Best GPS Dog Collar: Never Lose Your Dog Again!

We’ve all had that panicked moment. You go to check on your dog and suddenly realize that he is not where he should be. Whether it be a broken run, jumped the fence, or otherwise, when your best friend is MIA, it’s stressful, but what if there was a way you could know exactly where your dog was at all times?
There is — a GPS dog collar.

Often worn attached to a collar, these little devices allow you to track your dog. This is usually done with a smartphone app, or in some cases, with a handheld device.

So, how do you know which is the right one for you?

Sit back, relax, and let us take you through the options in our GPS dog collar review.

Our Top Pick

For our top pick, we highly recommend the Whistle 3 Pet Tracker. It’s a surprisingly affordable tracker that’s jam-packed with features and is highly accurate.

 

The Top GPS Dog Trackers Reviewed

Whistle 3 Pet Tracker

The Whistle 3 is a feature-packed GPS tracker that’s surprisingly affordable. It not only has GPS tracking but also acts like a dog FitBit of sorts, showing your pups activity levels.

 

Key Features

  • SMART GPS Tracker allows you to locate your pet from anywhere in the United States using AT&T’s 3G cellular service
  • Up to seven days of battery life
  • Waterproof up to a depth of 3 feet for 30 minutes
  • Attaches to any collar one-inch wide
  • A monthly subscription is required

 

What We Like

The Whistle 3 combines the functionalities of both a GPS tracker and activity monitor in one neat package. It clips on easily to your dog’s existing collar, making attaching it a breeze.

Since it uses the AT&T network, the range of this tracker is technically unlimited, so long as you have a cellular signal. The seven-day battery life is also more than enough time to locate your dog, even during extended periods.

Aside from this, the cool thing about the Whistle 3 is the smartphone app. With it, you can track where your dog has been throughout the day, what he did, and even how many hours of rest he had. We found it fun to actually monitor this stuff and gave us a sense of being aware of what our dog is up to, even when we’re away.

 

What We Didn’t Like

Since it relies on AT&T’s cellular network, it won’t work at all if you go off the grid. Thought these areas are relatively limited. There is also no way to find the tracker if it is lost within Wi-Fi range (the tracker will simply say “at home”).

 

Pros

  • Nationwide tracking so it gives a pretty good range
  • Easily clips on an existing collar, so no need to mess around with sizing
  • Good battery life
  • Not as expensive as other GPS dog collars

 

Cons

  • Not usable in no signal areas

 

The Whistle 3 is the best GPS dog collar overall, in our opinion. It’s affordably priced, performs well, and has excellent features in a compact package.

 

Overall Rating – 4.9 / 5.0

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Garmin Alpha 100 Bundle

The Garmin Alpha 100 is a GPS dog collar and trainer in one and features advanced GPS technology.

 

Key Features

  • High sensitivity GPS with GLONASS
  • Tri-tonics electronic dog training technology
  • Track up to 20 dogs with separate Garmin Alpha units
  • Preloaded with U.S. 100K maps
  • One-year free BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription

 

What We Like

The Garmin Alpha 100 has, so far, exceeded our expectations of what a GPS tracker should be. This GPS collar is dead-on accurate. You’ll know exactly where your dogs are, how fast they’re going, and where they’re headed to.

The unit has an impressive nine-mile range and even can do two miles in heavily wooded areas. The Alpha 100 is clearly built for the outdoors, as the collars are all rugged and waterproof.

The training functions are useful as well for quickly recalling your pet or enforcing boundaries. All in all, this system lets you just sit in your house while your dogs roam free, with complete peace of mind.

 

What We Didn’t Like

This is a very, very expensive GPS system running more than eight times more than say, the Whistle 3. If you don’t frequent outback situations where cell service may not be present, this model is likely overkill.

 

Pros

  • Highly accurate tracking lets you know exactly where your dogs are
  • Rugged and waterproof collars made for the outdoors
  • Training functions work really well
  • No monthly subscriptions required

 

Cons

  • Very expensive

 

If you can afford the price tag, the Garmin Alpha 100 is the best GPS dog collar in terms of features, durability, and functionality.

 

Overall Rating – 4.8 / 5.0

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Tractive 3G Dog GPS Tracker

The Tractive 3G GPS Tracker is one of the most affordable GPS dog collars on the market.

 

Key Features

  • Lightweight and waterproof tracking device
  • Usable in over 150 countries
  • Battery life of 2-5 days
  • IPX7 waterproof and shock-resistant
  • Virtual Fence feature sets boundaries that notify you when your pet crosses it
  • Monthly subscription required

 

What We Like

The Tractive 3G Dog GPS Tracker, for all intents, is the most basic GPS dog collar you can get. It provides a way to locate your dogs, receive notifications of their whereabouts, and allows you to create safe zones for your pet.

Because it connects via a 3G network, it technically has unlimited range, so long as there’s a cellular signal, you’re good. What’s more, it can be used in up to 150 countries, so perfect when you’re bringing your pet on vacation.

The best thing about the Tractive is that it’s really affordable. Both the unit itself and the monthly subscription is low priced and is perfect for those looking for a basic, no-frills way to track their dogs.

 

What We Didn’t Like

Some users report this unit is not as accurate in certain areas. This is likely a result of cell reception.

 

Pros

  • Very affordable, with low monthly subscription rates
  • Usable in countries outside of the U.S.
  • Lightweight and waterproof

 

Cons

  • Not as accurate in certain areas

 

For those on a budget and who only wants basic tracking features, it doesn’t get any cheaper than the Tractive 3G GPS Tracker.

 

Overall Rating – 4.4 / 5.0

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Link AKC Smart Dog Collar

The Link AKC Smart Dog Collar is an all-in-one GPS tracker and activity monitor that comes in stylish wearable tech.

 

Key Features

  • Nationwide tracking via the AT&T cellular network
  • Monitor your pet’s activity
  • Safety features such as temperature monitor, LED lights, and vet records
  • Waterproof up to 3 feet for 30 minutes
  • Monthly subscription required

 

What We Like

More than just a GPS tracker, the Link AKC is a smart collar for your dog, but since we’re talking about GPS trackers, we’ll tackle that first. You’ll be able to locate your dog quickly, nationwide, via the AT&T cellular network. It’s also faster and accurate than most GPS collars out in the market.

But beyond that, it’s jam-packed with extras, and we’re confident that you’ll use at least one of them. We like the temperature alerts in particular because it lets us know if our dog is too hot and is in danger of a heat stroke (I’m partial to this since that’s how my old dog died).

The activity monitoring also works great, and the adventures feature allows you to record special memories with your pet – a nostalgic feature for those more sentimental owners out there.

 

What We Didn’t Like

While it works most of the time (including in my case), there’s a fair amount of reviews online that have said otherwise. It might be just a rare case with them, but it’s good to be aware.

 

Pros

  • Very stylish and gorgeous looking collar
  • The activity monitor and other safety features
  • It’s waterproof, so you don’t need to worry about it during rainy weather

 

Cons

  • It’s unreliable with a small number of users

 

While others might find it inaccurate, we nevertheless had a great experience with the Link AKC Smart Dog Collar. For us, it wins on style and features.

 

Overall Rating – 4.5 / 5.0

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICE

Findster Duo+ GPS Pet Tracker

The Findster Duo+ GPS Pet Tracker is a GPS dog collar that doesn’t require a monthly subscription.

 

Key Features

  • Uses proprietary MAZE technology that doesn’t rely on any cellular network
  • Can be used anywhere in the world, even off the grid
  • The effective range of 3 miles in open areas, and 0.5 miles in city settings
  • Battery life of up to 12 hours
  • No monthly subscription required

 

What We Like

For those hating paying a monthly subscription, the Findster Duo+ GPS Pet Tracker is the perfect collar. It allows real-time GPS tracking without the need to connect with any network. This means that tracker can also be used virtually anywhere in the world.

You can also define safe zones so that you’ll be notified via the smart app if your pet wanders off.

 

What We Didn’t Like

The range of the Findster Duo+ is much smaller and limited versus a cellular GPS tracker. This restricts the effectivity of this unit somewhat – if your dog wanders beyond range, it becomes much more challenging to track down his location.

 

Pros

  • No monthly subscription makes this cheaper in the long run
  • Can be used completely off the grid, making it very flexible
  • Waterproof and shockproof

 

Cons

  • Limited range
  • Low battery life

 

While its range is quite limited, the Findster Duo+ wins because of the lack of a monthly subscription, and versatility to be used anywhere in the world.

 

Overall Rating – 4.4 / 5.0

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICE

POD 3 GPS Pet Tracker

The POD 3 GPS Pet Tracker is a small and lightweight GPS dog collar.

 

Key Features

  • Small and compact design fits into most collars
  • Uses the power of GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular technology
  • Unlimited range within cellular coverage
  • Can track anywhere in the world

 

What We Like

One of the cooler looking GPS dog trackers we’ve seen, the POD 3 looks more like a futuristic gadget than a tracker. The small compact frame makes it especially suitable for smaller breeds.

What makes the POD 3 especially compelling is that it uses different connectivity technologies beyond GPS, such as Wi-FI and cellular. Because of this, you can continually track your dog even if it goes beyond cellular range, for example. It’s a robust and fail-safe method that’s well appreciated.

 

What We Didn’t Like

The unit is more expensive than comparable GPS dog trackers. Also, a lot of owners have found it frustrating to connect the unit to their smartphones.

 

Pros

  • Uses multiple connection technologies for better coverage and tracking reliability
  • Can be used anywhere in the world
  • Sleek and compact design is perfect for smaller dogs

 

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not as easy to set up for some users

 

The POD 3 is a cool looking, sleek, and modern GPS dog tracker that has all the bases covered for better reliability.

 

Overall Rating – 4.2 / 5.0

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICE

BARTUN Mini Pet Tracker

The BARTUN Mini Pet Tracker is a small, lightweight pet tracker that relies on SIM card technology.

 

Key Features

  • Real-time tracking using GPS satellites and LBS + AGPS network
  • IP67 waterproof and shockproof tracker
  • View tracking data via an iOS or Android app, or through a website on a desktop
  • Monthly subscription required
  • Includes a 2G Speedtalk SIM Card

 

What We Like

The BARTUN Mini Pet Tracker might be cheap and straightforward, but it does provide any pet owner all the tracking they will ever need. What makes it different is that it uses a SIM card for it to work.

Because of this, there are multiple ways to keep track of your dog. You can do it via SMS or through the mobile app. You can track your dog via their website.

The small, compact size of this tracker makes it suitable for small dogs, which is nice to see, as many trackers are bit bulkier.

 

What We Didn’t Like

When the unit goes from one connection technology from another (say GPS to cellular), there might be a loss in accuracy, which can be misleading.

 

Pros

  • Uses four different connection technologies for better coverage and reliability
  • Very small, so your dog won’t even notice it’s there
  • Notifies you in multiple ways so you won’t miss out on where your dog is

 

Cons

  • Inconsistency when switching technologies

 

The BARTUN Mini Pet Tracker is great because of its small size and support for GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular.

 

Overall Rating – 4.7 / 5.0

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICE

Dog GPS Tracker Buying Guide

Why Get a GPS Dog Collar?

Dogs are very unpredictable creatures, even the most behaved ones. They will go off chasing the most trivial of things, like a ball or a squirrel. In most cases, this is just a minor annoyance, and your dog will find its way back to you.

In some cases, however, your dog might get lost. And without no way of communicating, it will be hard for others to direct him back to you. This is where GPS dog collars come in. They allow you to keep tabs on your dog’s whereabouts at all times. This is usually done via a device or, increasingly, via an app on your smartphone.

GPS dog collars help protect your dogs from getting lost, or even from getting dog napped. For owners that take their dogs out hunting or hiking, this is especially critical so you can reunite with your dog even if you get separated.

 

Advantages of a GPS Collar vs. Other Tracking Devices

Compared to other dog tracking technologies like radio telemetry or beeper collars, GPS offers several benefits:

 

It Gives Your Dog’s Exact Location

A GPS collar’s main advantage is it gives you the exact location of your pet at any given time. Both radio and beeper collars don’t give you that level of accuracy.

 

It Has A Vast Range

Since GPS relies on satellites, it technically has an unlimited range. In theory, you need access to a cell tower to track your dog – which isn’t too bad in itself.

 

It Runs Silently

A GPS collar runs with virtually no sound, compared to that of a beeper collar. This is useful for hunting dogs who don’t want to give their position away.

Things to Consider When Getting a GPS Dog Collar

The Size and Weight of the GPS Collar

The ideal GPS collar shouldn’t be noticeable to your dog, or anyone else for that matter. Because of this, you would want your GPS collar to be as lightweight and small as possible. It should also be comfortable for the dog to wear; otherwise, he will always try to remove it.

 

Durability

When your dog has wandered off on his own, a GPS collar is genuinely needed. In this case, you would want your GPS tracker to be durable enough so that it will continue working, even if your dog goes through rough terrain.

 

Is It Waterproof?

In addition to durability, a GPS collar would be pretty useless if it stopped working the moment it gets wet. When your dog wanders off, he can potentially go anywhere, rain or shine. The best GPS dog collar should be prepared for any environmental circumstances.

 

Battery Life

When your dog gets lost, you’ll have no idea how long you’ll have to search for him. It can stretch out to hours or even days. The best GPS dog collar should then have a long battery life so that you can continue to try and track your dog even hours after the fact.

 

Cost

Cost is, of course, a significant factor in buying anything, but more so on GPS dog trackers. This is because, on top of purchasing the collar itself, most of them require a monthly subscription for cell tower use. You need to consider this in your cost calculation.

 

Other Important Features

Beyond tracking your dog’s location, today’s GPS collars offer a lot more features. Some give you the option of monitoring your dog’s activity and even their sleep patterns. A lot of GPS dog collars also have options for radio tracking, since a GPS only tracker will stop working if you go off the grid.

 

Final Thoughts

We’ve seen the many GPS dog collars in the market and how it can benefit you as an owner. In many ways, a tracker gives you complete peace of mind, knowing that you’ll be able to locate your dog even if he goes astray. And many trackers have lots of extra features like training functions and activity monitors to enhance further the connection you have with your dog.

But for the best GPS dog collar, the one we recommend the most is the Whistle 3 Pet Tracker. It has the winning combination of accurate performance, ruggedness, and long battery life – all in an affordable package.

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Gail Ramirez

Gail Ramirez

Gail is an aspiring blogger, pet lover and Greys Anatomy, addict. Gail shares her experience on Pet Fashion Week as she studies to become a qualified vet.