Garmin Updates Astro GPS Dog Tracking System with the DC 50 Collar

September 5, 2013  - By



Garmin International Inc. now offers the DC 50 – a new and improved GPS dog tracking collar that’s even more robust and reliable than previous models.

“From more reliable satellite reception to a more rugged design, the new DC 50 gives sporting dog owners what they’ve been asking for,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “The new DC 50 has the features that will bring the benefits of GPS tracking to first-time users, and will convince existing Astro customers to upgrade.”

The DC 50’s main housing sits below the dog’s neck while a low-profile, high-sensitivity GPS antenna is now positioned atop the dog’s neck, providing a clearer view of satellites.  In addition to tracking GPS satellites, the DC 50 can also utilize the GLONASS system. When using GLONASS satellites, acquisition time is (on average) approximately 20 percent faster than using GPS.  And when using both GPS and GLONASS together, the receiver has the ability to lock on to 24 more satellites than when using GPS alone. In practical terms, that means sporting dog owners will spend less time waiting for the collar to acquire satellites before the hunt, and the collar will better maintain its location even in heavy cover and deep canyons during the hunt.

The Garmin Astro 320 GPS tracking device with two DC-50 collars.

The Garmin Astro 320 GPS tracking device
with two DC-50 collars.

The newly redesigned 22.5-inch long VHF antenna is made of braided steel that’s built to take any punishment that hard-charging dogs can deliver.  Hunters can track their dogs up to nine miles in flat, unobstructed ground as often as every five seconds.  A shorter 18.5-inch antenna is also included.

The battery life of the DC 50 has improved over previous generations, too.  At a five second update rate, the DC 50 will get approximately 26 hours of battery life when fully charged.  By slowing the update rate down to once every two minutes, the DC 50 collar can get up to 54 hours of use.   As a safety feature, the DC 50 also has a selectable Dog Rescue mode, which automatically switches the DC 50 to a two minute update rate when the battery is less than 25 percent charged – making it easier to recover a lost dog.

For houndsmen, the DC 50 also features built-in Bark Detection, which alerts a hunter when their dog is barking frequently, even out of earshot.  Users can customize the Bark Detection feature to adjust the frequency of barking and the manner in which the user is notified (visual, tone, vibration, or a combination of each).

The DC 50 features a standard one inch coated polyurethane collar strap that can be swapped out for a different color to easily distinguish between multiple dogs.  The collar transmitter is waterproof to 10 meters (33 feet).  Shipped alone, the DC 50 features a blue collar, and when purchased in conjunction with an Astro 320, the collar strap is orange.

When paired with the Astro 320, the system can track up to ten dogs per receiver at once, and will indicate the dog’s distance, direction, and status (sitting, running, pointing, or treeing).  The Astro 320 features a full color, sunlight readable display with a pre-installed basemap.  In addition to the pre-installed basemap, the Astro can be loaded with optional 100k Topo or 24k Topo maps or photorealistic BirdsEye Satellite Imagery.  Many third-party specially-designed hunting maps are also available.

The DC 50 is compatible with Astro 320 handhelds that are currently in service, but users must download a free software update to their handheld before pairing the new collar, by visiting  The DC 50 is not compatible with the Astro 220 handheld or the Alpha Track and Train system.

Purchased alone, the DC 50 has a minimum retail price of $229.99, and the DC 50 bundled with the Astro 320 system has an MRP of $599.99.

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2 Comments on "Garmin Updates Astro GPS Dog Tracking System with the DC 50 Collar"

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  1. garminvs says:

    Garmin Astro 220 price – as often as every five seconds, your dog’s DC 40 transmits his position to your handheld , and you can see his current location and a trail of where he’s been on the Map page of your handheld. Switching to the Dog Tracker page to view a compass pointing to the location of the dog as well as his current status : whether he’s running , sitting , on point or treeing quarry. Astro can also sound an alarm to let you know instantly when your dog goes on point .

    My dog does great off-leash 95% of the time. But if you chase something and I miss it , she will not stop until exhaustion , and then can not find his way home ( northern mix breed ) . Yesterday he chased a coyote in the desert snow. I traced for miles , of which over a 7000ft peak . When I found he could barely walk , and was disoriented. If it were not for this GPS, you would certainly have been a meal for a pack of coyotes.

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    • Beverly Haffeman says:

      Garmin alpha 100 with 2 tt15 collars was purchased to use in the US and abroad. The system was represented as compatible. Now in Europe, the gps registers the system dosen’t work although I see others using the same system. After spending $1000+, and unanswered emails to Garmin, Garmin’s response to my phone call was that Garmins’ dog tracking systems purchased in the US are incompatible in Europe.
      While this information is not readily available on the Garmin website, Garmin told me I should have checked their legal disclaimer and I would’ve found that information.

      My loss of time and money are of little concern in relation to finding my dog, lost in the French countryside.

      At the end of the day, a product is only as reliable as the company that stands behind it.