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11 Best Pet Trackers & GPS Dog Collars of 2024 (Reviewed & Tested Over 30 Models)

The Halo Collar 3
Written by Mark Braeden

We tested 30+ different dog GPS trackers in REAL-WORLD situations and narrowed down the best options to just 10! Check out our list and find the perfect tracking collar for your pup today!

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We tested over 30 different dog GPS trackers in REAL-WORLD situations and narrowed down the best options to just the very best! Check out our list and find the perfect tracking collar for your pup today!

Back in 2018, I lost my dog, Steve, while walking off-leash in the park. Fortunately, he had a GPS dog tracker. Unfortunately, it was a cheap tracking collar that was extremely inaccurate. The good news is I found Steve that evening. The bad news? His GPS collar was broken, and the app showed me he was still 40 miles away.

“Losing your dog can be a frightening and stressful experience,” says JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM, a veterinarian and freelance medical writer. “A high-quality, accurate, and reliable GPS dog tracker can help relieve anxiety for a dog parent when their dog has gone missing.”

That night, I started looking for better solutions. I spent months testing out every different option I could get my hands on. Out of 32 dog GPS devices, only 10 met my strict criteria. I’m sharing my reviews of those top 10 below, starting with a quick peek at my favorites.

*This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Technobark earns a commission at no extra cost to you.

Click here to skip straight to the full list of the best GPS tracker for dogs for more details.

Tracking my dog with Airtag collar attachment in the forest

What Dog Trackers Did We Test?

To make our list of the TOP-10 pet trackers in 2024, our team tested and reviewed 32 pet GPS trackers. The bold ones made the list.

*Company has either gone out of business or isn’t currently making GPS collars for dogs.

Our criteria for picking the best dog GPS tracker

The criteria I used for picking the best dog tracker are listed below:

  • ease of use
  • tracking range,
  • reliability.
  • functionality,
  • battery life,
  • cost,
  • subscription price,
  • product support.

 

Top 6 Best Dog GPS Collars of 2024

Let’s start with my top 6 favorite dog tracking collars. I’m going to get a bit more detailed with these options since I feel like they cover all the bases.

1. Halo Collar 3 GPS Dog Fence 

Halo Collar’s GPS Dog Fence exploded the smart collars market in 2020 when they released their device. Since then, they’ve upgraded twice. The Halo Collar 2+ model was pretty amazing…but not quite our favorite. Halo Collar 3, on the other hand, was a total game-changer. After months of testing it out, I can safely say that it’s my #1 GPS Dog Fence. 

Unlike our former top pick, SpotOn, Halo Collar 3 does triple duty, providing customers with a GPS Dog Fence, Cesar Millan’s expertly crafted in-app training program, and detailed analytics on your dog’s activities. 

Halo Collar 3 Top Features and Benefits 

  • Expert design: Co-founded by Cesar Millan, this smart system integrates dog psychology and smart training into one easy-to-use smart collar. 
  • 24-hour battery life  
  • PrecisionGPS™ 
  • Active GPS Antenna 
  • Real-time tracking 
  • All-carrier cellular coverage worldwide. No need to pre-select a cellular carrier. Halo will auto-connect to the carrier with the best service no matter where you go. 
  • Smart roaming between Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and LTE to provide optimized performance, battery life, and responsiveness. 
  • Instantly create and store up fences in the Halo Collar app  
  • Three levels of customizable positive encouragement feedback 
  • Three levels of customizable “prevention” feedback 
  • Return whistle added safety feature 
  • In-app dog training based on positive methods only, not fear-based 
  • Waterproof collar 
  • Historical daily dog activity tracking 
  • Adjustable Perfect Fit sizing 
  • Magnetic charging port 
  • Four color options: Sunburst, Graphite, Ivory, and Orchid 
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee 

Drawbacks

  • Among the pricier options (but not nearly as pricey as SpotOn or an in-ground wire fence) 
  • Subscription required. You CANNOT use the collar without one. 
  • It’s slightly heavier than competitive GPS dog collars, but it also comes with more technology serving as both a GPS Dog Fence and Tracker.  
  • Proprietary magnetic charger requires a Halo Collar adaptor (but if lost or broken, simply contact their customer service team for support).   

Read our detailed Halo Collar 3 review for more details on their latest model. You may also want to check out our review on the Halo Collar 2 for comparison.

2024 Best GPS Dog Fence
Halo Collar 3 GPS Wireless Dog Fence

Marketed as the most accurate dog fence ever created, the Halo Collar 3 GPS Dog Fence allows users to create, edit and store unlimited-sized fences, starting at 30 x 30 feet, and is compatible with dogs weighing over 20 lbs. While the invisible fence features help prevent dogs from leaving the yard in the first place, the almost-pin-point accurate GPS tracking features help owners find lost dogs quickly. Last, but far from least, the Halo Collar also has amazing dog training features AND acts as an activity monitor.


Top Features: 

  • 24-hour battery life 
  • PrecisionGPS™
  • Active GPS Antenna
  • Real-time tracking
  • All-carrier cellular coverage worldwide. 


Shop through our referral link to save $25 at checkout. No coupon code needed!

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2. Guardian GPS + Tracking Dog Fence Collar by PetSafe

The new Guardian GPS + Tracking Dog Fence Collar by PetSafe earned a very close second, thanks to its innovative design and features. It offers advanced real-time tracking and customizable virtual boundaries to keep your dog safe and secure. With features like AccuGuard™ technology and a user-friendly app, this collar is designed for ease of use and reliability for dogs over 20 pounds.

Top Features

  • Real-time GPS location tracking.
  • Patented AccuGuard™ Technology for  enhanced accuracy for pet protection.
  • Create up to 20 virtual fences for properties over 3/4 acre.
  • Correction Levels in multiple settings to suit different dogs.
  • Rechargeable and Waterproof
  • Durable for outdoor use.
  • Subscription Required: Monthly or annual plans available.
  • Quick Setup through the My PetSafe® app.
  • Suitable for dogs over 20 pounds.

Pros:

  • Real-time GPS Tracking: Provides accurate location tracking.
  • Customizable Virtual Fences: Allows for up to 20 adjustable boundaries.
  • Rechargeable and Waterproof: Durable design for outdoor use.
  • AccuGuard™ Technology: Enhanced accuracy for pet safety.

Cons:

  • Subscription Required
  • Only suitable for dogs over 20 pounds.
  • No prong guards

The Guardian GPS + Tracking Dog Fence Collar by PetSafe provides real-time GPS tracking, allowing you to monitor your dog’s location at all times. The customizable virtual fences are a fantastic feature, giving you the flexibility to set boundaries that suit your property and your dog’s roaming habits.

One of the standout aspects of this collar, though, is the patented AccuGuard™ technology, which uses AI to offer enhanced accuracy, ensuring your pet is protected precisely where you want. In fact, it’s so smart that it can predict your dog’s movements ahead of time!

The collar is also rechargeable and waterproof, making it ideal for outdoor use in all weather conditions. Setup is relatively quick, and the My PetSafe® app makes managing the system straightforward and user-friendly.

However, there are a few downsides to consider. The collar requires a subscription for GPS tracking, which adds an ongoing cost. That’s fairly standard, though. It’s becoming more and more difficult to find no-monthly-fee GPS collars. The price is on par with competitor brands, though, at $9.99 a month. 

The other potentially major drawback is that  it’s only suitable for dogs over 20 pounds, limiting its use for smaller breeds. 

Also, I wish that it came with prong covers like the Halo Collar 3 has. While you can set the correction level in the app and even turn off static correction, I like having that extra layer of protection between my dog and the collar when I choose not to use static feedback.

Despite these drawbacks, the Guardian GPS + Tracking Dog Fence Collar is a robust and reliable option for those seeking advanced pet tracking and safety solutions.

Guardian® GPS + Tracking Dog Fence Collar | PetSafe®

The Guardian GPS + Tracking Dog Fence Collar by PetSafe offers advanced real-time tracking and customizable virtual boundaries to keep your dog safe and secure. With features like AccuGuard™ technology and a user-friendly app, this collar is designed for ease of use and reliability for dogs over 20 pounds.



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3. SpotOn GPS Collar and Fence System

Before we get into why I love the SpotOn GPS collar, I just want to let you know about our exclusive coupon! You can save $25 on SpotOn by using the coupon code BARK.

Okay, so honestly, if you ONLY need a GPS collar and don’t really need a whole fence system, then SpotOn may be a bit much (both in terms of price and features).

However, if you want something that contains your dog so he doesn’t get lost in the first place, find him if he does manage to break free of his leash during walks, and even works as an activity tracker, then SpotOn is a truly awesome collar.

spoton collar app, setting up a virtual fence
The SpotOn App makes it easy to track your dog (Credit: SpotOn)

SpotOn Dog Collar Benefits & Top Features

  • Quickly and easily create and maintain up to 20 totally unique fences in areas ranging from 0.5 to 1,000 acres.
  • Four satellite navigation systems and patented True Location™ GPS technology make it one of the most accurate GPS dog-tracking devices. 
  • Continuously tracks your dog’s location and direction
  • Forest mode enhances GPS reception in areas with lots of trees (making it ideal for hikers)
  • 30 levels of static correction (not important in terms of tracking, but useful for invisible fence feature)
SpotOn Best Dog GPS Collar
Photo Credit SpotOn

Drawbacks

  • First, there’s the obvious “elephant in the room” drawback- the price. It’s one of the most expensive GPS dog collars.
  • You need a subscription to use it the tracker features.
  • It’s a bit on the bulky side compared to some of the other models on this list.
  • For those who JUST need a tracking device, it may be more collar than you need.

For a more in-depth look at the pros and cons, read my detailed SpotOn collar review here. If you decide to go with this one, I recommend getting it from the official website to avoid scammers and resellers.

Don’t forget to use the SpotOn coupon code BARK at checkout to save $25!

Best Overall GPS Dog Collar
SpotOn GPS Collar & Invisible Dog Fence

Create GPS dog fences of any size, any shape and almost anywhere. SpotOn GPS Fence is reliable, flexible, and easy to use thanks to our patented True Location™ technology. Experience life unleashed with the SpotOn virtual fence for dogs.

Coupon Code: Use code BARK to save $25

4. Fi Smart GPS Dog Collar

Fi Smart GPS Dog Collar
Fi Smart GPS dog collar in package (Photo by Mark Braeden)

The Fi smart dog collar is a great recommendation for my friends who are on a budget and don’t really need everything that SpotOn or Halo can do.

I actually had a hard time deciding between Fi and Tractive for my “top budget GPS Collar” pick. Fi is 100% subscription-based now, and the cheapest plan will run you about $166 a year.

Tractive requires a subscription to use as well but, not counting the initial purchase, their annual plans are a bit cheaper. That said, if you prefer Fi, it’s not that much more per year.

Fi Smart Dog Collar | Store

The Fi Tracking Collar is 50% smaller than the competition, making it light & comfortable for dogs of all sizes. Real-time Live GPS Tracking and 200% LTE signal helps you find your dog fast. Lasts up to 3 months battery life from one charge.

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Fi Dog Collar Benefits & Top Features

Fi collar upgrade from series 2 to series 3
  • 200% LTE signal and Real-time Live GPS Tracking help you find your lost dog fast.
  • Fi has one of the longest-lasting batteries out of any GPS tracker for dogs. It lasts up to 3 months even after a few years of use.
  • It’s 50% lighter than previous Fi models and weighs significantly less than SpotOn or Halo.
  • Customers with an active subscription are automatically eligible to upgrade if/when new models release.
  • Waterproof with an IP68 Waterproof rating (can even withstand saltwater adventures)
  • Fi’s sleep tracker lets you monitor your dog’s sleeping pattern and receive notifications if there are any changes in your dog’s habits.
  • Available in small to extra-large sizes.
  • Comes in 4 colors (yellow, blue, grey, or pink). Or you can order one of hundreds of other styles through the Fi Maker program.
  • Dirt-resistant and bite-resistant thanks to the aluminum faceplate and reinforced metal cover.
  • Unlimited warranty replacements on active memberships.
My dog Daisy is waiting to try Fi Series 3 collar
Fi Series 3 collar in blue (Photo by Mark Braeden)

Drawbacks

  • The collar WILL NOT WORK without a subscription. There is no way around this.
  • Requires a 6-month commitment, even if you go with a month-to-month or a 3-month payment plan.
  • Doesn’t work well in areas with poor AT&T coverage (you don’t need AT&T yourself, but the collar runs on their network)
  • Only connects to the network in the US. You can’t use it abroad while on vacation.

My own dogs have been using the Fi Series 3 smart dog collar for years now and I am truly satisfied with it. While I use SpotOn as my invisible fence collar at home, I often use Fi when we go off on adventures.

My dog with Fi Series 3 collar
Steve modeling the Fi Series 3 collar in blue (Photo by Mark Braeden)

Even with the drawbacks, compared with other dog GPS trackers on the list, the tracker by Fi is a win-win with its price and quality.

Check out my in-depth Fi dog collar review to learn more!

Fi Smart Dog Collar | Store

The Fi Tracking Collar is 50% smaller than the competition, making it light & comfortable for dogs of all sizes. Real-time Live GPS Tracking and 200% LTE signal helps you find your dog fast. Lasts up to 3 months battery life from one charge.

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5. Tractive and Tractive XL GPS Pet Tracker

The Tractive XL easily attaches to your dogs existing collar. By Nicole Etolen
The Tractive XL easily attaches to your dogs existing collar. By Nicole Etolen

If you’re on a budget and/or prefer to use your own collar, the Tractive GPS pet tracker is a great way to go. I tested out the original Tractive on Steve, while Technobark editor & writer Nicole tested the new Tractive XL on her dog.

Let’s look at both options to see why this one earns the “top budget GPS tracker” spot on my list.

My Jack Russel Terrier Steve with Tractive collar
Steve shows off the original Tractive (Photo by Mark Braeden)

Tractive & Tractive XL Top Features and Benefits

  • Both the Tractive and the XL model are GPS collar attachments rather than actual collars themselves, meaning you can use them with almost any existing collar.
  • Integrated SIM card and real-time tracking works in 150 countries operating 24/7
  • Track your dog on the app or their browser-based version on your desktop or laptop.
  • At 1.2 ounces for the standard and 3.2oz for the XL, they’re among the more lightweight options.
  • Fits dogs weighing at least 9lbs and up.
  • It is water-resistant and incredible durable
  • Battery fully charges within 2 hours and lasts up to a week with the standard model, and up to a month with the XL Tractive GPS collar.
  • LED light makes it easy to see your dog even at night.
  • While it’s not a true invisible fence, it does have Geofence technology that alerts you when your dog leaves set boundaries.

Drawbacks

  • Subscription required. The collar won’t work at all without one.
  • Their subscription setup is a bit confusing.
  • Won’t fit dogs under 9 lbs (such as chihuahuas or toy poodles)
  • Devices only come in one color.
  • The app can be a bit frustrating at times, especially when you’re trying to view past history (I struggled to get it to consistently show up).

Tractive is available both on Amazon and through their official website. I highly recommend getting it from the official website. It just makes it easier when it comes time to set up your account.

By the way, Tractive also makes an amazing GPS locator for cats. Check out our Tractive cat tracker GPS review on TechnoMeow.

GPS Tracker for Dogs - Long Battery Life | Tractive

Designed for pups over 40 lbs., the Tractive XL takes everything you love about the original Tractive GPS dog tracker and scales it up for our BIG dogs! In addition to the larger size, it also features a longer battery life (up to one month on a single charge).


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6. Garmin Alpha 200i Dog Tracking System

If you need an animal tracker that’s designed specifically for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts AND you don’t want to pay an additional monthly fee, the Garmin 200i is definitely worth considering. Yes, it’s nearly as pricey as SpotOn without all of the extra benefits, but there are some major upsides that still make it worthy of a spot on our list.

Features and Benefits of the Garmin Alpha 200i

  • Garmin 200i uses a touchscreen device that comes with the collar, so you don’t need to rely on your cellphone.
  • Designed so that you can read it in direct sunlight without glare.
  • Add up to 20 dogs to a single touchscreen device (as long as they each have their own collar).
  • Monitor dog’s locations up to 9 miles in range with an update of 2.5 seconds of interval per auto-update by using multiple GPS satellites and Galileo.
  • Track your dog’s running time and distance as well as their location.
  • Includes preloaded TOPO active maps and Birdseye view satellite imagery, making it perfect for hikers.
  • Ability to transfer location data between compatible Garmin devices.
  • Built-in three-axis compass and barometric altimeter for better monitoring
  • Two-way messaging communication built in via the 100% global Iridium satellite network

Drawbacks

  • It’s one of the priciest GPS dog collars that doesn’t also double as an invisible fence.
  • Battery only lasts up to 20 hours. While that wouldn’t be such a big deal for a “general use” collar, I’d expect a tracking collar made for hikers and hunters to last a bit longer.
  • Active satellite subscription required to use the 2-way communication and SOS feature.
  • The “prong” style isn’t exactly comfortable for dogs.

Check out the video below and read our full review on the Garmin 200i for more details.

:

Garmin Alpha 200i/TT 15 Dog Tracking and Training Bundle, Handheld and Collar, Utilizes inReach Technology, Sunlight-readable 3.6" Touchscreen (010-02230-00) , Black
$1,099.99

Easily set up and monitor up to 20 dogs from up to 9 miles away with a 2.5-second update rate by using multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS and Galileo).


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03/26/2024 10:31 am GMT

Runners-Up: 5 More Dog Tracking Collars to Consider

I really do feel like the 5 options above offer something for everyone.

  • Want a GPS collar + invisible fence? Get SpotOn.
  • Want a GPS tracker + virtual fence but don’t want to spend a grand? Get Halo.
  • Want an affordable tracking collar that is JUST a tracking collar? Get Fi.
  • Want a tracker that attaches to your dog’s existing collar? Get Tractive.
  • Want a device specifically designed for outdoor adventures? Get the Garmin Alpha.

I can’t really think of any other scenario in which one of those options wouldn’t work. Still, I know that a lot of readers like more options, if for no other reason than to have something else to compare the top picks to. So, with that in mind, here are a few more options that fit my criteria for a really stellar GPS dog collar.

7. Garmin Astro 900 Dog Tracking Collar

If the 200i is too expensive but you still want to stick with Garmin dog collars, then this dog tracking collar is the best option price-wise.

If you are looking for something durable and fits your active dogs, the Garmin Astro 900 Dog Tracking Collar is an excellent choice. It is perfect for hunting and sports dogs. Like the Alpha, it can also track up to 20 dogs on one device, as long as they each have their own collar.

Astro 900 can easily track Fido even when he’s running, updating his location every 2.5 seconds. You can also use it in conjunction with T9 dog gadgets to fully leverage its 5-mile range.

Like other Garmin tracking collars, Astro 900 is built strong enough to withstand bumps and weather changes. The tracker can definitely keep up with your dog’s running pace.

The device is preloaded with TOPO mapping for the United States and southern Canada. It also includes a complimentary 1-year subscription to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery for improved location awareness. It also has a microSD card slot for storing additional mapping options.

Garmin Astro 900 Dog Tracking Bundle, GPS Sporting Dog Tracking for Up to 20 Dogs, Includes Handheld and Dog Device,Orange, 2.6 inches

Track up to 20 dogs with the 2.6” color display; pair with T 9 dog devices for a range of up to 5 miles (8 km); uses 900 MHz FHSS, approved for operation in Canada and the U.S.! High-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS satellite reception has the ability to track in more challenging environments than GPS alone



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8. Garmin Alpha 100 GPS Dog Tracking Collar

While we’re on the topic, this is another great Garmin GPS pet tracker. Again, it can also cover multiple dogs in 1 tracker (up to 20) from up to 9 miles for TT 15 model or 4 miles away for the TT 15 mini model. Heck, you can even use it to track your human friends on a hike! I’m not even joking!

The device has a compass screen where you can view in-depth speed, direction traveling, and distance away information for any of the dogs covered by the tracker. Garmin Alpha 100 dog tracker also has high sensitivity, as it uses GPS and Glonass.

The Alpha 100 can easily measure your dog’s speed and the distance traveled as well. As with the other models, this Garmin dog tracking system is preloaded with TOPO U.S. 100k maps. It’s also equipped with LED beacon lights and Rescue mode.

Garmin Alpha 200i/TT 15 Dog Tracking and Training Bundle, Handheld and Collar, Utilizes inReach Technology, Sunlight-readable 3.6" Touchscreen (010-02230-00) , Black

9. Whistle Switch GPS Dog Collar

Whistle Switch smart collar

Whistle Switch was released back in August 2021 and slightly upgraded to “Health & GPS+” model in 2023. They improved pretty well compared to the previous models (Whistle 3 and Whistle GO).

With the power of Wi-Fi, GPS, and cellular technology, the Whistle Switch tracking device for dogs can locate your pet 3,000 miles away from you.

This GPS dog collar can serve as a dog sports activity tracker, too, since you can check your dog’s daily activity and rest. By monitoring your dog’s activity, you are also keeping tabs on your pooch’s health. Healthy dog results in a happy dog, right?

I really love this video of how they test the Whistle GPS pet tracker:

I would say that Whistle is on the same level as the Fi collar. However, Whistle is more expensive overall.

Check out our full Whistle tracker review for more details.

10. Dogtra Pathfinder GPS E-collar For Dogs

Table could not be displayed.

Dogtra Pathfinder GPS dog tracking collar is manufactured by the Dogtra Store and is available in black. It can track up to a 9-mile range and can be used simultaneously with Google Maps.

Using Google Maps, you can track your dog in normal, satellite, and terrain view mode. It also has a tracking mode and a two-second GPS update for accuracy in tracking.

Aside from that, it is capable of zooming the image via the PATHFINDER app which shows the live-action detail and accuracy of your dog’s location. You can also set your own Geo-fence and receive alerts when your dog is out of it.

You need The Dogtra Pathfinder if you are a dog owner who is always in it for an adventure outdoors like in the woods when going out for a camping trip or for dog owners who are always out there for good days during hunting seasons. It’s a decent option, however too pricey if you are looking for a daily walks solution.

Dogtra 1900S 3/4 Mile Range Rechargeable E-Collar with Adjustable Levels for Dogs

11. SportDOG Brand TEK Series Dog Tracker

Table could not be displayed.

SportDOG TEK GPS monitor is another great option for those with multiple dogs, (up to 21 dogs). In fact, I think it’s one of the best multi-dog trackers overall, thanks to its multi-colored indicator in the maps.

The real-time tracking is more reliable than ever thanks to Hoptek technology that blocks possible interference in the tracking and monitoring through GPS+Glonass . The monitor of the handheld device has an icon-based menu app, allowing you to have quicker navigation.

It also has a voice feature that would tell you the exact direction your dogs are headed, exactly how far away they are and how fast they are moving, allowing you not even to look at the monitor of your handheld device and do more prioritized activities.

Honorable Mention: Tile Mate Dog Tag

This one isn’t technically a dog GPS collar. But if you’re looking for an all-around tracker, then the Tile Mate and Slim Combo Pack could theoretically be used as a dog tracker!

Originally designed for keeping track of anything, Tile can also compete as a dog-tracking device.

The Tile Combo Pack consists of two Tile Slim and two Tile Mate Bluetooth Trackers. This means that you can have four trackers in one purchase! One for your dog, one for your wallet, one for your keys, and one for your laptop. This is the most ideal product if you’re the type of dog owner that tends to forget things.

Tile Mate (2020) 1-pack - Bluetooth Tracker, Keys Finder and Item Locator for Keys, Bags and More; Water Resistant with 1 Year Replaceable Battery

The four Tile tags are connected to one app. The Tile app automatically records the last time and place it saw your tile so if your item or dog goes missing, you’ll know where to look first! The function of the Tiles doesn’t end there because you can also use them to find your phone! Simply double-press the button of your Tiles and it will make your phone ring even on silent mode.

For a short range of tracking, you can ring your Tiles using your smartphone. But for long-range tracking, Tile features a global network that will help you find your missing dog. When any Tile user comes within the range of your missing dog or item, you will be notified of its most recent location.

All of that said, I feel kind of the same way about this option as I do about Apple AirTag. It’s not specifically designed for tracking dogs, so it’s definitely a “use at your own risk” type of thing. I have used Tile and AirTag Collars, BUT usually as a backup to my GPS dog collar.

Tips for Buying Dog GPS Trackers

The explanation on how to pick the right dog GPS tracker for your needs.

Dog trackers are a good option for keeping your dog secure in case something happens, or just to know where your best friend is. But, because there are so many options and so many features from which to choose, it’s hard to know what to pick for your dog when you’d like to purchase a tracker.

Here is a list of things you should think about before you buy a GPS pet tracker so you don’t end up buying something you don’t really need instead. Make sure to pick the best dog tracker specifically for your needs to avoid disappointment.

1. Look at the specifications you need

Although we all love our dogs, we do not all have the same dog. This is why it is important to look at the specifications you need for your dog, depending on your dog.

For example, if you have a sporting dog, you might like a pet tracker that could have more accuracy in the location of the dog. If you have a dog with medical issues, you may like a collar that could help you check the health of your dog. There are even some pet trackers that save your dog’s heart rate and sleeping patterns.

On the other hand, if you have a very active dog, then you may like the one that helps you monitor the places where he is going. That way, you know if he’s in a safe zone or not. You may also want a collar that doubles as an invisible dog fence.

Heck, you could even have a very mellow dog and you may not need so many specifications. For example, I use Fi Collar on my dogs for daily walks and Garmin Alpha 100 when going for outdoor adventures.

2. Check the size of your dog

Small and large dogs are using different dog GPS trackers.

Not all GPS pet trackers can be used in all dogs. Some collars may be too small for your dog and others too big. This is why you need to check the specifications of the size of the collar so you won’t get the wrong one.

“If you are purchasing a GPS tracker before your dog is fully grown, consider that you may have to purchase a larger-sized tracker as your dog continues to grow,” says Dr. Pendergrass.

3. See the functionality

Dog GPS trackers aren’t really a one-size-fits-all device and not all collars have the same system. Some collars help you take care of your dog in case something happens with an SOS button integrated so you can have the best security, efficiency, and precision of where your dog is at every moment. Most come with an app so you can easily get the info on your phone. 

Also, if your dog is a sporty pup (swimming, running, or agility coursing for example) make sure your pet tracker is waterproof. You don’t want to buy a K9 GPS collar and ruin it the next day at the pool! 

Check how many dogs you can track at the same time, too. Maybe the collar is okay for one but you are also looking for a device that could help you track more than one dog through the same app.

4. Battery Life and Durability

PetFON dog GPS tracker battery perfomance

It’s important to pay close attention to this point, not just because not all dog trackers have the same battery lifetime, but also because the battery life could affect the quality of the information you are getting from the GPS dog collar. Think again about the specifications of the dog as well.

Most collars can work properly for a week if you use them two hours per day, but if you’re trying to monitor your dog for long periods of time, the charge may not be enough. This is why there are also GPS pet trackers that can last even 96 hours in a row without charge; if you are looking for a stricter monitor for your dog, those are typically your best option.

5. The cost

Price range for different dog GPS trackers.

This may be the most obvious thing to do, but you also need to think about your budget, your needs, and how many options offer you the best balance for the pet tracker of your dreams.

For example, let’s say you don’t have a very hyperactive dog, so you won’t need as many different features. But maybe one tracker has a subpar battery compared to the other. Perhaps one is a better brand overall than any other but you cannot afford it.

Or maybe the one you think you want is not exactly what you need and, although you have the money, there are other options that offer you almost the same service but at a smaller price.

Or let’s say you don’t want to spend so much but you really need a good dog GPS collar. You get the point. Bottom line, the choice you make will be adjusted on how much money you have AND which option checks off all your “must-haves.” It’s all about finding the perfect balance.

6. Paid or non-paid subscription

Whistle dog tracking collar subscription plans
Whistle Subscription Price As Of Jan 11th, 2020

I think that this is another huge factor in choosing the right GPS pet tracker for us dog lovers out there. For most of us, it becomes quite inconvenient and expensive when companies choose to add a mandatory paid subscription on top of the upfront fees. It’s enough to make us want to look elsewhere right away, isn’t it?

The only time they can probably persuade you to subscribe is if they have innovative features that highlight their uniqueness and difference from other GPS dog tag products.

Always make sure to check that paying for a subscription is worth it and that the features you are subscribing to are really valuable and not available for free from other dog GPS collars. Check this list of the best GPS tracking collars without a monthly fee.

FAQs about GPS Tracking Collars for Dogs

Let’s finish off with a few quick FAQs!

How much does it cost to put a GPS tracker on a dog?

Depending on which tracking device you go with, it can cost as little as $10 to as much as $2,000. “Consider your budget and the potential long-term, ongoing costs of owning a GPS tracker for your dog,” advises Dr. Pendergrass.

Are dog GPS trackers worth it?

If there’s even a slight chance that your dog can escape your yard or slip the leash, then yes, GPS dog trackers are absolutely worth it for the peace of mind that they offer.

Do GPS Dog Collars Cause Cancer?

I’ve seen a lot of talk about how GPS collars for dogs cause cancer. While there is some evidence too much exposure to radio waves can increase the risk of cancer, most GPS dog collars emit less radiofrequency radiation than a cell phone.

It’s also important to understand what “increased risk” really means. I’ve seen people take that way out of context way too often. Let’s say that a study finds that using a pet tracker increases a dog’s risk of brain cancer by 10%. That doesn’t mean that there’s a 1 in 10 chance that your dog will develop a brain tumor if you decide to buy one.

It means that if your dog has a 1% of developing brain cancer (it accounts for roughly 2 to 5% of all cancers in dogs), a tracking collar increases that to 1.1%, an increase of only one-tenth of one percent.

Why isn’t Apple AirTag on your list of best GPS trackers for dogs?

If you’ve read other “best GPS dog collar” posts, you may notice that Technobark is missing a popular option: the Apple AirTag. Well, not missing so much as downplayed. There’s a good reason for this: Apple is pretty clear that AirTags are NOT dog-tracking devices. Sure, you CAN use one on your dog, but that doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

We hope our article was informative enough and it was a good guide for you through the best dog tracking devices that are available on the market in 2024.

Make sure to identify what type of dog tracking collar you need, check if you can pair it with your device, and make sure it is available in your country.

Types of Dog GPS Trackers

Bluetooth, GPS and no cell service dog tracking collar types

Bluetooth/Radio

Radiofrequency (RF), a data transmission tech based on radio waves, is a technology that has a wider signal coverage. Bluetooth tracker, a type of radiofrequency (RF), is an open wireless tech for transmitting location data over short distances only. 

These are older types of dog tracking systems. They may not be as effective as the newer ones as these radio dog trackers can only provide info about your dog’s distance and general direction. It doesn’t give you their real-time position. Another downside is that weather can weaken the locating functionality of the radio dog tracking collars. 

The advantages of pet trackers that use Bluetooth or RF frequencies are that they can locate your dogs for up to 5 miles, are great for remote areas, and can operate even without access to GPS satellites or cell sites. 

Long & Short Range

These types of pet trackers rely on RFID or Bluetooth trackers. They send signals from your dog’s collar to a tracking device or a smartphone app. Short/long-range trackers are perfect for dog owners who live in large indoor facilities, like apartments. They’re also great for those who have smaller dogs that cannot carry larger and heavier GPS pet trackers comfortably.

One of the downsides is that these can only send distance and directional info of your dog. This means that these devices can only tell you that your dog is 80 yards east of your location, for example. 

GPS

GPS or Global Positioning System is a radio navigation system that is one of the GNSS or Global Navigation Satellite Systems that sends time and geolocation information to any GPS receiver anywhere on Earth that is not obstructed to the line of sight of a constellation of GPS satellites. 

This means that this is a better and more effective type of tracking technology for your dogs than the first two because this uses a more advanced technology that can better locate them at a further range, especially in cases where they get lost. 

The downside of using GPS dog collars is that it drains the battery life of the device faster when activated. Another downside is that it usually requires a monthly or yearly subscription to be able to activate the GPS. We included these factors when compiling our list of the best dog trackers.

Real-time

Real time dog GPS tracking in DOTT app

LIVE or real-time dog tracking means that a GPS dog tracker sends the location info at a high frequency at a consistent rate. This is the best type of dog GPS tracker because it offers real-time or live updates of your dog’s location every couple or few seconds, with more accuracy and efficiency. 

One of the downsides is that it drains more battery power when in use as it constantly sends live location updates to your device so you might need to recharge the battery constantly. Another is those pet trackers that offer real-time tracking systems can be more expensive than those not offering this feature. They might also require cellular data plans for GPS real-time tracking. 

No cell service pet trackers 

Garmin Alpha 200i review with no cell connection dog tracking

No cell service dog trackers are devices that do not require cellular networks to locate your dogs (it’s mostly Garmin collars).  So if your dog gets lost or goes past your dedicated safe zone, you will still be able to track their movements and pinpoint their location. This is a feature that many dog owners might want to have in their dog’s GPS tracking system, most especially if you are the type to go on off-grid adventures with your dog. 

Advantages Of GPS Dog Trackers

Happy dog with a GPS collar

GPS pet trackers can save your dog’s life and give you peace of mind for a safe outdoor experience for your dogs. In the unlikely event that your dog escaped from your house, you have the tool in your hands to search and potentially find them immediately, rather than having to stress yourself while searching for them in the streets by yourself.

GPS dog trackers can easily and accurately pinpoint the location of your dog and instantly see that information through their apps. Not only that, but GPS dog collars will also ping you instantly whenever your dog goes over the designated virtual fences or safe zones that you chose for them. Some of them could even be used as a GPS fence.

Some dog GPS collars feature activity tracking which then can help inform you more about the behavior of your dogs and also the levels and duration of activities they do during the day. We want our dogs to stay healthy and at the same time, we would want to have something to check on them and their habits. And such devices nowadays can give you so much information about their travel paths, how many steps they took while taking walks, the distance traveled during such walks, the duration of their sleep, and many more.

This information can also make it much easier for their vet to gauge their health during a regular visit but most especially in case they get sick,  as such data can also be vital to the diagnosis and treatment of your dog’s illness.

Disadvantages Of GPS Dog Trackers

Explanation on the downsides of dog GPS trackers

There are also some disadvantages of GPS tracking devices for dogs.

Some GPS pet trackers are quite expensive. However, it is best to check out the features that they offer first before not considering buying one. Sometimes, the features absolutely justify the higher price tag.

Most companies that sell GPS pet trackers also require you to pay monthly subscription fees in order to use some of the features their GPS devices offer.

My Final Recommendation for the Best GPS Dog Tracker

So, which of these is the BEST GPS dog tracker of all? That depends!

“There is no one-size-fits-all GPS dog tracker,” says Dr. Pendergrass. “There are many factors that go into the ideal tracker for your dog, including your dog’s lifestyle and what types of outdoor activities you enjoy doing with your dog.” 

My personal choice for those who don’t need a whole big invisible fence system is the Fi dog tracking collar because of its GPS accuracy, battery life, and price.

If you DO want a system that doubles as a great wireless fence for dogs, go with the Halo or the Guardian by PetSafe. While the Halo is my top pick, PetSafe’s new collar is a very close second.

You can also watch a quick recap of the best dog GPS collars on our Youtube channel:

 

Author

  • Mark Braeden

    Mark is a Boston University graduate and former electrical engineer. In 2017, he decided to combine his tech knowledge with his love for dogs. He spent a year familiarizing himself with the latest GPS tracking collars, invisible fences, and other hot pet gadgets before he wrote his first product review. After selling Technobark, Mark remained a writer and consultant but spends more time on his other passion now: raising and training his growing family of dogs.

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24 Comments

  • The list is great but do you have other suggestions aside from the ones on the list?

  • Have you guys tried trackimo? It’s a GPS tracker and it’s very lightweight for you to attach to your dog.

  • Thanks for the list Mark. I personally bought Findster from the list because this dog tracker does not require monthly fees, but it was so bad and I had to return it. Spent a bit extra for Fi and it works so well for over a month now.

  • I love it! Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your blog? My blog is in the same niche as yours, and my users would benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thank you.

    • Feel free to share as long as you refer to us 🙂 Thanks!

  • You did it! I’ve bookmarked your site, and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  • Incredible! Hi there I am so thrilled I found your website, I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing on Yahoo for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a tremendous post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the awesome job.

  • Hello, do you have a specific list and comparison table of tracking collars which do not require cell service? I have a Siberian husky who is proving to be a runner, but we live in a very rural area with limited cell service. The one time that she ran and didn’t come back on her own, she ended up going about 5 miles through dense woods and over several mountain foothill ridges. She was only 4 months old at the time. Thankfully she wandered herself into someone’s yard and we were able to use social media to connect with this person. But I’d really like to have peace of mind to be able to find her if she does that again.
    I am very interested in a wireless fence, but from reading your review on the Halo collar, it seems this would not be a good fit for us at this time.
    Thank you for all of the wonderful information you’ve provided here. These reviews have definitely helped me decide that the more popular options are likely not a good fit for us and I won’t waste my money on them.

  • Would you buy a halo collar just for tracking purposes if price was not a factor? We have had Fi before but I am looking for something more reliable in rural areas/areas that don’t have the best ATT service. Thanks for the wonderfully informative article!

    • I definitely would, Halo is the next-level collar. Happy to help!

  • Mark – I just bought the Fi and have found that there is much to be desired of this collar. Here are my observations that people need to know before investing in this company as I have listed below:

    1) The update (or refresh rate) is horrible to say the least. When using in the standard mode it updates location every 5 Minutes. In lost dog mode its every 1 Minute.
    2) The location accuracy is spotty. When walking the dog in the city the map is always trying to place the Dogs location to the nearest street, and in some cases, it placed him in a completely false location.
    3) I walked him in a large marina, and it started showing him on the street by the marina. Another error.
    4) I tested the collar in my hand with the Antenna facing the sky with no obstruction left his “Safe Zone” and it took 5 minutes to alert that he has left the zone. When performing this test, I had left my phone on our boat (nowhere near the collar and had my wife monitor the app.
    5) The fastest you could track your dog is every 1-minute refresh rate in lost dog mode.

    With all of this being said I would have to say this is a horrible product if someone is purchasing to “protect” their pets in the case that they are stolen. I feel this is one of the main reason pet owners are purchasing these GPS Collars, as Hunters already know to purchase Dogtra or Garmins for their upland dogs. The Only purpose of this collar is to monitor peoples Walkers and to check the distance they walk. I will be purchasing a different GPS Tracker as this Fi collar just doesn’t cut it. As a Side note our dog was stolen (He was returned do to other factors within 48 hours). He was stolen within 2 minutes time and with a refresh rate of 1 minute and the flaws in the actual GPS locator I would never trust this with my pet’s life on the line. Just my thoughts and enjoyed your article. I also use the Garmin Alpha 200i when hunting and it is phenomenal. However, wouldn’t work in a stolen pet situation as there is no way to disguise this as anything but a GPS tracker. Thanks again for taking the time to write this article.

    • Hey Todd, thanks for your feedback on Fi GPS Collar. I am surprised to see this because it works perfectly well on my dogs! I also gave it as a gift to my dog owner community in the city and I never heard such feedback. I have a refresh rate every minute that totally works for me and the location is always accurate. Maybe you were in the city? In this case, most of the GPS dog collars will ve inaccurate.

  • Hello Mark,
    As others have said.. thank you for your valuable information and the product testing you did to help us desperate dog owners find just the right tracker. Like Nikki above, I too live in a very rural area with spotty cell service and low grade internet. I have a porch/house potato dog that is always in sight unless he happens to hear thunder rumbling 10 miles away that we can’t hear yet. Because we never know when that will happen, he would need to wear his collar all day, so battery life and size is important. I also need the ability to just turn it on and find him when he takes off. I bought a Findster and it doesn’t help me because the dog has to be right next you when you put it on to start the tracking. Do you think the Garmen 200i is also my best choice?

  • We have had Whistle for two years now. It worked OK but is now broken and we have to buy a new one. We only care about two features and nothing else! 1. Alert when the dog gets out of its safe zone and 2. Live tracking once out. We live on a 12 acre ranch and the dog is never in WiFi range of the house. We bring the collar inside when it is time to charge. We don’t care how often we have to charge the collar. Our dog is a livestock guardian dog and works nights. We just want accurate alerts when it is out of safe zone. Do you have a recommendation other than Whistle?

  • Unfortunately, the tracker you like so much (Phee), it’s really cool in many ways, but it has a significant limitation that no one mentions – it turns out it only works in the USA(((

  • Thanks for taking the time to check out all of these brands. I’m curious though why you didn’t look into Yip.
    It’s affordable, and available at every pet store in my area (south east NC)

    The tag shows up as an item in Find My.. If your smart tag is not in range of your iPhone (will be labeled as ‘with you’), the tag will go into extended range mode and begin looking for other iPhone devices to communicate with. As soon as the smart tag comes within 300 feet of another iPhone, the location of your smart tag will update on your iPhone, in the Apple Find My app.
    Oh and the battery lasts a year, just a 2032 watch battery

  • Hi Mark – Thanks for this but we’ve had the Fi collar for two years and I’m done. We live near Boston with a 60-pound Sheepadoodle who loves being off-leash in large woods (who wouldn’t). We’re through our second Fi collar now, each having lasted about one year. The battery didn’t last anywhere near three months and the location tracking was not reliable. Very spotty. I was hoping that this article would point me towards a more reliable alternative.

  • Hi, what about Trackimo gps pet trackers? They get great reviews and are $5 per month monitoring. We just bought 2 for our GSP’s and hope they live up to the hype.

    • Actually, I am currently testing Trackimo dog trackers and the review will be ready in a month or so.

  • Thanks for the information. We have a pointer that is an escape artist. In the mornings, he is locked in the outdoor kennel but he climbs out daily. He makes it home when we arrive in the evenings. I would love to know where he travels in the neighborhood. Seems easy. NOT, we live in a rural area – no internet/wifi.

    Any suggestions on a collar.

  • Any list comparing subscription prices? I’m looking for a no-frills tracker with lost dog mode, i.e. baseline tracking with option to toggle between saving battery and turning on live mode. The plan is to make a donation to a local rescue that relies on fosters to quarantine and house dogs until adoption. There have been instances of lost dogs who were never found — a scared dog outside of their environment and with access to forested terrain will not come out to people. So… I just want to buy a set of 5-10 collars, get some service paid for, hopefully at some lower-profit rate, possibly with the option to activate whenever they have a high risk adult pup in foster. Not looking for any fancy feature for health, steps or temperature. Maybe geofencing — that’s it. Suggestions?