SpotOn Collar GPS Smart Fence Review: Is it Worth $1295? (May 2023)

SpotOn Collar review featured image
Written by Mark Braeden

The SpotOn Collar is one of the most popular GPS dog fences and smart collars in 2023. But is it really worth the high price tag?

First, before we go any further, I just want to mention two things. #1, as of 3/10/23, the SpotOn GPS Fence is now $1295 instead of $1500. Second, if you use the coupon code BARK for $100 off! That brings it down to $1195.

Back to the original question: is SpotOn worth the cost? Short answer, absolutely! It’s by far one of the best solutions to letting your dog roam off-leash in your backyard while still having peace of mind. I am truly amazed by the SpotOn Virtual Smart Fence and how well it worked for my pups. While I definitely wish it was cheaper, it’s one of a kind dog device. In fact, they had no competitors until Halo announced their virtual fence collar. However, I find SpotOn way better than Halo. I’ll explain why later in my review but if you’re curious you can also check my Halo collar vs. SpotOn article. For now, though, let’s stick with the collar you came here to read all about!

Brown dog wearing a SpotOn dog GPS collar

Quick disclaimer: if you decide to purchase a SpotOn virtual fence for your pup through my referral link, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Also, this is not a sponsored review. I never delete the negative comments  and talk about negative things compare to many other reviews.

Due to ongoing supply issues with electronics, the SpotOn fence might not occasionally go out of stock. If you see it available and decide it’s right for you, I recommend grabbing it right away.

Now, let’s find out why this SpotOn GPS fence should be your first choice in helping you keep your pup safe and sound even while letting them play off-leash. 

What Is SpotOn Virtual Fence?

dogs understand boundaries with spoton collar

Many of you probably already have physical fencing around your yard to help keep you and your dogs safe. However, there are many cases where it’s just not possible. Maybe your HOA doesn’t allow fences, or perhaps you just can’t afford to fence in a huge yard (which can cost anywhere from $1500 to an insane $38k+!).

This is where the SpotOn GPS Fence comes in handy. The system is completely virtual, so you can cover your entire yard without any “blind spots.”

Plus, in the unlikely event that Fido does get past it, the collar tracks his location so you can quickly and easily find him again. Oh, and you don’t need to worry about installing special programs, base units, wires, or anything else. You’ll just need your smartphone to access everything that the system has to offer. Even if you found a physical fencing solution that cost less than $1295, it definitely wouldn’t be able to do all of that!

Basically, it’s one of the best dog GPS fences on the market and definitely lives up to its tagline: the world’s most innovative dog fence.

Who Is The SpotOn Collar For?

The SpotOn fence is perfect for anyone who owns a pup that spends time outdoors! In other words, pretty much every dog on the planet. That said, there are a few things to consider to decide if it’s right for you. We’ll talk about these in a bit more detail later, but here’s a quick rundown:

  • First, consider the size of your yard. SpotOn works best on properties that are at least 1/2 acre or larger. Will it work on smaller yards? In my experience, yes, absolutely. I have a friend that basically has a postage-stamp yard and he uses SpotOn to keep his Shiba Inus contained.
  • Second, consider the size of your dog. SpotOn Collars are designed for dogs with necks ranging from 10-26″.
  • Last, but definitely not least, keep in mind that you’ll need to train your dog to use the SpotOn invisible fence system. So make sure you’re prepared to set aside some time to do that.

What  Are The Pros And Cons Of The SpotOn Collar?

ProsCons
Extremely accurate GPS trackingThis collar is quite expensive compared to its counterparts e.g Halo Collar
Easy to set upYou need cell coverage for the tracking features.
Extremely customizable fences that can be edited – walk the boundary or draw it on your phone
Not made for very small or very large dogs.
Simple and easily adaptable concept
Not designed for tiny yards
Comfortable for your dogs to wear
Long-lasting battery life
Customizable fence perimeters work without cellular coverage
One-year warranty
Ability to create multiple fences on the same property

Features of SpotOn Virtual Smart Fence (Updated with NEW features in April 2023)

Let’s take a closer look at some of the stand-out features, shall we?

Virtual Fence System

spoton collar app, setting up a virtual fence

Let’s start with the most important feature, given that it’s the reason most people buy a SpotOn collar in the first place.

The first thing I looked at when testing the collar is how easy it is to use it as it’s actually intended…as an invisible fence. I consider myself very tech-savvy, but that doesn’t mean I want to spend hours upon hours reading a manual and trying to figure out how to set something up. Who has time for that?

Fortunately, the virtual fence feature of the SpotOn GPS Fence is very easy to set up and customize. It not only lets you create 20 unique overlapping fences using up to 1,500 automatic GPS fence posts but also allows you to set up virtual fences of any shape and size ranging from ½ acre to thousands of acres. Let’s look at the process in a bit more detail.

Boundaries and virtual fence around US ranch with SpotOn collar

How to set up the SpotOn GPS fence

To create the GPS fence, you have two options. You can either walk along the surrounding area where you want your fence to be or just draw it in the app. Check out the video below to see how that works.

One thing to keep in mind, you’ll be able to set up more accurate fences if you walk your property to set them up. But I really love the fact that it’s not a requirement. To me, that makes the SpotOn Collar far more accessibility-friendly than many of its competitors.

The whole process is easy to do and you can see your fence come together in real-time right in the app. That way, you can tweak it as you go.

You can also pause your fence creation to get around water or thick brush and SpotOn will automatically snap a straight line through the obstacle once you resume. After taking a lap around the perimeter, the virtual fence will automatically be programmed into the SpotOn Collar. 

NEW Virtual Fence Features Released in April 2023:

In March, SpotOn surprised us by dropping their price from $1500 to $1295 (if you skimmed past it and missed the note above, use coupon code BARK to save another $100). This month (April), they added even more value by unleashing (pun totally intended) not one, but TWO brand-new features: Keep Out Zones and Home Zones.

Keep Out Zones:

SpotOn’s newest feature, Keep Out Zones, lets you create off-limits areas within your fences. It’s now easier than ever to let your dog run free without running into trouble.

Set up fences inside your fence around the garden, keep your dog out of the pool, or prevent playtime in the poison ivy patch with the touch of a button.

SpotOn Keepout zones

Home Zones:

SpotOn’s Home Zones let you designate areas around your home where corrections are disabled. This allows your dog to come indoors without taking the collar off, so your dog will feel free, whether on the couch or out on an adventure.

Now that we have a good idea of how easy it is to set up and customize your virtual fence, let’s go over how it all works when it’s in use.

Using the virtual fence

If you turn the virtual fence on, the invisible virtual barrier will surround your yard. Whenever your furry Houdini gets too close to the virtual boundary that you programmed in the steps above, the SpotOn Collar beeps to discourage Fido from going beyond the boundary you set. 

However, if the quick beep doesn’t stop Fido from going over the virtual fence boundaries, the collar emits a light static shock or vibration to deter him from running away.

If you don’t want to use “shock correction,” don’t worry; you can disable it and just use the beeping sound. However, you’ll need to spend a bit more time training your pooch ahead of time so that he understands what those beeps mean. That brings us to…

Hunting dog wandering close to the boundaries of his SpotOn GPS fence

Training Process

alert warning with spoton collar

ALL GPS dog fences have a bit of a learning curve for your dog, and SpotOn is no exception. You can’t just pop a collar on Fido and expect him to just intuitively know what to do. You DEFINITELY can’t just turn on the static correction level to high and hope he figures it out (please, please, please DO NOT do this).

So, yes, you’ll definitely need to spend some time training your pup before you can unleash him on an invisible fence. The good news is that SpotOn makes the training process as smooth and easy as possible with their included simple and professional training videos.

I highly recommend taking the extra time to teach Fido what the sounds and light vibrations mean. That way, you won’t even need to turn on the static correction. If you do need to use that feature, though, SpotOn offers 30 different levels of static. So you can set it to a very low level. That’s twice as many as Halo, by the way.

GPS Tracking & All Terrain Types

GPS signal reaches out SpotOn collar

You might think that this gadget can only be used in common places such as at home, in your yard, or down the street while walking your dogs. However, what if you are the adventurous type and love hiking with your dog in the mountains, along rivers, at the lake, and so on? Is it still worth the price tag?

Absolutely! Remember, the SpotOn Virtual Fence doubles as a GPS tracking collar. In fact, it has amazingly accurate tracking capabilities. The collar uses four satellite navigation systems simultaneously to provide excellent accuracy in locating your dog, anytime, anywhere.

The downside? It does need cell service for some of its features. I received a bit of clarification directly from SpotOn, however, because like many of you, I was confused about when the cell plan comes into play.

Per SpotOn, “Optional cellular plans enable you to see your dog’s location with the touch of a button, it also gives you automatic breach alerts and real-time tracking if your dog leaves the virtual fence. SpotOn is the only smart dog collar that offers a choice of data plans – customers can select either AT&T and Verizon— so you can opt for the cellular service that works best for your area.”

True Portability

Two dogs with SpotOn collars

The True Portability feature simply means that you can use this device whenever and wherever you may be: whether you are at home or if you are out and about, traveling, or on the move… even in the water! 

So, say you’re going on vacation and taking your dogs along. Maybe you’re renting a beach house or a lake cabin, and you want to give Fido the opportunity to explore a bit. Just use the app to draw a new fence and voila! You’re good to go!

Tracking

One of the things that make this the best dog gear for you is the fact that the SpotOn Collar gives you the option to activate its Tracking feature, which lets you track your dog within 3 feet.

If you want to know the exact location of your pup at every moment of the day, just let him wear the collar even when the GPS fence feature isn’t attached. When Fido leaves your line of sight, check the app. You’ll find him asap!

Okay, maybe you’re thinking, “I can’t see this being necessary. Who needs to know where their dog is in their own yard every moment of every day?” Well, let me tell you a story. I have a friend with a huge fenced-in property. Technically, she doesn’t need a GPS fence, right? But she still uses SpotOn because there are so many times when her dog chases after a squirrel and ends up all the way on the other side of the property. Trust me, it comes in very handy!

Battery Life

The SpotOn Dog Collar is great if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors and you need a good, long battery life. A full charge can last you for up to 22 hours. So, you can relax a bit and just let your dog play and wander around without worrying about the battery dying on you. Just remember to charge up the battery when you arrive home so it’s ready for your next adventure. A longer battery life means fewer unwanted collar function failures and fewer chances of losing your dog.

Is It Worth It to Pay For The SpotOn Collar?

Walking with dogs offleash while using SpotOn collar

Yes, in my opinion, the SpotOn dog collar is worth the price tag, especially now that they dropped it down a bit. It’s a premium invisible dog fence product for sure. I’m not going to pretend that $1,295 isn’t a lot of money, especially when times are so tight for so many people. But to me, the peace of mind that it provides is worth it.

Plus, as I said earlier, it’s still a heck of a lot cheaper (and definitely more attractive) than fencing in a big yard with an actual physical fence.

It really helps ease whatever worries you may have and aid you in tracking your puppy’s movements, whether you are just at home or out and about. If you can’t afford the $1000+, though, they also provide good financing options

Our Verdict

SpotOn collar with app

The only thing that I do not like about the SpotOn Virtual Fence is the price tag (again, check the current price here). However, the multitude of features of the SpotOn Collar -from the four-point satellite navigation system to the patented True Location™ Technology- justifies the high cost of this device. It really does give you pretty much everything that you might need and want for a device that functions as a virtual fence.

Again, they also provide great financing options so you don’t have to pay the whole amount upfront.

The flexibility features are another thing that really sold me on this dog gear. Even before the new Home Zones and Keep Out Zones, I thought the customizable smart virtual fence was awesome. Those new features are just icing on the cake, so to speak.

All of these features combined definitely convinced me to highly recommend this SpotOn Virtual Fence Dog Collar to you and all of my other fellow dog lovers. If you decide to purchase SpotOn, I will highly appreciate it if you use my referral linkDon’t forget to use the code BARK for $100 off!

CLICK HERE & Use BARK Coupon to save $100 off your SpotOn Dog Collar purchase!

SpotOn Virtual Smart Fence Review
  • SpotOn Virtual Fence Review
4.8

About the author

Mark Braeden

Mark is the dog breeder for 17 years. Mark also has 4 dogs: Alaskan Malamute, Clumber Spaniel, Irish Terrier and Mutt. Mark also into latest technologies and he is trying all the latest dog gadgets & technologies on the market and sharing his experience.

19 Comments

  • Mr. Braeden,

    I recenlty purchased three of the collars. After chating with one of their representatives, I was informed that the collars only use 2g or 3g from AT&T or T-Mobile. I have 4g and 5g all around me. The collars can not update or be tracked. Fence perimeter works fine.

    • Hi Barry, Our Generation 1.0 product used 2G/3G. However, our Generation 2.0 product now uses 4G and you have the choice of carrier: ATT or Verizon. If you contact our Customer Service Team at support@spotonfence.com or 603-488-1504 they can help you upgrade to the latest technology.

  • I was wondering if one was to slow the rate of transmission to every 2 minutes rather then 2 seconds if the battery life will last longer, while the fence is activated.

    • Hi Ryan,
      Yes that would result in consuming less battery life, but it would also mean that when you are tracking your dog you would not have the most accurate information. While the fence is active, our Generation 2.0 product lasts 22 hours. It’s only while tracking your dog, that the battery life is reduced to 12 hours. People usually are only tracking their dog for a few minutes to an hour as it doesn’t take long to find your dog.

  • Why do your pros and cons say under “pros” uses multiple satellites to gps track your dog but under cons says requires cellular service in your area or you could experience spots where the system can’t find your dog? That contradiction tells me that they rely on cellular tracking which is not even close to gps tracking cause cellular uses cell towers to triangulate a position where gps on the other hand uses satellites in space which doesn’t have the issue with coverage areas.

    • Hi Sean,
      Our system does not use cellular for positioning data. Cellular is only used so your collar can communicate with your smartphone at long distances. So GPS is pinpointing the location of your dog. However, if you are tracking your dog, the collar cannot send that data to your phone without cellular functionality. The fences will stay active and contain your dog by using GPS even if you don’t have a cellular connection. You just can’t mange the collar at a long distance from your phone without a cellular connection for both the collar and your phone.

  • In a recent review of the Halo 2 collar, you say you prefer that collar because it’s cheaper and provides all the same features as SpotOn. In this review about SpotOn, you claim that it’s much better than the Halo 2?

    Which review do I believe?

    • SpotOn has recently upgraded so I’d pick SpotOn over Halo 2, however it’s all about price. Both are decent options.

      • OK–thanks. There’s a Halo 2 promotion right now for $300 off making it less than half the cost of SpotOn.

  • I’d avoid purchasing the Spot On collar at this time. I have the second generation collar, and have had nothing but problems. The collar itself has been replaced, and now one of the pins holding the strap has fallen out. Rather than just sending me a replacement pin, they insist on having the unit sent back. I’ve had to purchase a PetSafe collar as backup for when the SpotOn fails.

    Waste of money.

  • SpotOn fence is way two expensive and what to charge customers more for upgrades. I spent $2500 on two collars. One year later, they upgraded the collars. Cellular service was discontinued by the company for first generation collars. This means no tracking and no alerts. In order to keep the service, SpotOn wants an additional $500/collar to upgrade to the second generation collar.
    Find something cheaper with a company that will be off better service to their customers. SpotOn is NOT so spot on after all.

    • Yeah, I had the same frustration with different devices. Unfortunately, the majority of devices ask extra for the upgrade whether it’s physical or digital product.

    • Hi Bowen,
      I am sorry you had a negative experience with SpotOn Fence. Just to clarify, the company did not shut down 2G/3G. The cellular carriers did it. SpotOn was the first product on the market and when it launched in 2019, 2G/3G were the only available cellular technologies for IOT devices. GPS, the fences, and containment all work without cellular. You only need cellular for the collar to communicate with your phone at long distances.

      We did complete a redesign of the product in 2022 which allowed us to incorporate 4G (5G is not available for IOT right now) and offer the choice of carriers: ATT or Verizon. We also redesigned the App which is now rated 4.9 and redesigned the physical outside of the collar to be more flexible and durable. We offered an upgrade program to our existing Generation 1.0 users of $500. I can understand if you are not interested in taking that offer for the updated technology. However, just like with your cell phone if you want the latest technology you have to upgrade every couple of years and Apple doesn’t give you a discount to do that.

      Please contact our Customer Service if there is anything we can do to help you keep using the Generation 1.0 product or upgrade to the next generation.

  • I have terrible cell service where I live. Will it work off Wi-Fi instead?

    • Hi Kerri,
      The system uses GPS to create fences and contain your dog. The only thing you need cellular for is for the collar to communicate with your phone at long distances. So if you are on 10 acres and you dog is a mile away, your phone won’t be able to communicate with the collar if there is no cellular in the area. The map will still be active and the system will still issue warning tones and static correction if the dog tries to escape. Once the collar and your phone are near each other, you can manage the collar by using Bluetooth. There are thousands of customers using this in areas with no cell service.

  • I’m wanting to use spot on for a different reason then most. I want to use it for guard dogs for livestock. Any way to set boundaries and not return to dog and livestock for 2or 3 days without battery going dead before returning?

  • We have four dogs. If we purchase four spot on collars do we have to design the fence for each one or is there a way to copy this information and share it in the app. Also does this mean four different subscriptions for tracking?

  • Hi Mark, I enjoyed reading your reviews. Thank you for being so thorough. Upon reading, I would prefer the SpotOn. However, it seemed like you really liked the Halo2/Cesar Millan 21 Day Training Guide. Does the SpotOn also come with a decent, training guide? If not can you recommend one?
    Thanks
    John

    • Hi John! I know I’m not Mark, but I can answer this for you. SpotOn has a series of training videos that are pretty good and easy to follow. You can actually watch them before you buy the collar if you want a good overall idea of how the whole training process works. Here’s their YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/@spotonfence I hope that helps!

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