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Hi All - new to the website so sorry if this has been discussed before.

Our puppy comes home soon and I want to invest in a collar-worn dog tracking device. Is there a common consensus on which device works best?

There seems to be a significant trade-off. GPS devices offer better range but have a monthly subscription. Beacon devices which 'talk' to each other have no subscription fee but seem to lack range - especially if the dog runs off in woodland.

Is that the main consideration? Dog tracking is more about the dog getting lost on walks rather than stolen - so that's the primary need for me.

Any suggestions gratefully received. Lee
 

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Hi All - new to the website so sorry if this has been discussed before.

Our puppy comes home soon and I want to invest in a collar-worn dog tracking device. Is there a common consensus on which device works best?

There seems to be a significant trade-off. GPS devices offer better range but have a monthly subscription. Beacon devices which 'talk' to each other have no subscription fee but seem to lack range - especially if the dog runs off in woodland.

Is that the main consideration? Dog tracking is more about the dog getting lost on walks rather than stolen - so that's the primary need for me.

Any suggestions gratefully received. Lee
I think you found the crux of it.

To my way of thinking, if the dog is really lost then you are probably outside of the range of a base station; otherwise the dog would simply be able to find its way back home.

To answer your question therefore; I think the flexibility of the GPS trackers sounds like what you want. There are additional subscription costs, of course because it needs to use a wireless network in order to communicate with your phone. Normally that is done via SMS or GPRS, so you will need to check the coverage of those technologies where you let your dog loose. The obvious flip side of this is that you will need a smartphone with some kind of subscription, in most cases, in order to track the tracker.

Finally, you will need to pay attention to the version of GPS the thing uses. Some GPS implementations (usually older types, which may be cheaper) don't work well in wooded areas or around high buildings. This is an important consideration if you are urgently looking for your dog.

Although I know a bit about the technology I don't have one for my dog so I can't really advise you about specific products, just about the principles. I hope this was enough to go on.

On a bit of a side-bar, most dogs can be trained not to just run off. I have a poodle and poodles have a pretty strong herding instinct, which I used to train him to stay close when he's walking off leash. I never worry about the dog running off, but he obviously worries about ME getting lost because when I hide -- for example behind a tree -- and he can't see me any more then he immediately goes in to "search and rescue" mode and won't stop looking for me until he finds me. It's quite comical, actually.

Not all breeds are as easy to train for no-leash walking as that but if you pay attention to training this then you might find that the collar is a "nice to have" but not a necessity.
 
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