With their keen senses and excellent tracking skills, hunting dogs are invaluable companions for any passionate hunter. However, these dogs are subject to the same dangers their human counterparts face, especially when it comes to getting lost.
Fortunately, GPS trackers have become more tailored and sophisticated in recent years, making it easier to keep track of our animal friends during a day in the field. Below, we’ll explore the best GPS trackers for hunting dogs, their features, and how they can benefit both you and your dog. So, keep reading!
Why GPS Trackers are Essential for Hunting Dogs
Hunting dogs are some of the most loyal and hardworking animals around. They are trained to track down prey, retrieve game, and perform a range of tasks that make them an asset to hunters.
However, as mentioned above, these pups also face dangers when they are out in the wild, which is why it is essential to equip them with location devices. Good tracking devices offer a range of benefits, including improved safety and performance.
Safety and Peace of Mind
When dogs are out in the wild, they can become disoriented and lost, making it difficult for owners to locate them. GPS trackers offer a solution by providing real-time tracking information that allows owners to locate their dogs quickly. This can be especially important in situations where dogs have suffered injuries or are unable to move, or if there is a chance your dog may encounter wildlife that is potentially dangerous, as it allows for quick intervention and treatment.
Improved Training and Performance
Tracking devices can also be used to improve the training and performance of hunting dogs. By tracking a dog’s movements and the distance they cover, owners can get a better understanding of their pup’s stamina and level of fitness. This information can be used to optimize training regimes, ensuring that dogs are performing at their best while on hunts.
GPS trackers can also help identify and correct any undesirable behaviors that could negatively impact a hunt. For example, if your dog strays from designated areas or chases non-targeted wildlife, you can locate him quickly and encourage him to get back on track for a successful outing.
Preventing Lost Dogs
The most significant benefit is their ability to prevent dogs from getting lost. Losing a hunting dog can be an awful experience, as your companion could wander for miles and become increasingly disoriented. GPS trackers prevent this by providing an immediate alert when Fido goes out of range.
Key Features to Look for in a GPS Tracker
When it comes to choosing the best tracking device for your hunting dog, there are several factors to consider. While some may prioritize one feature over another, a good one should have a balance of all the essential features. Here are some additional details to consider:
Range and Coverage
The range and coverage of a GPS tracker are crucial when hunting in remote areas or challenging terrain. A high-quality device should be long-range and effective even in areas with spotty coverage. This means you can track your dog’s movements even when they are out of sight, allowing you to monitor their progress and ensure their safety.
It’s also worth noting that the range and coverage of a GPS tracker can vary depending on the terrain and environment. For example, having one with a range of five miles may only be effective in open fields or flat terrain. In contrast, the same tracker may have a shorter range in areas with dense forests or steep hills.
The battery life of a location device is another essential feature to consider. A long-lasting battery is critical when out in the field for prolonged periods. It should be able to last as long as the hunt and come with a reliable charging system. Some offer solar charging, which is ideal for extended hunting trips, while others come with USB charging for easy charging at home or in the car.
The battery life can vary depending on usage. For example, a GPS tracker that updates frequently may have a shorter battery life than one that updates less frequently.
Durability and Waterproofing
Durability and waterproofing are crucial when it comes to choosing the best one for your hunting dog. Hunting dogs are tough animals, and they need a device that can withstand the rigors of the hunt. Look for one that can withstand rain or moisture, bumps and knocks, and even mud or water splashes. Some also come with shock-absorbing cases or scratch-resistant screens.
Accuracy and Update Frequency
Accuracy and update frequency are critical when tracking your dog’s movements. A good GPS tracker should display your dog’s location in real time and with accuracy. This means you can track their movements and monitor their progress throughout the hunt.
The update frequency can vary depending on the device. Some GPS trackers update every few seconds, while others may update every minute or longer. The update frequency can affect the GPS tracker’s accuracy, so choosing a device with a high update frequency is essential.
Ease of Use and Setup
The ease of use and setup of a GPS tracker can make all the difference, especially when trying to concentrate on the hunt. A user-friendly interface and straightforward installation process are essential features to consider. The GPS tracker should be easy to use, and its settings should be intuitive, without the need for complex programming or training.
Some GPS trackers have additional features to enhance ease of use, such as voice commands or smartphone integration.
Top GPS Trackers for Hunting Dogs
Now that you know more about the benefits of these amazing devices, let’s check out a few of my top picks, along with some basic info on each one.
FYI, this section includes affiliate links. If you buy anything through these links, Technobark earns a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Garmin Astro 430
The Garmin Astro 430 is a top-of-range GPS tracker specifically designed for hunting dogs. It has a long-range antenna and can track up to 20 dogs simultaneously. The device is extremely durable and waterproof, its interface is user-friendly, and its display is bright and clear, even in bright sunlight.
Read my full Garmin Astro 430 review for more details.
SportDOG TEK Series
The SportDOG TEK Series is a portable and waterproof GPS tracker that can track up to 21 dogs on the same device. The device has a reliable range of up to 10 miles and can provide updates every 2.5 seconds. The SportDOG TEK Series also has an intuitive interface and easy-to-read display.
Check out my detailed SportDOG Tek review to learn more.
The Dogtra Pathfinder is a premium GPS tracker that provides real-time tracking, mapping, and correction capabilities. The device can track up to 21 dogs at once and has a range of up to nine miles. The Dogtra Pathfinder also comes with a user-friendly app that allows hunters to track their dogs from their smartphones easily. The device is waterproof and durable, making it a reliable choice for any hunt.
Read my complete Dogtra Pathfinder review for more details.
Fi Smart Dog Collar
The Fi Smart Dog Collar is lightweight and durable, making it ideal for hunting dogs. It offers real-time tracking and location sharing, making it easy to keep an eye on your dog’s whereabouts at all times. The device also has a long battery life, with up to three months of full charge, and can be charged in under two hours.
Don’t miss my Fi Dog Collar Expert Review (Series 3 Model) to find out why it’s one of my favorites!
Whistle GO Explore
The Whistle GO Explore is a durable and waterproof GPS tracker with a long battery life that can track a dog’s location and activity levels. The device can also track a dog’s health metrics, such as sleeping patterns and calories burned. The Whistle GO Explore provides real-time tracking and can alert owners when their dog leaves their designated area.
Check out my detailed Whistle Dog Tracker Review to learn more.
GPS trackers can be valuable tools for hunting dog owners. They provide peace of mind, improve training and performance, and prevent dogs from becoming lost. When selecting a GPS tracker, it is essential to consider the device’s accuracy, range, durability, battery life, and ease of use.
The Garmin Astro 430, SportDOG TEK Series, Dogtra Pathfinder, Fi Smart Dog Collar, and Whistle GO Explore are all excellent choices for hunting dog owners.
A GPS tracker for your hunting dog can help keep your dog safe and protected while giving you the confidence to venture further and deeper into the wild.
Have you tried any of these collars with your hunting dogs? Share your thoughts and experiences below.
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