Ever had the experience of your dog getting lost and you just can’t find them anywhere? I have, and it was an awful feeling. Thankfully he came back the next day, but my family was scared senseless during that time. You can’t just take out your phone and call your dog and tell him to come home, so locating a lost dog can be very tricky.
The best option for locating lost dogs these days is with the modern wonder of pet tracking technology: specifically pet locators and GPS trackers.
Ther’s a wide variety of pet locators on the market these days, each with their own abilities and the quality can also differ a lot. Some people might prefer a basic product and others want one that offers a bunch of different features such as real-time monitoring and activity tracking via an app on their mobile phone.
Let’s see what’s actually available and what would be the best option for your dog and you in this buying guide for the best GPS collars and locators.
Our Choice of 3 Best GPS Tracker for Labradoodles
Note: Some of the links above will take you to more information, customer reviews and current prices on Amazon.
Why You Should Get a Dog Tracker
The statistics show that an enormous number of pets are lost annually. The American Human Association estimate that around 10 million pets go missing every year. And while there aren’t any statistics on it, some authorities claim that almost a third of all domestic pets get lost from their home and families at some point in their lives.
I’ve heard pet owners say that “my dog has a microchip so he will never get lost.” And microchips Are fine and all, but they require that somebody actually finds your pet, to begin with, then they have to go get the chip scanned before they can find you to deliver your pet back.
So generally speaking, a dog tracker is the best option for locating a missing pet and returning them safely home. If you buy a good quality tracker you’ll be able to pinpoint your pets‘ exact location in no time.
Besides being great for finding lost pets, dog trackers can also give dog owners some peace of mind when walking their dog without a leash, or whenever you have to leave them at home by themselves. Certain models even have the option for you to set up “safe-zones” for your Labradoodle, that will alert you the second your Doodle leaves that specified area.
You can also get GPS trackers that are able to track your dogs’ exercise and activity levels, and that can certainly be a fantastic method to find out more about your dog and how to improve your dog’s mental and physical health.
Who Can Benefit from Dog Trackers
GPS trackers are very useful if your a dog owner with large areas of land, or if you have a dog that has a tendency to run away or if you’d just like to know exactly where your dog is at any time. And as I mentioned above, for general safety purposes, as they make finding your dog again a whole lot easier.
Dog trackers are also very useful for an owner that has a fast-running or particularly adventurous dog in the family. If you have to go look for your dog a bit too often for your liking, it should be pretty easy to justify the initial purchase and, for some models, the potential subscription costs of using a GPS tracker.
And while your dog might have never attempted to escape previously, you can still find many benefits with a pet tracker or locator. As they not only give you a sense of security about where your dog is at all times, you can also monitor their behavior and exercise habits.
For me personally, a GPS tracker works as a high-tech insurance policy.
Different Types of Dog Tracker
Dog trackers are little devices that you attach to the collar of your pet that allows you to see map on your smartphone or PC to locate exactly where they are, and you can also receive an alert if they happen to wander away or into somewhere where they shouldn’t be.
There exists two types of dog tracker: the radio locator and the GPS tracker. GPS is the newest technology and comes with some features that radio locators don’t, but a radio locator might be a bit more reliable if you find yourself in an area with poor satellite signals.
Radio locators have been around for many years and were originally used when out hunting with dogs to help find those dogs’ who would roam over vast areas every single day. These days radio locators have been configured to work for the mass market and giving quite reliable location tracking over short-range.
Seeing as radio locators don’t require any network connections or GPS signals to locate your dog, they are often the preferred tracker of dog owners who live in very remote areas.
A radio locator consists of two parts: a handheld device for you and a collar attachment for your dog. The handheld should allow you to press a button that sends out a location query to the part attached to the collar, and it will then reply back, providing it’s within range.
You can then see the results displayed on a screen on your handheld device.
GPS trackers are the newest technology when it comes to pet tracking and they usually have the most benefits, and they also have a generally higher precision tracking than what any radio locators can offer.
Most modern GPS trackers lets’ you track your dogs’ every move on your smartphone and some models also let you check from a desktop. They typically have an app that lets’ you track your dogs’ trends and their level of activity.
GPS trackers offer a much wider range than radio trackers does, and they can track your dog pretty much everywhere they go, as long as there are the required connections. If you get a top-quality GPS tracker they have with satellite imaging, real-time tracking, and in some cases even indoor tracking.
Short-Comings of Pet Trackers
Technology is constantly developing, but so far a perfect solution for finding a lost pet still hasn’t been created and most of the technology still has room for improvement to fit these criteria.
The primary shortcoming of GPS trackers is that their Accuracy and reliability are solely dependant on the satellite connection it has access to. Many manufacturers of tracking products now use a combination of both the resources from large cell phone networks and satellite signals in a way to increase the area they can cover.
This is also why you will usually have to pay a small subscription fee when purchasing a high-quality product. While for a lot of dog owners, this small addition to the cost will be totally worth it, for other owners it can be hard to justify, especially if the cell phone coverage in their areas isn’t of decent quality.
This is why some owners opt for radio locators as they work reliably every time, but they have a much shorter range and they aren’t even nearly as accurate as GPD trackers when it comes to accurately locate their lost pet. In situations your pet has run off, you will probably have to drive or walk around for hours with your locator in hand until it signals that you’re in range of your dog.
Another point you have to consider with pet tracking and that is the battery life of the product. A radio tracker will usually have a lot longer battery life compared to a GPS tracker, as GPS trackers work much harder to keep a signal connected to precisely monitor your dog.
And while this will rarely be a problem for 99% of buyers, it is something you should think about, if you know you will find yourself using the tracker for long periods of time without the possibility of recharging it.
Other Features to Consider
When looking for a pet tracker, there are a few more features you should consider if they are need-to-have or nice-to-have in your situation.
Many of the premium quality models will be completely waterproof, while other and cheaper products will only be able to resist water for a given amount of time.
So if you own a dog that likes going on adventures and doesn’t shy away from diving head-on into the shallow end of a lake, you should really consider paying a bit extra to get a model that’s completely waterproof. A soaked tracker that isn’t waterproof will become useless shockingly fast.
Most Labradoodles are absolutely thrilled in or around water, so seeing as you’re currently reading this article, I have a good idea about what kind of tracker you should get.
Your Labradoodle might also be exactly the opposite and hate water on any shape or form, then a simple water-resistant tracker might prove to be more than enough for you and your dog.
One of the most useful features of some of the best GPS trackers is that they give you the option to precisely track your pup’s activity levels. If you’re trying to have your dog lose some weight or if your dog has a preexisting injury, this could be an incredibly useful tool.
By measuring your dogs’ activity levels, you’re able to constantly adjust their food intake and how much playtime you have with them to fit accordingly.
But not only will trackers that can monitor a dogs’ movements inside your home be great for health-related circumstances, but it’s also an incredibly fun insight into a dogs’ behavior when they’re left home by themself. You can see if they’re completely relaxed or if they’re frantically walking around the home looking like they’re suffering from separation anxiety.
Set Geo Zones
Some GPS trackers also have the option to set “safe zones” for your dog that will notify you as soon as your dog leaves that zone. This is a very useful feature if you have a dog that’s a master of escape if given even the slightest chance.
You will typically set a safe zone in your home, but some products have the option of setting multiple safe zones per pet, something that could prove useful if you occasionally take your dog on holiday in new places. You will be able to switch off these notifications when you take your dog for walks outside or any other activities.
Finding the Correct Size for Your Dog
When you’ve decided that you want to get a dog tracker, it’s very important that you get one that isn’t too bulky for your dog to carry with them on their collar.
Most modern trackers are placed on your dog’s collar, and you will have to make sure that it’s strong enough to not fly off the collar, even in situations where your dog is flying around, but not so heavy that it starts to annoy your dog.
Most trackers require that a dog should weigh at least 9 to 10 pounds, so as a Labradoodle owner that will rarely be a problem. The reason for this weight requirement is that the device might irritate a smaller dog.
The Best GPS Tracker for Labradoodles in 2020
So let’s take a look at our top picks for the best GPS tracker for Labradoodles on the market right now.
1. 🏆 Whistle Go Explore
For most of us, a dog is really an extra member of the family member, and we can’t imagine how we would react if they ever went missing. And in the worst possible situation where they might run away someday or escape through a hole in the fence in your yard, panic can quickly set in.
How will you ever be able to locate and bring your little furry friend back home?
Before being brought by Whistle, this tracker was originally a product by Tagg, and this GPS tracker is by far one of the most popular trackers in the market currently. Due to its cellular connection service, it does require a monthly subscription, and the price for this starts from $6.95.
The Whistle Go has a ton of features besides the main even of location tracking and is especially useful for dog-owners looking to measure the activity levels of their dog, gauge exercise goals and track different trends.
- You can set up safe zones and the Whistle Go will notify you if your dog leaves the area
- Direct location tracking on your smartphone
- Can locate dog pet in real-time and even provide satellite imaging of their exact location
- One device will work for multiple dogs
- Uses a collaboration of GPS and cellular technology, which means that you are able to track your dogs’ exact location anywhere where there’s cell service
- Alerts are delivered instantly via SMS or through the app
- Completely waterproof and very tenacious
- Activity tracking that lets you analyze your dog over both short and long-term
- Can set your own customized goals for activity levels
- Will only works in the US
- Map address accuracy can be a bit unreliable in extremely rural areas, but satellite imaging usually seems to works fine in those circumstances.
The Fitbark is a classic dog locator and also a very popular model. With this device, you have one part that you attach to your dogs’ collar and then there is a mobile app where you can track your dog with just a single push of a button.
Through the app, you can check where your dog is at any time you want and the device will quickly respond with its exact location. It can also show the distance of your dog to you in real-time and then give you directions.
- Lightweight collar attachment is suitable for dogs weighing from 10 pounds and up
- Water-resistant, but not completely waterproof
- Precise tracking with GPS
- You’ll have to recharge the batteries once in a while
- Not completely waterproof
Link AKC is another GPS tracker from a highly trusted pet location brand.
As with the other devices that have a GPS tracker, this one requires that you pay a one-time activation fee, as well as a monthly fee that starts at $9.95.
It doesn’t come with the same bells and whistles that more recently developed GPS tracking devices do, but due to its accuracy and reliability, it’s still a very popular product, that I’ve also used previously and was quite satisfied.
- Connects to the largest wireless network in the US which allows for very precise locating together with GPS
- Stylish and lightweight collar
- The accompanying and free app allows you to track your dogs’ daily exercise levels
- Check your dogs’ location on an interactive map and receive directions in the app
- Batteries last up to 30 days
- Instead of real-time tracking, it only has a static tracking with a 3-minute delay, that can be quite frustrating if your dog is running somewhere at top speed
- Battery life decreases with age
Hopefully, you will now have at least a small idea of the many benefits that a GPS tracker can give you and also what you be the best GPS tracker for Labradoodles.
Looking at the rather large number of dogs and pets in general that disappear every single year, a pet tracker can prove a rather cheap method to give you peace of mind while also serving as a great safety precaution for your dog.
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