When it comes to the Best GPS Dog Tracking System, it’s clear there are really two types of systems.
There’s the cheaper GPS dog tracking system for everyday pet owners around the house and streets.
And then there’s the more expensive GPS dog tracking system for professionals, hunters and those who want to take their dogs out into open large area in nature.
We’ve identified the best GPS dog tracking systems in both categories, linking you to in depth reviews of each, as well as outlining main features, pros, cons and other important info on each.
Let’s check them out!
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
Best GPS Dog Tracking System in 2018/19: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
Our top picks for the Best GPS Dog Tracking Systems are:
Everyday Pet Owner GPS Systems
Professional, Hunter & Advanced Dog GPS Systems
Best GPS Dog Tracking System: Reviews
Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor
- Track your pet’s location in the home, in the yard or on the streets. You can see their location anywhere in the U.S. with continual address and location updates on a GPS map
- Follow your pet’s location over the last 24 hours to see where they went and when. Whistle creates a trip each time your pet leaves and returns to one of their Places using Wi-Fi.
- Set custom ‘safe places’ where you want your dog to be
- Get text, email or app alerts if your dog moves out of their safe places
- Track your pet’s activity levels – how much they rest and move
- Set customised activity goals based on your pet’s age, weight and breed
- Get text, email or app alerts notifications on the progress of your pet’s activity goals
- As of march 2018, Whistle are offering a 90 day money back guarantee (you’ll need to confirm this at time of purchase, especially if going through a third party seller)
- Dimensions of the device are Width – 1.45″, Height – 1.82″, Thickness – 0.61″
- Weight of the device is 0.92 oz
- The device is waterproof rated IPX7
- Battery life of the device on average is anywhere between 2 to 7 days depending on how often the device is trying to connect to the cell network, the reception of the cell network in your area and how often you try to locate your pet.
- The device is pretty quick to charge with a USB cable in about 2 hours
- The device attachment can attach to collars or harnesses up to 1 inch wide
- The device twists in and out of the attachment easily
- The device is compatible with most of the latest Apple iOS and Android smartphones
- You will need to subscribe to a monthly, yearly or 2 year AT&T cell plan to use the device
- You will need to download the Whistle app to view device data – the app itself is free
- You can invite family, friends, and other caretakers to view your pet’s location and activity. Visit your pet’s profile to send them an invitation to the free Whistle app.
- You will need an active WiFi network to use the device
- The GPS technology uses two satellite systems (GPS and GLONASS)
- The GPS technology also leverages local Wi-Fi and cell tower data
- For WiFi, the system can connect to multiple Wi-Fi networks (home, office, etc.)
- For WiFi, the system uploads data via Wi-Fi when in range (extends battery life)
- For WiFi, the system enables power save mode when in range of a Wi-Fi safe place
- For WiFi, the system only supports 2.4 GHz networks
- For Bluetooth, the system uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
- Unlike Bluetooth-only trackers which have a range of 50 feet, Whistle 3 will locate your pet down the street or 3,000 miles away!
Garmin Alpha 100 Dog GPS System
The Alpha 100 is a a tracking + training system. It works best with the Garmin TT15 collars.
The Alpha 100 tracking features are:
- It has the capability to track up to 20 dogs or other hunters – from up to 9 miles (TT 15) or 4 miles (TT 15 mini) away
- It works by receiving signals from additional Alpha 100 handhelds, TT 15 and TT 15 mini dog devices (each sold separately).
- It can also receive tracking only signals from a T5 collar device
- The handheld comes preloaded with TOPO U.S. 100k maps
- It can measure a dog’s speed and distance travelled
- It can track the direction your dog is travelling
- It can receive notifications when your dog is ‘Treed’ or ‘On Point’
- It updates your dog’s location as often as every 2.5 seconds
- You can use the handheld and tap the screen with gloves
- When using a vehicle to find or follow your dogs, the Garmin DriveTrack™ 70 dog tracker and GPS navigator (sold separately) provides an easy-to-watch “big picture” solution. The 7-inch moving map display shows dog positions overlaid on TOPO contours or satellite image views – along with navigation cues that help point you to your dog’s current location.
- BirdsEye Satellite Imagery (subscription required) is an add on that allows you to have a better-than-real-life view of terrain, including roads, water, woods and more.
- You can also get the free software – Basecamp. It allows you to view and organize maps, waypoints, routes, and tracks. This free trip-planning software even allows you to create Garmin Adventures that you can share with friends, family or fellow explorers. BaseCamp displays topographic map data in 2-D or 3-D on your computer screen, including contour lines and elevation profiles. It also can transfer an unlimited amount of satellite images to your device when paired with a BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription.
- You also have the option to use your computer as a tracking station. You can load your laptop with BaseStation software to turn it into a field control center for tracking multiple dogs and/or buddies (up to 20 Alpha units, TT 15 or T 5 dog devices). View real-time GPS information on the larger display of your computer, making it ideal for canine search and rescue teams. And because it’s GPS and GLONASS, you’ll get safe, secure and more effective tracking, even where Internet and cell phone service isn’t available.
Dogtra Pathfinder TRX GPS E Collar System
The Dogtra Pathfinder TRX is a tracking ONLY system. There’s also the Dogtra Pathfinder which is a tracking + training system.
The Pathfinder TRX features:
- A system that functions with a collar receiver, a handheld remote, and your existing smartphone (has to be compatible)
- It is a GPS tracking collar system intended for most working, hunting and competitive situations.
- One of the best features is that it works with using cellular data in offline map mode (once you’ve downloaded the Pathfinder app), and you don’t need to purchase any additional programs
- The Pathfinder app includes free maps and a compass
- The range from your smart phone to the handheld remote/connector is 33 feet, via bluetooth
- The range from the handheld remote/GPS connector to the collar receiver is 9 miles, via a MURS band
- The app has a 2 second update rate, location sharing, a geo fence option and offline maps and compass
- The system is fully waterproof (GPS connector and collar)
- You get a belt clip included
- The batteries are 3.5 hour rapid charge batteries
- The system is approved for AKC and UKC events
- You can expand the system to track up to 21 dogs as long as you purchase add on TRX collars separately
SportDOG TEK 2.0 GPS Tracking + Training Collar System
The SportDOG TEK 2.0 comes in both a tracking only, and a tracking + training model.
The tracking features include:
- Can support up to 21 dogs on the system (with separate collar devices)
- Bluetooth Compatible
- Range from the handheld to the collar device is 10 miles using HopTek™ technology
- Handheld Device is waterproof and submersible up to 5 feet
- GPS Collar is DryTek® waterproof and submersible to 25 feet
- The collar is for dogs 8 pounds or larger with neck sizes 10.75″ – 23″
- The system has rechargeable lithium-ion batteries
- The batteries in the collar charge in 4 hours, and last about 24 hours per charge
- The batteries in the handheld charge in 8 hours, and last about 12 hours per charge
- There’s a low battery indicator to show you when batteries are running low
- Has GPS + GLONASS
- Has HOPTEK technology – Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) provides immunity to signal interference & allows for higher transmitter output power, resulting in superior range performance.
- No monthly subscription fee
- Alerts for pointing, treeing and barking
- Customer service by SportDOG is usually pretty good
- View dog location, the direction they are travelling, where they are travelling, distance travelled, average speed and other stats
- There are home, map, compass and dog specific stat screens
- Set tracking goals or co-ordinates, save stats and download data
- Receive voice updates of your dog’s location via the bluetooth
- Ability to set Geofences for your dog to travel within – you’ll be alerted when they travel outside it
- You can set and select waypoints – up to 20 waypoints
- Comes with preloaded 1:100,000 TOPO maps
- Can also customise maps
- Unlimited lifetime map updates
- Comes with a desktop application for handheld & collar updates
Best GPS Dog Tracking System: Buyer’s Guide
What Is A GPS Dog Tracking System?
A GPS/tracking system that usually comprises of a collar receiver or collar device, and a handheld GPS tracking remote, or a smartphone with a tracking app on it.
What Are GPS Dog Tracking Systems Used For?
They are usually used for two main things:
- Tracking the location of your dog/s at any one time so you know where they are, and so you can find them
- Tracking the activity of your dog so you know if they’ve been resting, walking, running etc.
Types of GPS Dog Tracking Systems?
There are two main types of Dog GPS Tracking Systems:
- Dog GPS Tracking Systems for the everyday owner – these systems more so focus on tracking one pet at home and in the street. They are usually cheaper
- Dog GPS Tracking Systems for the advanced owner, professional or hunter – these systems more so focus on tracking one or multiple dogs out in the open or in nature. They have expansive maps and advanced tracking metrics compared to the everyday systems. They are usually much more expensive
How Do GPS Dog Tracking Systems Actually Work?
It depends on the type of GPS system, but in general:
- The collar receiver or device goes around the neck of your dog
- You hold the remote handheld, or your compatible smartphone
- The collar receiver or device sends data to the handheld remote or smartphone app. – usually relating to what your dog is doing or has been doing, or where they are
- You are able to see the data in several different stats, modes, screen and viewing options on your handheld or smartphone app
Features To Look For In A GPS Dog Tracking System
The features really do vary depending on the type of system you get.
The best thing to do is to read through the reviews we’ve linked you to above to get an idea of the features each one has.
If you want a comparison of the advanced dog GPS tracking systems, you can read them here:
- SportDOG TEK 2.0 vs Garmin Alpha 100 Comparison
- Dogtra Pathfinder vs Garmin Alpha 100 Comparison
- All Dogtra Dog GPS Tracking System Reviews
- All SportDOG Dog GPS Tracking System Reviews
- All Garmin Dog GPS Tracking System Reviews
When Might You Use A GPS Dog Tracking System?
Everyday Pet Owner
- When you want to track a pet who has a habit of escaping your home or yard
- When you want to track the activity of an overweight pet
Advanced, Professional and Hunters
- When you want to track pets out in nature or at an event
- When you want to know what your pet is doing – standing still, walking, running, what direction they are heading etc.
What GPS Dog Tracking System Do I Get For My Dog?
You want to make sure of three things:
- The collar is going to fit your dog’s neck size, or the collar device is going to be able to attach to the collar on your dog
- Your dog weighs enough to use the system – usually dogs will have to be at least 8lbs
- The system has the features you need in order to track your dog as you require
Can Puppies Use A GPS Dog Tracking System?
It’s best to ask your dog’s vet.
The manufacturer should tell you the minimum age or weight for dogs using the system.
6 months old is an age given by some manufacturers.
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