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GPS Collars Comparisons

Tractive Dog Tracker VS. Whistle GPS Collar: Which One Is Better?

Whistle collar vs Tractive GPS dog tracker side-by-side compariosn.
Written by Mark Braeden

If you’re a dog owner, you understand the importance of keeping your furry friend safe and secure. One way to ensure their safety is by using a GPS tracker to keep tabs on their whereabouts. In the world of pet GPS trackers, two brands stand out: Tractive and Whistle. Both offer reliable and effective ways to track your dog’s location, but which one is better for your needs? Below, we’ll compare Tractive and Whistle GPS collars side-by-side, exploring their features, capabilities, and pricing, to help you make an informed decision on which one to choose for your furry companion.

You may also want to check out my detailed reviews of each individual product. Find those here:

Let’s get this party started!

Tractive Coupon Code: Save 40% Off in July 2023

Before we begin, I want to share some exciting news with you! We have an exclusive Tractive coupon for you this month! Use the coupon code TECHNOJULY to save 40% off your collar! Hurry, though, this coupon expires at the end of July!

Tractive VS. Whistle

Main Features

Tractive
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
  • Locate the location of your pet in real-time
  • Define a safe area and the product will warn you if your dog exceeds the limits
  • It works in more than 150 countries and contains an app to monitor your dog's activities
  • The device has integrated Sim
  • Components included: GPS, manual, and USB cable
  • Different subscription plans are available
  • Receive alerts if your dog escapes
  • Signal your location anywhere in North America
  • Tracks his movement every 15 seconds
  • Only Whistle tracking monitors some common behaviors in your dog which will provide you with a warning to the primary signs of illness e.g. elevated skin scratching can mean allergies, irritation, or infection or increased drinking may show early signs of kidney disease or diabetes.
  • Great distance coverage (AT&T)
  • Create more than one customizable safe zones
  • Affordable
  • Small & lightweight, shockproof & waterproof
Tractive
Tractive GPS Tracker & Health Monitoring for Dogs -...
  • Locate the location of your pet in real-time
  • Define a safe area and the product will warn you if your dog exceeds the limits
  • It works in more than 150 countries and contains an app to monitor your dog's activities
  • The device has integrated Sim
  • Components included: GPS, manual, and USB cable
  • Different subscription plans are available
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
  • Receive alerts if your dog escapes
  • Signal your location anywhere in North America
  • Tracks his movement every 15 seconds
  • Only Whistle tracking monitors some common behaviors in your dog which will provide you with a warning to the primary signs of illness e.g. elevated skin scratching can mean allergies, irritation, or infection or increased drinking may show early signs of kidney disease or diabetes.
  • Great distance coverage (AT&T)
  • Create more than one customizable safe zones
  • Affordable
  • Small & lightweight, shockproof & waterproof

Side-by-side, Tractive and Whistle may look different, but they’re VERY similar in terms of features. Both Tractive and Whistle offer real-time tracking, allowing you to see your dog’s location in (as the name implies) real-time on a map via a smartphone app.

Whistle and Tractive also both offer geofencing capabilities, allowing you to set up virtual boundaries and receive alerts when your dog leaves the designated area. However, neither option offers invisible fences that are quite as powerful as SpotOn or Halo.

Design

Design comparison of Whistle and Tractive dog GPS trackers

Tractive
Tractive GPS Tracker & Health Monitoring for Dogs -...
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
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.
The Whistle tracker is available in three colors: blue, gray, and green, and has a rounded cuboid body design, measuring 1.82” x 1.45” x 0.61 (length x width x depth). This device is also waterproof and can be attached to your dog’s collar so you also don’t have to worry if your dog wandered around in a pool full of water.
Tractive
Tractive GPS Tracker & Health Monitoring for Dogs -...
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.
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
The Whistle tracker is available in three colors: blue, gray, and green, and has a rounded cuboid body design, measuring 1.82” x 1.45” x 0.61 (length x width x depth). This device is also waterproof and can be attached to your dog’s collar so you also don’t have to worry if your dog wandered around in a pool full of water.

Both Tractive and Whistle attach to an existing collar, so design-wise they’re fairly equal in that respect. However, I do think that Whistle is a bit more stylish overall. Both GPS trackers are also waterproof, which means they can be used in most weather conditions (there are always exceptions, so I hesitate to say all conditions) and are suitable for dogs who love to swim.

One major difference is the limitations on dog sizes. Tractive fits small-breed dogs (as small as just about 9 lbs), whereas Whistle only works on dogs 25 lbs and larger.

Durability

Tractive
Tractive GPS Tracker & Health Monitoring for Dogs -...
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
Tractive GPS pet tracker boasts their almost indestructible device which is also 100% waterproof, perfect for pets who love outdoor and water adventures. It can withstand 3-feet deep water immersion for 30 minutes. Its interchangeable battery can last up to 5 days and is easily attachable and detachable, and you can also use a spare battery while it is being charged.
The Whistle tracker has an IP67 dirt-proof and shock-proof, and waterproof rating. This has been proven and tested with the same process of immersing the device in 3 feet deep in water for 30 minutes. The attachment strap that comes with it is made of strong rubber which makes it durable and resistant to bites.
Tractive
Tractive GPS Tracker & Health Monitoring for Dogs -...
Tractive GPS pet tracker boasts their almost indestructible device which is also 100% waterproof, perfect for pets who love outdoor and water adventures. It can withstand 3-feet deep water immersion for 30 minutes. Its interchangeable battery can last up to 5 days and is easily attachable and detachable, and you can also use a spare battery while it is being charged.
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
The Whistle tracker has an IP67 dirt-proof and shock-proof, and waterproof rating. This has been proven and tested with the same process of immersing the device in 3 feet deep in water for 30 minutes. The attachment strap that comes with it is made of strong rubber which makes it durable and resistant to bites.

When it comes to durability, both Tractive and Whistle are designed to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. However, there are some key differences between the two.

  • Water resistance: Both Tractive and Whistle are water-resistant, but Whistle’s GPS collar is rated higher for water resistance, with an IPX7 rating. This means it can withstand immersion in water up to one meter deep for up to 30 minutes. Tractive‘s GPS tracker has an IPX7 rating as well, but its additional battery pack accessory is only splash-proof, not fully water-resistant.
  • Impact resistance: Both Tractive and Whistle are designed to withstand impact and rough handling, but Whistle’s GPS collar is built with more durable materials, including a reinforced plastic shell. Tractive‘s GPS tracker is made of plastic and has a slim design, which may make it more susceptible to damage from impacts.
  • Battery life: Tractive‘s GPS tracker has a longer battery life compared to Whistle’s GPS collar. Tractive‘s battery can last up to six weeks, while Whistle’s battery lasts up to 10 days.
  • Warranty: Tractive offers a two-year warranty while Whistle offers a 6-month warranty.

GPS Tracking Features

Tractive
Tractive GPS Tracker & Health Monitoring for Dogs -...
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
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.
  • GPS tracking with AT&T LTE service. This feature enables you to receive real-time location updates every 60 seconds. This device also comes with a record of your pet’s 24-hour location history.
  • Safe zones. This feature gives you an option to create multiple customizable safe zones in different shapes and sizes.
  • When your pet exits the predetermined parameter you set, this device will send you email, text, and push notifications.
  • The sharing feature provides you an option to give a friend or family member full access to its tracking features.
Tractive
Tractive GPS Tracker & Health Monitoring for Dogs -...
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.
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
  • GPS tracking with AT&T LTE service. This feature enables you to receive real-time location updates every 60 seconds. This device also comes with a record of your pet’s 24-hour location history.
  • Safe zones. This feature gives you an option to create multiple customizable safe zones in different shapes and sizes.
  • When your pet exits the predetermined parameter you set, this device will send you email, text, and push notifications.
  • The sharing feature provides you an option to give a friend or family member full access to its tracking features.

When it comes to GPS tracking, both Tractive and Whistle offer reliable and effective solutions for pet owners to keep an eye on their furry companions. Here’s a more detailed comparison of their GPS tracking features (some of which we already discussed above, but I’m reiterating here for all of you who skipped that part. You know who you are!):

  • Real-time tracking: Both Tractive and Whistle offer real-time tracking, which means you can see your dog’s location on a map in real time. This is particularly useful if your dog is prone to running away or getting lost.
  • Geofencing: Both Tractive and Whistle offer geofencing capabilities, which allow you to set up virtual boundaries around your home or other safe areas, and receive alerts when your dog leaves those areas. This is helpful for keeping your dog safe and contained.
  • Accuracy: Tractive uses a combination of GPS, GLONASS, and Cellular tracking to provide accurate location data, whereas Whistle uses GPS and cellular technology. In general, GPS tracking tends to be more accurate than cellular tracking, but both brands offer reliable and accurate location data.
  • Map display: Both Tractive and Whistle display your dog’s location on a map within their respective apps. Tractive uses a Google Maps interface, whereas Whistle uses a custom map. Both maps are easy to read and provide helpful information such as street names and landmarks.
  • Tracking history: Both Tractive and Whistle provide a tracking history feature, which allows you to view where your dog has been over a specified period of time. This can be useful for tracking their activity levels, or to help locate a lost dog.

Activity and Fitness Tracker

Tractive
Tractive GPS Tracker & Health Monitoring for Dogs -...
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
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.
The Whistle tracker can show your pet’s record of 24-hour activity in a graph. This device gives you full insight into the distance traveled, active and inactive time, pet activity level, and the number of calories burned. With this device, you have an option to customize the activity goals based on your dog’s breed, age, and weight.
Tractive
Tractive GPS Tracker & Health Monitoring for Dogs -...
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.
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
The Whistle tracker can show your pet’s record of 24-hour activity in a graph. This device gives you full insight into the distance traveled, active and inactive time, pet activity level, and the number of calories burned. With this device, you have an option to customize the activity goals based on your dog’s breed, age, and weight.

This is where some key differences come into play in the battle between Tractive VS Whistle. Here’s a more detailed comparison:

  • Activity monitoring: Whistle GPS collar comes with an activity monitor that tracks your dog’s activity levels, allowing you to monitor their health and fitness. This feature is not available on Tractive.
  • Daily goals: Whistle allows you to set daily activity goals for your dog, based on their breed, age, and weight. The app will then track their progress towards these goals and provide feedback. Tractive does not have this feature.
  • Health monitoring: Whistle offers a health monitoring feature that allows you to track your dog’s weight, food intake, and medication schedules. This feature is not available on Tractive.
  • Exercise tracking: Both Tractive and Whistle allow you to track your dog’s exercise routines, including walks, runs, and playtime. However, Whistle’s activity monitor provides more detailed information, such as distance traveled and calories burned.
  • Sleep monitoring: Whistle tracks your dog’s sleep patterns and provides insight into their quality of sleep. Tractive does not have this feature.
  • Mobile alerts: Both Tractive and Whistle offer mobile alerts to notify you of significant changes in your dog’s behavior, such as increased activity levels or changes in sleep patterns.
  • Sharing capabilities: Both Tractive and Whistle allow you to share your dog’s location and activity data with family members or pet sitters. However, Whistle allows you to add multiple users to your account, while Tractive only allows one user per account.

Overall, Whistle offers more comprehensive fitness, health, and activity tracking features, with an activity monitor, daily goals, health monitoring, exercise tracking, sleep monitoring, and sharing capabilities. Tractive focuses more on location tracking, but still offers basic exercise tracking and mobile alerts. The choice between the two depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Smartphone App

Whistle and Tractive apps comparison

Tractive
Tractive GPS Tracker & Health Monitoring for Dogs -...
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
The Tractive GPS tracker smartphone app is free and is compatible with iOS 11 Android 7.0 and up, and also on computers and mobile browsers. The GPS can also be activated via the Alexa app. The app shows you detailed information about your pet’s activity status and lets you view and access your pet’s location via the interactive map, and the location history; turn on the live tracking mode and give you updates on current location; view the battery status; lets you share your pet’s location with different users.
The Whistle tracker phone app, which is available for Android 5.0 and iOS 10.0 users and above, gives you the option to see your pet’s locations using Google maps, which includes their 24-hour location history. You can also see the activity and inactivity data, safe zone, battery, and an option to adjust settings.
Tractive
Tractive GPS Tracker & Health Monitoring for Dogs -...
The Tractive GPS tracker smartphone app is free and is compatible with iOS 11 Android 7.0 and up, and also on computers and mobile browsers. The GPS can also be activated via the Alexa app. The app shows you detailed information about your pet’s activity status and lets you view and access your pet’s location via the interactive map, and the location history; turn on the live tracking mode and give you updates on current location; view the battery status; lets you share your pet’s location with different users.
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
The Whistle tracker phone app, which is available for Android 5.0 and iOS 10.0 users and above, gives you the option to see your pet’s locations using Google maps, which includes their 24-hour location history. You can also see the activity and inactivity data, safe zone, battery, and an option to adjust settings.

Both Tractive and Whistle offer user-friendly smartphone apps that allow you to track your dog’s location, monitor their activity levels, and receive alerts. Tractive‘s app is a bit simpler and “cleaner,” but Whistle’s app offers more detailed information.

Both apps provide mobile alerts, notifying you of significant changes in your dog’s behavior, such as increased activity levels or changes in sleep patterns. The both also allow you to share your dog’s data with others, such as family or pet sitters. However, Tractive only allows one user per account whereas Whistle lets you add multiple users.

The Whistle app, however,  has a unique feature called “Adventure,” which allows you to track your dog’s activity during hikes or outdoor adventures.

Pricing and Subscription

Whether you choose Tractive or Whistle, you’ll need to pay a subscription fee to actually make full use of your tracking collar. It’s really hard to declare one a “winner” over the other here, though. On the one hand, I love that Tractive gives you so many options. If you don’t have $100+ to drop on an extra fee right now, you can go with a month-to-month plan. Granted, it’ll end up costing you more than double, but it’s still nice to have that option.

On the other hand, Whistle’s single $99/year (as of June 2023) structure is a bit more elegant and simple.  Plus, you don’t have to worry about figuring out whether the feature you want to use comes with the subscription that you chose, whereas with Tractive you may end up missing out by going with the Basic plan.

WINNER: Tie

Tractive
Tractive GPS Tracker & Health Monitoring for Dogs -...
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
Tractive requires a subscription to access most of the features. However, they offer two plans (Basic & Premium) with multiple options designed to fit most budgets. The Basic plan starts at $6 a month (billed at $144 every 2 years) while the Premium starts at $5 a month (billed at $300 every 5 years).
Whistle also requires a subscription to access most features. However, they keep things pretty simple by charging a flat $99 per year.
Tractive
Tractive GPS Tracker & Health Monitoring for Dogs -...
Tractive requires a subscription to access most of the features. However, they offer two plans (Basic & Premium) with multiple options designed to fit most budgets. The Basic plan starts at $6 a month (billed at $144 every 2 years) while the Premium starts at $5 a month (billed at $300 every 5 years).
Whistle
Whistle Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + GPS Location...
Whistle also requires a subscription to access most features. However, they keep things pretty simple by charging a flat $99 per year.

Our Winner: TIE

Honestly, it’s really hard to call one option better than the other here. I think it really depends on both your budget and your needs. They each have some stand-out qualities that make them unique, but in terms of tracking, they’re pretty equal to each other. If I HAD to pick just one, the latest Tractive model (check the current price here) is a much more complete product in my opinion. Plus, it costs about a third of the price compared to Whistle even without using a coupon. With the 40% through July, it’s even more of a no-brainer!

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you found this comparison helpful and decided on buying Tractive, I would highly appreciate if you use my referral link for purchasing. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. It will keep me motivated to buy expensive dog gadgets, properly test them and provide unbiased reviews.

Make sure to check the full list of the best dog trackers for reference and research all the options available on the market.

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.

    View all posts

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.  2024-06-21

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6 Comments

  • I have four whistle 3 collars and you are failing to note the downsides which is big delays in telling you if your pet has left your pet zone and if you are in an area with poor ATT reception they are useless. I am shopping for a new tracker because of that and that their customer service is declining.

    • The newer versions don’t depend on ATT completely I believe and were 3g, which is being discontinued anyway. Whistle says in the FAQ they’re working on a way to make the Whistle 3’s still work without 3g but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  • Hi! I am confused. Which is your recommended tracker? Tractive or Whistle? If I am reading it correctly, it orginally was Whistle, yet with updates to Tractive you now recommend Tractive.Thank you for your time!

    • Sorry, this comparison is currently updating since Tractive released a new upgraded version. At this moment, I’d recommend Tractive over Whistle

      • Late here but I actually bought both on Amazon to try which one was better putting both collars on my dog and opening both applications. I do like the nice big bright light on the Whistle go but the overall tracking and Location centric information in the app I would, for sure say tractive is the winner, much more accurate, GPS tracking.

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