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Halo Collar 3 GPS Dog Collar & Invisible Fence Review (Personal Experience & Real-World Test)

Halo Collar 3 GPS Dog Fence
Written by Nicole Etolen

The Halo Collar 3 is a game-changer in the world of pet safety. It encompasses everything you loved about the original and kicks it up a notch with brand-new AI-based features, enhanced tracking technology, and a longer lasting battery. But does it live up to its promise to be “the most accurate GPS dog fence ever created”? Keep reading to find out!

Heads up: This post includes affiliate links. If you buy through these links, we earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Speaking of links, just so we’re all on the same page, here’s the Halo Collar 3 that we’re talking about here (I have the pink one).

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!

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Halo Collar 3 Review

Before we dive in, a bit of exciting news! As of this week (3/12/24), the Halo Collar 3 now costs $599! That’s $100 off the previous price! Even better news: our exclusive discount link gives you another $25 off, bringing it down to $574!

Full disclosure, Halo sent me a complimentary collar to try out with my dog, Freya. I am INSANELY protective of her and would never allow her to try out anything that I’m uncomfortable with. 

On that note, now is a good time to mention that I did not try out the “static correction” feature on Freya. I have a traditional fence around my backyard and mainly want to use Halo as a GPS tracking collar. So, I didn’t really need to get in-depth with teaching her how to use Halo as a wireless dog fence. I did, however, test out the overall fencing features on the app just so I can talk about them. 

Meet My Halo Collar 3 Tester: Freya

Pharaoh Hound spots prey
My Pharaoh Hound, Freya, when she spots something she wants to chase (Nicole Etolen)

If you read my Tractive XL review, you’ve already met Freya and can probably skip this section. If you didn’t read that post, though, let me just give you a quick overview.

Freya is a 7-year-old Pharaoh Hound (also called a Kelb tal-Fenek, which translates to “Rabbit Dog” in Malta). To call her a “high energy” dog with an insane prey drive would be like saying that coffee is “good” or that race cars are “fast.” In other words, an understatement.

As is often the case with sighthounds, she lacks off-leash recall, and yes, that’s another understatement. I DO NOT let her roam off-leash. Ever. Well, except in my fenced-in backyard (an actual physical fence, she’s way too stubborn to be stopped by a few beeps, vibrations, or even outright shocks (which I would never use on her) from hunting her prey.

Every day, I take her on an “adventure,” which is a fancy way of saying I drive her to the front of the development where it’s not so hilly and walk her on different roads. I use TWO collars (and two leashes), plus a backup GPS collar.

Typically, Tractive is my favorite for this particular purpose since it attaches to one of her other collars. But for the sake of this test, I added the Halo Collar 3 to her other two for a few days. Excessive? Probably. But she’s a major flight risk and I’d rather look ridiculously over-protective than lose my dog.

Meet Halo Collar 3: A Complete GPS Tracking, Invisible Fence, and Health Monitoring System in One Pretty Little Package

Top view of the Halo 3 GPS Dog Collar in pink
Top view of the Halo Collar 3 GPS Dog Collar (Nicole Etolen)

By now you’re probably pretty familiar with the Halo dog collar. They were among the first (but not THE first) combination GPS tracking/invisible fence/training/health monitoring collars. I’m probably forgetting a few backslashes there.

Back in September of 2023 (she says like that was years ago or something when it was in fact just months ago), they launched the brand-new Halo Collar 3, a fully upgraded model with a ton of intriguing new features. After trying it out for over a month, I’m finally ready to share my thoughts.

Halo Collar 3 Features, Pros and Cons

Quite a few of the Halo Collar 3 features are similar to (if not exactly the same as) the 2+ model, while others are upgraded and completely different. Let’s start with a look at the features and pros (to me, they’re often one in the same) in general. Then we’ll look at the drawbacks.

We’ll start with a super quick peek (à la bullet-point list because I LOVE LOVE LOVE lists), then I’ll get more detailed about some of the stand-out features.

Features at a Glance:

  • Uses PrecisionGPS™ and Active GPS Antenna for improved accuracy
  • Real-time tracking
  • All-carrier coverage worldwide
  • Adjustable Perfect Fit sizing 
  • Improved 24-hour battery life
  • Smart roaming between Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and LTE to optimize performance, battery life, and responsiveness. 
  • Four color options: Sunburst, Graphite, Ivory, and Orchid (or as I like to call them, yellow, black, white, and pink)
  • Easy fence set-up on the app or by walking your property
  • Waterproof collar
  • Co-founded by Cesar Millan
  • Connects to the app via Bluetooth
  • Three levels of customizable feedback  (sound, vibration, and static)
  • It’s a also has pretty nifty daily dog activity tracking 
  • Return whistle to call your dog back
  • Verbal feedback (select it on the app and your dog hears it through the collar)
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
Overview of features in the Halo app, including activity tracking, setting up a pet profile, and the “Send feedback” option (Screenshots by Nicole Etolen)

NEW PrecisionGPS™

 The Halo collar always performed well when it came to precise tracking, but thanks to their trademarked PrecisionGPS™, the Halo Collar 3 is better than ever, even in areas with poor coverage. The system uses an AI-driven machine learning to improve fence and dog location accuracy.

Honestly, I’m kind of over AI these days. It’s freaking everywhere, right? But in this case I’ll get over my “Sheesh, not this again” eye-rolling because it really does improve overall accuracy in pinpointing your pup’s real-time location. That’s nothing but a positive when it comes to finding your lost dog fast.

SAME Real-Time Tracking (but better than before)

The upgraded Halo Collar offers the same real-time tracking as their previous models. It just works better with this model. Part of that is thanks to the AI software. Part is thanks to the active GPS antenna.

NEW(ish) All Carrier Coverage

I am pretty sure that the Halo Collar 2+ worked with most carriers, so I don’t want to say that this is a brand-new feature and end up being wrong. If it isn’t new, it’s definitely better, though.

Now, the collar auto-connects to whichever cellular carrier in your area has the strongest and fastest signal. Plus, it works anywhere in the world. Pretty nifty!

Perfect Fit (Almost) Every Time

The Halo Collar literally grows with your dog. Well, maybe not “literally.” That makes it sound like it’s a plant or something. Rather, it’s capable of growing with your dog since it’s highly adjustable. There are some drawbacks to this, though, which we’ll discuss in a few moments.

Pink Halo 3 dog collar on a Pharaoh Hound
My Pharaoh Hound wearing her pink Halo Collar while she digs into a tree stump looking for a treat that she dropped (Nicole Etolen)

IMPROVED Battery Life

Even with heavy usage, the Halo Collar 3 battery lasts about 24 hours. That doesn’t sound terribly impressive when you realize that Tractive lasts one whole month on a single charge, but it actually is pretty decent for a collar that works as hard as Halo.

It really does last that long, too. Plus, if you forget to charge it, it’ll send you warnings through the Halo app (as long as you turn notifications on). I learned that day after I first set it up. The first notification politely informs you that the battery is low. If you ignore it, you’ll get exceedingly desperate notifications about “critically low” batteries. I felt like the collar was begging me to save it, so I finally got into the habit of putting it on the charger after our adventures, and it charges up pretty fast.

Screenshot showing the “critically low battery” message (Nicole Etolen)

SAME Super Simple Fence Setup

So, I can’t really attest to whether it’s easier to set up virtual fences with Halo Collar 3 than Halo 2 since I didn’t use the previous model. Mark did, though, with his pup, and based on his notes it feels the same. I can attest to how simple it is in general.

I tried making my Halo fences both ways- drawing on the app and walking my property. Both were fairly simple and straightforward. For smaller properties, I recommend walking your boundaries yourself, though. It was a smidge easier to be more precise that way. Although I suppose you could use a stylus instead of your fingers if you wanted to do it in the app and still have accurate boundaries.

Quick overview of how to set up an invisible fence with Halo App (screenshots by Nicole Etolen)

SAME Price as the Halo 2

Technically, this could be a pro or a con, which is why I saved it for last on this list. The Halo Collar 3 costs exactly the same $599 as the 2+ model. To me, that part is a pro, since they’re giving you a better collar without jacking up the price.

On the other hand, it’s $599. That’s 10X as much as the Tractive XL. Of course, it does a lot more than Tractive, so it’s kind of unfair to compare them. But still, I could buy groceries for a whole day with $700 (I’m being dramatic, but groceries are kind of absurdly expensive these days).

SAME (but possibly upgraded) Prevention Features

Again, I never used the original Halo or Halo 2, so I’m going off what Mark said about them in terms of whether or not this feature is the same. It may be better than the old model, though.

Basically, Halo Collar gives you three feedback options for when dogs get too close to the boundaries. You can either warn them with a beep, vibration, or static “shock,” or use a combination of all three.

I refuse to use static correction on my dog. Even though it’s more akin to a TENS unit than a ‘shock,’ I am still not comfortable with this type of feedback. That said, while the collar itself does offer optional static feedback, Halo Collar’s in-app dog training is based on positive methods only, not fear-based corrections.

I thought about testing it out on myself, but- and here’s something I love about the collar- there are little buttons over the static prongy things right now. That way, even if I accidentally turn on this feature it won’t affect her. I don’t want to take them off and lose them. Also, I’m a big baby and I don’t want to test it on myself.

I did try out the vibration feature though (on my hands) and it’s really not uncomfortable at all, even on the highest level. Same goes for the sound warnings. The beeps are loud enough to make my dog think “WTH was that?” but not so loud that we were all ducking for cover.

Close-up of the Halo collar 3 in Pink

Halo Collar 3 Drawbacks

While I do like the Halo Collar overall, there are a few drawbacks that I feel could be deal-breakers for some of you. Let’s discuss.

You CANNOT activate the collar without paying for a subscription

This is probably the biggest drawback of the Halo Collar. Past models at least let you activate the collar and use the fence features without a subscription (or at least that’s how Mark made it seem). But with the 3, there is literally NO WAY to use the collar without paying extra. Period.

I am kind of irked about that. I feel like if you’re paying $599 for a collar, you should at least be able to activate it and use some basic features without paying another dime. In comparison, SpotOn (Halo’s closest competitor) doesn’t make you pay an extra cost for the invisible fence features. Just the GPS tracking. However, and this is a HUGE caveat, SpotOn costs $300 more, and you’ll still need that subscription if you want to use it as a GPS collar (which is exactly what I need). So it’s a major trade-off.

Another thing I feel like Halo Collar could have done better, the wording on the subscription plans page when you go to cancel is a bit vague. It warns you that if you cancel you’ll lose access to the collar’s features. But it doesn’t say when. The wording kind of makes it sound like it’s immediate. Technically, (and possibly legally) they should let you continue using the features you paid for until your month is up. I think I’ll cancel early and see what happens. I’ll update you on that.

I do like that they give you plenty of options in terms of plans, though. The Basic Plan is only $5.99 per month which gets you always-on GPS and real-time location tracking. 

Perfect Fit isn’t Always a Perfect Fit

The Halo Collar 3 comes in two sizes- Small and Medium/Large. I wish they divided the medium and large, though. I had to get that size because Freya has a rather long neck for a medium-breed dog. It’s designed to fit 5 in. – 30.5 in neck sizes. She falls around the 19″ range, and the collar is pretty big on her.

One other thing that I don’t love is that when you adjust it down, the end of the strap doesn’t really tuck away neatly. Or maybe it does and I just couldn’t figure out how. All of the dogs in the pictures have perfect-looking collars. But for me, it kind of hangs there. So if it does tuck away, it’s not very intuitive.

Freya showing off her Halo collar before we adjusted it even more (Nicole Etolen)

It has a proprietary magnetic charging port

If you read my Tractive review, you know how much I abhor proprietary chargers. Given how easily I lose things (I swear, I put them in safe places!) or the fact that I have a kitten who thinks she’s a freaking puppy and chews everything in sight, at some point I’ll have to replace this charger. When that day comes, I’ll have no choice but to pay whatever they’re charging to replace it.

Oh, it’s also a USB-C cable on the end that gets plugged into the outlet. If you don’t have an existing charger block (or a newer computer) you’re kind of stuck. Thankfully, I recently bought an outlet thingy on Amazon that has a USB-C slot.

Halo Collar 3 FAQs

Let’s finish off with a few FAQs, shall we? We covered a lot of these above, but sometimes you just want a fast answer to a simple question, and I’m not exactly known for my brevity. 🙂 So think of these FAQs as a summary.

Can I use a Halo dog collar without a subscription?

No, you CANNOT use the Halo Collar without a subscription.

How small of a dog can use a Halo Collar?

Halo Collars are designed to fit dogs that weight at least 20 lbs+ and have a neck size anywhere from 11″ to 30.5″ 

How old does a dog need to be for Halo Collar?

Dogs need to be at least 5 months old to use the Halo collar.

Can a puppy use Halo Collar?

Yes and no. As mentioned above, your dog should be at least 5 months old before using the Halo collar. However, since dogs are considered puppies until they’re done growing, yes, you can use it on an older puppy.

Conclusion: Is the Halo Collar 3 Worth the Price?

Overall, the newest Halo Collar model is a sleek GPS tracking collar with oodles of functions that make it worth the $599 price tag. But I do think there’s room for improvement with the charger, the sizing, and the subscription model. I think that for those who are already stretching their budgets buying the collar, the whole “pay to play” thing is a bit jarring.

That said, if you need a good multi-function collar that helps find a lost dog AND keeps them from getting lost in the first place, plus throws health tracking features into the mix, it does end up being cheaper in the long run than some of its competitors.

If you decide to buy it, I strongly recommend going directly through Halo’s website. Trust me, it’ll make your life MUCH easier when it comes time to set up the app.

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!

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Author

  • Nicole Etolen

    Hi there! I'm Nicole! I've been a dog owner for most of my adult life and a dog lover for much longer than that. I grew up with a wonderful German Shepherd named Jake, who I loved SO much that I named my son after him. When I'm not writing for DogVills or my own site, Pretty Opinionated , I love spending time with my teenager (when he actually lets me), my Pharaoh Hound Freya, and my two cats (Zoe & Alex the Fuzz). I'm also an avid reader AND a total TV fanatic. If you'd like to learn more about me, feel free to check out my Linked In profile.

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