Written by Sarah Connor - Pet Nutrition Expert. Updated on 22/05/2023.
Choosing the GPS Collar for your Dog
If you want to track your dog anytime, anywhere, a GPS dog collar locates dogs using satellites, transmitting the data over a telephone network to a server. The best GPS dog collar allows users to access this information anytime on a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or PC.
The best GPS dog collars and trackers should be easily set up and comfortable on your pup. It should not be so large that it's uncomfortable and must always be accurate. The most important thing we checked for was accuracy and reliability. Most of the dog GPS trackers and collars we tested featured a "safe zone" by connecting with a WIFI or Bluetooth network in a defined perimeter known as a geofence. When your trackers enter this designated zone, they intelligently conserve battery life by deactivating their GPS transponders.
By considering these essential factors, such as location accuracy, push notification speed and frequent location updates, we compiled a list of the best GPS dog trackers that meet your needs. Whether it's providing peace of mind or ensuring your pup's safety, our top picks offer unmatched performance and reliability and innovative high-tech location information in real-time, making a huge impact on pet safety.
Written by Sarah Connor, an experienced canine trainer and nutritionist for over a decade. Her positive reinforcement methods and passion for pups make her a go-to for dog owners.
How We Evaluated the Top 8
Value for Money
Top 8 GPS Collars for Dogs of 2023
1. Cosari Dog GPS Collar
by Bark Beyond
- Provides real-time tracking on Google Maps
- Six months of tracking route history storage
- Multiple tracking modes
- Safe zone alerts
- IPX6 Waterproof
- Best value trio set bundle at $280.00 for multi-pet homes
- User-friendly app
- Adjustable GPS collar for neck sizes
- Suitable for dogs from 6-150 lbs.
- Best value GPS dog tracker for all dog breeds
- Some customers said the battery does not last as long as 16 hours
"With Cosari, tracking my dog has become effortless. The app is user-friendly, and the collar is durable. It's like having a loyal companion that never lets your dog out of sight."
This is another of our best value top picks for the best GPS dog collar because, with this GPS pet collar, you can track your dog's location in real-time, receive instant alerts if they stray from designated safe zones, and enjoy the convenience of long-lasting battery life.
Users said that when using this GPS dog collar, they felt like it was their dog's bodyguard and a small investment for a priceless sense of security. Most of all, dog parents and veterinarians who bought this product said that this dog tracking collar is made of hard-wearing, durable plastic, which, when dropped, never scratched, broke, or dented.
They found that when their dogs swam in pools or played around in horse manure or mud puddles, the Cosari Dog GPS Collar tested reliable, durable, and long-lasting. It is designed to withstand outdoor adventures with its IP67 waterproof rating while providing peace of mind through accurate and reliable tracking capabilities. Customers said the Cosari Dog GPS Collar allows for easy setup, provides real-time location updates, and allows you to customize settings according to your preferences.
It's designed to be user-friendly, ensuring you can quickly access all relevant information about your dog's location and activity. Users liked this GPS pet tracking collar because it stores six months of your dog’s route history and because the Cosari pet GPS collar boasts an impressive battery life lasting for 30 hours and beyond. This longevity ensures that you can rely on the pet tracking collar even during extended outdoor adventures or when you're away from home on a pet vacay for extended periods.
2. Cosari AirTag Collar
- Crafted with soft leather PU material
- Stylish design with microfiber lining
- Includes dual-lock for optimal safety
- Durable copper snaps for long-term use
- Offered in 3 sizes: small, medium & large
- Easy to use
- Best Holiday gifting option
- 2 fun color options
- Suitable for dog collars & pet loop holders
“This collar is tough! It has endured our adventures through all seasons, and its durability keeps my active dog safe without missing a beat.”
Pet parents all want this lightweight real soft leather collar for their Apple Air tag. The takeaway with this easy-to-use AirTag collar is that it's available in two colorways and three sizes for all dog breeds. It also makes for a wonderful holiday gift for friends and family!
With thousands of positive reviews, the Cosari is a must-have item if your pup has an Apple Air tag. Users said that this genuine soft PU leather collar for the Apple AirTag is wear-resistant even in water and on camping trips. The Cosari is a comfortable and lightweight AirTag dog collar that features an adjustable dual lock to ensure a good fit.
Customers noted that the Apple AirTag worked well as a tracking device when used with the Cosari AirTag Collar. It can be used on various items, including dog collars, pet loop holders, school bags, waist bags, and backpacks.
The Cosari AirTag Collar features sturdy copper snaps that provide durability and allow for the collar’s ease of use. The Cosari Apple AirTag collar protects your AirTag from dust, dirt, scratches, and drops, ensuring longevity and performance. Plus, it's easy to clean –wipe it with a wet cloth- and also offers a best-value duo bundle at $82.00. There’s also a 14-day money-back guarantee on the Cosari Airtag collar for dogs!
Best Holiday Gift Collar for Apple AirTag
3. Bark Beyond Wireless Dog Fence S2
- Features upgraded 2023 U-Blox GPS chips
- Durable with IPX7 waterproof for all terrains and weather
- Smart-AI memory recognition
- Fully adjustable GPS collar for all breeds 20 lbs & up
- Durable with IPX7 waterproof for all terrains and weather
- No subscription or sim card is needed
- Duo bundle duo pack best value deal
- Ability to use with 3 dogs at the same time
- Good perimeter of 3280 feet for medium & large breeds
- Adjustable signal levels for easy positive training
"I couldn't be happier with the Barkbeyond Wireless Dog Fence S2! The setup was a breeze, and I love the fact that I don't have to dig or bury any wires. My dog quickly learned the boundaries with the beep tone alert, and the progressive static shock correction has been effective in keeping him within the range. Highly recommended!"
A reliable GPS collar like the Bark Beyond Wireless Dog Fence S2 does give you the best chance of keeping your dog safe within designated boundaries. Customers enjoyed using this invisible pet fence GPS collar because its accuracy is top-notch via the upgraded 2023 GPS chip, and they found that it was also light and small so that all dog breeds could benefit from it. Users also discussed the duo set best value bundle at $335.00 and said this GPS dog collar worked well in all weather conditions, including snow, rain, mud, and sandy conditions.
The Bark Beyond S2 is the best GPS tracking collar for dogs because of its user-friendly setup, customizable control options, and versatile compatibility with dogs of all sizes, making it a standout choice. With wireless pairing technology, the Bark Beyond S2 collar eliminates the need for tedious digging or burying wires, making installation quick and hassle-free. Setup is now easier than ever, saving you time and effort so you can spend time going for long hikes with your pup. We also liked that this collar works with a portable wireless dog fence, meaning you can take it with you for a weekend camping trip or when moving homes.
The only flaw is that there are no color options for the collars. Still, compared to other GPS dog collars, we found that the Bark Beyond S2 GPS dog collar had the minimum service interruption with the new upgraded 2nd generation outdoor wireless fence. The Bark Beyond S2 GPS Wireless dog collar with invisible fencing features beep tone alert and progressive shock correction. This collar effectively trains your dog to stay within designated boundaries. The beep tone is an initial warning signal, while the advanced shock provides gentle yet effective correction if your dog exceeds the set limits.
You have complete control over the signal level, allowing you to tailor the intensity of the beep tone and shock correction to suit your dog's needs. You also don't have to use static shock; you can train via tone and vibration modes. An outstanding feature of the Bark Beyond S2 is its ability to work with up to three dogs simultaneously using just one transmitter and fully adjustable GPS collars for all dog breeds. Gone are the days of managing separate systems or purchasing additional transmitters.
Now, you can easily monitor and set boundaries for all your dogs, enhancing their safety and freedom. This means small, medium, and large dog breeds. We also like that you get an excellent range of up to 3280 feet with the Bark Beyond S2 GPS dog collar that provides a generous perimeter, giving your dogs ample space to roam within the designated boundaries.
Best for At-Home Tracking
4. Apple AirTag
- Splash, water & dust resistant
- Includes a Ping feature that emits a sound
- Uses Ultra Wideband technology
- Replaceable battery lasts up to a year
- Suitable for locating items & pets
- No monthly subscription is needed
- Includes a Ping feature that emits a sound
- Over 147,800 positive reviews
- Not a replacement for an actual pet tracker
This product has over 147,800 positive reviews and can be used to track pets and lost items using advanced ultra-wideband technology. You only need a one-tap setup that immediately connects the Cosari AirTag with your iPhone or iPad.
The Apple Air Tag utilizes advanced Ultra Wideband technology to direct you to your AirTag. This feature is available on a few iPhone models, ensuring you never waste time looking for lost items again. We also looked at Reddit comments about using an Apple air tag for pets.
One Redditor adds, "Basically you attach it to your dog's/cat's collar and if they run off, all it takes is for your pet to be within 10 meters of a stranger's iPhone and their Apple AirTag will send a bluetooth signal to it which then sends the location data to the Apple Cloud, which you can then see on a map on your AirTag app and locate your pet." Apple AirTag has gained attention as a popular item tracker, but there has been discussion about using it for pet tracking purposes.
While AirTag is primarily designed for locating items like keys or backpacks, some pet parents have successfully explored the possibility of attaching them to their pets' collars. That said, you should still keep in mind that these are not advertised for pet tracking.
Best for everyday use
5. Whistle Go Explore Health & GPS Tracker
- Live location tracking
- IPX8 Waterproof & lightweight (1 oz) with stylish design
- GPS tracking for health & fitness
- Includes daily/weekly wellness reports via scores
- Ability to custom goal setting based on breed, weight & age
- Ability to add multiple owners
- Suitable for mud, snow, rain, and all terrains with night light
- Includes alerts when your dog leaves the area
- Up to 20 days of battery life
- Over 3,700 positive reviews
- Customers said there may be connection issues at times
- Some customers say it's too bulky
Some GPS dog trackers include sleep tracking, health monitoring, and well-being like the Whistle Go Explore. This popular smart dog and cat GPS collar has over 3,600 positive reviews and offers a range of features that dog lovers enjoy. The Whistle GO Explore is designed with convenience in mind. It is lightweight, waterproof, and boasts a long-lasting battery.
With three color options available (green, grey, and magenta), you can choose a style that suits your pup.
Customers liked this product, saying the app was user-friendly and easy to use. Users also explained that it easily attaches to a dog's collar and allows tracking pets every 3 and 6 minutes in general location mode. You can also turn on track when in location mode to track every 15 seconds. One of the standout features of this tracker is its live location tracking and geofencing capabilities.
Powered by the AT&T nationwide network and Google Maps, you can easily keep tabs on your dog's whereabouts with real-time updates every 15 seconds with live location tracking. Beyond location tracking, the Whistle GO Explore provides valuable insights into your dog's health and fitness. It monitors and analyzes your dog's walking, playing, sleeping habits, and activity levels.
Connecting the device to the Whistle app on your phone lets you access comprehensive reports on your dog's physical fitness. The battery life is impressive, lasting up to 20 days on a single charge. The takeaway with the Whistle Health & GPS tracker is that it offers excellent value without compromising quality for those looking for a budget-friendly option.
Best Holiday Gift
6. Tractive GPS Dog Tracker
- Worldwide GPS coverage
- Includes activity monitoring & lost dog mode
- Features WIFI & live modes
- Real fast alerts with live tracking
- Lightweight (1.23 oz), waterproof & shock resistant
- Subscription plan needed
- No base station is needed
- 4 color options & 1 gift bundle option
- Over 23,000 positive reviews
- Plenty of added features
- Only able to check sleep/wellness & activity if within WIFI zone
- Customers said the battery drains fast
We like the Tractive GPS Dog Tracker as a gifting product during the holidays because they're priced well, and there's no better way to show friends and family that you care about their pets, too. The takeaway with the Tractive GPS dog tracking collar is that with this dog tracker, you also get real-time tracking and very fast escape alerts, and if you travel a lot with your pup, it gives you worldwide coverage.
The Tractive, when compared to the FI Series 3, is a minute faster and can be used on pets weighing 8.8 lbs upwards. If your dog escapes, you get an escape alert notification sent to your phone. You also get health alerts and can track sleep quality and activity patterns, and if there's anything unusual, you'll get a notification. Customers enjoyed using the Tractive because here, too, you can set up a virtual fence with an unlimited range. They also had fun comparing notes with their friends.
Best for Health
7. Invoxia Smart Dog Collar
- GPS tracker in real-time with built-in SIM card
- Activity monitoring with 4G LTE-M technology
- Uses artificial intelligence to monitor health
- Button fly closure type
- Battery lasts up to 15 days
- Detects anomalies in dog's behavior
- Monitors health
- Easy to use
- Need a subscription
The Invoxia Smart Dog Collar uses artificial intelligence to monitor dog health and well-being 24/7. One of the standout features is the resting heart and breathing rate monitoring, which provides medical-grade accuracy. This means you can confidently keep track of your pet's vital signs and ensure they are in optimal health.
But that's not all - this device goes above and beyond with its activity monitoring capabilities. It tracks vitality, well-being, sleeping patterns, barking, and appetite. This comprehensive monitoring system gives you a holistic view of your pet's health. It allows you to detect any changes or concerns early on so that you can reach out to your veterinarian if you notice any health or behavioral changes.
Customers said that their veterinarians had recommended this product and that it was accurate and works. There's also a built-in SIM card, which offers seamless connectivity. A simple in-app subscription is required to access the full range of features. Several subscription options are available, including monthly, 1-year, or 2-year plans, starting from just $8.80 per month.
8. Tile Mate
- Available for both iOS and Android devices
- Smart Alert feature
- Up to 250 ft/76 m
- IP67 waterproof
- The non-replaceable battery offers up to 3 years of usage
- Suitable for keys, backpacks & pets
- Find your phone even on silent
- Easy to use
- Over 17,800 positive reviews
- Requires premium plan
Customers liked the Tile Mate for pets because you can attach the Tile Mate to everyday essentials like dog collars, keys, backpacks, or purses. Thanks to its compact design, you can effortlessly keep track of the things that matter most to you.
The takeaway with the Tile tracker is that you can utilize the Tile app to ring your Tile when it's within Bluetooth range. Alternatively, you can ask your Smart Home device to locate your Tile. You'll quickly find your misplaced items with just a few taps or voice commands. Even when your Tile is outside Bluetooth range, you can still locate it using the Tile app.
View your Tile's most recent location on a map, giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing where your belongings are, even from a distance. Thanks to the Tile Network, you can enlist the help of others to locate your lost items securely and anonymously. If someone comes across your missing Tile, they can scan the QR code and reach out to you, ensuring a higher chance of finding your pup.
This must-have feature ensures that there are always significant energy savings so that you don’t run out of battery. We conducted extensive tests to determine how long each tracker's battery lasted while placed within a safe zone.In other words, we measured how long the battery would last when your pup is at home. This important information allows you to effectively manage and plan for optimal battery usage, providing you with peace of mind knowing that your dog's tracker will operate efficiently when they are in a safe environment.
We also looked at how effective these GPS collars were when dogs were outside their "safe zone," like when you were taking them for a walk or enjoying the dog park.We thoroughly assessed the best GPS dog trackers' performance regarding location accuracy, push notification speed, and frequency of location updates. We prioritized dog trackers that excelled in these areas to ensure you have access to real-time and reliable information about your pup's whereabouts.
We also extensively tested each tracker's lost mode feature, allowing you to flag your pup as "lost."During this testing phase, we activated the lost mode and monitored how effectively the tracker updated its location. This ensured that we identified trackers that consistently provided up-to-date and precise location updates when needed.
What is a GPS Dog Collar?
GPS dog collars feature an embedded GPS transponder and use cellular data to show your pet's location. The Bark Beyond S2 features beep tone alert and progressive static shock for their wireless fencing system and also offers adjustable signal levels. GPS dog collars utilize the Global Positioning System (GPS) to find your dog's exact location. GPS satellites orbit the Earth, and the collar's embedded GPS receiver picks up signals from these satellites to calculate the dog's coordinates.
How Do Dog GPS Collars Work?
Bestselling GPS dog collars like the Bark Beyond S2 and Cosari don't need a monthly subscription to operate by connecting to GPS satellites in the vicinity. These satellites transmit the tracker's precise location coordinates to a paired mobile device. Additionally, specific trackers can utilize Wi-Fi networks, cellular service (such as 4G and LTE), and Bluetooth technology to enhance the tracking capabilities of your dog.
Are Dog GPS Collars Safe to Use?
"The exposure of pets to total radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) levels was found to be below the limit values," says a recent 2021 study in PubMed Central (PMC).
According to research on health risks from exposure to radio frequencies emitted by various devices like radios, TVs, mobile networks, indoor devices (such as WLAN and Bluetooth), and mobile phones, it has been found that limiting the exposure time and increasing the distance between the animal and the RF-emitting device can help reduce the potential risks.
The study also suggests that having the pet's register name and ID number on the collar or harness is essential in case the tracking device malfunctions, such as a low power supply or a loss of connection to transmit position data.
Do GPS Dog Collars and Pet Trackers Work Indoors and Outdoors?
Most of our top picks work indoors and outdoors, although some brands may need to be more stable indoors depending on whether you have spotty reception. Dog collar GPS trackers are designed to work indoors and outdoors, although the connectivity and performance may vary depending on your specific tracker.
Some trackers, like AirTags and similar devices, utilize proximity to networked Bluetooth signals or Wi-Fi to determine your pet's location. These trackers are particularly effective in indoor or urban environments with dense technological infrastructure.
On the other hand, GPS-based trackers rely on line-of-sight communication with a minimum of four satellites in a navigational network. This technology is ideal for open areas without obstructions, providing accurate location tracking. However, GPS trackers may face limitations when used indoors or obstructed by buildings or other structures.
It's essential to consider your specific needs and the environment in which you primarily intend to use the GPS tracker for your dog. By selecting a suitable tracker, you can ensure optimal performance whether you're tracking your pet's whereabouts indoors or during outdoor adventures.
ID Tags, Microchip & GPS Collars for Identifying Your Dog
Two of the easiest and simplest ways to identify your dog are using an ID pet tag mounted on a collar and a microchip. These methods provide visual and permanent identification. However, when used with a dog GPS tracking collar, they offer even more comprehensive identification options for your pup.
The ID pet tag, typically made of durable materials such as metal or plastic, is attached to your dog's collar and displays important information such as their name, contact details, and any relevant medical information. This allows anyone who finds your dog to reach out to you and ensure their safe return quickly.
On the other hand, a microchip is a tiny electronic device implanted beneath your dog's skin, typically between the shoulder blades. It contains a unique identification number that can be read using a special scanner. If your dog gets lost and is found by a shelter or veterinarian, they can scan the microchip to retrieve your contact information and reunite you with your pup.
When combined with a dog GPS tracking collar, these visual and permanent identification methods provide a comprehensive approach to locating your lost dog. The GPS tracking collar utilizes satellite technology to track your dog's real-time location, allowing you to monitor their movements via a smartphone app or computer. This can be especially useful if your dog ever goes missing, as you can quickly pinpoint their exact location and take necessary action to bring them back home safely.
By using a combination of an ID pet tag, microchip, and a dog GPS tracking collar, you can ensure that your dog has multiple layers of identification and a higher chance of being located and returned to you if they happen to wander off or get lost.
GPS Dog Collar Accuracy
The accuracy of GPS dog collars can vary depending on factors such as satellite coverage, signal strength, and the quality of the GPS receiver in the collar. High-quality GPS collars, like the Bark Beyond S2 and Cosari, are known for their improved accuracy, providing more precise location data compared to Bluetooth-based trackers.
Brands like the waterproof Bark Beyond S2 and Cosari are more accurate than other GPS trackers that use Bluetooth, where you need to be within Bluetooth range on your phone. We were impressed with both these models because they easily sync the tracker, set up multiple safe zones, and track your pet's location.
The Cosari has a Geofence feature with multiple tracking modes and is a trusted brand among pet parents. It uses Google Maps and tracks your dog's real-time location accurately with no issues every time. It also stores up to 6 months of route history and ensures you always know where your pets are. These GPS collars are always a go-to for pet parents who want a shock-free experience using customizable wireless geofence perimeters and designated keep-out zones.
With the Bark Beyond S2 GPS collar and the Cosari GPS dog trackers, you can enjoy the benefits of a reliable and advanced tracking system without the burden of monthly subscription fees. Both these GPS dog collars provide user-friendly features, ensuring the safety and well-being of your pups without any additional costs.
Air Tags for Pet Tracking
Pet parents always ask if you can use an Apple Air Tag for pets. The answer is yes, and many pet parents have done so even though it has not been advertised for pets. The Apple AirTag is a cutting-edge tracking device that utilizes the power of Apple's ultra-wideband (UWB) technology and Bluetooth to provide precise location tracking, even for pets. This advanced technology ensures you can effortlessly locate your pet whenever they go missing.
With a range of approximately 30 feet, the AirTag pairs seamlessly with your phone to accurately pinpoint the exact location. In the case of a lost pet, the Find My app becomes your ultimate ally. But what sets the AirTag apart is its ability to provide detailed information about the location of your lost item. When the AirTag enters lost mode, you will receive timely notifications and have access to the exact address of your dog's whereabouts.
The combination of UWB technology, Bluetooth connectivity, and the vast network of Apple devices makes the AirTag a powerful tool for tracking pets. The downside is that you need to purchase the Apple Air Tag collar because the AitTag can't be attached directly to a collar.
What Redditors Say
"I use a Tile. It's also really nice because the tile device itself can play a sound, and we're currently using it to help with emergency recall. It also uses an app that updates pretty well. AND I can put on a setting that alerts me when I start to get too far from the Tile," says one Redditor.
The user continues, "There is a radius on the Tile, which you can choose from when you choose the device. I never let my dog out far enough because I live in a small town, but it will update you to a general vicinity. It will tell you the exact location if you're within a certain radius. I've found my phone in my house to the room before."
Regarding the Whistle GPS collar, one Redditor said, "Hard disagree on Whistle being bad. I have no relation with the company besides being a (former) customer, but here's my experience: I had a husky that loved to run (as they do)."
"Yes, sometimes the initial "out of zone" can be a bit slow… not gonna keep your dog out of the neighbors yard, for sure. But in a suburban area updates were usually timely. Not perfect, for sure, but good enough most of the time."
FAQ's Best Dog GPS Collars
Q: Are GPS Collars Worth It?
A: Absolutely- GPS dog collars not only help you locate your lost dog but, when combined with microchipping, give you the extra confidence to enjoy more outdoor activities like camping, long forest hikes, and dog sports with your dog without having to worry about losing him if he chases after a squirrel or another animal.
Best-selling dog GPS collars like the Bark Beyond S2 and the Cosari GPS dog collars are trending pet tech products that have a significant impact on pet safety/ Both these products allow you to locate your pet anywhere, anytime, letting you know your dog's exact whereabouts so that you can stay connected to your pet.
Q: What Dog GPS Collars Work Without Subscriptions?
A: Bestsellers like the Bark Beyond S2 GPS collar for wireless fencing and the Cosari dog GPS collar that features six months of route history do not need subscriptions, making them a worthwhile investment in your dog's safety 24/7, 365 days a year. Dog experts, dog trainers, and veterinarians say these GPS dog collars can be used on all sized dog breeds (20 lbs upwards) and feature waterproof and fully adjustable dog collars that are fully customizable, lightweight, and comfortable.
The best GPS dog collars are the Cosari and Bark Beyond S2. This is because they don't require subscriptions, have thousands of positive reviews, and are fully customizable for all dog breeds. Both brands use cutting-edge technology to monitor your dog's activity and location and alert pet parents in real time to escape alerts.
We like the Cosari GPS collar because it is 100% waterproof and gives you the real-time location of your pet via Google Maps. It's also easy to use, and you can set up a geofence with a designated safe zone to keep your pets safe. They also offer long battery life and are durable and shock-proof, allowing outdoor fun.