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Frequently Asked Questions



GPS Dog Collar - Keep Rover From Roving

Dog with GPS collar

Dogs can be a wonderful addition to any person's life. They are loving, loyal, and a great companion. Dog owners, therefore, want to keep their dogs healthy and safe. Sometimes the dog gets out of the enclosed area. Sometimes the dogs are expert escape artists. Other times, the gate is accidentally left open. Unfortunately, too, there are also times when dogs are simply stolen. Whatever the circumstance, the owners come home to a missing dog and must follow the nerve-wracking practice of posting flyers around the neighborhood seeking news of their beloved pet.

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How it works

Fortunately, technology offers an alternative to flyer posting; a collar with a Global Positioning System chip. A GPS dog collar operates the same as any other GPS system and utilizes the orbiting satellites to triangulate the location of the device transmitting the signal. The device operates on batteries (some long-lasting, some rechargeable) is water resistant, lightweight (around 2 ounces.), and easily attaches to the dog's collar.

Once activated, the collar begins transmitting signals. These signals can be set up to transmit to the dog owners cell phone as text messages, or can be set up to transmit to the internet. The owner can then track his or her dog via specified websites. A few dog tracking devices transmit signals to a hand-held device. These devices have a short range of one mile, and are good for people traveling in large open areas with their dogs. Hunters can utilize them to keep track of their specialized dogs.

See the GPS dog collar in action

dog GPS collar video

click the triangle to play

The virtual fence

With many of the GPS dog collars, the dog owner can set up a "virtual fence." This "virtual fence" specifies the area where the dog is allowed to roam, and is set up by the owner supplying an address and a boundary radius. For instance, the dog owner at 123 AnyStreet has a small yard and sets the boundary radius to 80 yards. Conversely, the dog owner that lives at 456 Farmland Road might set the boundary radius to 800 yards. When the dog leaves this "virtual fence" the owner is immediately alerted.

More than one "virtual fence" or safety zone can be set up and active at one time. Since lots are rarely symmetrical or have the same amount of yard on all sides, different spaces can be set up for the dog to roam in, and these safety zones can be turned on and off at specific times. The dog owner at 123 AnyStreet works from 10 am to 6 pm so would set the activation times to correspond to those departure and arrival times. Safety zones can be set up at any address.

It does more than just location

The GPS dog collar can also transmit data other than location. Alerts can be set up to for the owner when the battery gets low, and when the device is turned on and off. The device can also monitor the temperature and alert the owner when the temperature gets too hot or too cold for the dog to remain outside. Real-time location can be activated so the owner receives updates on the dog's location on a map every few minutes. The device will also record the dog's movements and provide a history to the owner for up to 7 days.

Also, when walking with the dog, the owner can set up a "walking alert" so if the dog strays too far, the owner can locate it. Depending on the company, these alerts can be received via text messages or email. The dog owner can also log in to the company website for location information, and can call the company's toll free number to talk to a live person.

Using assisted GPS

GPS dog collar devices vary among companies, with many utilizing more than one type of transmission technology. For example, some dog trackers utilize A-GPS or Assisted GPS. In these units, the locators use both satellite signals and wireless network to determine location and to send that information to the owners. The advantage of A-GPS is that satellite signals are often impeded by tall buildings or natural structures, and can be difficult to receive inside buildings. The addition of wireless increases coverage and locating capabilities.

How much is it?

Prices for GPS dog collars can vary from as little as $200 to as high as $1000. The cost depends on the type of device, range of use, how the signal is transmitted, and whether a monthly service fee is involved. Before making a purchase, investigate the technology used, the coverage of the wireless network, whether the device must be activated, and if a monthly fee is involved.

Here is one example of a GPS dog collar.

See related information at GPS Tracking and

GPS Child Locator.


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