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The Best Dog GPS Trackers of 2024

From mountain tops to rivers to canyons and everything in between, we pushed the limits of the best dog GPS trackers on the market. Here’s what you need to know to keep your dog safe, close, and healthy.

best dog GPS trackers(Photo/Carolyne Whelan)
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It’s a dog’s life, as the saying goes, which is lucky for us when a dog’s life includes swimming in rivers, running up mountains, chasing friends in fields, and rolling in unthinkable messes. We tested the top dog GPS trackers so you can track where your pup ends up, even if you wish you didn’t (or didn’t have to smell it).

Writer, dog mom, and gear-tester extraordinaire Carolyne Whelan has tested GPS devices for the past decade. She’s tried everything from wearables to cycling computers to handhelds to dog GPS trackers. Since moving to the mountains 3 years ago, she’s taken a deep dive into dog GPS trackers in an attempt to keep her (mostly) well-behaved wild beast safe.

She and her pup, Broose, have spent hours upon hours in the mountains, fields, and rivers around Montana and Idaho testing these devices. She sent Broose off on walks alone and on group hikes with devices attached to her collar. Carolyne also reached out to others who use these devices to gain their insight and cross-reference her experiences.

After testing six different trackers for a few months, Carolyne’s 5-year-old Chinook is ready for a nap. But together, they’ve gained deep insight into the best GPS trackers for pets to make your decision-making easier.

No matter how well-behaved your canine companion is, it’s likely you’ve had an “oh-no” moment during an off-leash run, hike, or swim. In the blink of an eye, your pup picks up a scent and disappears out of sight.

Or, maybe you have an escape artist on your hands who manages to get out of your yard periodically for some solo exploration. Whatever the situation, scroll through our list to find the best pet GPS trackers sure to keep your precious pups safe and keep your sanity in check.

Learn what differentiates dog GPS trackers in our comprehensive buyer’s guide and FAQ at the bottom of the article. Our comparison chart can help you make a decision. Otherwise, read our full gear guide below.

The Best Dog GPS Trackers of 2024

Best Overall Dog GPS Tracker

Fi Series 3 Smart Dog Collar


  • Price From $102
  • Subscription Varied and included with price of collar
  • Dimensions 1 x 12.5-16.5”
  • Tracking method GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, plus LTE-M (AT&T) to help boost coverage
  • Battery life 6 weeks
Product Badge The Best Dog GPS Trackers of 2024


  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight
  • Always-on design
  • Great coverage


  • Automatically “ends” a walk if your dog pauses
  • Light is dim
Best Budget Dog GPS Tracker

Tractive Dog XL


  • Price $56
  • Subscription Options ranging from $13/month monthly to $300/5 years
  • Dimensions 3.5 x 2.0 x 0.9”
  • Tracking method GPS, GLONASS, Galileo
  • Battery Up to a month with minimal live tracking
The Best Dog GPS Trackers of 2024


  • Long battery life
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to attach and remove


  • Heavy and bulky
  • Requires connection to phone
Best Dog GPS Tracker for Off-Grid Exploration

Garmin Alpha T-20 Dog Collar


  • Price $300
  • Subscription None needed
  • Tracking method GPS, Galileo
  • Dimensions 3.2 x 1.8 x 1.4”
  • Battery Up to 84 hours (non-continual use)
The Best Dog GPS Trackers of 2024


  • Doesn’t require a subscription
  • Pairs with handheld to protect phone battery
  • Great coverage


  • Bulky and heavy
  • Requires handheld (sold separately)
Best Dog GPS Tracker for Health

Whistle Go Explore 2.0 Smart Tracker


  • Price $129
  • Subscription $99 per year
  • Dimensions 1.75" x 1.25" x 0.75”
  • Tracking method GPS via AT&T 4G LTE-M
  • Battery 2 weeks
The Best Dog GPS Trackers of 2024


  • Small and lightweight
  • Monitors health
  • Fast notification when your pet leaves safety zone


  • Relies on cell coverage for tracking
  • Requires subscription
Best of the Rest

Cube GPS Tracker


  • Price $99
  • Subscription $198/year or $19.95/month
  • Dimensions 2.75" x 1.57" x 0.64”
  • Tracking method GPS, cell tower triangulation, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Battery 10-60 days, average 3 weeks
The Best Dog GPS Trackers of 2024


  • Easy to attach
  • Easy to use
  • Live tracking updates rapidly


  • Subscription is expensive
  • It’s a bit bulky on the collar

FitBark GPS


  • Price $100
  • Subscription Varied from $9.95/month monthly to $214.20/3 years
  • Dimensions 1.86" x 1.18" x 0.61″
  • Tracking method GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, SBAS and QZSS, plus cellular (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile)
  • Battery Roughly 3 weeks with typical use
The Best Dog GPS Trackers of 2024


  • Pairs with Apple Watch and Fitbit
  • Tracks various health factors
  • Small and lightweight
  • Fantastic customer service


  • Battery doesn’t last very long
  • Inconvenient charging

Dog GPS Tracker Comparison Chart

Dog GPS TrackerPriceSubscriptionTracking MethodBattery
Fi Series 3 Smart Dog Collar
$212Varied and included with price of collarGPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, plus LTE-M (AT&T) to help boost coverage6 weeks
Tractive Dog XL
$56Options ranging from $13/month monthly to $300/5 yearsGPS, GLONASS, GalileoUp to a month with minimal live tracking
Garmin Alpha T-20 Dog Collar
$300None neededGPS, GalileoUp to 84 hours (non-continual use)
Link Smart Pet Wearable
$149Varied from $9.99/month monthly to $288/3 yearsGPS via Verizon LTE-M, Bluetooth3-4 weeks
Whistle Go Explore 2.0 Smart Tracker
$129$99 per yearGPS via AT&T 4G LTE-M2 weeks
Cube GPS Tracker
$99$198/year or $19.95/monthGPS, cell tower triangulation, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth10-60 days, average 3 weeks
FitBark GPS
$100Varied from $9.95/month monthly to $214.20/3 yearsGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, SBAS and QZSS, plus cellular (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile)Roughly 3 weeks with typical use

How We Tested Dog GPS Trackers

best dog GPS trackers
We tested the best of the best GPS dog trackers so you don’t have to; (photo/Carolyne Whelan)

Here at GearJunkie, we are dedicated athletes, outdoor hobbyists, all-around adventure aficionados, and dog lovers. We travel deep into the wilderness and explore urban jungles, often with our dogs by our side. We know the importance of keeping tabs on your dog if they explore independently.

For testing, we spent months hiking, traveling, walking, cycling, skiing, and lounging all around Montana and Idaho. We pushed these devices to the limits of their GPS capabilities high on mountains and deep in canyons. We went swimming in icy rivers as soon as they thawed to check waterproofing.

Many times, Broose had multiple devices attached to her collar or harness at once. This allowed us to compare the response times and accuracy of the trackers in real time. 

Carolyne purposely brought Broose to locations where she could explore off-trail and beyond her sight. These situations offered opportunities to test GPS functionality and any stimulation like sounds or vibrations that come with certain devices.

Broose is a 5-year-old Chinook mix. She loves the snow, swimming, and frolicking in the woods. At least once a week, she goes on a 7-mile off-leash hike with a group of adventurous dogs. We cycled through various devices to track her on these hikes. From these tests, we saw which ones were most trackable from afar and which best showed her minute-by-minute location.

Overall, this energetic and well-behaved dog tested these GPS trackers hundreds of miles. She led the pack on cross-country ski tours. She chased after rabbits and deer. Broose helped her humans train for trail-running races and gravel rides. She spent plenty of time lying in her favorite sunny spot testing the battery life of devices while on Wi-Fi.

best dog GPS trackers
Broose traveled far and wide testing dog GPS trackers like the Whistle Go Explore 2.0 Smart Tracker; (photo/Carolyne Whelan)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Perfect Dog GPS Tracker

Dogs truly are humans’ best friends. Just like our human besties, our fur pals have minds of their own. They enjoy the errant adventure. And, they aren’t always the best at telling us what’s bothering them.

With a dog GPS tracker, you may not convince them to agree with you on the best movie or to do a TikTok dance. But, you can at least track them when they wander off and help troubleshoot any ailments.

With so many options, which one works best for you and your pup will depend on your specific needs. Use this guide to help comb through the jargon and find the best fit for your best furry friend. If all this wandering wears out Fido, check out our Best Dog Beds guide so they can rest as hard as they play.

Types of Tracking

Depending on where you live and what activities you enjoy, one type of coverage may be better than another. Cellular coverage relies on a mixture of cell towers and GPS satellites to give a location.

When in an area with good cell coverage for the sorts of towers your device has access to, this could mean a more precise location than GPS alone. The Link, for example, uses GPS via AT&T LTE-M and works fantastically in areas where AT&T has great coverage.

However, suppose you are out of cell coverage, or in an area that doesn’t have good cell coverage for the specific towers utilized by the tracker (for instance, AT&T or Verizon towers). In that case, you may have a hard time getting a decent and consistent location.

Galileo works best in mountainous regions where elevation is important. GLONASS is best for urban areas where the terrain may be flatter but many buildings and conflicting signals are involved. The Fi Series 3 and FitBark use a combination of coverage.

They both utilize various satellite systems and cellular towers, making them more accurate. However, if you plan on going out of cell service, you need something that transmits information through satellites. This is where the Garmin Alpha T-20 shines.

The Fi Series 3 Smart Dog Collar uses a combo of tracking types and integrates a subscription into the overall cost of the device; (photo/Carolyne Whelan)

Subscription Fees

All but the Garmin Alpha T-20 require a subscription to utilize the GPS tracker functions of the device. This can potentially swing a device’s overall cost and value, as well as the “set it and forget it” abilities. If you are looking for a device with a long-term plan, Tractive offers a 5-year premium plan.

Most all the devices offer monthly rates. The Fi Series 3 Smart Dog Collar integrates plans into the overall cost of the device. However, all others offer subscription fees as an addition to the device. 

The benefit of a shorter plan is if you use it for a short time. For instance, if you get a tracker for hikes but have an older dog who doesn’t have much more exploration left in her, or if you’re purchasing it as a gift and don’t want to give someone 5 years of coverage if you don’t know if they will use it. Or, if you simply aren’t wild about commitment.

However, the longer plans invariably offer discounts for signing up for longer periods and paying up front. So, if you know you will have a few years of use with the device you select, investing in that time may be beneficial. With so many ways to price your device’s subscription plan and the reasons behind wanting a longer or shorter plan, you’ll be sure to find something that works for you.

best dog GPS trackers
The Garmin Alpha T-20 is the only dog GPS tracker we tested that doesn’t require a subscription to utilize the GPS tracker functions of the device; (photo/Carolyne Whelan)

Health Tracking

A dog GPS tracker can be as simple as letting you know where your dog is during a hunt or hike or a tool to monitor your dog’s overall health and well-being. Age, breed, general health, and lifestyle all come into play when determining your needs.

The Whistle Go Explore 2.0 can truly help manage just about everything related to your dog’s wellness, from submitting photos of stool samples, tracking sleep patterns, having access to a veterinarian through the app, and being able to email the info collected through Whistle to your vet directly through the app. The Cube GPS, meanwhile, is a very simple monitoring device that puts all its power into precision tracking without the frills of health information.

best dog GPS trackers
We loved the simplicity of the Cube GPS Tracker; (photo/Carolyne Whelan)

Battery Life

Many of these trackers utilize Wi-Fi to lengthen battery life while dogs are home. This is great for the majority of users, whose trackers will be at home most of each day when their dog isn’t on a walk or otherwise out of the house.

Some, like Tractive, allow you to enter multiple Wi-Fi networks which works great for dogs who live in multiple homes or go to daycare. If you don’t have consistent access to the same Wi-Fi network, though, this could drain the battery life of some devices with dynamic tracking. Of course, you can turn off the device to save battery life, but the trade-off is not knowing if your dog slips out of the safety area.


Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so be sure to find a dog GPS tracker that fits your pup. The Tractive XL is a fantastic tool with a long battery life, but it’s also bulky and rather heavy. If you have a smaller dog, consider getting the smaller and lighter Tractive Dog 4, especially if you have Wi-Fi access to lengthen the battery life.

Cube GPS and Garmin Alpha T-20 may also be a bit heavy for some smaller dogs; Whistle Go Explore 2.0 or FitBark may be more manageable options for smaller breeds. Link Smart Pet Wearable, meanwhile, is medium-sized but its body is rather lightweight.

The Link Smart Pet Wearable is a lightweight option that uses light and vibration to bring your pet back to your side; (photo/Carolyne Whelan)


Why do I need a dog GPS tracker?

We all want to think our furry little angels will always come when we call them, stay within our eyesight, never sneak out of the fence, and communicate all their needs. But sometimes, even the best furbabies catch a wild hair, need additional training, or worse — get stolen or lost. A GPS dog collar offers peace of mind whether you are hiking, camping, leaving your dog with a sitter, or just want to monitor their health.

How do dog GPS trackers help me understand my dog’s health?

While none of the collars offer biometrics like pulse or blood oxygen like your smartwatch (yet), there are some similarities to our own devices, such as how many steps are taken and how sedentary your pet is. They can also notice how restless they are during their sleep, which can help identify whether they are woken up to scratch itchy skin, nurse a wound, or use the bathroom.

When collected together to identify shifts in patterns, plus adding additional information like eating habits, a holistic picture is painted to help identify problems or progress that may be difficult to notice otherwise.

Are these devices meant to be worn all the time?

That depends on the device. Some, like the Garmin Alpha T-20, are temporary devices worn during outdoor activity. Others, like the FitBark, are designed to be worn on your dog’s favorite collar at all times to track all their movements, not just specific activities.

Depending on your needs and your dog’s behavior, you may prefer one style over another (or both!). If you’re looking for other ways to boost your dog’s safety and comfort while wandering, check out our guide to the Best Dog Harnesses to find the perfect fit for your perfect pup.


The Best Dog Harnesses of 2024

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