Here’s a look at SportDOG’s new 1875 Upland Hunter e-collar, which is a really nifty and well-designed piece of gear intended primarily for (as the name and bright orange color implies) the bird-hunting crowd. I haven’t had a chance to actually use the 1875 in the field yet, because my receiving it last week just happened to coincide with the hottest and most miserable stretch of weather to hit so far this summer, so I haven’t even been running the dogs in the early morning.

I have, however, been playing around with it some, and while I’ll do a follow-up when I actually get a chance to use it, here are my initial impressions.

What’s in the box: Transmitter, one collar, one remote beeper, battery charger, extra collar prongs for heavy fur, owner’s manual, SportDOG “basic training” manual and DVD, belt clip and lanyard for the transmitter, and it’s all encased in what is–I swear–the toughest, most entry-resistant, curse-inducing plastic packaging I’ve ever encountered. But when, two hours and three pairs of dulled scissors later, you finally get the plastic cut away, what greets you is one nice product.

The 1875 is a new e-collar from SportDOG that offers a one-mile range, seven levels of continuous and momentary stimulation, tone, vibration and an included beeper. It’s waterproof and expandable for up to three dogs.

First, the color: The transmitter is orange. A bright, glaring, shade-your-eyes orange, and I love it. While it won’t be any better at being found under a fresh cowflop than my black Tri-Tronics transmitter, it will stand out like a beacon if I happen to misplace it (and I will) anywhere else. The transmitter, which is about the same size and shape as most other SportDOG transmitters, also has a very nice, tactile feel to it, and the controls are laid out in an intuitive manner. The beeper’s locate and run mode buttons are on the transmitter’s left and right sides, respectively, and you can change the run mode from silent to five or ten-second intervals individually from dog to dog in a multi-dog set-up.

The collar receiver is also orange, and is mounted to a 3/4-inch wide collar. One thing I noticed right off about the collar is that its power button, like all SportDOG collar power buttons dating back to the very first SportDOG e-collar I ever bought, is almost completely flush with the collar and is rather difficult to turn on and off. You really have to center your finger and mash down on the thing. It may be a trivial thing to point out, but it’s something I’ve always liked about SportDOG’s collars. I don’t think I’ve ever had a collar from any manufacturer get accidentally turned off while on a dog, but it’s nice to know that it certainly won’t happen with this one.

The really nice thing about the 1875 is the flexibility the programming allows to fit your individual needs. I haven’t gotten a chance to play around with the programming aspect of it yet, but in reading through the manual, it’s apparent that you can configure this thing pretty much any way you want in terms of stim types and levels, as well as tone, vibration and beeper modes. All in all it’s an impressive collar, and if this heat ever breaks I look forward to playing with it somewhere other than my desk. Retail on the SportDOG Upland Hunter 1875 is around $379 and you can find it most retail outlets that sell dog training gear.