Best GPS Dog Collar: Roam if You Want To!

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Best
Garmin logo
Astro 320 T5
Escape Artists
Tractive logo
Small Dogs
Trackimo logo
Sporting Dogs
Garmin logo

Alpha 100 TT 15 Dog GPS Bundle
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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 devices allow you to keep track of your dog’s location and where he’s heading through a GPS microchip located in a special device on his collar. Depending on the GPS unit, you receive a cell signal to your smartphone or a handheld receiver. Check out our best GPS dog collar reviews to see which device meets your needs.

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 major 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 the exact location of your dog in real time. Some GPS pet trackers can also feature message alerts and information about your dog’s activity levels and health.

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 him to a shelter or vet that has a special scanner to read the microchip.

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 Overall GPS Collar: Garmin Astro 320 T5 Review

Garmin Astro 320 T5View on Amazon

The Garmin Astro 320 T5 is our choice for the overall best GPS collar for dogs. Although mainly marketed for sporting dogs, the Garmin Astro 320 makes an excellent GPS tracker for avid hikers, campers and for those who live on large, remote farms. One of its biggest selling points? It’s a self-contained GPS unit that doesn’t rely on cellular service. 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 position 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 his 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 10 dogs (extra collars not included)
  • Collar is waterproof
  • Vibration alert if your dog leaves your designated safe zone
  • Uses rechargeable lithium ion batteries
  • 1-year warranty
  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for small dogs (too large for beagles)
  • Learning curve to set up and use

Pricing

All prices are at the time of writing.

  • Out of stock for Garmin Astro 320 T5 Dog GPS Bundle (one transmitter collar and receiver)
  • $249.99 each for additional transmitter collars
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Batteries not included
  • 9.2 oz. collar transmitter 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 he’s heading. You can also set up a safe zone via the app and receive a text alert if he leaves the zone. 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 lbs or more
  • Receive text alerts if your dog leaves his safe zone
  • Compatible with iOS, Android and Windows smartphones
  • 1-year warranty
  • 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)
  • Must recharge the device (can’t remove batteries)
  • Some consumer complaints about short battery life

Pricing

  • Price: $109.99
  • Monthly service fee starts at $5 per month
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • 1.2 oz. device weight

Best for Small Dogs: Trackimo Review

TrackimoView on Amazon

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 up front for Trackimo, but they offer a generous 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 that has solid cell service, Trackimo is another great 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 his safe zone
  • Compatible with iOS and Android smartphones
  • Uses rechargeable lithium ion batteries
  • 1-year warranty
  • 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

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

  • Price: 
  • 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 that you’re trying to train and track in the field. This waterproof GPS dog collar and receiver unit combines 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

  • 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 on 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
  • Uses rechargeable lithium ion batteries
  • 1-year warranty
  • Expensive
  • Collar tracker is too large for small dogs
  • Requires time to set up and learn the system

Pricing

All prices are at the time of writing.

  • $799.99 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.

Why Go the GPS Dog Collar Route?

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found in a 2012 study that 14 percent of lost dogs are never found. The best way to locate a lost dog is to scour your neighborhood and make sure he has an accurate ID tag on his collar. But imagine if you could know the instant your dog roams away and track where he’s heading? The peace of mind is worth it! And if you take your dog hiking off leash, he’s free to explore far away from you without you having to worry about where he is.

If you’ve enjoyed our GPS dog tracker reviews and are interested in learning more about other types of pet trackers, be sure to check out our Best Dog Activity Monitor reviews and our Best Dog Training Collar reviews.

What type of GPS dog collar or tracker are you looking for and why? 

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Sally grew up in a feline-only home, but cat allergies in her early 20’s made it an easy transition to dog ownership. And she couldn’t be happier with her canine shadow, who’s been at her side (literally) for years. No longer a cat person for obvious reasons, Sally is now a true bone-ified dog lover.

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1 Comment on "Best GPS Dog Collar: Roam if You Want To!"

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Robyn Mead
Robyn Mead
My dog and I go hiking quite a bit and while she’s trained to be off her leash, it makes me nervous sometimes if she were to see something and get distracted and run off. So definitely going to get a GPS tracker just in case!
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