Keep track of roaming dogs with a GPS dog collar

To lose a dog must be devastating. But did you know that there is a way to keep track of dogs with a penchant for haring after rabbits and disappearing out of sight? The GPS dog collar is not something on everyone’s radar – but it is there to give you peace of mind.


Last week we spotted new posters in our area pleading for information on a beautiful terrier who had gone missing on a walk. Having spotted a rabbit, she’d raced off after it and her humans hadn’t seen her since. A couple of days had passed and they were seriously worried.

Beagles are especially notorious for heading out on missionsImage copyright to The Mighty Pooch

Beagles are especially notorious for heading out on missions
Image copyright to The Mighty Pooch

Then, a few days later, we found a different wandering dog and returned her to her owner. The owner was delighted to have her back but seemed to think that wearing a normal collar would stop her from getting lost, as someone would be able to return her. Not always so, of course, especially if the dog is frightened of strangers. (Not to mention the fact that a collar certainly doesn’t stop a dog from being run over.)

It got me thinking and I got straight onto google to check out the latest on tracking collars. I have a dog myself (although he usually likes to stay close, touch wood!) and I’ve grown up with dogs, but I’ve never actually seen a tracker collar first hand. In fact, I’m not really sure that I knew they existed to be honest, nor did a friend I asked who owns two dogs, one of whom has been known to dart off at the first sign of a rabbit. GPS dog collars just don’t seem to be widely advertised or fully embraced by the dog community – I’d love to know why – but they are out there.

Image copyright to The Mighty Pooch

Image copyright to The Mighty Pooch

Of course, the tracker collar may be of little use if your dog is stolen. That’s another matter entirely – and a terribly distressing one – but if your dog is a roamer, a chaser or an escape artist, the tracker collar could give you peace of mind. And if it reunites you with your lost dog, then of course it’s worth way more than any money you might have paid for it.

So what’s the deal with these collars? Well, the Retrieva seems to be the most widely advertised and available collar out there. It’s also listed as an anti-theft collar, which sounds promising, as it’s apparently very difficult to remove if you’re not authorised to do so (it requires a key to unlock it) and, should someone try to remove the collar, it alerts you. (I would assume there’s a balance to be found between ensuring the collar cannot be slipped easily over the dog’s head and not having the collar too tight.) It’s waterproof (not just showerproof), provides live tracking and location data direct to your mobile phone, iPad or computer, and the rechargeable battery can last for five to seven days. The price of the collar is £249.99, with an annual fee of £79.99. You can also rent a collar from £35.

Another, cheaper option is the Loc8tor – the available devices range from a tracker with a range of just 400ft to alert you if your dog escapes from your garden (£64.99) to the full GPS device at £99.99.

According to a study by the Open University, wearing a tracking collar can also impact positively on the behaviour of your dog, due to a reduction in stress. If you are less worried about where your dog is when they are off the lead, they say your dog is more contented and even enjoys more freedom.

A five-minute internet search brings up a host of GPS dog collars to consider. And what price can you really put on the safety of your beloved dog?

Please add your comments, as I’d love to know if you use a GPS dog collar. Which one do you use and would you recommend it? Have you and your dog been reunited happily thanks to such a device?

If you fancy writing a little review on your experiences with a GPS collar, please drop me a line!

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Image copyright to The Mighty Pooch

Image copyright to The Mighty Pooch

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