Best Smart Dog Collar: Fi vs Whistle vs Tractive vs FitBark vs Halo 2+ vs SpotOn & More

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Are you looking for a smart collar for your dog? Smart collars have a variety of features, such as GPS tracking, health monitoring, and activity tracking. Some combine all these features in one collar, while others focus more on your dog’s fitness (like a Fitbit for dogs). The collar’s device connects to an app on your smartphone, where you can monitor your pup’s activity. We’ve delved into the best on the market and give you our top picks in our smart dog collar reviews.

At A Glance: Our Top Picks

GPSAll-In-OneValueHealth & Fitness
SpotOn collar and appHalo collar 2TractiveFitbark 2
SpotOnHaloTractiveFitBark 2
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Best Smart Dog Collars

We’ve chosen our top picks and other collars based on the accuracy of each collar, tracking features for location and fitness, pricing, customer service, user feedback, and more.

GPS: SpotOn Virtual Fence Review

SpotOn tracker and phone

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SpotOn GPS Fence is a superb option if you want an easy-to-use virtual fencing system and GPS tracker, particularly if you have a large property. SpotOn uses a unique “True Location” GPS technology to keep your pup contained in the boundaries you set. You can create unlimited overlapping fences that work on GPS without the monthly fee for cellular coverage.

However, SpotOn’s cell service is necessary to receive alerts that your dog has left your yard and to track his whereabouts. (You can get a 90-day free trial if you sign up for the one or two-year plan.) SpotOn has 30 customizable correction modes, including vibrations, sound, or static feedback. And you get detailed training materials and one-on-one training sessions with one of SpotOn’s certified dog trainers. The primary downsides to SpotOn GPS Fence are its high cost and that it is not designed to work in small areas.

Our Personal Experience With SpotOn GPS Fence

We had the opportunity to try SpotOn’s collar with our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in exchange for an honest review. The collar itself was easy to set up, attach the contact points, and adjust the size. After activating the collar and creating an account, you can walk with your dog on a leash to create your virtual fence in real-time. I was impressed at how detailed the fence line was and how accurate the invisible fence lines were.

When getting close to the “edge,” it makes a loud beep. As you get closer to the boundary, there is a two-tone alert. And if you cross the boundary, the collar vibrates. There’s no subscription required for the fence feedback, but if you want GSP tracking that is an additional monthly fee. If you’re looking for a way to contain your dog without a need for wires, this training collar is worth the investment.

Sadie Cornelius, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog parent
Can create multiple, overlapping wireless fences over 1,000s of acresExpensive
Easy to set upRequires a minimum of 1/2 acre
Real-time alerts and accurate GPS tracking via 4 dedicated satellite systemsLikely won’t fit very small or very large dogs (10″-26″ neck sizes)
IP-67 waterproof ratingMust pay a monthly fee for alert and tracking feature to work
Battery life is 14-22 hours, depending on the mode you’re using
Portable system that works with any terrain
Mobile apps get good reviews
1-year limited warranty
90-day money-back guarantee
10% discount on multi-collar purchases



Use coupon code CANINE to get $100 off your SpotOn purchase via this link.

Monthly Subscription

An optional subscription get you access to the GPS tracking (without a plan you can only use the device and app as a fence and get alerts if/when they are out of their safe zone). A 1 year or 2 year plan comes with a 90 day free trial.

  • Month to Month: $9.95/month
  • 1-Year: $7.95/month (save 20%)
  • 2-Years: $5.95/month (save 40%)

Full SpotOn GPS Fence Review

All-In-One: Halo Collar 3 Review

Halo 3 Collars

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The Halo Collar 3, backed by the famous dog expert Cesar Millan, is our top pick for the best all-in-one smart dog collar. This device is a smart wireless dog fencing system, GPS activity tracker, and remote training collar in one collar. Halo uses GPS/GNSS, LTE, Bluetooth, and WiFi technologies to set boundaries, track your dog’s activity, and send you escape alerts via the app.

You can customize Halo to keep your dog in-bounds via vibrations, sound, or static correction (a tapping sensation), effectively using it as a smart dog training collar. It includes Cesar Millan’s 21-day training program to teach your dog how to adapt to the system (and many other indoor and outdoor training tips). And it also keeps track of the number of walks your dog takes and the time spent active vs resting.

The new and improved Halo Collar 3 includes upgrades that specifically address customer feedback from the original Halo Collar. These improvements include enhanced GPS coverage using cell carriers, better location accuracy, a 24-hour battery life, a much more rugged collar with a Pro-case that can withstand chewing and harsh terrain, a magnetic doc that doesn’t trap dirt and debris, as well as better cellular, WiFi, and Bluetooth performance.

The Halo could be a great solution if you need a smart training collar for a medium yard.

Our Personal Experience With Halo Collar 3

Halo Collar 3 box and contents

The app walked me through a series of training videos which are super entertaining and informative. The quality is very cinematic, and the text helps reinforce the audio instructions. After learning about types of feedback (prevention and encouragement), I worked on beacon training. This gets your dog accustomed to feedback in a safe, indoor setting. You’ll manually give your dog feedback (sound or stimulation) and a reward to guide them away from the “no-go zone.” You’ll repeat these steps several times for 30 minutes and do at least 3-4 sessions before building up to outdoor boundaries. Eventually, when you turn the beacons on, the beacon will automatically give feedback when your pup gets within a certain range of the no-go zone. Georgie responded well to the feedback and am pleased with the GPS location tracking improvement from the Halo 2+ which we tested previously.

– Sadie Cornelius, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog parent
Ability to set up 20 customizable virtual wireless fencesExpensive
Covers up to 10 square milesRequires a monthly subscription
Battery life averages 20 hoursNot for small dogs (minimum neck size is 11″ and minimum weight is 20 lbs)
IP-67 water-resistant rating
Portable system that works with any terrain
Apps get generally good reviews
30-day satisfaction guarantee
1-year limited warranty
Customer service and tech support via live Zoom sessions, phone, and email


Monthly Subscription

A required monthly subscription gets you access to the GPS tracker, training tools, and activity monitoring. Each plan gives you different features and advanced tracking, feedback, and support.

  • Bronze: $5.99/month
  • Silver (recommended): $9.99/month (+ custom support, custom ranges, advanced tracing, instant feedback)
  • Gold: $29.99/month (+ premium training lessons each month, live sessions with trainers)

Coupon Code

Use this link to get $25 off your Halo Collar purchase and unlock a special discount.

Full Review Of Halo Collar

This brief video gives you a snapshot of how Halo Collar works.

Best Value: Tractive GPS Tracker For Dogs Review

Tractive GPS Tracker For Dogs and app

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Tractive is a very affordable smart device that snaps easily and securely on most dog collars. It uses GPS and LTE technology to keep tabs on your pup (it connects to AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile). And its live-tracking mode updates every two to three seconds (more often than many other devices) — an excellent feature for finding your escape artist.

Once you set up a virtual fence in your yard via the app, you’ll get a text alert if your dog leaves his safe zone. It also tracks your dog’s active and rest times and calories burned. And it works in over 150 countries. Tractive is an excellent value considering the accuracy and reliability of this device. This makes it one of the most affordable GPS dog trackers on the market.

Our Personal Experience With Tractive

We’ve been using Tractive for over a year with our two and a half year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

He’s an escape artist so wanted a way to be able to locate him should he get loose (in addition to being microchipped and has an ID collar). I get alerts as soon as he leaves his “safe zone” on walks around the block, and know when he’s safely returned.

This feature comes in handy when I’m not home and know if my husband has taken him out on a walk or not. I also like seeing the heat map of where he’s been on walks when he stays with a sitter.

It’s super slim and lightweight and attaches to his harness. He doesn’t even notice he’s wearing it but other people comment on it asking what it is!

For the price point, it’s an affordable solution to have a reliable way to keep track of your dog of any size!

– Sadie C., Canine Journal
Excellent valueRequires a monthly service fee
Easy to set up and activateSome consumers complaints about short battery life
Lightweight device for dogs 9 pounds or more
Unlimited range (as long as you have LTE connection)
Receive text alerts if your dog leaves his safe zone
Mobile apps get fantastic reviews
Batteries last 4-7 days, and it fully recharges in 2 hours
IPX7 waterproof rating
Built-in LED light
30-day money-back guarantee
1-year limited warranty
Users report excellent customer support


Monthly Subscription

A required monthly subscription gets you access to your dog’s location and activity.

  • Month to Month Basic: $13/month
  • 1-Year: $8-9/month ($96-$108 billed annually)
  • 2-Years: $6-7/month ($144-$168 billed every 2 years)
  • 5-Years (Premium Plan Only): $5/month ($300 billed every 5 years)

Best For Health & Fitness: FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor Review

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Want to keep track of your pup’s overall wellness? FitBark 2 can turn nearly any collar into a smart collar with activity and health tracking. It fits most flat dog collars up to 1.5″ wide and is designed for dogs of all sizes. You can monitor your pup’s activity, sleep quality, distance, calories burned, and more through the mobile app. And you can set activity goals and compare your pup’s activity to dogs of a similar breed, age, and weight. You can also sync it with Fitbit, Apple Watch, Apple HealthKit, or Google Fit wearable devices.

Unlike our other top picks, this FitBark 2 device isn’t a GPS location tracker, but they do offer a separate device, the FitBark GPS Dog Tracker 2nd Gen, which combines GPS tracking with all the features of this activity monitor, all for a competitive upfront price. Just keep in mind the FitBark GPS Tracker requires a monthly subscription.

Our Experience with FitBark

Screenshot of Fitbark app

The founder of this website, Michelle, uses FitBark with her dog Lily. Here’s what Michelle had to say:

We have two dogs but Lily is the one always running around the yard and getting into trouble with the wildlife. So we thought it would be interesting to see how her activity tracks throughout any given day using the FitBark. We have only had it for about a week, but Lily has exceeded her activity goals every day so far, and the well-designed smartphone app keeps us current on her activity and rest for every hour of the day. It is really neat to see how often she plays vs. is mildly active and it even surprised us to see that one night she did not sleep so well. An added bonus, that we had not anticipated, is that when Lily’s activity was pacing below her goal for the day, the app sent a notification to let us know. That motivated us to take both dogs on a walk right away. So, the activity monitor is encouraging its owners as much as its wearer (maybe more so, ha!) to be more active.

– Michelle S., Canine Journal
Tracks behavior changes (rest, active, and play time)Short battery life (for GPS)
Compares with similar dog breeds, age, and sizeGPS requires monthly subscription
Lightweight and one size fits any dogSome reports of the device breaking or falling off
Waterproof and can withstand rugged movements and play
No monthly fees (for activity tracker)
Rechargeable battery (life up to 6 months)
Used by 100+ universities for research
30-day money-back guarantee
Used by 100+ universities for research
Excellent customer service reviews


  • $69.95

Full Review Of FitBark

Monthly Subscription

A required monthly subscription gets you access to the GPS and health tracker capabilities (via iPhone or Google Android app).

  • Month to Month: $9.95/month
  • 1-Year: $7.95/month (save 20%)
  • 2-Years: $6.95/month (save 30%)
  • 3-Years: $5.95/month (save 40%)

What About Fi Collar & Whistle Go?

These smart collars didn’t make it into our top rankings, but they’re still worth considering

Fi Smart Dog Collar Series 2 Review

Fi Smart Dog Collar Series 2

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Fi uses GPS and the LTE-M cellular network to keep tabs on your pup in real-time and has escape alerts. It requires a subscription for GPS, which is $99 per year (or you can get discounts for multiple years).

Fi also allows you to keep track of your dog’s daily activity, from distance traveled to sleep patterns. You can set goals for daily steps to keep your pup in shape. You can even connect with and compete with fellow Fi users. The chew-proof and waterproof collar comes in four colors and four sizes, ranging from 11.5″ to 34.5″, so it fits a wider variety of dogs.

To save battery life, the Fi Collar will dynamically connect to WiFi or local Bluetooth beacons, such as your phone or the Fi charging base. Many users, however, said this could be inconvenient. Users say the battery drains very quickly when not connected to WiFi or Bluetooth.

So, why didn’t Fi make it into our top picks? We’ve seen several user reviews about the company’s poor customer service and spotty GPS location accuracy.

Fits dogs of many sizes (10+ pounds)More user complaints about GPS accuracy than our top winners
Customizable geo-fencingSeveral complaints about poor customer service (and no phone or live chat support)
Fast escape alertsRequires a monthly subscription for GPS tracking
Health and fitness trackerApps generally get poor reviews
IP68 waterproof-rated collar
Rechargeable battery life up to 3 months (but this can vary widely)
Built-in LED light
1-year warranty


Monthly Subscription

A monthly subscription is optional for Fi 2 but recommended if you want to have the GPS tracking abilities.

  • 1-Year: $99
  • 2-Years: $186 (save 5%)
  • 3-Years: $$248 (save 16%)

Whistle GO Explore Health & GPS Review

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The Whistle Health & GPS combines location and health tracking in one device. The real-time GPS location tracking uses the AT&T LTE network and Google Maps and sends you alerts via mobile app or text if your dog escapes the boundaries you’ve set. The live-tracking, however, only updates every 15 seconds, which is a bit slow compared to other products.

The fitness and health features allow you to set alerts for over-scratching, oversleeping, and more. You can also monitor and set activity goals for distance traveled and calories burned. Whistle also includes a free Televet feature (by the VETINSIGHT group), with chat, call, video, and email.

The device comes in three colors and fits most collars, but you can also purchase Whistle’s durable nylon collar that comes in six colors and three sizes, ranging from 14″ to 26.” Whistle also sells a similar GPS and Health device called Whistle GPS & Health + that comes on a collar and is bette for small dogs (as little as 5lbs). Or, if you just want a health and fitness tracker, you can opt for Whistle Health. Whistle didn’t make our top picks due to complaints about GPS reliability and tech support problems.

Excellent health and fitness monitoring featuresNot for dogs under 25 pounds
Includes free on-demand chat-with-a-vet serviceRequires a monthly subscription
Ability to set a customizable safe zoneSeveral complaints about inaccurate location tracking and poor customer support
Escape alerts via text or app
Apps get positive user reviews
IPX8 waterproof rating
Rechargeable battery life up to 20 days
Built-in night light
30-day satisfaction guarantee
1-year warranty


  • Whistle GO Explore Health & GPS Tracker:
  • Collar:

Monthly Subscription

A required monthly subscription gets you access to GPS location tracking, health data, and proactive alerts.

  • Whistle GPS + Health: $8.25/month or $99 billed annually.
  • Whistle Health: $3.33/month or $40/annually.

Looking For More Types Of Dog Collars?

If you want to take your dog hiking or camping or you live in a remote area, there are some excellent GPS dog tracking collars that don’t require cell coverage like the ones in this article do. And while you can use the Halo collar for some training purposes, you may want to consider a more affordable remote dog training collar.

We also have reviews of light-up dog collars to keep your pup safe at night and personalized dog collars, which are an excellent alternative to flimsy ID tags that can fall off.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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