10 Best Dog GPS Trackers & Collars in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated: December 21, 2020

Dog-GPS

Some dogs are master escapologists, capable of slipping a leash and getting out of the dog park in the blink of an eye. Others can dig under, jump over, or chew through garden fences and other barriers.

Whatever your dog’s chosen method of escaping your grasp, a GPS tracker enables you to determine their location at any time. Some double up as daily movement trackers, measuring the total distance covered by your pet. If you’re curious how far you walk with your pup, or you are encouraging a strict daily walking regimen for your furry friend, one of these exercise GPS collars enables you to track the distance your dog covers, rather than the distance you cover.

Buy a GPS collar according to how long the battery lasts, the tracking method used by the collar, and whether it offers additional features like step tracking.

There are a lot of GPS collar options available, including those from brands like Garmin and even Black and Decker. To help ensure that you choose the device that best fits your needs, and those of your dog, we have put together reviews of the 10 best dog GPS trackers and collars.


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Whistle Go Explore Dog GPS Tracker Whistle Go Explore Dog GPS Tracker
  • Set up safe zones
  • Track steps and distance
  • Includes a night light
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Cube Shadow Bluetooth Tracker Cube Shadow Bluetooth Tracker
  • No subscription required
  • Cheap
  • Connects to a mobile app
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Fi Series 2 GPS Tracker Fi Series 2 GPS Tracker
  • Comfortable
  • LED light
  • 3 month battery charge
  • Jiobit GPS Dog Location Monitor Jiobit GPS Dog Location Monitor
  • Set up geofenced areas
  • Receive instant alerts
  • Tracks indoor and outdoor locations
  • Link AKC PLUS Sport GPS Link AKC PLUS Sport GPS
  • Good looking leather collar
  • GPS tracking
  • Fitness and other features
  • The 10 Best Dog GPS Trackers & Collars – Reviews 2021

    1. Whistle Go Explore Dog GPS Tracker – Best Overall

    The Whistle Go Explore is a GPS tracker but it can also help your dog get fit. It uses AT&T’s cellular network, combined with Google Maps, to pinpoint your dog’s position. You can set a safe zone so that if your dog leaves this area, you receive an alert message warning you. The tracker records positional data and, using the app, you can see where your pooch has been over the past 24 hours. These services do come at a cost, and as well as a moderately priced GPS tracker device to buy, you have to pay a monthly subscription to AT&T to enjoy tracking and coverage.

    The device itself has a decent battery life, with a single charge lasting up to 3 weeks. It has a buckle fitting and you can set fitness goals for your dog to achieve. The tracker is waterproof up to 6 feet and it even includes a night light to make it easy to find your dog if he goes missing when it’s dark.

    Pros
    • Set up safe zones
    • Track steps and distance covered
    • Get up to 3 weeks on a single charge
    • Includes a night light
    Cons
    • Subscription plan required

    2. Cube Shadow Bluetooth Tracker – Best Value

    The Cube Shadow Bluetooth Tracker is cheap, works via Bluetooth so does not require any monthly subscription, and it is rated as waterproof. The Cube is really just a GPS tracker that is designed to keep any item safe, and this can include your dog. It is light and small enough that it can even be used on your cat in the same way, although if yours is an outdoor cat, the 200-foot range likely won’t be enough.

    The device can connect to a cell phone app or other mobile device and will ring to alert you of the device’s last known location when it goes out of range. Alternatively, you can use the app and have the Cube emit a ringing noise to let you know where it is. It is very light, inexpensive, and it doesn’t require a monthly subscription fee, but the ringer is quiet and a feature that is best for use when hunting for lost keys or a lost wallet.

    Although the manufacturer claims the battery will last for a year, it will only last for 2-3 months, and the tracker isn’t pinpoint accurate, although this is less important when trying to find a dog. Overall, the low cost and lack of a subscription make this one of the best dog GPS trackers and collars for the money.

    Pros
    • No subscription required
    • Cheap
    • The Bluetooth device connects to a mobile app
    Cons
    • 200 ft range is impeded by walls and other items
    • The alert whistle is quiet

    3. Fi Series 2 GPS Tracker Smart Dog Collar – Premium Choice

    The Fi Series 2 GPS Tracker Smart Dog Collar uses satellite location and LTE-M cellular technology to track your dog. It is one of the most accurate GPS trackers on the market and offers one of the most precise location trackers available. Connect the tracker to your mobile device and set up a geofence to receive alerts as soon as your dog leaves your yard or another area.

    The Fi Series 2 also acts as a fitness tracker, and you can compare your dog’s fitness data with that of dogs of the same age or breed within your neighborhood, so you can shame your pup into getting more exercise. The collar is a sleek and lightweight design that is similar in size to a standard buckle collar. The battery will last for up to 3 months before it needs recharging and connecting to your home network, it reduces the strain on the Fi’s battery so that it will last longer.

    The armored tracker is waterproof and dirt-proof and collar bands are available in a variety of sizes and colors to match your dog. The best features of this tracker do require an annual subscription and the device itself is expensive to purchase.

    Pros
    • Comfortable, lightweight, and discreet
    • LED light
    • Battery charge up to three months
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Requires subscription for best features

    4. Jiobit GPS Dog Location Monitor

    The Jiobit GPS Dog Location Monitor is a dog tracker that uses a combination of Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular technology to monitor your dog’s position and alert you if he escapes or gets lost.

    It can monitor location indoors and outdoors, and thanks to the combination of tracking methods, it isn’t restricted by walls or other items. The device is light and will easily and conveniently connect to your pup’s collar. It has an unlimited range and the rechargeable battery will last for around 7 days before it needs recharging. You can set up geofenced areas, receive alerts as soon as your dog leaves those areas, and you can enjoy live monitoring and tracking to see exactly where your pet is, whenever you want to.

    The device is expensive and you will require a subscription to get the most from its features, especially if you want cellular tracking, and the 7-day charge duration isn’t great, but it is an effective device and does have some very advanced features.

    Pros
    • Set up geofenced areas
    • Receive instant alerts
    • Tracks indoor and outdoor locations
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Advanced features require a subscription
    • Needs recharging after 7 days

    5. Link AKC PLUS Sport GPS Smart Dog Collar

    The Link AKC PLUS Sport GPS Smart Dog Collar is an attractive leather collar that includes a host of features. It works as a GPS tracker, although this does require a monthly or annual subscription to allow you to locate your dog away from home. The tracker itself is 5 inches long and bigger than most other comparable devices.

    While this won’t impede a larger breed, because it does curve around the natural shape of your dog’s neck, it will prove cumbersome for smaller breeds. It has a bright LED night light, too, and the app will even advise you how much exercise and how often, according to the breed, age, and other factors, your dog. You can track walks, take pictures using your phone’s camera to log your walk, and it has a few other features.

    There is a note-taking feature of the app that lets you record details like the last time your pup was de-flead or the last time he went to the vet. You can even receive notifications of extreme temperature changes. However, these features come at a cost, and this is not only a steep one-off cost but an ongoing monthly cost, too.

    Pros
    • Good looking leather collar
    • GPS tracking
    • Fitness and other features
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Requires subscription
    • Uncomfortable for smaller breeds

    6. Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker

    The Tractive LTE GPS dog tracker is a GPS tracker that uses the LTE cellular network for tracking. You can set up a geofence zone and receive live alerts as soon as your dog leaves the designated area. The app also enables you to see a full history of the locations your dog has visited, so you can see where he goes when he gets out and potentially use this information to help prevent further escapes.

    The activity monitor also allows you to monitor your dog’s activity level and determine whether he needs more or less exercise. The tracker is moderately priced, but it does require a minimum 1-year subscription to activate and use the LTE tracking features.

    Unfortunately, the device is quite cumbersome and not as attractive as other trackers, and it can take up to 30 minutes for the device to register its location, which would mean that you are always one step behind an escaped dog.

    Pros
    • Moderate price
    • Set up geofence zones
    • Receive instant alerts
    Cons
    • Requires subscription
    • Minimum 1-year subscription to start
    • Ugly and large tracker

    7. FitBark GPS Dog Tracker

    The FitBark GPS Dog Tracker is a moderately priced GPS tracker that is small enough to fit on most collars. It has an embedded Verizon 4G LTE-M sim card. You will need a subscription to benefit from the tracker and safety features of the device, but this is true of most similar devices. However, because this uses Verizon’s network, you will need to check whether you get decent Verizon coverage in your area. If not, the network may not recognize the tracker, which means that you will not receive alerts or reliable location updates.

    The FitBark allows users to set up multiple Wi-Fi safe places, which means that you can establish geofences at your home, at family and friends’ houses, at the kennels, and at other locations, and have the app message you whenever your dog leaves these locations. It will also track activity levels, can be set up with individual targets and goals, and can be integrated with your own FitBit or another fitness app.

    The range of features and how well they work highlights this as a device that is better suited to those looking for a canine fitness device rather than a GPS tracker.

    Pros
    • Excellent fitness features
    • Reasonable size
    Cons
    • Requires subscription
    • Slow to update location
    • Better for fitness than tracking

    8. Garmin T5 GPS Dog Collar

    The Garmin T5 GPS Dog Collar is a GPS tracker device. It has a range of 9 miles and does not require a monthly fee, which is good considering the initial price of the device is easily the most expensive on our list.

    To work over this kind of distance, the collar does have an antenna, which is far from subtle and may be prone to chewing and potentially even getting caught. It also requires the purchase and use of a separate Garmin transmitting unit for the collar to work. The batter has a life of about 40 hours, which is lowered considerably if you use the bright LED lights that provide extra visibility.

    This is a serious collar that will prove useful for hunters and even for service dog handlers, but its high costs are prohibitive and are further compounded by the necessity to buy a very pricey transmitter unit as well as the collar itself.

    Pros
    • 9-mile range
    • No subscription requires
    Cons
    • Very expensive
    • Needs an additional, very expensive, device
    • Not as reliable as you would expect for a Garmin GPS

    9. Dogtra Pathfinder GPS Tracking Collar

    The Dogtra Pathfinder GPS Tracking Collar is another expensive GPS collar that is aimed primarily at hunters and service dog handlers.

    The bright orange hard collar will be too uncomfortable for a lot of dogs, but it is waterproof and is colored bright orange so should be visible in the limited visibility of a dense forest or other location. It has a 9-mile range, and it operates as a training collar with 100 levels of vibrating stimulation. You can create a geofence and receive live alerts when your dog leaves the area.

    While this unit is very expensive, it doesn’t require the purchase of an additional device, but it won’t work with smaller dogs and breeds. There are also some issues pairing the device with a phone while the remote for the device does not offer access to the collar features.

    Pros
    • Bright orange collar is clearly visible
    • 9-mile coverage
    • Works as a training collar
    Cons
    • Uncomfortable
    • Expensive
    • Doesn’t stay paired
    • Not suitable for small dogs

    10. BLACK+DECKER Smart Dog Collar

    The Black and Decker Smart Dog Collar is a GPS and activity tracking collar. You can set up geofences, which means that you can set up safe zones in your own yard, but also in the park or field where you let your dog off their leash.

    If they make a break for freedom, the collar will immediately alert you, and you can use it to track their movements and find their most recent position. It is water-resistant and it has 2-way audio, which means that you can listen in to try and locate your dog and you can reassure them. Black + Decker isn’t a name that you would normally associate with dog collars, and this device has poor GPS and cellular coverage.

    The OLED screen that displays name and contact details is easily broken, it has poor battery life, and its reliance on 2G coverage means that it will not work with most carriers because they have disabled their 2G networks.

    Pros
    • Cheap
    • OLED display screen
    • 2-way audio
    Cons
    • Screen breaks easily
    • Relies on 2G coverage
    • Audio is poor quality

    Buyer’s Guide

    Some dogs have a serious sense of wanderlust. They will take every opportunity to dig, jump, or otherwise escape from the confines of their garden or home. They may try to escape when let off their leash while at the dog park, or while you’re out hunting or partaking in some other activity with your pet pup. GPS trackers make it easier to locate your dog, minimizing the time they’re left to fend for themselves and making your task easier. Some models may offer additional features, such as fitness and activity trackers, 2-way audio, and even the ability to integrate the collar’s fitness tracking with your own fitness tracker activity.

    Connection Methods

    The primary purpose of GPS collars is to track or monitor the location of your dog. You could monitor your dog’s position because they have gone missing or got out of the yard, or potentially to check that the dog walking and pet sitting service is giving them regular exercise. In any case, the following tracking and connection methods are available:

    • GPS – GPS uses satellites to track position. It requires the use of multiple satellites, usually a minimum of 24, and these may be operated by the likes of GPS navigation specialists like Garmin or cellular carriers like Verizon or AT&T. In either case, you will usually have to pay a subscription to use the satellite network and access the data it provides.
    • Cellular – Cell carriers like Verizon and AT&T use cellular and satellite networks to send and receive cellular signals. They are ideally placed to offer tracking services. When using cellular service, ensure that the network has good coverage in your area and be prepared to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to use the service.
    • Bluetooth – Bluetooth has a theoretical range of up to about 0.6 miles, but in reality, you will get a much shorter range than this from a mobile device. This kind of tracker will only really be useful to find a dog that is lost on your property or within your home.
    • WiFi – Similarly, WiFi has very limited range capability, but because you probably have a WiFi network at home, you can use this as a method of geofencing. As soon as your dog’s collar leaves the WiFi network range, you receive an alert and you know that your dog has left the property. To benefit from this type of device, you will need to first determine the exact range and boundaries of your WiFi network. It could run out halfway down your yard or may cover property next door.

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    Conclusion

    GPS collars come from a variety of manufacturers, including Garmin, who are well-known in the GPS tracking world, Black and Decker, who are better at making power tools, and Whistle Go, who benefit from having several generations of GPS tracking collar behind them. This selection can make choosing a decent tracking collar a difficult decision.

    As well as considering features like tracking method and range, you will have to decide whether you want a simple Wi-Fi device that barks an alert when your dog leaves the range of your home network or something with full cellular coverage but that requires a monthly subscription. Hopefully, our reviews have helped you find the device that best meets your requirements, the activity levels and escapology skills of your dog, and your budget.

    Whistle Go’s experience in making effective GPS tracking collars really shows and the Whistle Go Explore GPS collar is the best model we found. If you’re on a tighter budget, or you only have relatively basic tracking requirements, the Cube Shadow Bluetooth Tracker is a discreet, light, and cheap alternative.


    Featured Image Credit: Matti Blume, commons Wikimedia