Best GPS Dog Collar: Roam if You Want To!

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Best
Garmin logo
Astro 430 T5
Escape Artists
Tractive logo
Small Dogs
Trackimo logo
Sporting Dogs
Garmin logo
Alpha 100 TT 15 Dog GPS Bundle
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Read Review
Stylish

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 he’s heading through a GPS microchip located in a unique 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.

Article Overview

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 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 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 Overall GPS Collar: Garmin Astro 430 T5 Review

Garmin Astro 430/T5View on Amazon

The Garmin Astro 430 T5 is our choice for the overall best GPS collar for dogs. Although mainly marketed for sporting dogs, the Garmin Astro 430 makes an excellent GPS tracker for avid hikers, campers and for those who live on large, remote farms.

One of its most prominent selling points? It’s a self-contained GPS unit that doesn’t rely on cellular service with 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 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 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)
  • Learning curve to set up and use

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • $549.99 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

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 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 nine pounds or more
  • Receive text alerts if your dog leaves his safe zone
  • Compatible with iOS, Android and Windows smartphones
  • Batteries last two to five days and it fully recharges in two hours
  • GPS device relies on cell service, so it doesn’t work out of an AT&T cell tower range
  • You must pay a monthly service fee ($5-$7)
  • Some consumer complaints about short battery life

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Price: $119.99
  • 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 up front for Trackimo, but it offers 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 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 his safe zone
  • Compatible with iOS and Android smartphones
  • 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 – $259.99
  • Trackimo 3G Guardian GPS Tracker + 1 Year GSM – $259.99
  • Trackimo 3G Travel Tracker Device – $279.95
  • 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 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 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
  • Collar tracker is too large for small dogs
  • Requires time to set up and learn the system

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • $699.99 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.

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 to be in and has an LED light to help your dog be seen at night.

The curved collar is fashionable with its brown, leather look and is designed to be comfortable for your dog to wear. The collar is available in five sizes to ensure a perfect fit for your pup. If your dog outgrows his collar, you can exchange it for another size for free.

There is a mandatory service plan that you must sign-up for to have full use of the collar. You can sign up for a two-year plan for $6.95 per month, a one-year plan for $7.95 per month or a monthly plan for $9.95 per month. We recommend checking AT&T coverage in your area before purchasing because, without it, this collar is useless.

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

  • Range is only limited to the cell service areas
  • Battery lasts up to two days
  • Unit expandable up to ten dogs
  • Water resistant up to three feet
  • Receive alerts if your dog leaves safe zone
  • Free upsize if your dog outgrows his collar
  • Battery clips on and off the collar, so it’s easy to charge overnight
  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Relies on AT&T cell service, so it doesn’t work outside of cell phone range
  • You must pay a monthly service fee ($6.95 to $9.95)
  • Not recommended for dogs under ten pounds
  • Many reviews of it underperforming

Pricing & Tech Specs

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

  •  $99.00
  • 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

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.

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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Araceli Alesna
Thank you for this best gps dog collar information above mentioned are different tracking device this helps me to choose wisely the best tracker for my dog.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Glad we could help you! Thank you for the kind words.
Tucker Burns
I simply attached my Trackimo tracking device to the collar of my lab. I have no complain yet since i used this tracker actually this tracker is great!
Kelly
I personally like the Trackimo for my dog, it is a nice GPS tracker and it is perfect for my little buddy
Tiffany
I really like the 3G tracking device from Trackimo, I can set a virtual fence for my pooch and it also has the movement alert system that notifies me whenever he moves from one place to another. Great product!
Paul
I need a GPS tracker for my chihuahua. I owned a Garmin device before but he just kept on chewing it off.
Laila
You might try using 3G Trackimo device, I’m using one for my Yorkie. The device is sturdy and the monitoring features are on point.
Nicole
Using a GPS tracker is a lot better than the Bluetooth one’s, I absolutely like the geofencing features of Trackimo giving me some peace of mind.
Eric
I got a Trackimo device cause I like to take my dog when I go walking/hiking and have him go on off-leash adventures too. A tracker would be a great way to keep an eye on him as he explores.
Donna
Agreeing to what you have said, it’s the tracker that maps the place out, gives fast updates on a fast moving target and accurate in locating.
Ashley
How good is it?
John
We originally owned the Whistle 2. Then I got mesmerized by the design and featured of the LINK AKC. I ordered an original and it lasted only a couple of months. During that time I found the performance very poor and inaccurate. Often times the thing would not even track. Customer service replaced the unit with another sealed in box. After a short time I was so disappointed with the tracking reliability I went back to Whistle and bought a new Whistle 3. I should have never switched. The Whistle 3 is always accurate, long lasting battery and never gave my Chesapeake Bay Retriever a problem when she goes swimming. The only issue I had with it at first was the rubber band that attaches it ti the collar. Whistle re-designed that part and sent all their customers two replacements each free of charge. Fast forward months later and it works as good as new!
Corina
Does it need internet connection?
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!