Best GPS Dog Collar: Garmin Astro Vs Alpha Vs Trackimo Vs Link AKC Vs Findster & More

Best For…
Overall
Garmin logo
Astro 430 T5
Value
Findster Duo+ logo
Escape Artists
Tractive logo
Small Dogs
Trackimo logo
Sporting Dogs
Style

Want to take your dog hiking with you off-leash? Or do you have a Houdini hound at your home? A Global Positioning System (GPS) dog collar or tracking device could be just what you need. These tools allow you to keep track of your dog’s location and where she’s heading via tracking technology located in a device on their collar. Learn more in our best GPS dog collar review.

Article Overview

Benefits Of GPS Collars

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) found in a study that 14% of lost dogs are never located. The best way to find a lost dog is to scour your neighborhood and make sure your dog has an accurate ID tag on her collar.

On the other hand, imagine if you could know the instant your dog roams away and track where she’s heading. The peace of mind is worth it. Also, if you take your dog hiking off-leash, she’s free to explore far away from you without you having to worry about where she is.

GPS Microchip vs Standard Microchip: What’s The Difference?

When you hear the word microchip associated with pets, you typically think of microchips embedded subcutaneously. But there are some significant differences between an internal microchip and a GPS microchip for dogs and how they allow you to keep track of your dog.

GPS Microchip

A GPS chip for dogs is external, usually worn on your dog’s collar. The GPS chip sends a continuous signal to the global satellite system, which allows you to see your dog’s exact location in real-time. Some GPS pet trackers can also feature message alerts and information about your dog’s activity levels and health.

Dog Walking On Street (Caption: Microchips for Dogs)Standard Microchip

A standard microchip for dogs is implanted under your dog’s skin and contains information like the chip ID, breed, owner details, and more. You can’t track your dog’s whereabouts at any given time with a standard microchip. It’s only helpful if someone finds your dog and takes them to a shelter or a vet’s office with a particular scanner to read the chip.

Best GPS Dog Collars And Trackers

There are many variations of GPS dog collars and GPS pet trackers, so we’ve broken down our reviews into categories we think will help you choose the type you need.

Best GPS Collar Overall: Garmin Dog Tracker Astro 430 T5 Review

Garmin Astro 430/T5View on Amazon

Although mainly marketed for sporting dogs, the Garmin Astro 430 makes an excellent GPS tracker for avid hikers, campers, and those living on large, remote farms.

One of Garmin dog tracker’s most prominent selling points? It’s a self-contained GPS unit (that doesn’t rely on cellular service) and has GLONASS reception that performs better in challenging environments.

The waterproof GPS collar transmitter has a sturdy, adjustable steel antenna, which transmits your dog’s position as often as every five seconds to your handheld receiver. The signal is strong enough to track your dog’s status even in heavy tree cover or deep canyons.

The receiver has a 2.6-inch color display, which lets you see your dog’s current location and a trail of her previous path on the map. The Garmin Astro 320 is feature-rich with an electronic compass, enhanced map drawing capabilities, BirdsEye Satellite Imagery compatibility, and much more.

Pros

Cons

  • No need for cell service and no monthly service fees
  • Range up to 9 miles
  • Battery life up to 20 hours with continuous use (up to 40 hours on rescue mode)
  • Receiver unit expandable up to 20 dogs (extra collars not included)
  • Collar is waterproof
  • Vibration alert if your dog leaves your designated safe zone
  • Uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries
  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for small dogs (too large for Beagles)
  • The learning curve to set up and use

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • $649.99  for Garmin Astro 430 T5 Dog GPS Bundle (one transmitter collar and receiver)
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Batteries not included
  • 9.2 oz. collar transmitter weight

Findster Duo+ with appBest Value: Findster Duo+

View on Chewy

Don’t want to pay a fortune upfront or a monthly fee for a GPS collar? The Findster GPS collar could be your best bet. Findster’s MAZE technology uses two modules, one for your dog’s collar and one for you. The technology allows these devices to communicate with each other, eliminating the need for a cellular connection.

This GPS collar also doubles as an activity monitor by tracking your pet’s fitness and activity levels. The downside? Its range is limited to 1/2 mile in urban areas and 3 miles in remote locations, so it’s not ideal for sporting or hiking.

Pros

Cons

  • It doesn’t require cell service or monthly service fees
  • Works anywhere in the world
  • Waterproof up to 3 feet
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Receive alerts if your dog leaves her safe zone
  • Uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries
  • The range is limited to 1/2 mile in urban areas
  • It can only track 3 pets
  • Several user complaints that it loses the signal frequently
  • Customers say it’s bigger than it looks, so it’s not suitable for tiny dogs or cats

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • $184.99 for 1 pet tracker
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • 2 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries included
  • 0.8 oz device weight

Best For Escape Artists: Tractive GPS Pet Tracker Review

Tractive GPS Pet TrackerView on Amazon

Tractive GPS Pet Tracker is an excellent option if you live in the city or suburbs and have a dog who likes to stray. The Tractive device attaches securely to most collar types and includes a built-in SIM card, which allows you to track your dog from your smartphone or PC.

Its live-tracking mode lets you see where your dog has traveled and where she’s heading. You can also set up a safe zone via the app and receive a text alert if your dog leaves the area.

The downsides? You must be in the range of a cell tower for this GPS dog tracker to work — and pay a monthly service fee. Tractive isn’t the best dog GPS tracker on the market, but if you’re on a limited budget and don’t need GPS in very remote areas, you should give it some consideration.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable pricing
  • Easy to set up and activate
  • Lightweight device for dogs 9 pounds or more
  • Receive text alerts if your dog leaves her safe zone
  • Compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows smartphones
  • Batteries last 2 to 5 days, and it fully recharges in 2 hours
  • GPS device relies on cell service, so it doesn’t work out of a cell tower range
  • You must pay a monthly service fee ($5-$7)
  • Some consumer complaints about short battery life

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Check Amazon for availability
  • The monthly service fee starts at $5 per month
  • 1 rechargeable lithium polymer battery included
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • 1.2 oz. device weight

Best For Small Dogs: Trackimo Review

TrackimoVisit Website

Trackimo is similar to the Tractive GPS Pet Tracker in that it relies on cell service and requires a monthly service fee. But Trackimo is more compact than Tractive, making it an excellent option for smaller dogs.

You’ll end up paying more upfront for Trackimo, but it offers a free year of service, and then you’ll end up paying $5 per month. Since Trackimo relies on cell service, it’s not ideal for remote areas. But if you live in an area with reliable cell service, Trackimo is another excellent option for pets who tend to roam.

Pros

Cons

  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy setup and activation
  • Lightweight and extremely compact device
  • Battery life up to 96 hours
  • Receive text or email alerts if your dog leaves her safe zone
  • Compatible with iOS and Android smartphones
  • It relies on cell service, so it may not work in remote areas
  • You must pay a $5 monthly service fee (but the first year is free)
  • Several customer complaints that the location tracking isn’t accurate

Pricing & Tech Specs

Trackimo offers a full year of service free and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Trackimo 3G Guardian GPS Tracker – $198.90
  • Trackimo 3G GPS Tracker + 1 Year GSM – $198.90
  • Trackimo Mini Dog and Cat GPS Tracker – $139
  • Trackimo 3G Travel Tracker Device – $199.95
  • View all options
  • Monthly service fee: $5 per month
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • 1 lithium-ion rechargeable battery included
  • 1.4 oz. device weight

Best For Sporting Dogs: Garmin Alpha 100 TT 15 Dog GPS Bundle Review

Garmin Alpha 100 TT 15 Dog GPS BundleView on Amazon

The Alpha GPS Track and Train System is an excellent solution if you have multiple dogs you’re training or tracking in the field. This waterproof GPS dog collar and receiver unit combine GPS tracking with Tri-Tronics training technology that uses 18 training levels of continuous and momentary stimulation.

Like the Garmin Astro, the Alpha doesn’t rely on cell service, so it’s an excellent choice for remote areas. The handheld, glove-friendly receiver features a three-inch color touch screen and comes preloaded with TOPO U.S. 100K mapping and a rechargeable battery. In addition to showing your dog’s location and direction, the Garmin Alpha even gives you each dog’s speed.

Pros

Cons

  • It doesn’t require cell service or service fees
  • Includes tracking and training
  • Range up to 9 miles
  • Battery life up to 20 hours (up to 40 hours in rescue mode)
  • Expandable up to 20 dogs (extra collars not included)
  • Collar is waterproof
  • Tone or vibration alert if your dog leaves your safe zone
  • Many positive reviews from consumers
  • Expensive
  • The collar tracker is too large for small dogs
  • It requires time to set up and learn the system

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • $799.35  for Garmin Alpha 100 TT Dog GPS Bundle (one transmitter collar and receiver)
  • $299.99 each for additional transmitter collars
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries included
  • 8.8 oz. collar transmitter weight

How Does Garmin Alpha Work?

Check out Garmin’s video below to see all the great features you get with its Alpha 100 TT system.

Best For Stylish Dogs: LINK AKC Review

Link AKCView on Amazon

The LINK AKC GPS smart collar tracks your dog’s activity, location, health, and more. It can detect when temperatures are unsafe for your dog and has an LED light to help you see your dog at night.

The curved collar is a comfortable and fashionable brown leather. It’s available in seven sizes to ensure a perfect fit for your pup. If your dog outgrows its collar, you can exchange it for another size for free.

If your dog (or you) want a more sporty look, you can purchase a gray or pink sports sleeve. It’s easy to see why we picked LINK AKC as the best stylish GPS dog collar.

Pros

Cons

  • The battery lasts up to 3 days
  • Unit expandable up to 10 dogs
  • Waterproof up to 3 feet
  • Receive alerts if your dog leaves the “safe zone”
  • Free upsize if your dog outgrows its collar
  • Battery clips on and off the collar, so it’s easy to charge overnight
  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • It relies on AT&T cell service
  • Only works in the U.S.
  • You must pay a monthly service fee ($6.95 to $9.95)
  • Not recommended for dogs under 10 pounds
  • Many reviews of it underperforming

Pricing & Tech Specs

LINK AKC offers a 90-day risk-free guarantee.

  • $109.99
  • The monthly service fee starts at $6.95 per month
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Rechargeable battery included
  • 1.4 or 1.5 oz. (depending on dog’s size) collar weight

Need An Activity Monitor Or Training Collar?

If you’ve found our GPS dog tracker reviews helpful and are interested in learning more about other types of dog collars, be sure to check out our dog activity monitor reviews and our dog training collar reviews.

Why are you looking for a GPS dog collar or tracker? 


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