Can dog trackers be useful?

Our Dog Specialist

Our Dog Specialist

Ina Holz is a German Coach/ consultant for dog owners. Her focus is on the relationship between people and their dogs.

An electronic transmitter that attaches to your dog’s collar and sends data to your smartphone via an app. What possibilities does such a device offer us?  Is it good or bad for our dogs? These and more questions which we will answer and analyze GPS trackers from different perspectives.

Page Contents:

  • Location Finder

    The basic function of every GPS tracker is the location finder. Here they differ only in the accuracy of the location transmission. The dog wears the transmitter on his collar, this transmits to a receiver or mobile phone. So the owner knows at any time where his dog is at any specific time. Most of these apps or receivers then guide you by a navigation system to your dog.

  • Movement Profile

    With this function, the positions transmitted to the app are recorded, so that a movement profile is recorded. The data then provides information about the activity of the dog. What distance he has traveled and at what speed in a day and how high his energy consumption must have been. This function, then gives us the opportunity to adjust the amount of food to the energy needs of our dog very individually. So in the example of an overweight dog we can adjust his daily food intake. But first speak to your vet on how man calories your size dog needs per day.

  • Homezone Fencing

    The function "Homezone" which can have a different name depending on the manufacturer, offers us the possibility to create a virtual area which within the dog should stay. For example, we can draw a radius around our house or property, which is stored in the app. If the GPS signal and the dog leaves this area and crosses the virtual boundary set by us, we get a signal on our smartphone. Most of the time we can choose to receive a text message or a phone call when the dog crosses this boundary. This gives us peace of mind especially with adventurous dogs. And it has often happened that pedigree dogs were stolen from gardens or yards. In such a case, the GPS signal can provide additional protection.

  • Vibration Function

    With this function the tracker vibrates at the collar on the dog. Either by pressing a button on your smartphone or reciever to activate the vibration on the collar. This function offers us a number of discipline possibilities. Also for deaf dogs this is a great innovation. But be careful that with skittish dogs, use it to orient your dog towards the owner. However, this requires small-step training to give the signal the appropriate meaning. It can be helpful to seek the assistance of a dog trainer in this case. This feature, combined with the right training, can open a door to a whole new world of possibilities for deaf dogs and their owners.

Running dog GPS

In which situations is the GPS tracker useful?

In the previous section, I already mentioned a few types of dogs for which the use of a GPS tracker can be useful. There was the overweight dog, for whom the tracker can help with weight loss. The deaf dog, which can learn commands by vibration signals and thus a better communication between dog and owner. The independent dog who likes to go out and go his own way, can be found faster and better thanks to the GPS tracker and is therefore also faster home.

I would like to mention two situations that can be a life saver.

The first situation is when a dog panics:

A panic can be triggered in a dog by many things in unforeseen circumstances. A loud bang or even worse a sudden accident where we usually have limited influence. A dog that is panicked is no longer able to make rational decisions. The best behaved dog, in a panic will no longer respond to a command or call from the owner. He usually just runs away as fast as he can. This means he will cover a great distance within a short time, and then usually wander around completely disoriented or look for a hiding place until the fright and his fear subsides. We as owners are helpless, he might even be injured and needs urgent medical care. Without GPS tracking, it can take days or weeks to find a dog after a panic. With GPS tracking, it is often possible to find the dog in just a few hours. Time that can mean the difference between life and death!

Second situation, leashed dog runs away:

Your dog runs away with the leash dragging maybe because he has seen some game or had a fright. The dog would most probably return to its owner, tongue hanging in a few minutes but what if the leash gets caught on something like a root? Despite all efforts, the dog does not manage to free itself. Much worse, he could get tangled in the leash himself by his attempts to free himself and in the very worst case strangle himself. This dog is helplessly at the mercy of his situation and relies on us to find him quickly and free him from this predicament. Any owner would love to quickly look on mobile and see where his dog is and then save him. This can not only save the dogs life but also the reduce our stress knowing that we always know where our dog is.

So should I get a GPS Dog tracker?

GPS tracker for dogs is therefore quite a useful thing, which can be integrated for situations in the everyday life of man and dog. The protection and safety factor is certainly the biggest and most valuable benefit that this device brings.
It can be used as an educational tool, a means of communication and also in the field of activity concerning health and nutrition. So it is most definitely a worthwhile buy but we should never forget that the GPS tracker does not relieve us of our responsibility for our dogs. No GPS tracker replaces good obedience or the guidance and security that a leash provides. Our dogs are social and love being with us and not lonely in the home zone of a yard or garden monitored by a GPS!

No stress no barking


Is the battery life important?

When choosing a tracker, we should try and get the tracker with the longest possible battery life. So that when findinging your dog the battery goes empty. Also, the tracker should charge quickly.

What size tracker should I get?

Make sure that the tracker on the collar is as small and light as possible, so that it does not disturb the dog and in the best case he does not even notice it. Especially for a small and delicate dog.

Is a health monitor in the app a must?

No, primary function is for finding your dog. Of course the added bonus of knowing that your dog is active enough and healthy is always a bonus and i would choose that option everytime.

Should it be waterproof?

In order for the tracker to fulfill its purpose, it should be able to cope with the daily weather conditions. Waterproof up to 1m should be perfect, so that its function is secured even in bad weather and even after the dog has had a swim.

How does a Dog tracker work?

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