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Garmin Goes To The Dogs

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - The GPS masters at Garmin (GRMN) are branching out. I'm not sure I get the full connection, but, if there's anything more popular than knowing where you are and where you're going - it's buying products for your dog.

Garmin has announced a bunch of new products - a line of electronic dog training systems, to be precise. Say hello to the BarkLimiter series of bark reduction collars and the Delta series of training collars for dogs.

As a dog owner, I understand the appeal of any product that says it can help with a particular problem. Reducing any amount of dog barking is a boon to you and your neighbors.

Garmin wants you to know that its BarkLimiter line of collars "helps put an end to the problem by giving dog owners control over nuisance barking. Featuring bark identification technology that uses innovative accelerometer technology, the BarkLimiter is able to distinguish between barking and other vocalizations. Also exclusive to the new BarkLimiter Series is Advanced Bark Correction Technology, which delivers consistent and instantaneous correction, while substantially reducing false corrections that can be caused by external noises".

And there's also the new Delta training collars. A variation on the same theme, Delta collars are described as "a sleek, ergonomic, and simple-to-use electronic training system for dog owners who want to teach their canine companion new commands, or refocus them away from unwanted behaviors".

All of these new products have been made possible by Garmin's ownership of a Phoenix, Ariz.-based company named Tri-Tronics which has been making these types of products for more than 40 years.

Since dog owners will pay almost anything for an item that might help with training, it's no surprise that these Garmin solutions will not come cheap. The BarkLimiter collar (with a user-replaceable battery) retails for $80 and a BarkLimiter Deluxe (with the rechargeable battery) sells for $100.

The basic Delta training e-collar has a list price of $200 while the Delta Sport model, with Garmin's built-in Bark Correction circuitry, retails for $250.

All of the new items will be available in the first quarter of 2013.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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