Dog GPS - cheaper alternatives

jackrabbit

Active member
Looking for a cheaper alternative for a dog GPS than some of the collars that are a bit more hunting specific. I have a lab, so I am not looking for something that really tracks out like what might be needed for a wide ranging pointer. I am looking more for something that I can use in daily situations. We live in the country on a couple acres, 363/365 days a year I can let my dog out in the morning and he hangs around the house until I put him away at night. Or a few weeks ago we visited family in Minneapolis and someone accidentally left a door open, and by pure luck I randomly found my dog 2 miles away on a busy road. I'm more looking for something that can give me piece of mind for those few days a year he wanders.

Does anybody have any experience with something like this or similar to it?
https://tractive.com/en-us/pd/gps-tracker-dog

I am fully aware that it is probably not as good or durable as a Garmin Alpha or Astro. I would like to buy a Garmin Pro 550 Plus, but my current training collar works great and I really don't want to spend $650 on a new one just for GPS.

Some of the pros I can see of Tractive are that I can set a boundary on my phone to get an alert when the dog leaves that area. The unit runs on cell towers, Verizon being one, which gets good coverage at our house and most areas we visit. So can get a location update from almost anywhere or any distance away. Decent batter life. Decent monthly price, although overtime it would obviously add up...

Some of the cons I can see are that it is probably not durable for a hunting situation, but that might be okay for my situation. For every 2 good reviews I read on it, I come across 1 horrible - but that is the same as a lot of products.
 

5 stand

Active member
Jackrabbit I'm not going to muck this thread up with how well I like my Garmin alpha, I use it almost daily.
Geo-fence it's great.
Anyway for $50 and 5.39 a month subscription fee. Depending on how long the subscription contract is. Seems pretty cheap for peace of mind, and finding out your dog's daily habits.
Keep us posted, good luck!
 

5 stand

Active member
Yes, I have the geo-fence around my home. It can be any property you desire, or any size you want it to be. When the dog exits the geo-fence you will receive an alert on the handheld. You will also receive an alert when it re-enters.
 

taylor07hunt

New member
The price for the brand does look good, however I'm a little concerned about the durability of the item. I've had the Garmin Pro 550 for 5 years now and it's showing no sign of slowing down - still works great! Garmin somewhat recently release the mini e-collars if you're concerned about the collar being too big. Also, if you're concerned with the size of the transmitter for the 550 (which is a little large), I would check out the Sport or Delta as they are little more convenient. I've seen quite a few people carry these out to the parks/outdoor restaurants and it's easy to carry. Both are a good fit for both at home and in the field. Here's a little better comparison of the collars if you want to take a look - Garmin Comparison Blog
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
Not sure the Garmin Astro/Alpha and collar are going to work when someone lets your dog out accidentally ... unless they are wearing the collar all the time. Units need to be up and running and paired.

Your other option seems better for a wandering dog.
 

jackrabbit

Active member
Not sure the Garmin Astro/Alpha and collar are going to work when someone lets your dog out accidentally ... unless they are wearing the collar all the time. Units need to be up and running and paired.

Your other option seems better for a wandering dog.
I don't really want the Astro because I don't want a training (E) collar and GPS collar. I'm sure the Alpha is a fantastic unit, but it's simply more than I need with a lab that is pretty good dog overall. I also think the handheld device of the Alpha is too big for easy handling in the field, gloves with touch screen, etc. I've kind of got it narrowed down to the Garmin 550 plus because of it's training and gps functioning, ease of use remote. Or the subscription type thing in my original post.
 

JMc

Super Moderator
As my GSP's only hunt upland (Pheasant, Quail and some Chukar) I've never felt the need for a GPS. They are never out of sight as they work the birds. Can someone explain why a GPS collar is needed? Hope I'm not hijacking this thread. Not criticizing either, just trying to understand.
 

jackrabbit

Active member
As my GSP's only hunt upland (Pheasant, Quail and some Chukar) I've never felt the need for a GPS. They are never out of sight as they work the birds. Can someone explain why a GPS collar is needed? Hope I'm not hijacking this thread. Not criticizing either, just trying to understand.
Grouse woods where they are out of site, wide open hunting out west where dogs range out quite far. Knowing exactly where your dog is. Knowing if they are on point if you can't see them. Statistical nerds who want to know how many miles the dog has gone in a day - which could also factor in to rest times, which dogs are freshest to rotate in and out, etc. In my case, I really don't need it all for hunting. I just want it for the 2x a year my dog wonders off, really not needed - more of a "want".
 

airmedic1

Member
As my GSP's only hunt upland (Pheasant, Quail and some Chukar) I've never felt the need for a GPS. They are never out of sight as they work the birds. Can someone explain why a GPS collar is needed? Hope I'm not hijacking this thread. Not criticizing either, just trying to understand.

I echo what jackrabbit said. I bought my first Astro 15 years ago after I “lost” my Welshie in a 160 acre Kansas field of 6’ high weeds and CRP. I used a whistle at that time but the wind was blowing 40 mph and she just couldn’t hear me. She walked out of the field 45 minutes later but that was a long 45 minutes. I “lost” my 18 month old GSP in a center pivot of unpicked corn after she chased running pheasants. It was nice to look down at the Astro and see exactly where she was and I went to that side and got her back. Two years ago I couldn’t locate my 15 year old GSP in a tall CRP field and used the Astro to locate her, she was pointing a covey of quail, waiting for me. Her hearing isn’t what it used to be and she never would break points so it was nice to find her in that tall grass. Nine times out of ten I never look at it when I’m hunting but when you can’t see your dog and they don’t respond, it’s nice to look at the screen and see where they are.
 
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