GPS Dog Trackers and collars buying guide

Cocker Spaniel

Your dog, if it hasn’t already, is likely to become a very important member of your family, that’s certainly the case with our Cocker Spaniel. 

She is loved by us all and gets involved in most of the things we do as a family. In fact, we plan our days out so that she can come with us and enjoy what we’re doing. We love having her with us and it helps to keep her happy and occupied.

But, what if the nightmare situation happens and your beloved dog goes missing when you’re out for a walk? 

You could scour the local area or could jump in the car to look for them and you can place “missing dog” posters around, but one of the easiest ways to keep track of your dog is with a GPS enabled tracker or dog collar.

There are a number of things to consider when purchasing a GPS dog, tracker or collar as well as a number of features over and above simple location tracking.  In this guide will help you:

  • Understand what a dog collar is and what it does
  • Explain and identify the features to look out for
  • Explain the benefits of a dog collar
  • Identify some of the best dog trackers and collars on the market today

The Best GPS Dog Trackers and Collars

The Benefits Of A GPS Dog Tracker

So what are the benefits of using a GPS dog tracker or colour:

  • You can more easily locate where your dog is if they go missing or separated from you.
  • You can, in some instances, be identified if your dog goes out of a pre-defined area
  • You can keep track of additional health related information about your dog, much like one of the many health trackers we use.
  • Ultimately and most importantly, you can keep them safe

What Things To Consider When Purchasing A GPS Dog Tracker

Where Will You Be Using A GPS Dog Tracker 

Some trackers will be better suited to tracking your dog in and around your home and will offer the benefit of you being able to add and designate safe areas amongst other things.

Other trackers are better suited to being away from your home. One of the main considerations if your are planning to take your dog for remote countryside walks is the level of mobile phone connectivity you will receive as many trackers and dog collars will rely on some form of mobile network signal.

Mobile Device

Most trackers and dog collars will require you to connect with a mobile phone device of some description to control review and monitor your dogs, whereabouts and data. The most common are Apple and iOS and Google android with most tracker manufacturers having created both iOS and android apps to accompany and support their tracker and collar hardware.

Mobile Connection And Range

Some GPS dog trackers and collars require you to have a mobile connection, or have your phone with a certain range of the device. If this is the case, you need to make sure that you have a device that can connect with app and carry it with you.

The Age Of Your Dog

Unsurprisingly, GPS dog trackers and dog collars are designed for adult size dogs and certainly dogs that are over one year old. It is not recommended to use trackers and GPS colours on puppies or younger dogs.

What Are You Looking To Track?

  • Location. The most common functionality of a GPS tracker is where your dog is located so they can be found if they are separated from their owner.
  • Activity. Some devices offer the additional functionality of tracking activity or setting activity goals, much like the activity trackers designed for human use.
  • Health. Again, with some devices you can track your dogs health and well being and behavioural habits, which might help in identify certain health issues.

Monthly Subscription Fees

In addition to the cost of the physical hardware, i.e. dog, collar or tracker, many GPS tracker brands require you to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to connect to their service. Costs vary, but should be considered when totalling up the overall cost of the tracker.

Battery or charge Life

GPS dog trackers and collars are obviously mobile devices, so will require power from either a battery, or a USB charging device.

The battery life of the various dog tracker brands can vary from just a couple of days to a couple of weeks. When considering a purchase, you should ensure that battery life fits in with you and your dogs lifestyle.

As an example, if you are planning to be away from your home or on holiday with your dog, you will need to take either a spare battery or a charging cable with you. There’s nothing worse than being away from home and not have any ability to charge your dogs collar, and therefore monitor where they are.


If your dog is a big swimmer or paddler, as is the case with many spaniel varieties, you will need to ensure that your GPS tracker and dog collar is fully waterproof, and can deal with the rigours of accompanying your dog into streams and lakes.


We always wanted to make sure our our furry Spaniel friends are comfortable, and this is no different with a GPS tracker and dog collar. These devices are ordinarily slightly bigger than a normal dog collar, as they need to house a battery and electronics, so making sure that the colour is of a comfortable material and fit well is imperative.

What Features Are Included In GPS Dog Trackers and Collars


Whilst the main task of a GPS dog tracker and collar is to track the location of your dog, there are a number of other location specific features that are often included:

Live Mode

Some GPS dog trackers and collars, allow you to activate a “live” mode giving you the ability to track your dog when you’re specifically away from home and out for a walk. On some devices, this allows you to track your dog using Bluetooth connectivity rather than GPS, thus making it suitable for areas where there is a poor mobile phone reception.

Safe Areas

Safe areas allows you to to set boundaries to areas where your dog is permitted to go. If your dog goes outside of this areas, you will receive an alert informing you. This is great for large open gardens where there aren’t fenced boundaries.


Some dog GPS trackers and collars come with the ability to connect to your phone via Bluetooth, meaning your don’t have to rely on a mobile phone signal. This is great for country walks where the mobile signal might be limited.

Trusted Places

Trusted areas allows you to identify certain places where you are happy for your dog to be located. For example, it might be another house within your family or a dog sitter or kennels.

Tacking History And Timeline

Tracking history and timeline provide you with a historical reference of the places where your dog has been located and identifies when your dog was there.


Alerts will be triggered and sent to your phone or email should certain predefined situations arise. If they go out of a safe area as an example.

Health Tracking

In addition to location, tracking, some smart dog collars can monitor and track your dogs, health, wellbeing and habitual behaviour:


Track your dogs snoozing and sleeping habits to ensure there are no underlying issues that might be impacting their health.


Identify if your dog has been scratching more than normal. Increased scratching can be an indicator of whether or not your dog is suffering from skin infections or allergies.


Find out if your dog has been looking more than normal. Increase licking can indicate certain health issues such as joint pain, skin irritation or high stress stress levels. It can also be on identifier with your dog is suffering from boredom.


Identify when your dog is eating to ensure they are consuming the right amount of food and aren’t suffering from oral health issues, metabolic disorders or high stress levels.


Make sure your dog is drinking the right amount of fluids, particularly during hot weather and make sure my there aren’t any underlying health issues.


Keep a track of your dogs fitness activity and make sure they are getting enough exercise for their breed, weight and ideal activity level. Some dog trackers and GPS collars allow you to set personal and specific daily activity goals to keep your dog, healthy and active.

Family Sharing

Family sharing allows you to identify and allocate other members of the family or important humans in your dogs life so that they can access your dogs location or health statistics. 

Final Thoughts

Our dogs are part of our family and a very important to us and we want to make sure they are safe at all times. A GPS dog tracker and collar gives you significant peace of mind as well as offering a number of other benefits to keep your dogs safe and healthy.

They might not be the cheapest devices, but they are well worth the investment.

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We are a family of Spaniel lovers that want to share our experiences of owning and caring for Spaniels. We want to tell our story and help other spaniel owners along the way if we can.

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