GPS Collars

Tractive XL GPS Dog Tracker: Unleashing the Power of Safety and Adventure for Big Breeds

Closeup view of the Tractive XL. By Nicole Etolen
Written by Nicole Etolen

Looking for the perfect GPS tracking device that fits both your tiny budget AND your XL breed? Let me introduce you to the Tractive XL! It takes everything you love about the original Tractive dog tracker (including the reasonable price) and scales it up to a BIG DOG level! I tried it out with my Pharaoh Hound to see how it worked. Keep reading for my review.

Head’s 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 Tractive XL that we’re talking about here:

GPS Tracker for Dogs - Long Battery Life | Tractive

Designed for pups over 40 lbs., the Tractive XL takes everything you love about the original Tractive GPS dog tracker and scales it up for our BIG dogs! In addition to the larger size, it also features a longer battery life (up to one month on a single charge).

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

Meet Freya, My Tractive XL Tester

First, a quick overview of my “tester” dog. Freya is a 7-year-old Pharaoh Hound. She’s technically a medium breed but her neck falls more into the “needs a large collar” range. She’s EXTREMELY high-energy. As a sighthound, she has one goal in life: hunt and catch prey.  

Freya the Pharaoh Hound, by Nicole Etolen
Freya the Pharaoh Hound, by Nicole Etolen

Like most sighthounds, Pharaoh Hounds have very poor off-leash recall. I spent years working on getting her to come when called in our fenced-in backyard. 9 times out of 10, she actually does listen. That 10th time is the reason she’s never allowed off-leash outside of our yard.

If I never let my dog run free, why would I need a GPS tracker, you ask? Pharaoh Hounds are runners, literally and figuratively. We are extremely diligent about making sure she never slips out the front door. But if she did, she’d be gone. They are so laser-focused on tracking their prey that they tune everything else out. There are just too many tragic stories about Pharaoh Hounds getting hit by cars or just lost forever after slipping a leash.

So, when I take her for walks outside our fenced-in yard, I double-collar AND double-leash her. Then I add a tracking device in case all other precautions fail. She’s also chipped, but honestly that would really only help me if someone managed to catch her. I just spent 2 hours in the rain in my backyard trying to get her to stop hunting Mr. Chippy Chipper and come inside, and she typically actually listens to me (Spoiler alert, she caught him. It was tragic. That’s life with a hunting breed, though.) So, I’m not all that confident that anyone else would be able to catch her.

The Tractive XL easily attaches to your dogs existing collar. By Nicole Etolen
The Tractive XL easily attaches to your dogs existing collar. By Nicole Etolen

Meet the Tractive XL GPS Tracker for Large Dogs

I’m assuming that you’re already familiar with the Tractive dog tracker. If not, I suggest reading Mark’s original review. He tested it out on his Jack Russell, so it’ll give you a really solid idea of how it works on smaller dogs.

If you don’t feel like reading a whole second review, though, here’s the one thing you need to know about Tractive compared to most other GPS dog tracking devices: you can use it with any collar. Well, almost any collar. I’m sure there are exceptions. There always are.

Basically, though, it’s a collar attachment, whereas SpotOn, Halo, and Fi are all actual GPS tracking collars. When you have a dog with a giraffe neck that’s already hard enough to fit for collars, an attachment is exactly what you need.

Backside view of the Tractive XL attached to a 1" thick collar. By Nicole Etolen
Backside view of the Tractive XL attached to a 1″ thick collar. By Nicole Etolen

Tractive XL Features, Pros and Cons

Quite a few of the Tractive XL features are similar to (if not exactly the same as) the standard version, while others are upgraded and completely different. Check out the table below for a quick side-by-side comparison.

UPGRADED with a Longer-Lasting Battery Life

The Tractive XL offers the same peace of mind as its predecessors but with an incredible twist – it boasts an extended battery life that allows you to track your furry companion for up to a month on a single charge. In comparison, the original Tractive only lasts 10 days on a single charge.

Why the big difference? Honestly, I have no idea. I’m assuming it has something to do with the fact that the Tractive XL is roomier, so it can hold a bigger battery. Unlike Mark, though, I’m not an electrical engineer, so I’m just guessing there.

I can tell you that I’ve had the tracker for well over a month now and I’ve only had to charge it once. So, it really does last that long.

I was skeptical because I’ve bought devices that claimed to have a long battery life (**coughBLINKcamerascough**), only to find out that if you actually want to use any of the features you paid for, the battery will barely last a week.

UPRADED Size and Comfort: A Perfect Fit for Larger Dogs

It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that the Tractive XL is larger than the original model. Size-wise, the Tractive XL measures 3.5 x 2.0 x 0.9 inches and weighs just 3.2 ounces. It’s designed for dogs above 39.7 pounds, fitting collar widths of up to 1.6 inches.

Technically, the original Tractive fits large-breed dogs, too. But the XL just fits them better, in my opinion.

Closeup view of the Tractive XL. By Nicole Etolen
Closeup view of the Tractive XL. By Nicole Etolen

Same Real-Time GPS Tracking Features

The XL model offers the same real-time GPS tracking features that  made the original Tractive such a great buy. Those tracking features work without distance limits all around the globe. You can even track your pup while on vacation abroad.

The Same Unlimited Range and Worldwide Support

One of Tractive’s standout features has always been its unlimited range and widespread support, and that hasn’t changed. Tractive GPS connects to AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile LTE networks across the United States.

In terms of connectivity, the Tractive XL offers LTE/4G (CatM1), 2G, Bluetooth 5.0, and WiFi (2.4 GHz b/g/n) connectivity. It works with various networks and is compatible with Android 9.0+ and iOS 14+. So, no matter what device you have, you can keep an eye on your furry friend.

I was a little nervous at first because when I checked the coverage in my area it said that coverage was “okay,” but that “Network and GPS might experience disruption.” I live in a woodsy area in Northeast PA. My cell phone coverage is often hit or miss. So far, though, I haven’t had a single issue with Tractive not working.

Still Waterproof and Adventure-Ready

Like the original model, the Tractive XL is designed for active dogs. Plus, with an IPX7 waterproof rating, it’s ready to handle your pup’s water escapades. Whether they decide to take a dip in a pond or get caught in the rain, the Tractive XL is up to the challenge.

Side note- my dog doesn’t like to swim, so I wasn’t able to do a real-world test of this feature. However, she did wear it in the pouring down rain and it held up just fine.

Tractive is built for adventure! (Nicole Etolen)
Tractive is built for adventure! (Nicole Etolen)

Same Virtual Fence Features

While Tractive isn’t a true invisible fence in the sense of keeping your dog contained (compared to Halo and SpotOn), it does allow you to program in different boundaries for your pooch. If Fido crosses those boundaries, you’ll get an “escape alert” sent right to your phone.

Same Health and activity monitoring features

Like the original model, the Tractive XL doubles as a dog fitness tracker. It can monitor your dog’s sleep quality and activity patterns. If something seems fishy, you’ll get an email alert.

Honestly, I didn’t really explore this feature as much as I should have, mainly because I take Freya’s collar off when she’s in for the night. I did check out the feature in the app, though, and it’s pretty neat!

Same App and Tractive Subscription

Last, both the app and the subscription remain the same (which is also a con, see below). So, if you have a Tractive device for your small dog, you can easily add an XL tracker to the same app. From there, you can add your dog’s profile (including characteristics), create boundaries, check out the health-tracking features, and more.

Tractive XL Drawbacks

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the Tractive XL. However, nothing is perfect. So, in the interest of honesty and fairness, let’s look at a few things that I don’t particularly love, in order of importance.

Irksome charger

Look, not to toot my own horn, but I think I’m a pretty smart person. I mean, I’m not saying I’m Mensa material or anything, but I’m typically smart enough to figure out how to charge something without needing to read the manual.

The Tractive charger, on the other hand, just confused me. I rotated the tracker round and round about 5 times looking for a place to put it. Turns out, it’s magnetic. You have to get it just right before it starts charging. That’s not where the downside comes into play though.

The downside, in my opinion, is that it means it’s a proprietary charger. In other words, when you inevitably lose it, you have to buy their replacement. You can’t just go through your ginormous basket of charging cables (everyone has one of those, right?) until you find one that fits. I abhor proprietary chargers with a fiery passion.

Nicole Etolen

Semi-Confusing Subscription Setup

In all fairness, this isn’t a problem that’s unique to Tractive. It seems like nearly ALL of the GPS dog collar brands (even some on our no-monthly-fee trackers list) make their subscriptions as confusing as possible.

Tractive has two types of plans: Basic and Premium. What confuses me is that at first glance, it looks like the Premium plan is actually cheaper. I mean, if you look at the image below, doesn’t it seem like the Premium plan is $4 cheaper per month than the Basic?

On closer inspection, though, you can see that there’s actually no “monthly” option. You can either get 1, 2, or 5 years at a time.

tractive dog collar plans

Higher Price Tag

While Tractive XL comes with the same reasonable price as the original model, it is a more expensive reasonable price. The Tractive XL will run you $20 more than the standard model. Hmm, maybe that explains the longer battery life…or the longer battery life explains the higher price tag.

That said, this isn’t at the top of my “in order of importance” list because it’s pretty reasonable to expect to pay more for a larger and newer model of something.

Only comes in one color/style

Yeah, yeah, this is more of a “I like to make my dog pretty” thing than an actual “Tractive function drawback” thing, but still! I would like to see it come in more colors, I don’t mind the minty-green (it’s greener than it looks in the pics). But variety is the spice of life and all that, right?


Let’s finish things off with a quick list of FAQs. I already talked about most of these questions above, so this is more of a summary for skimmers. 😀

What sets the Tractive XL apart from other dog trackers on the market?

Aside from the lower price, the main thing that sets Tractive XL apart from other GPS dog trackers is the fact that it attaches to any collar.

How long does the battery of the Tractive XL last, and is it replaceable?

The battery lasts UP TO a month on a single charge. Unfortunately, Tractive doesn’t sell replacement batteries.

What is the range of the Tractive XL?

Short and sweet answer: unlimited. It can even track abroad in 175 countries.

Is the Tractive XL tracker waterproof?

Yep! It has a waterproof rating of IPX7, meaning it’s waterproof at 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes.

Is the Tractive XL easy to attach to a dog’s collar?

Yes, it’s SUPER easy to attach. Just unhook the latches on one side, lay it on top of the collar, then close the latches. Voila!

What mobile devices and operating systems is the Tractive XL compatible with?

It works with Android 9.0+ and iOS 14+

Bottom Line: Is the Tractive XL Worth Buying?

The bottom line? I think it’s worth it, especially if you don’t really need a whole invisible fence system, don’t have the budget for an expensive dog tracker, and/or have a giraffe-necked dog that needs a specific type of collar.

Are there cons? Of course. There are always cons. But to me the pros combined with the fairly low price make it worth trying. Just make sure you check the coverage in your area to make sure you can actually use all of the features.

GPS Tracker for Dogs - Long Battery Life | Tractive

Designed for pups over 40 lbs., the Tractive XL takes everything you love about the original Tractive GPS dog tracker and scales it up for our BIG dogs! In addition to the larger size, it also features a longer battery life (up to one month on a single charge).

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


  • 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.

Tractive XL GPS Dog Tracker

Looking for the perfect GPS tracking device that fits both your tiny budget AND your big pooch? Meet the Tractive XL! Check out my in-depth review!

Product Brand: Tractive XL GPS Dog Tracker

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 69.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:


  • Longer battery life
  • Attaches to any collar
  • Better fit for large-breed dogs


  • Proprietary charger
  • Only one color choice
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