How does a GPS dog collar work?

In this article, learn how a GPS Dog collar work and the best GPD dog collar system you can buy today!

A walk in the park should be…. Well, a walk in the park, right? Not always. How many times have you been brave enough to let your best friend off the leash only to later spend anxiety-filled hours trenching through mud and brambles trying to find him? Or how many of you dare not even let your pet off the leash, out of fear of them going missing or getting into trouble?

GPS dog collar to the rescue! This handy piece of kit can be the savior for dog owners. Let’s get to grips with how exactly these GPS dog collars work and why we think they’re great. 

Related: Best Dog Collars

How does a GPS Dog collar work?

A GPS dog collar is a wearable device that uses satellite technology to track the location of your furry friend.

While traditional pet-tracking devices only work when within range of a base station, GPS dog collars use a constellation of satellites to triangulate the position of your dog anywhere in the world. This is especially useful if your pet ever gets lost, as you can simply check the GPS collar’s app to see where they are.

But how does it all work?

Well, the GPS dog collar consists of three main components: a satellite receiver, a cellular modem, and a battery. The satellite receiver picks up signals from GPS satellites orbiting overhead, while the cellular modem uses the prevailing cell towers to communicate this information to the app on your phone. And finally, the battery provides power to keep everything running smoothly.

Overall, it’s a bit like having a personal assistant for your pup. The GPS dog collar uses satellite technology to track your dog’s location, so you can always know where they are (and that they’re safe). Your Handheld GPS unit plots that information onto a map on your screen, giving you the ability to see your location, your dog’s location, direction, and whether or not your dog is moving.

How does a GPS dog collar work?

No matter your location, as long as you have signal, GPS dog tracking systems will show you exactly where your dog is. These systems have the same range limitations as radio tracking collars. As long as you can pick up the signal, you know the exact distance between you and your dog and what he’s up to.

Yes, that right. Plenty of tracking collars in the market can also tell you what you dog is doing. Sensors can give you notifications when your dog is eating, barking or on the move.

Benefits of a GPS dog tracking collar 

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For us, we just feel so chilled knowing we can pick up our phone and see the exact location of our dog. And pick him right away if he starts to get out of bound!

If that doesn’t stir you up, here are other more reasons why you should also use one:

  • All kinds of dog owners can find GPS tracking collars useful whether you’re a city slicker or a country bump.
  • When you can’t see your dogs due to terrain, cover or distance, dog tracking collars provide an effective means of keeping “track” of multiple dogs.
  • You can set locational boundaries and your GPS Collar will send you an alert if your dog strays out of bounds.
  • Certain systems can also monitor and analyze your dogs behavior throughout the day, giving you a comprehensive understanding if your dog needs more exercise for example. 
  • Some systems can even give you alerts if your dog is barking and/or in a stressful situation 
  • GPS tracking collars will instantly identify the location of your dog.
  • Dog Tracking Systems are also effective in locating dogs that are lost.

Types of GPS Dog Collars & Systems

Depending on your needs as a dog owner, you may want to use other tech other than the standard GPS. Radio telemetry is still being used today, even after over 70 years! Let’s take a look at some of the other types of tracking collars..

GPS and Radio Tracking Collars 

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These systems can be pretty advanced and are often used for wildlife tracking and hunting. However, they can also be a useful application for dog owners too. They have a wide range but will not be able to give you the exact location of your dog, only the direction…. They collars have been applied in the Serengeti to help track Lions and prevent major disease outbreaks 

Your Standard Location Only GPS Collar 

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You may want to consider this collar if you are a hiker or if you own dogs for hunting. The tech embedded into these will give you the precise location of your dog, with only a small sim card chip installed inside the collar.

There are also some editions that include SOS option, sending out a message with a location to selected contact numbers. By far the easiest to understand and definitely a good combination of GPS technology and emergency gadgets. It’s also the most reliable , due to a solid transmission technology. At a reasonable price, a great option for all dog owners.

Health and Exercise GPS Collar

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Now we take it up a level. These clever little devices can sync directly with an application on your phone.

They can monitor the art rate, distance and sometimes also have sound sensors installed, as well as still monitoring location. The application can you detailed analysis on your dogs activities throughout the day. For instance how far your dog has traveled, footsteps and stress even stress levels…. These are inevitably a little more expensive but well worth it if you have the budget.

Telemetry Collars

These systems can be pretty advanced and are often used for wildlife tracking and hunting. However, they can also be a useful application for dog owners too. They have a wide range but will not be able to give you the exact location of your dog, only the direction…. They collars have been applied in the Serengeti to help track Lions and prevent major disease outbreaks

Cannot make up your mind? Or just don’t understand anything? Maybe this will help…


Lets tale a look the underlying factors between telemetry and GPS collars…

  • Radio telemetry collars send a directional radio signal that allows you to pinpoint the direction of your dog. However, it offers very limited information on distance and location.
  • GPS tracking collars send a radio signal to your Handheld GPS unit with the exact location of your dog. The Handheld GPS unit plots that information on a map on your screen you can see your location, your dog’s location, direction, and whether or not your dog is moving.

So, what exactly is..

Maximum Effective Range

This is by far the biggest advantage that radio telemetry tracking collars have over GPS tracking systems. Specifically:

  • In perfect conditions, radio tracking collars have about 30% more range (12 miles line of sight).
  • GPS with most of time only reach 9 miles (line of sight). When it comes to hunting or simply taking your pet dog put for a walk, it’s highly unlikely that you will ever need to track anywhere close this distance… However for lost dog’s, it may be valuable to have the extra miles.

Design and Aesthetics

Lets get deeper into the mechanism and in which form you obtain location. GPS collar tracker is pretty simple. Just like you locate the nearest ATM when on vacation, GPS local tracker synced up with your phone lets you either type in the coordinates you’ve received through text, or directly access the location through the mobile app. The point is that the accuracy of the location you acquire is within a few meters. Easy.

As for the aesthetics you have a whole range of choices…. Some are designed to look like a standard traditional dog collar, whilst others re more futuristic and look as if they have the ability to fly through different galaxies…. Some tracing collars come with inbuilt lights, which are pretty cool…

Hold on a minute. I’ve missed something here….

What about Beeper Collars?

These old-timers have been around since the 60’s. She’s a vintage but depending on your practices may be able to work like a charm. Let’s take a look at beeper collars in a bit more detail!

Beeper collars can really confuse some dogs. You have to condition them to the sound and you have to time your commands in the field since your dog can’t hear anything while the beeper is going off. While I have never had proof of a dog suffering any significant hearing loss from long term use of a beeper collar, I can’t see that any dog would enjoy wearing one.

Dogtra 2702T&B Two Dogs Remote Training and Beeper Collar

The hunter’s hearing plays a major role in how well you can hear a beeper, too. It’s one of the hardest things to determine when picking the beeper for a customer. Until you have used one in the field, you really will not know if a beeper is going to work with your hearing. GPS tracking eliminates hearing-related issues. have always been amazed at how terrain and wind can make beepers useless. Sometimes you can tell exactly where your dog is with a beeper and sometimes you can’t.


So, if you’re a standard dog owner, without any hunting ambitions, grab yourself a GPS collar. You can chill, hang out with friends and family, or simply just enjoy your walk without the stress of worrying where your pet dog is.

Our world is certainly becoming more technical and this can be huge put off for

most, especially as we usually relate our walks in the park or within nature as a break from technology. However, GPS dog collars can be extremely helpful. Give it a go! Get to know your pet dog that little more.

K9FitClub may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not affect which products are included in our articles. We keep our reviews and comparisons fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for your pets.

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