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Tractive GPS Collar Review: Does It Work for Dogs or Should You Spend $49?

Tractive 3G Dog GPS Tracker review
Written by Mark Braeden

As a dog owner, one of our worst nightmares is losing our dogs after they have wandered off chasing after their natural curiosity. Tractive GPS Collar was invented to prevent such disappointment. Does it worth it? I tried it on my Jack Russell Terrier and happy to share my expert review.

My Jack Russel Terrier Steve with Tractive collar

Steve, my dog

Make sure to read my Tractive GPS Collar Review till the end.

Tractive GPS Collar Fast Summary

Model
Tractive GPS Tracker for dogs
Preview
Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker - Location & Activity...
Average Score
Number of reviews
4,862 Reviews
Dog Tracker Main Features
  • Live tracking with location history
  • Works worldwide
  • Virtual fence feature
More Information
Model
Tractive GPS Tracker for dogs
Preview
Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker - Location & Activity...
Average Score
Number of reviews
4,862 Reviews
Dog Tracker Main Features
  • Live tracking with location history
  • Works worldwide
  • Virtual fence feature
More Information

Tractive Pros

Tractive Cons

  • Paid monthly subscription;
  • Lack of speakers.

Tractive GPS Collar Big Review

Tractive dog tracker packaging

The American Humane Association estimates that there are millions of dogs and cats are lost in the US. Some of these cats and dogs are not just lost due to their natural wandering nature, some are even stolen.

A third of all pets in the world will become lost in their life, and most are not found or returned to their owners.

In the age of the internet, there has been an influx of dog trackers and another GPS/internet-based tracking device for our pets, especially our dogs, but the problem with it is most of them are bulky, limited, and are not sturdy enough to withstand the rigours and requirement of a dog’s life.

That all may be true, but since we encountered the Tractive Dog GPS Tracker, dog tracking devices in our house has been a non-issue.

What Is The Tractive Dog Tracker?

My dog Steve walking off leash with Tractive GPS collar

The Tractive GPS Dog Collar Tracker is the first real lightweight and waterproof dog tracking device. It is developed by Tractive, an Austrian company that is an expert in real-time pet location tracking using GPS or GSM technology, depending on the availability of services.

I was introduced to the tractive GPS collar for dogs by a friend who owns an 8-acre farm and three dogs, including a very curious Jack Russel Terrier. I personally know that my friend’s worst nightmare is his pet dogs getting lost on his farm. But in an overnight stay with some family members, I noticed that he was at peace and never really bothered on calling his dogs to check if they were still around. I asked, and he smiled and showed me a box and manual for a Tractive Dog Tracker.

We spent the whole night discussing the product, I found out that he was three months into using the Tractive Dog Tracker, and has known nothing but peace of mind from using the device. Two months later, I was fitting my furry family members with the Tractive Dog Tracker.

So far, it has not failed me or my pet dogs yet.

Tractive Dog Tracker Product Details

The Tractive GPS Dog Collar comes in at just about 35 grams or 1.2 ounces, which is pretty light, for the heavy punch it packs. The Tractive Dog Tracker is peg at around 51 mm x 41 mm x 15 mm or 2.0 inches x 1.6 inches x 0.6 inches for its size and it is highly recommended for dogs around 4.5 kilograms or 9 pounds heavy and upwards. It is easily attachable to any kind of collar, with attachments readily available and that comes with the package to make attachments easier.

GPS Location Tracking Features

I am checking the current location of my Jack Russel Terrier witj Tractive

The Tractive GPS tracker features its live tracking mode that updates your pet’s location every 2 to 3 seconds. It has a fully interactive map that gives you the option to switch from a regular map to a hybrid one, to a satellite imaging view and an augmented reality map. With this tracker, you can use this to view not only the current location of your pet but also their previous location, thanks to its location history feature. This device also lets you see the speed and altitude of the unit; therefore, you can check how fast your pet moves and how high the device is above sea level. The virtual fence or geofencing feature allows you to create customized safe zones for your pets around your house or the neighborhood, and you can set the radius at 164 feet at a minimum. The Tractive GPS tracker also has a sharing feature that lets you share your pup’s or cat’s location to your family or friends so they can have the ability to help you in case they get lost, but we are all always hoping the opposite.

Design

Tractive dog tag design

Tractive GPS tracker is a rounded cuboid-shaped device that is very lightweight (weighs just around 30 grams or less) perfect for both dogs and cats of smaller breeds. This device is quite small and only measures just about 2 by 1.6 by 0.6 inches (height x width x depth). It is very easy and convenient to use as it only needs collar clips, which are already provided along with this pet tracker, to attach to whichever type of collar you use for your pets. There are three designs available: the first one is colored white with its logo colored blue; second, a colored pink unit with a white logo adorned with classy Swarovski crystals; lastly is their Hunters Edition in black-on-olive camouflage design. This device does not come in other sizes although it can fit most collars.

Activity and Fitness Tracking

Stats of dogs activity on Tractive app

Tractive GPS tracker’s activity monitoring feature lets you see how much time your pet spends sleeping and moving or playing around. You can set activity goals so you can make sure your pup or kitty can get the right amount of exercise and rest. This feature also lets you unlock achievements such as earning badges or breaking personal best records and lets you share and compare results and rankings among friends and other users. This feature also allows you to keep an eye on their diet and calories burned.

How Does The Tractive Dog Tracker Work?

My dog with Tractive tracker on the collar

The Tractive Dog Tracker works just like a cellphone or a smartphone for your dogs, it uses GPS or GSM technology to send an update to the system on the location of the dog that it is tracking or where it is attached.

It virtually has unlimited range being that it relies on an integrated SIM card, much like our cellphone or smartphone for its tracking capabilities. It uses the best cellular service possible or available in your area and integrates that into the operation of the Tractive Dog Tracker. Services are facilitated by the makers and producers of the Tractive Dog Tracker for a low monthly subscription fee. Different plans are also available depending on your needs and depending on the length of your subscription:

Tractive subscription plans

For the Tractive GPS tracker, you are required to have a subscription plan but you can choose between basic and premium, starting at $6.99/month and $83.90/year, respectively.

The basic package includes GPS tracking and unlimited LIVE tracking. The premium package has both the GPS Tracking and unlimited LIVE Tracking plus it also includes worldwide coverage, unlimited location history, shared access with other accounts, premium customer service, and you can also export the location history of your pet dogs using a gpx or a kml file.

The Tractive Dog Tracker can run for two to five days, depending on the network coverage and usage on one single two-hour charge.

My Experience With The Tractive Dog Tracker

Steve is posing with Tractive dog gps tracker

So far, our experience with the Tractive Dog Tracker has been very positive. We found it to be quiet reliable and trustworthy.

As for our dogs, they really do not mind it because it is lightweight, even my smaller dogs do not seem to notice the Tractive Dog Tracker in their collar. The fact that it is lightweight and waterproof is also a great plus for me because I do not have to worry and mind after my dogs to try and alter their activities.

We also use the Tractive Dog Tracker Live Tracking feature to monitor our dog’s exercise and especially when I bring them out to hikes or long walks. Make sure to check my list of the best dog fitness & activity trackers.  Spoiler: Tractive Collar is on the list.

tractive gps mobile app

Of course, if the cellular signal is great then the Live Tracking feature of the Tractive Dog Tracker is great to pinpoint the location of our furry family members in real-time, especially when you are worried because you can’t see them or they are not responding to your calls.

In one instance, a dog owned by a friend of mine usually goes missing at a certain time of the day, with the Tractive Dog Tracker Live Tracking and full location history feature we were able to find out that he usually visits a stray dog who just gave birth at a nearby clump of bushes. We were able to track his dog, rescue a dog mom and about five newly born puppies.

Tractive Dog Tracker also has a Virtual Fence feature, where you will get a notification when your dog leaves a certain area that you have designated in the free Tractive GPS app that you can download. Using the app, you can view a digital map and find out how far away and where your dog is based on the position updates that the Tractive Dog Tracker sends to the system.

A friend and fellow dog lover who also use the Tractive Dog Tracker one caught his dog walker going well out of the way with their dogs and bringing them while runs other errands through the Virtual Fence feature. He never really bothers with his dog’s location history but he got curious after he got a number of notifications that his dogs are going out of their designated virtual fence whenever their dog walker is walking them around.

It is also great for people who travel with their dogs because the Tractive Dog Tracker is supported in more than 150 countries. As long as there is a cellular service or signal, most likely the Tractive Dog Tracker will function there.

Final Verdict on Tractive GPS Collar for Dogs

tractive waterprrof feature

The Tractive GPS Dog Collar is an awesome device, but it is not perfect like any of these Garmin collars. The great thing about it is it is lightweight, it is shockproof, waterproof, and it is very, very reliable. It is not cumbersome for the dog, easy to operate, has virtually unlimited range and is very easy to operate. It works as advertise and is just a great tool to have for peace of mind when you want to monitor your dog’s location.

The Tractive GPS Dog Collar is also relatively cheap (check the current price here), and the monthly fee is small compared to the advantages is bring.

And while it seems like we are singing the praises for the Tractive GPS Dog Collar, because it is indeed great, it is also not perfect. To help you decide if you should consider buying the Tractive GPS Dog Collar or look for a different brand, we have compiled a list of small things that we want to see Tractive GPS Dog Collar makers change in future iterations of the device.

  1. Battery – this is the only major limiting factor that we can see in the Tractive GPS Dog Collar. While it is easy to charge and we can get a whole day out of it, we think that bringing the battery capacity up can also greatly increase the features behind the Tractive GPS Dog Collar. Keep in mind we are not looking at longer battery life, but enough juice to increase pinging and signal generation for better tracking.
  2. Speakers – It would be great if the Tractive GPS Dog Collar can mount a speaker where you can call your dog home if you are a great distance away from each other. It does not have to be a two-way radio, just a way to activate a prerecorded message on the Tractive GPS Dog Collar to remind your dog that he needs to go home because you are looking for him.
  3. Added features – I know I already said that the price for the Tractive GPS Dog Collar and its features are minimal compared to the benefits that it brings, but a few added features to the system certainly would help justify the price, especially for us who have a lot of dogs or own a lot of dogs. Maybe this is just nitpicking on my part, but I really would love to see some out of the box features that would help justify the price or the unit and the monthly subscription.

Considering everything, the Tractive GPS Dog Collar is a great buy for pet owners who want peace of mind over the nagging thought of losing a very important member of the family in the form of our beloved dogs. I give Tractive 9.5/10 and included it to the list of the best dog GPS trackers.

Read more details and reviews about Tractive on Amazon.

Tractive Collar Review
  • Tractive Collar Rating By Mark Braeden
4.5

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.  2021-07-26

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.

2 Comments

  • I use Tractive GPS for 2 years. Everything was OK, until after annoying messages the mobile app installed Power Saving Zones.
    The tracker stopped working, only one message: “you are in power saving zone”, even though the tracker is 1000 yards from the home and WIFI is off. Network and GPS are unable. No light and sound.
    And in addition to that, the tracker stopped work in internet mode (in internet browser).
    No option to remove Power Saving Zones.
    I reinstalled app, reset tracker – no effect.
    What idiot made the Power Saving Zones?
    The old tracker works OK.
    Customer service works bad, no phone, no fast responds to emails.
    Please help to remove Power Saving Zones from mobile app.

    • Hello Alexander, I emailed Tractive product managers regarding your issue and hopefully they reply soon to your comment.

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