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Every dog parent’s worst fear is their dog getting lost. After all, you can’t just phone your dog if he escapes the yard or gets off his leash. Fortunately, with today’s technology, you can outfit your pup with a GPS or tracking collar.

Dr. Terry Fossum notes that while chips are great for identifying your dog, chips need to be scanned by someone with access to a microchip scanner. GPS trackers allow YOU to see where your dog is, which will help you find them if your pet is lost or stolen. The health monitoring can also be useful, particularly in senior dogs. Are these collars higher on the price end? Yes, but you’re paying for peace of mind and your dog’s safety. That’s a worthy investment.

Even if they’re microchipped, finding a lost dog can be incredibly difficult. An effective GPS or tracking dog collar can help you locate an escape artist pup before it’s too late.

Selecting The Right GPS/Tracking Collar For Your Dog

Since there are so many options for GPS and tracking collars for dogs, here are some things to think about before you shop:

Tracking Accuracy: When you’re investing in a tracking collar to keep tabs on your best pal, you want the most accurate readings possible. It’s important to note that some of these trackers update location information more frequently. Not all offer live tracking, which could be important if you’re dealing with an escape attempt.
Range: Look for the collar’s range capabilities and whether or not it functions best in rural areas or city spaces. Some can detect your dog’s location from farther distances than others.
Battery life: Depending on their communication technology, some collars/trackers may last longer than others before needing to be recharged. For a longer-lasting battery, you might also end up paying more.
Activity and health monitoring: Many of these collars/attachments also monitor your dog’s health data in addition to location features. This isn’t essential, but it’s a nice option with several of these devices.
Subscriptions: For trackers that use cellular networks, you’ll have to pay a monthly, annual, or multiple-year subscription fee. This is in addition to the cost of the device. Purely GPS/Bluetooth devices that don’t operate on cell networks won’t typically require this fee.

Considering all these factors, here are our picks for the best GPS and tracking collars for dogs and their most notable benefits.

Best Overall

Track your dog in over 150 countries with an app for iOS and Android (or any web browser)Mark safe spaces with a virtual fence capabilityView your dog’s daily travel historyMonthly, 1 year, 2 year and 5 year plans available starting at $4.99 per month

The Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker uses AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks to track your dog. In addition to showing you where your dog is, it also lets you know where they’ve been since the tracker was booted up. That way, you can see if they’ve gone anywhere they shouldn’t have when you weren’t looking. Plus, this collar can track your dog’s health, activity, and sleep patterns so you can spot concerns early on.

Get 20% Off Tractive with the Code IHDOGS20!

Designed to cover small areas or thousands of acresCreate up to 20 boundaries through tough terrain where physical fencing can’t be builtWaterproof, with an IP67 water ratingTracking: see your dog at the touch of a button and know immediately if they cross a boundaryLearn to train your dog through modules within the app and get a free 1:1 training session with a certified dog trainer if you need help.

Whereas other electronic dog fences may need an extensive setup that involves digging and burying wire, SpotOn GPS Dog Fence works right out of the box, with no manual labor necessary. The program is as easy to set up as taking your dog for a walk – walk the boundary of the “fence” you want to set up for your pup, pop the collar on, and let your dog explore worry-free with SpotOn. 

SpotOn’s GPS Dog Fence is head and shoulders above other GPS collars, thanks to their patented True Location technology. SpotOn uses a dedicated GPS antenna that dynamically filters out poor GPS signals partially blocked by the horizon, trees, or buildings.

SpotOn’s products are made in the U.S.A., and they offer a generous discount to veterans of the U.S. military.

Best for for Safety

Not a shock collar – focuses on sounds, vibrations, and emergency static pulsesCreates invisible boundary with no installation neededWaterproofIncludes built-in activity trackerUses a convenient mobile app100% satisfaction guaranteed

The Halo GPS Dog Collar is one of the safest choices. It’s not a shock collar because the company wants to avoid harmful, punishment-based training. Instead, it focuses on sound and vibration warnings, using a painless static pulse in emergencies. No installation is needed, and your dog’s location and activity can be monitored from an easy-to-use app.

Best for Long-Term Use

Uses a convenient mobile appConnects to your phone using BluetoothAlso tracks your dog’s health and activityBattery lasts for weeksAvailable in three sizes

The Invoxia Smart Dog Collar checks all the boxes because it tracks your dog’s location, health, and activity. You can see exactly where your dog is on the app, along with how much time they’ve been active and what their resting heart rate and respiratory rate are. Plus, this collar has a long battery life, lasting for several weeks, so it’s easy to use it long-term. The only downside is that it may be bulky for some small dogs.

Check out our full Invoxia review for more information.

Most Accurate Tracking

High sensitivity GPS with 9 mile rangeTracks even in areas with poor cell serviceIncludes extended range antennaWater-resistant design

Garmin is a highly trusted brand known for its navigation systems. While it skews higher on the price range, the Garmin TT 15 Dog Device is one of few trackers that doesn’t require a smartphone/an app or even internet access. It also has a wide tracking range of 9 miles.

Related: The 10 Best No-Pull Dog Harnesses

Most User-Friendly

Provides live location trackingWeekly health report indicates your pet’s licking, scratching, and sleeping habitsBattery life can last up to 20 daysSmall device compatible with a wider variety of collars


The Whistle GO Explore consistently tops the lists of the best tracking collars and devices for dogs. It’s highly user-friendly, and it can be set up so that multiple people (additional family members, dog walkers, etc.) receive important alerts. Activating the Whistle GO Explore requires a subscription plan, and the three options will cost you between $6.95 and $9.95 per month.

Best Advanced Features

Subscription plans are either monthly, 1, 2, or 3 yearsTracks health info like sleep quality, calorie balance, and skin conditionCompatible with any flat collar up to 1.5 inches wide

If you’re interested in a device that monitors your dog’s health data, the FitBark has what you need. Beyond serving as a GPS tracker, it will monitor your dog’s sleep patterns, skin condition, activity levels, and more. The biggest drawback is its relatively low battery life, but it’s great for providing health information in addition to location.

Most Durable Tracking Collar

Includes rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, lasting 24 hours per chargeDryTek technology makes the device submersible up to 5 feet and the collar waterproofNo subscription required

The SportDOG TEK Series 1.5 is highly durable, designed for your outdoorsy dog to wander in all types of weather and terrain. This system uses GPS satellites, not cell service, to track your dog up to 7 miles away. It could be the right choice for hikes or camping trips.

Related: 10 Best Bone Broths for Dogs

Best Battery Life

Collar sizes range from Small to XLTracks your dog’s activity level as well as their locationBattery can last up to 3 months between chargesCustomizable LED light on the collar

The Fi Series 2 Collar is a tracking device that requires infrequent charging. It has a few other nice features, like LED lights that illuminate your dog’s path at night and health activity monitoring.

Best Collar Alternative

Connects to cellular networks, so it requires a monthly subscriptionGet alerts about location changes, speed increases, and low batteryRechargeable battery lasts 10 to 60 daysCube offers customer service and tech support

The Cube Real-Time GPS Tracker can be used to track more than just furry family members, but it works great for that purpose too. The company also provides tech support if you run into any issues. Because it connects to cellular networks, you’ll have to pay a subscription to use the Cube.

FAQs About GPS and Tracking Collars

How does the collar locate my dog?

Most of these collars connect to an app so you can receive information about your dog’s position. How you receive that information depends on the type of tracking collar you choose. GPS collars rely on satellites to send signals and work independently of cell service. Other tracking collars use cellular networks for low-power, long-distance communications. Some use Bluetooth/radio wave short-range capabilities.

Are all GPS and tracking collars basically the same?

No! What you need depends on many factors, including where you live, what breed of dog you have, and what you’re willing to spend. Some tracking systems use cellular networks to find your dog’s location, and others use satellites and radio signals. Some are primarily designed to warn you if your indoor pup found a hole in the backyard fence, and some are designed to locate a hunting dog that strayed too far. Depending on the collar you pick, you may or may not need to pay a subscription fee.

Related: 11 Best Invisible Dog Fences

Will the device bother my dog?

Attachable GPS and tracking devices are small and unobtrusive, designed to be comfortably worn. Others are sturdy collars with the device embedded inside. Your dog likely won’t even notice it.

Related: 10 Best Dog Collars

Looking for an alternative to a dog GPS collar? See our review of the best Apple Airtag Holder for Dog Collars.

iHeartDogs is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

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