says to hold it up “like the Statue of Liberty.” If your fingers are on the antenna or it’s too low, it might not be able to stimulate the collar.
Effectiveness: Works even on low settings
To use this e-collar in our training, I set Addy up with it and kept her on a 10-foot leash. The first few times I called her, I used the leash to gently start bringing her toward me. If she resisted, I pressed the button for continuous stimulation, only letting up when she began to move in my direction. When I felt confident she understood that she needed to come immediately when called, we moved on to off-leash training (still in an enclosed area for safety).
We repeated the same process—I called her, and if she didn’t respond, I provided stimulation until she started moving in my direction. It only took a few tries for her to figure out that coming immediately saved her the annoyance of the static shock, and by the end of our first training session, she was responding more reliably. We used the collar several additional times, and her recall has gotten noticeably better, even in the face of distractions.
The ET-300 can be stimulated by its remote from up to 1/2 mile away, and the company’s ET-400 and ET-800 models have ranges up to a mile.
Addy responded best when the level was set to 12. It was just enough to get her attention, and I liked that there is a “boost” button that you can set between 1 and 60. I used this to give her a little extra nudge when she was feeling particularly stubborn.
The collar also offers a vibration option, and I was surprised at how strong it is. The vibration is quite intense, so Addy didn’t ignore it like she’s done with other collars. Another cool feature of this collar is its “Pavlovian tone” setting, which makes the collar beep before stimulating the dog. This teaches the dog to listen with solely a beep, as they will anticipate (and seek to avoid) the subsequent buzz.
We only used the controller with one collar, but you can add another collar if you have multiple dogs. The manual walks you through how to program another collar with the same remote, and you’ll want to carefully review the instructions, as the buttons have different functions in two-dog mode.
Humane: “Blunt” stimulation and strong vibration
Today’s e-collars provide a static shock that’s more annoying than painful for dogs. I always test out collars on my own skin to ensure they won’t hurt Addy, and on a low setting, the Educator e-collar was barely noticeable—it felt like a small prickle. This collar claims to provide a “blunt” stimulation, as opposed to a traditional “sharp” one, but it honestly felt the same as other shock collars to me. However, on higher levels, this feeling will be intensified significantly, so you’ll want to use the lowest setting that’s effective.
Price: Worth it for the range
The bad news about this product is that it costs $200. If you’re searching for a training collar that’s reliable and has a long range, the ET-300 certainly fits the bill, and it’s effective, too. However, if you don’t need the extreme range, you would probably be happy with a less expensive model.
Competition: Different strokes for different dogs
Wolfwill No-Shock Training Collar: Easy-going dogs don’t necessarily need a static shock to correct their behavior—some do just fine with a small vibration. If you don’t think your dog needs the stimulation, the Wolfwill No-Shock Collar is a gentler (and less expensive) option that only delivers vibration and/or tone.
SportDOG FieldTrainer 425X: This model from SportDOG is quite similar to the Mini Educator in terms of function and price, but its controls are a bit easier to learn. It has fewer stimulation levels, but the quality of the product is quite high.
Mockins Remote Dog Training Collar: If you’re not ready to spend close to $200 on a training collar, you can test the waters with the Mockins Remote Dog Training Collar, which costs a mere $42 MSRP for a two-pack ($20 on sale or for one). The construction isn’t nearly as high-quality, so it’d be our last choice out of the bunch, but it’s still an effective training tool and will help you figure out if an e-collar is right for your dog.
- Product Name ET-300 Mini Educator Remote E-Collar
- Product Brand E-Collar Technologies
- Price $199.99
- Weight 7.7 oz.
- Product Dimensions 6.9 x 11 x 2.2 in.
- Color Purple, Black, Upland Orange, Waterfowl Camo, Yellow, Zen
- Warranty 2 years
- What's Included Remote, collar receiver with strap, battery charger, extra contact points, contact point tool, test light, lanyard, owner’s manual