One important aspect of pet parenthood is making sure that your pet stays safe. After all, many people view their pets as their children. But, some of us can’t keep an eye on our pets all the time when they’re outside. And for those that don’t have fenced-in yards, it can be nerve-wracking to not have a way to keep them contained to one area.
That’s where SpotOn GPS Fence comes in. SpotOn allows you to create a virtual fence around your property or a designated area to keep your dog contained by utilizing a collar and GPS satellite technology at a price that may be cheaper than building a physical fence.
If you’re considering purchasing this product and are looking for a first-hand review, you’re in luck. We had the pleasure and privilege of reviewing the SpotOn GPS Fence with our dog, and are here to share our experience with you.
What Is SpotOn GPS Fence? How Does It Work?
SpotOn GPS Fence is a virtual fence and GPS dog tracking system that works to keep your dog contained to a designated area without the need for a physical fence. This product is great for those dog owners who live in rural areas or just have a lot of land for their dogs to roam on. It works best if you have at least ½ acre of land, but can work on properties of 5 acres of land or even hundreds of acres.
The system works through a dog collar, cell phone app, and GPS satellite technology. Essentially, you link the collar to the app via Bluetooth, walk your property or area that you want your dog contained to with the collar and phone in-hand, and an invisible fence is created that you can view and manage through the app. If you have AT&T or Verizon as your cell phone carrier, you can also purchase a subscription service through SpotOn that allows you to track your dog’s location in real time as long as they’re wearing the collar.
When you put the collar on your dog, both the collar and the app produce alert tones when your dog comes within 10 feet of the fence boundary and vibrates when your dog reaches the boundary or goes beyond it. You have to train your dog to recognize what these audio cues mean so that he or she knows to turn around and come back. But, the collar has an optional static correction feedback feature that activates when your dog reaches the boundary, and that can help with training as well. The fence only works to keep your dog contained as long as your dog is wearing the collar and is trained to recognize the fence boundaries.
What Type of Dog Is SpotOn GPS Fence Designed For?
The SpotOn GPS Fence is designed for small to large sized dogs, dogs weighing 15 to 100+ pounds, or dogs with a neck circumference of 10 inches up to 26 inches. This collar is not ideal for toy or extra-small dog breeds, as even the smallest size collar will be too big for their neck.
SpotOn is best for dogs that have a lot of land to roam on. It’s not intended for dogs that stay confined to a fenced-in backyard or live in an apartment. It’s recommended that you have at least ½ acre of land in order to use SpotOn without your dog being constantly corrected with the audio tones, which start when your dog comes within 10 feet of the boundary.
SpotOn GPS Fence – A Quick Look
SpotOn GPS Fence Pricing
The SpotOn GPS Fence is pricey, coming in at $1,495. But, that’s to be expected considering how advanced this technology is. You also have to consider the fact that this product is designed to create virtual fences for your dog. If you consider how much it would cost to build a physical fence to keep your dog safe, you may end up actually saving money with this virtual fence system depending on how much land you have.
Also be aware that if you have multiple dogs, you will need to buy a collar for each dog because each collar works on its own self-containment system. That means you’ll be paying quite the high price if you buy one collar for each dog. But, SpotOn does offer a 15% discount on each additional collar you buy. And, you can pay for the collar in installments instead of all at once if necessary. Even though you need separate collars for each dog, you can manage all the collars in the same app.
In addition, you can create and manage fences through the free app, but if you want to be able to track your dog’s location while you’re indoors or elsewhere, you’ll have to sign up for a subscription. Live tracking works through a cell phone carrier but the price is separate from your cell phone plan and charged through SpotOn rather than your cell carrier. The longer subscription you sign up for, the cheaper your monthly payments are. And, you can try it for free for 90 days before deciding if you want to commit to the live-tracking subscription.
What to Expect from SpotOn GPS Collar
The SpotOn GPS Collar arrived at my home within just a few days after ordering it. It was packaged nicely, in a box similar to the way a new cell phone is packaged. Included in the box was an instruction manual, charger, and static correction points and tester provided that you choose to use the static correction feature.
When the collar arrives, it’s very important that you read the instruction manual carefully. It tells you everything you need to know about fitting the collar to your dog and what to do if it doesn’t fit, as well as how to charge the collar and set it up. Note that the collar emits different colors of light, so there’s also a chart in the manual that explains what each color means.
The manual also explains how to create fences so that you can read up on the process while the collar charges (which can take up to 2 hours). You’ll also need to download the app and link the collar to it via Bluetooth. The app explains everything well and setting up the collar is an easy process. But, you won’t be able to connect the collar to the app until the collar is fully charged.
SpotOn GPS Collar Contents
SpotOn GPS Fence Quality
Although the GPS SpotOn Fence is pricey, it’s worth the money if you’re going to be using it often. The collar and system are very high-quality and user-friendly and it is super easy to set everything up. We had no issues with setting up the collar in the app and creating our fence. The collar seems very durable and sturdy, and it’s easy to size the collar to fit your dog better.
The collar also emits different colors of light for different things, such as when it’s charging, fully charged, has a low battery, or is connecting to a GPS signal. The lights are very bright and easy to see. The sounds that the collar produces are also easy to hear. My dog responded to the sounds and vibrations immediately, but your phone will also produce the same sounds very loudly in the event that you aren’t near your dog in order to alert you that your dog is near the boundary. You can really tell that a lot of thought went into the product and that it is well-designed and constructed.
SpotOn GPS Fence Battery Life
Another important point to consider with the SpotOn GPS Fence is the battery life. This is a rechargeable device, which means that you’ll have to charge it frequently in order to work. The battery on the collar lasts for about 18 hours just for containment purposes, but if you’re using the live tracking feature, the battery only lasts about 12 hours and once the battery gets low or dies, you will lose the GPS/Bluetooth connection.
That being said, you will need to monitor the collar’s battery life, which you can do through the app. You’ll also need to remove the collar from your dog and make sure to charge it every night if you plan to use it daily. If your dog doesn’t stay inside at night, you may wish to have another way to contain him or her if you don’t want them roaming without the collar.
Note also that the collar takes between 90 and 120 minutes to charge completely once it dies. If you forget to charge it and the battery gets low or dies when your dog is outside, bring your dog inside or keep them contained if you don’t feel comfortable with them roaming while the collar charges.
SpotOn GPS Fencing Features/Constraints
When creating fences with the app and collar, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Remember that your dog’s collar will make noise, vibrate, and produce static correction feedback (if you choose) when your dog gets within 10 feet of or steps outside the boundary. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind the location of your fence and any structures that are within the boundary of that fence.
It is recommended that your fence be at least 80 feet wide at its narrowest point so that your dog has plenty of room to roam without being corrected. You also want to keep your fence boundary at least 15 feet away from any road or other hazard that you don’t want your dog getting near.
You also need to make sure to keep at least 30 feet of distance between the fence boundary and your home or another structure to make sure that your dog can pass through without correction. Make sure that your home is within the fence as well, or your dog will be corrected when you try to enter the home.
The virtual fence also works through water if you have a pond or creek on your property, as well as other obstacles such as thick trees or brush. When creating your fence, just pause the app and walk around the obstacle, then press resume and the fence will be created through the obstacle. The fence doesn’t have to be straight either; it can be curved if necessary.
SpotOn also allows you to create multiple fences for your dog using the same collar. This is beneficial if you own multiple homes or have different areas of your property that your dog visits or you take your dog camping. You can create new fences in each location that you visit with your dog and the app and collar will remember all fences until you delete them.
SpotOn GPS Fence Training
In order for the SpotOn GPS Fence to work most optimally, you will need to train your dog to recognize the sounds when they are getting near the boundary. That way, your dog knows when to turn around. SpotOn recommends spending at least 15 minutes a day training your dog until they recognize the sounds.
If training is not your expertise, SpotOn offers resources and training plans to help make it easier. Plus, you can use the optional static correction feedback mechanism to make training your dog easier. And if you’re having trouble with training or dog just isn’t getting it, SpotOn also offers remote training sessions with one of their trainers to help make your experience easier.
SpotOn GPS Fence Troubleshooting
Hopefully, your SpotOn GPS fence system works flawlessly. But in the event that it doesn’t, you can find some troubleshooting tips in the back of the User Guide. In the event that you can’t get the app to work or you have issues that aren’t addressed in the User Guide, you can visit the Help section on the SpotOn website where you can online chat with support, reach out to their customer support team, or just use the search engine to search for your question and possible solutions.
Is SpotOn GPS Fence a Good Value?
Overall, SpotOn GPS Fence is a good value if you have a lot of land for your dog to roam and want to potentially save money as opposed to building a physical fence. If you have multiple dogs, the cost of buying a collar for each dog can get pricey, so building a physical fence may be more cost effective. You also have to consider the size of your land and whether you want to pay for the live tracking functionality to be able to track your dog while you’re away or while he or she is roaming.
As far as being high-quality and easy to use, we think that this collar is definitely worth it if you’re going to get a lot of use out of it. Plus, the option to pay in installments helps to lessen the financial burden if you’re purchasing this collar on a budget.
FAQ: SpotOn GPS Fence
What is the warranty for SpotOn GPS Fence?
The warranty for the SpotOn GPS Fence system is good for one year and covers manufacturer defects only. Damage caused to the collar by your dog is not covered under the warranty. You can view the full warranty policy here.
What is the return policy?
You can return the SpotOn GPS Fence collar within 45 days. The product must be in like-new condition, meaning that it should not be damaged and should be in original working condition. If any components of the collar are missing (i.e. charger, static correction points, etc.), a $50 fee may be charged.
Does SpotOn require cell service?
SpotOn GPS Fence is designed to keep your dog contained without cell service. However, you can purchase an optional cellular service subscription which allows you to track your dog both inside and outside the fence as well as receive notifications about the collar’s battery life. You can learn more here.
How are fences created?
It’s easy to create a fence with this system. First, watch the tutorial video in the app as it explains how creating fences works. Then, walk around your property or designated area where you want the fence to be with both the collar and your phone in hand. You can pause and resume the fence at any time and the fence will pick up right where you left off. When you get within 10 feet of the fence’s starting point, the app will automatically finish the fence for you.
How do I know if the fence is working?
After creating your fence, walk near the boundary with the collar and your phone in hand. When you get within 10 feet of the boundary, the collar and your phone should emit an alert tone if the fence is working. As you get within 5 feet of the fence, a different tone sounds, and as you reach the border, the collar and your phone will start to vibrate. You can test the fence at different points to make sure it’s working all-around.
Is the collar waterproof?
The SpotOn Collar is waterproof to IP67 standards, which means that it is protected against water damage when immersed up to 1 meter. You don’t have to worry about your dog wearing the collar in the rain or while swimming in depths of up to 1 meter. And remember that you can even create fences through water with this collar!
Our Experience With SpotOn GPS Fence
Before I get into our experience with the SpotOn GPS Fence, here’s a little background information. We live on a corner lot with around ¾ acre of land. Our dog is a 10 pound Chihuahua mix, so she’s a bit bigger than most Chihuahuas. She’s pretty good about staying in our yard, but due to her smaller size and the fact that we live in a neighborhood, we don’t let her out to roam without our supervision. However, we thought the GPS Fence would be a good idea to keep her away from the road and wooded and thick brushy area around our property so that we could find her easily, as well as keep her out of the neighbors’ yards.
Setting Up the Collar
The SpotOn GPS Fence arrived quickly after we received the tracking information. I was impressed with the quality of the packaging and how secure the collar and all of the components were in the box. It was very easy to set up for charging, although I was concerned that it wasn’t charging because there’s not a continuous light that stays on while being charged. Instead the light will flash green a few times and then stop flashing. When the collar is fully charged, the green light will stay on.
The app (which is available via Google Play and the App Store) is very user-friendly and walks you through setting up the collar. I did experience trouble with getting the collar to connect to the app via Bluetooth. But, then I realized that the collar has to be fully charged to connect. After it was fully charged, the collar connected immediately.
Creating and Testing the Fence
Creating the fence was a piece of cake. Even if you consider yourself to be great with technology, I highly recommend watching the tutorial in the app for setting up the fence. It explained everything really well. Following the instructions in the app, we were able to create the fence within 5 minutes. Obviously, this process will take longer if you have more land than we do, but it’s still very easy and straightforward. We had no issues whatsoever with creating the fence.
After creating the fence, we tested it with the collar in hand. Believe me, if everything is working properly, you’ll know when you get close to the fence boundary. The sound is LOUD, and that’s a good thing, in my opinion. I felt confident that the fence was working as it should.
After testing the fence, we put the collar on my dog, Penny. I’ll mention again that Penny is a Chihuahua mix, and we measured her neck before ordering. The small collar was just small enough to fit her when tightened to the smallest notch. If she were any smaller, the collar would be too big for her, so take the company’s word when they say that this collar isn’t suitable for toy and extra-small breeds before you spend the money. But, it should work great for any dog that is around 12-15 pounds or larger. I do recommend measuring your dog’s neck before ordering so that you know what size collar to get.
Being a small dog, the collar was a bit bulky and heavy for her as well. But again, it should be fine for most dogs. She didn’t really have any issues with it being on her though. We put the collar on her and let her walk around, and as soon as she got near the fence boundary, the alarm went off. She was aware of the sound immediately and started to look around for the source of the noise. We did call her to move farther away from the fence and the alarm stopped. We repeated this process a few times and she started to pick up on the fact that when she got near the border, the alarm would sound and when she walked away, the alarm would stop.
The sound alone was enough to deter her from continuing to go beyond the fence. It basically stopped her in her tracks. She’s not super anxious like many Chihuahuas are, but the alarm did startle her a bit. That being said, it shouldn’t be hard to train most dogs to recognize the sounds and what they mean, although more rebellious and courageous dogs may take a bit longer to train.
I’ll admit that we didn’t use the static correction feedback since the collar was so effective for our dog without it. We also didn’t use the live tracking feature since our property is on the smaller side and we’re always outside with our dog. So, I can’t personally vouch for how well those features work. But based on our experience with the other aspects of the collar, I think it’s safe to say that they should work well if you choose to use them.
The SpotOn GPS Fence is a great product for people that have a lot of land without a fence to keep your dog contained. Although it is pricey, you can potentially save money with this system as opposed to installing a physical fence. We were impressed with how user-friendly the product is and the quality of it as well. All-in-all, the product served its purpose well for us. We think it’s worth the investment if you’re going to use it frequently. Just make sure to monitor the battery life, keep it charged when your dog is indoors, and put it on your dog before he or she ventures out.