Do you have a dog that likes to wander? Some dogs have a wanderlust that can’t be stopped. However, you don’t have to worry each time you let Fido out of the house. Today, dog GPS tracker collars are available to keep you informed of your pet’s location at all times. That way, if you have a pooch that loves to roam, you can allow him to do so without worry.
In addition, you can fear not because GPS tracking has greatly improved over the last decade. No longer do pet tracking collars rely solely on cellular towers to transmit signals from the pet tracking collar to the pet parent’s handheld device. In fact, there are many ways to access GPS technology and track your dog successfully. You can even use your smartphone to do so.
For our money, the best dog GPS tracker collar on the market today is the Halo Collar. This GPS tracking device has been designed by none other than dog behavior expert Cesar Milan. This GPS tracker collar is not only a dog tracking device, but it is also a great training device. You can use the Halo Collar in multiple areas as it is portable, and you can track your dog’s activity as well. There are so many great things you can do when using the Halo Collar, and promoting your dog’s safety is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Best Dog GPS Trackers of 2021
Our Favorite: Halo Collar Smart Dog Collar
- Activity tracker and remote training capability
- Offers real-time GPS location
- Will give Fido’s location whether he is inside of the fence or not
- The collar is easy to clip on and off your pup
- GPS may be affected if a pup is around tall buildings or the weather is inclement
- Must have WiFI signal or a cellular signal in order to achieve highest accuracy and updates
The Halo Collar is a great all-around tracker collar, activity tracker, and invisible or wireless dog fence all rolled into one product. The collar features an adjustable strap (it is also replaceable) that carries the GPS device. There is a “fence” that comes with the Halo Collar; you’ll need to set it up as you would survey markers. However, the Halo Collar still tracks your dog when he leaves the perimeter, while most similar collars do not.
The Halo Collar comes with the collar itself, the replaceable strap, the Halo Beacon, the wall charger, and contact attachments. The Beacon and the contact attachments will be set up to serve as the parameter of the fence. However, if Fido leaves this boundary, the Halo Collar will still provide a location. The Collar can also provide vibration that will help to put Fido on the way back home. Never fear – this is not a traditional shock collar. These gentle vibrations are used in combination with training techniques that are on a DVD that accompanies the product. You’ll learn how to use the vibrations for positive behavior rather than as a correction. You can also choose to have these vibrations replaced with tones or turned off altogether.
Another great point to the Halo Collar is that the product works as a training device. You’ll download the Halo app (which costs about $7 per month) to get tips and tricks on how to properly bond with and train your fur baby. The Halo Collar offers coverage for up to 1600 square miles, which is a great deal more area than any other GPS collar on our list. The app allows you to create up to twenty virtual GPS dog fences, so if you have a great deal of property that Fido likes to explore, you can set up various virtual fences over the expanse of your land. Plus, if you simply want to see what your dog is up to most days, you can view the activity tracker to do so. Although the Halo Collar has a bit of a price tag, the investment is well worth it as the collar has so many functions. You’ll never have to worry about your dog getting lost with the Halo Collar.
Best GPS Tracker with a Handheld: SportDOG TEK 2.0 GPS Tracking & E-Collar System
- Covers a ten-mile range
- Bluetooth capability allows you to get voice updates on your dog’s location
- The handheld device uses a topography map that updates for the life of the product
- Collar stays charged for up to twenty-four hours
- Not for use with dogs that may become aggressive
- Same price as Halo Collar with only half the features
This GPS dog collar not only gives a location on your dog but also utilizes up to ninety-nine levels of rising stimulation that includes both vibration and tone. You can track up to twenty-one dogs at one time with the system (you’ll need to purchase an individual TEK 2L or TEK 2-H collars to do so). The GPS collar is waterproof, and it is submersible for up to twenty-five feet, so no matter where your dog goes, his movements are tracked.
This collar may give you tracking capabilities, but it does not provide a virtual fence. This product works best on dogs that are out hunting; however, there are some training capabilities with the device. The device uses “momentary, continuous, and rising stimulation” in order to train your dog to stay in a certain location or to come back to you. The company cautions against using this device with aggressive dogs or dogs that have the tendency to be aggressive. Finally, the handheld device shows your dog’s location on a topography map, so unlimited updates to the device keep your dog’s location completely up to date.
Keep in mind this product will use vibrations or shocks to train your dog. It may not be the best product for dogs that can become aggressive due to the collar’s methods. It may also be overwhelming for younger dogs as they learn their boundaries.
No Monthly Fee: PETFON Pet GPS Tracker
- Provides real-time location of your dog
- Cellular service is not necessary for the operation
- Light alarm for finding your dog after dark
- Long-life battery
- Tracking radius is only 3.5 miles
- Not water resistant
The PETFON is a great device for keeping up with your dog on weekend excursions and within your neighborhood. You can track your dog’s movements within a 3-mile radius, and the device uses WiFi signals nearby. However, you can add a wireless chip and an HG laser antenna that will extend this radius. One of the greatest features of this device is that it offers a “light alarm” that you can activate if you’re searching for your dog at night. There is also no monthly fee for using the PETFON device. It operates on the LoPowan wireless transmission technology.
Your dog will wear a tracker, and you’ll be able to view his location on the handheld device. You will also get some information on your dog’s activity, such as the duration of exercise as well as the number of steps your dog is taking.
The best feature of the PETFON is the light-up capability. This will not startle your dog, but it will indicate to you exactly where your pup is headed once it gets dusk outside.
The only drawback is that you must depend on WiFi “hotspots” in order to use the device. In rural areas, these may be few and far between. The PETFON retails for just under $300.
Great for Nighttime Use: Garmin TT 15 GPS Dog Tracker Collar
- Water-resistant up to 10 meters
- LED beacon lights let you find your dog even after the sun goes down
- Nine-mile radius
- Does not need WiFi to operate
- Offers a training feature but extra equipment must be purchased to do so
- For medium or large breed dogs only
If you have hunting dogs, or if you live on a large property and you simply want to be able to locate your pup, the Garmin TT just might be the right GPS collar for your dog. This tracker collar uses GPS to pinpoint the location of your dog; however, this location tracking can be somewhat off if the weather becomes inclement or the sky is very overcast.
This device offers some training capabilities, but you’ll need to purchase extra accessories for this feature. If you do opt for the training equipment, you can use the handheld device to correct several dogs on an individual basis. However, you’ll need separate devices for each dog. The device does not use tones to make these corrections but uses vibration, which can be adjusted as necessary. Some dogs will not like the vibrations, and you may have to discontinue the use of the collar. There is no option for tone training with this collar.
However, if you have a lot of property and you want to keep up with your dog’s location, the Garmin TT makes a great choice for such. Another great feature of the device is the LED beacon light which will give you great visibility should you be looking for Fido at dusk or after dark. This is the only other product on this list that offers the ability to use a light after dark with the product.
Features a Compass for the Most Accuracy: SportDOG TEK Series 1.5
- Reports location, direction, and status of up to twelve dogs in a seven-mile radius
- A waterproof collar that is submersible up to five feet
- Collar battery can last up to twenty-four hours
- Works with all breeds
- The antenna can be broken off in some situations
- Tall trees or cast over skies can affect the accuracy
Got multiple dogs you want to track? The SportDOG TEK Series 1.5 might just be the device for you! This collar is paired with a handheld device that offers the dog’s location as well as the direction he’s headed in. The device could be considered an activity tracker, but there are no training capabilities built into this collar.
This is a great device if you have sporting dogs or dogs that simply like to roam. You can buy extra collars in order to track multiple dogs. The collar’s battery life is set for up to twenty-four hours. The handheld screen offers backlight LCD lighting so that you can see your dog’s location any time of night or day. One great selling point – this device also uses a compass to pinpoint your dog’s location. This will help you be able to read the compass and the handheld device at night, but there’s no light on the collar to point out Fido’s location.
Finally, the collar is crafted with DryTek materials in order to be waterproof and submersible up to five feet of water.
Best Smart Collar for Tracking: Fi Series 2 GPS Tracker Smart Dog Collar
- Alerts you any time the dog leaves the parameter you set
- Tracks activity levels of your dog
- Battery lasts up to three months
- Gives the opportunity to measure your dog’s activity compared with other dogs of the same breed
- Relies on both GPS and cellular service for accuracy
- Best for large or giant breed dogs
This is considered a smart collar in that you’ll be able to track Fido’s activity, provided that he stays in a location that is serviced by cellular towers. One of the greatest features of this device is that you get an alert each time the dog leaves the parameter you’ve sent, and yes, you’ll need to reset it often as it does not offer the ability to set a permanent parameter.
This collar is waterproof, but not submersible. However, the battery offers up to three months of power on one charge. Keep in mind as well that this collar is best for either large breed dogs or giant breed dogs. The collar rests on a polyester strap that is outfitted with a buckle. It is best for adult dogs, but not senior canines.
Great for Dogs on Large Properties: SpotOn Virtual Fence
- Great for dogs on large tracts of land
- Offers the ability to train your dog with the device
- Real-time motion tracking
- Offers a true virtual fence
- Very pricey
- Works best on large properties
Do you enjoy letting Fido run free on at least one-half acre of land? If so, the SpotOn Virtual Fence might be just the product for you! This virtual fence is affixed to a collar, and you set up up to 1000 fence posts that interact with the collar to set a parameter for your dog. You’ll need at least a half-acre for the system to work correctly, but you’ll be able to use the device on thousands of acres if you so desire.
You can connect this to your smartphone via an app. You can get status updates via the app as well. You will need to pay a monthly subscription fee for the service.
The collar uses GPS data from multiple GPS satellite sources in order to give you the most accurate update on your pup’s whereabouts. The device works best on medium breed to large breed dogs.
Uses No Vibration: Dogtra PATHFINDER TRX GPS Tracking Collar
- Not a shock collar
- AKC approved for events
- Does not need cellular data to operate
- Pairs with your smartphone for location tracking
- No training capabilities
- Not an invisible or virtual fence
This is another great product for sporting dogs. The Dogtra Pathfinder offers a nine-mile range for Fido to safely roam, and you can find your dog effortlessly due to the two-second GPS update rate.
This collar is approved for UKC, AKC , and PKC events, so you can use it during sporting competitions.
If you want to track your dog, but you just can’t fathom the idea of a shock collar, then the Dogtra just might be the product for you. You may purchase extra equipment to track up to twenty-one dogs at once.
Attaches to an Existing Collar: Whistle Go Explore
- Health monitoring and fitness tracking
- Location alerts to your phone
- The Whistle app will give you access to a telehealth vet visit
- Alerts to your phone if your dog leaves the virtual fence area
- Best suited for dogs over twenty pounds
- Subscription plan required
The Whistle Go product is a health monitor as much as it is a smart tracker collar. The folks at Whistle back their product with a 90-day risk-free trial and free returns. The product also features a one-year warranty. The product is touted as a health monitor, stating that the device can pick up on health issues before pet parents may be able to notice. You can set “fitness goals” according to your dog’s breed, weight, and age. You get location alerts if your dog leaves the proscribed virtual fence area. You’ll also get information about where your dog goes, how long the dog stayed in the area, and with whom they are going. You’ll even get alerts if your dog walker comes by to take Fido to the park.
The Whistle Go product uses AT&T towers as well as WiFi and Google Maps to pinpoint the most accurate location information of your dog. This works anywhere in North America. You can track Fido’s movements every fifteen seconds if you so desire.
The product will also alert you to extra scratching (more than normal), increased drinking, excessive licking, and any sleep disruptions. You can even learn how to serve the most accurate food portions for your dog’s weight, breed, and age.
Best Compact Tracker: PETBIZ G20 GPS Pet Tracker
- Compact and lightweight
- Activity tracker
- 30-day battery life
- Offers E-fence capability
- Must buy a collar to go with the tracker
- To get the most benefits, you’ll need to buy the highest-priced subscription plan
This pet tracker will attach to an existing collar (although it’s probably best if you purchase the recommended collar from Amazon). You’ll get real-time GPS location monitoring, a battery that lasts for thirty days, and you can get health monitoring alerts. However, if you want all the health monitoring, you must purchase a higher subscription plan (prices are not available on Amazon, but on the PetBiz website, these plans range from $2.99 to $6.99 per month).
A word on the subscription – you only get the lowest rates if you pay for thirty-six months of service. Otherwise, a monthly subscription is just under $7.
You can purchase the “Smart Bowl” to get feedback on portions and how much your dog is consuming. The product offers real-time GPS tracking, and there is the ability to set up an E-fence and get alerts when your dog leaves the perimeter you set. The product is “splash proof,” but not waterproof. You can also exchange the covers of the tracker.
Finding Your Pet Via GPS
Finding your pet via a GPS tracking monitor is touted to be more accurate than the traditional trackers which relied on cellular data in order to give your dog’s location (even then, it wasn’t fool-proof; the signal could be weak in some areas and fail to pinpoint the right location).
Today’s GPS collars are much more accurate and many give up to the minute location details. Some will require subscription plans, especially those that tie to apps on your smartphone. However, most of these are quite reasonable, and, for what they provide, are a great value.
Again, we recommend the Halo Collar from Cesar Milan. There are many features to the Halo Collar you just won’t find in other GPS tracker collars. You have the ability to do training (we especially like the collar will emit tones rather than shocking your dog when he leaves his virtual fence area. Furthermore, you can find out Fido’s activity level, his exact location, and you can set up multiple fences via the app.
How Do Pet Tracking Devices Work?
Pet tracking collars and/or devices work by sending a radio signal to a handheld device. When pet tracking collars were first developed, pet parents were forced to rely on cellular data in order to operate these tracking devices, and the accuracy of location was sometimes in question. Plus, if the dog wandered to a place with little or no cellular signal, then finding the dog was nearly impossible (at least with the help of the tracking device).
Today, GPS collars work by getting information from GPS satellites, which stay up to date on location information at all times— provided there is no inclement weather, tall buildings in the vicinity, or very cloudy skies. Today’s GPS trackers work with a handheld devices. This device may be an app on your smartphone, or it may be a handheld device manufactured by the company.
GPS locators allow pet parents to see the location of their dog, whether or not the dog is moving, even some GPS trackers will detail the direction in which your dog is headed.
Advantages of GPS Dog Trackers
GPS dog trackers work based on location information gathered from GPS satellites. These satellites operate twenty-four hours, seven days a week, and few things stop the location process of a GPS satellite. Previous dog tracker collars often used cellular data to pinpoint the location of a dog. This was great for those who lived near cellular towers or those who had a strong WiFi connection. However, for those who lived in very rural areas, the dog tracker collar was often useless.
One of the greatest advantages of a GPS Dog Tracker is peace of mind. With a GPS dog tracker collar, you can rest assured of knowing exactly where your dog is at any given time. Your dog can safely explore the outdoors with or without your insight, and you don’t have to worry about his getting lost as long as he has the collar on. The GPS dog collar is a great idea for those with large properties, especially if your dog is apt to run all over the property.
GPS dog trackers today also give pet parents the opportunity to find out more about their pets. Many pet tracker collars also offer health and activity monitoring. Finally, if you’re simply curious about what Fido is up to all day, you can use a GPS tracker to find out this fun information.
What Should I Consider Before Buying a Dog GPS Tracker?
First, consider what you want the pet tracker to do. Do you want to track your sporting dogs while they are in competition? Do you have a small property and want to make sure your dog does not leave certain boundaries? Do you have a large property and you need to know where your dog is while he’s exploring the property?
Not all dog tracker collars are alike. Some tracker collars, such as the Halo Collar, give pet parents the opportunity to not only track Fido’s movements but also monitor his activities while he is exploring the back forty. The Halo Collar also offers the ability to train your dog by using either tones or stimulation (read: the Halo Collar is considered a shock collar; however, it is only a very mild stimulation). You can also monitor your dog’s food intake and exercise.
Other dog trackers will let you know the location of your dog and perhaps the direction in which the dog is moving and little else. Some dog tracker collars are a good mix of location and activity monitoring. It is best to read reviews and decide which collar or tracking device is best for you.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best GPS tracker for dogs?
In our opinion, the best overall GPS tracker for dogs is the Halo Collar. This product is very versatile. Pet parents living in the city can use it when placing their pups in a “virtual” fenced-in backyard, but pet parents living in the wide-open ranges of the midwest can also use this product to keep track of their fur babies.
The Halo Tracker is reasonably priced for all the features you’ll get. You will be able to use your smartphone to use the Halo Collar as a training device and a location monitor for your dog. You can use it to monitor your dog’s activity and some health issues. We also like that the Halo Collar does not shock dogs even if they leave the “fenced” area.
The Halo features a replaceable strap, and the Halo Collar itself will work for many years. It can be charged up and the dog can wear the collar for twenty-four hours before you need to recharge it. You will need a subscription in order to use the app and its features, but this is also reasonably priced for all that you’ll be getting.
What is the best way to track your dog?
The best way to track your dog is with a GPS collar. However, this can be a trick as well. Some GPS collars don’t work as well when the clouds block the GPS satellites, and snow and rain can have an adverse effect on the way the collar operates. However, this is a great improvement from the cellular-operated collars of the day. Many collars that required the use of cellular service would stop working properly if the cellular signal was dropped, making them unreliable in more remote or rural areas. This is not the case in collars that are powered by GPS satellite signals.
Most of the time, if your dog tends to stay near your property, you can get by with a collar that uses both cellular and GPS satellite imagery to pinpoint the location of your dog.
Do GPS dog trackers work?
Yes, GPS dog trackers work, and they work very well. There have been many strides made in the last decade regarding dog tracking capabilities. No longer do pet parents have to rely on cellular towers nearby to track dogs. The GPS satellite – providing that it isn’t hindered by tall buildings or vegetation nearby – is timely and accurate.
Yes, GPS dog trackers work, and they work better now due to improved technology.