German Shorthaired Pointer wearing a GPS Dog Collar

The Best GPS Dog Collar Australia -
A Tracking Device Review

Our #1 Pick

Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker

The Best Value for Money

Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker

  • Real-time location tracking
  • Virtual fence feature
  • Integrated fitness tracker
  • Waterproof

Until recently, GPS dog tracking was expensive and therefore reserved for professional settings.

Today, however, tracking devices have become affordable and easy to use and with that in mind getting a GPS dog collar is a great idea for every pet parent whose canine companion spends a lot of time outdoors. Being able to locate your dog at any time does not only make your life easier, but it can literally save your canine pet’s life.

If you are looking to add a GPS tracker for dogs to your canine dog collar arsenal, keep reading as this article is for you.

Pointer dog running with a GPS Tracker

How Does a Dog GPS Tracker Work?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System, and it is the best, and most commonly used, location tracking technology on earth. The GPS system was created by the US government, but today it is used around the world for commercial as well as military purposes. GPS is essentially a network of 24 satellites circling the earth. Via these satellites, it is possible to determine the exact location on earth of any device capable of sending and receiving GPS signals.

Now, GPS works on its own, and it does not need access to the internet. However, in order for you to see your dog’s location, the tracker needs to be able to send you data. This is why most trackers these days are also equipped with data and/or Wi-Fi connectivity. This way, it becomes possible for you to see your dog’s location in real-time.


How to Choose a Dog Tracking Collar

There are actually quite a few GPS trackers for dogs available these days, so how do you know which one to get?

First of all, before settling on a tracker make sure that it is designed to work in the country where you live, since not all of them have global coverage (all of those on our list below work in Australia). Other than that, here are a couple more things to take into consideration before making a decision:

Size and Weight

GPS trackers can get quite bulky and heavy. On the other hand, some of them are really small. So, what’s the catch? Well, most of the time, the smaller trackers will also have a less powerful battery, so that’s always something to keep in mind. The truth is, if your pup is a large breed, they will most likely not notice any type of tracking device for dogs. On the other hand, size and weight become really important if your dog is on the smaller side. You don’t want to make them uncomfortable, after all.

Range and Accuracy

A proper GPS tracker should be able to locate your dog anywhere on the planet. However, not every tracking device is actually equipped with GPS. Some of them use Bluetooth or similar technologies and are only designed to locate the dog inside a small area surrounding you. So, make sure to check what the tracker actually is before buying.

Regarding accuracy, most GPS tracking devices will tell you the exact location, but not all of them do it with the same frequency. The best trackers will update the location of your dog every 2-3 seconds, but some lower quality options have a bit of a lag in updating the location. That can really make it hard to actually find your dog, since we all know how fast they can move.

Durability

Any good GPS tracker must be designed to withstand the outdoors. There is no point using a tracker if your dog will lose or break it. Therefore, your GPS dog tracker must have a hard-outer shell and it must be waterproof too.

Battery Life

Battery life is extremely important when it comes to GPS collars. If your furry friend pulls a disappearing act, you’ll want the battery to last long enough for you to find your pet. Look for trackers that have a battery that can last for at least 2 days. Any less than that and it completely beats the point. The stronger the battery, the better.

User Interface

A GPS collar is what collects the data about your dog’s location, but you need to be able to see that data somehow. These days, most pet trackers come with an app dedicated to this that you can access from your smartphone and sometimes the computer too. Additionally, some trackers can send you notifications via SMS or even email.

Monthly Costs

Since most dog trackers use mobile data to transfer your dog’s location to you, they usually require a monthly plan. So, make sure to consider this when checking out the price of the device. Usually, plans cost less if you pay for the whole year.

Additional Features

Every GPS dog collar can track a dog’s location, but some of them do more than that. Most of these trackers will allow you to create a virtual fence (geofence) which is a designated area inside which it is safe for your dog to be (such as your backyard). Once the dog leaves this area, you get a notification.

Additionally, some trackers give you the option to record commands that can then be played to your dog. Some also emit light and sound signals when your dog is lost so it’s easier for you to find them. Finally, some GPS trackers also act as fitness trackers via the accompanying apps. That’s not really essential, but it can be fun to have.


Best Dog GPS Tracker Australia 2021: The Top List

Now that you know what to look for in a pet tracker, it’s time to show you some nice options available in Australia. No matter what you are looking for, one of these below should fit your needs.

Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker
  • Real-time location tracking
  • Virtual fence feature
  • Integrated fitness tracker
  • Waterproof

The Tractive GPS Dog Tracker is definitely among the most popular and most reliable GPS trackers for pets in Australia and worldwide.

This dog tacker simply comes with all the features you could need. It comes with an integrated SIM card, so there is no complicated setup. You can start using the device immediately (providing that you have paid for the monthly subscription). Talking about the subscription, it can actually be quite affordable if you get the plan for the whole year in advance.

Unlike some other trackers that can have a bit of a lag in showing the location, Tractive actually gives you real time data. More precisely, it will update the location of your dog every 2 or 3 seconds.

Just like any good GPS tracker, Tractive allows you to set up a virtual fence (geofence), so you can get alerts if your dog leaves the designated area. Another thing we liked is the design of this tracker. It is really a device that’s made to be used outdoors. It’s really resistant to wear and tear thanks to the sturdy outer shell and it’s completely waterproof (even swimming with it is fine).

This tracker also has a decent battery life. It will last up to 5 days on a single charge. While other manufacturers might claim their batteries last much longer, this is rarely true in practice, so we consider 5 days of battery life a win. However, because of all of these features, Tractive is a little bit bulky. The device is rectangular and weighs approximately 100 grams. For most dogs, the tracker will go unnoticed when attached to the collar, but if your canine companion is tiny the size of this tracker might be too much.

Verified Review - 11/04/2021
Fantastic GPS
"Fantastic GPS tracker. I'm a dog trainer and use these on the dogs I'm training. I love that it tells you when the battery is running low and when fully charged. I highly recommend Tractive!"

Pros

Cons

  • Real-time location tracking
  • Monthly subscription necessary to use the service
  • Virtual fence feature
Cell
  • Integrated fitness tracker
Cell
  • Waterproof
Cell

Tracki 3G Real-Time Worldwide GPS Tracker
  • Lightweight
  • Unlimited distance tracking
  • Good value for money
  • The battery can last from 2 days to a month
  • Water-resistant cover

Tracki is quite a simple-looking GPS tracker that offers a lot of features for a decent price. This tiny device allows you to track your pooch’s movement in real time and it comes with a couple of additional features too.

First of all, the Tracki app will let you know if your canine friend is moving or running. Moreover, you can set up a geo-fence around your backyard, for example. If your dog leaves that designated area, Tracki will warn you. You can choose to get those alerts via an app, SMS or even email. This is great because you can access Tracki through any computer or mobile device around the world.

Tracki uses four different technologies when locating - it combines Wi-Fi for indoor tracking with Bluetooth, GPS, and GSM for outdoors. It tracks without distance limits, so no matter how far away your dog wanders off from your home, you’ll see his precise location on this device. Tracki comes with a rechargeable battery that can last from 2 days to a month, depending on the location tracking settings.

This GPS tracker comes with a built-in international SIM card that allows it to use an internet data connection. The monthly fee starts at $9.95, but there are no other activation, roaming or cancellation expenses.

Tracki comes with a silicone cover that makes it water-resistant, which is important, as you don’t want a few splashes in the puddle to prevent you from finding your wandering pooch.

Verified Review -22/11/2020
Impressed so far with the device performance
"As stated in their description, Tracki is locked into vendor server and app and requires a monthly subscription. I opted for a 12month plan which equates to about 23cents per day (Australian). Easy set-up, was up and running within about 10 minutes of payment confirmation. I installed it behind my speedometer cover. Being exposed to the elements, waterproof silicone rubber boot is a plus in my case.

The device is a little thirsty on battery consumption as a minor minus, so recommend the additional high capacity battery option.

Accuracy was certainly surprising for such a small package, and varied between 2~3 meters, up to 50 meters with a spurious glitch of 2Kms on the odd occasion"

Pros

Cons

  • Lightweight
  • Setup can be a bit of a struggle
  • Unlimited distance tracking
Cell
  • Good value for money
Cell
  • The battery can last from 2 days to a month
Cell
  • Water-resistant cover
Cell

#3: Lightweight GPS Tracker: GeoZilla GPS Location Tracker

GeoZilla GPS Location Tracker
  • Can trace back location for up to 336 hours
  • Allows you to create custom to-and-from notifications and geo-fence areas
  • Affordable monthly fee with a long-term plan
  • Affordable monthly fee with a long-term plan

The first thing you notice about GeoZilla tracker is its modern, stylish design. It’s small and light - it weighs only 30 grams, so even the smallest of pooches can wear it around their necks without it being bulky. Simply clip it onto your dog’s collar and the days of not knowing where your adventurous canine companion wanders off are over.

You can connect GeoZilla with your device via an app, and once paired, it allows you to share access to the tracker with other family members. With GeoZilla, you can create custom departure and arrival notifications for certain locations. So, if for instance, your child takes your pooch to doggy daycare once a day, the device will notify you about that. You can also set up a geo-fence area that will alert you when your dog leaves it.

GeoZilla service plans start from $4.4 for a long-term plan of 3 years. However, if three years are too long of a commitment for you, there’s a 1-month membership for $14.99. But what’s great is that when you purchase any service plan, you also get 30 days free of charge.

The tracker comes with a rechargeable lithium battery of 520mAh. According to the manufacturer, the tracker will be on for up to 5 days while sending you location updates every minute, before it needs a recharge. When not tracking or in-use, GeoZilla uses a battery safe mode technology that prolongs battery life.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable monthly fee with a long-term plan
  • The only way to contact customer support is through the app or email
  • Allows you to create custom to-and-from notifications and geo-fence areas
Cell
  • Affordable monthly fee with a long-term plan
Cell
  • The battery can last up to 5 days with a 1-minute update interval
Cell

#4: Best Pet Tracker Without Monthly Subscription: PETFON Pet GPS Tracker

PETFON Pet GPS Tracker
  • No monthly subscriptions
  • Allows you to set different zones
  • It’s waterproof
  • Sound and light alarm for easier spotting
  • It comes with a portable charger

This GPS tracker is specially designed for keeping a close eye on our dog’s endeavours. It’s a perfect tool to use when going on a hike with your canine best friend, as you don’t have to worry about you two getting separated from one another.

Petfon combines GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and long-distance wireless technologies to access the location of your dog. It doesn’t use network signals so there’s no monthly subscription. While it’s a bit more pricey than other SIM-based GPS trackers, it’s a one-time investment which makes it cost-efficient. Since it doesn’t use network signals, its range isn’t limitless - it can reach up to 5.5 km in open environments and 1 km in crowded places like parks.

The Petfon tracker allows you to set a virtual fence, and it will alert you when your dog leaves the area. You can also set up a dangerous zone and it will alarm you should your pooch try to set foot in there. Another neat option Petfon offers is a speaker that sends off sound alarms and a recorder that allows you to store voice commands. That way, you can try to communicate with your pet remotely. Furthermore, this tracker can emit colourful lights that will help you spot your canine companion in a foggy or dusky environment.

Electronic gadgets for your dog are great but water is often their biggest foe. Most dogs, on the other hand, love walks in rainy or snowy weather. They also love garden sprayers and puddles and the manufacturer had that in mind when creating Petfon. This tracker is durable and waterproof and you can rest assured no possible accident will stop it from working. The battery lasts from 8 to 16 hours depending on the distance between you two, and you get a portable charging box that can recharge the device up to three times.

Verified Review - 16/08/2020
Great Concept
"Great idea. love the Google earth view of pet range, but I have found it difficult to synchronise all 3 devices.

Great to see if dog is chasing our sheep or gets out of bounds, but you need to take the controller with you to chase dog. Tried it up to 1.5 kms. Need another plastic holder , as one has split. All in all with a few refinements - it is a great concept. Love the Google Earth to see where dog is. About a 20 sec delay."

Pros

Cons

  • No monthly subscriptions
  • Limited range
  • Allows you to set different zones
  • Weak battery
  • It’s waterproof
Cell
  • Sound and light alarm for easier spotting
Cell
  • It comes with a portable charger
Cell

#5: Best Bluetooth Dog Tag: Pawscout Smarter Pet Tag

Pawscout Smarter Pet Tag
  • Affordable
  • Waterproof
  • Sends you a notification when our dog gets out of the range of your phone
  • Comes with a nice app for your phone

Warning - this is not a GPS tracker! So, if your pet gets lost, this tag won’t tell you their exact location. If you are specifically looking for a real GPS tracker, this is not for you, but this smart tag is a great gadget for responsible and tech-savvy pet parents.

The Pawscout tag is actually a Bluetooth beacon which is able to locate your pet within the Bluetooth range of your phone (around 100 meters). In itself, this is not enough to locate a lost dog, but it can notify you once your dog gets too far so you can act immediately. In a way, this little tag acts as a virtual leash.

What we really liked about this tracker is the Pawscout app. This app lets you create your dog's profile and keep track of everything related to your furry-friend, including tracking your daily walks. Additionally, if your pet does get lost, this app can send you notifications when your dogs come within range of anyone with the Pawscout app.

In short, it’s not as good as a real GPS tracker, but this small, lightweight, and affordable tag can be really useful too.

Verified Review - 23/12/2020
Simple & effective
"I was shocked by how easy Pawscout was to set up and use—I got it out of the box, paired, and on my little guy in less than five minutes.

My favourite feature is that you can allow multiple users access—whether as a pet parent or a pet guardian—which is helpful when my dog is at his cousin’s house or someone is at my home watching him.

The UX is simple and easy to understand, and I love all of the descriptions you can add for your pet.

My GPS is a bit inaccurate at times but not enough to cause big problems. I highly recommend this device for anyone who wants to keep a watchful eye on their beloved pooch. For the cost, it absolutely gets the job done."

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable
  • Not a GPS tracker
  • Waterproof
Cell
  • Sends you a notification when our dog gets out of the range of your phone
Cell
  • Comes with a nice app for your phone
Cell

Final Thoughts

The Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker and the Tracki 3G Real-Time Worldwide GPS Tracker are the leaders in the market when it comes to GPS collars for dogs. They are both reliable and have more or less the same features. In the end, it’s up to you to choose which one you like the best.

Want to learn more about dog collars? Check out our below guides:

FAQ

Are GPS collars safe for dogs?

Yes, GPS collars are completely safe for dogs (if used appropriately). That being said, putting a GPS collar on your dog does not mean your pet is completely safe. You should never let a dog roam freely counting only on the collar to tell you the location.

Does a GPS tracker need a SIM card?

Most pet GPS trackers these days use a sim card, but it is usually integrated in the device so you don’t need to do anything. The SIM card is needed for the tracker to access the mobile data network in order to transmit your dog’s location to your phone.

Do pet microchips have GPS?

No, pet microchips do not have GPS and are not designed to reveal your dog’s location. Microchips commonly implanted in dogs use a technology called radio-frequency identification (RFID) to reveal information stored in the microchip when scanned, such as your contact details. In this way, microchips help identify a lost dog, but they cannot be used for tracking a lost pet’s location.

Vedrana Nikolic

Vedrana Nikolić is a professional writer, anthropologist & dog lover with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying the communication between animals and humans. Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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