Pets

Top 10 Best Smart Dog Collars

smart dog collar, gps dog collar, dog activity tracker, dog training collar

If you have a dog, chances are good that it wears a collar of some sort at all times. Usually this collar is chosen for its good looks more than its function. Sure, some dogs require special collars, but the average pup just needs something to hold his tags.

A growing range of products makes these collars into more than just fashion statements. While training collars, especially ones to curb barking, have been around forever, there’s a new class emerging which gather information about what your dog is up to and where. These smart collars use GPS, wi-fi, and sometimes even cellular data to send stats to your smartphone, regardless of where your dog may be. It’s the next generation of ensuring your dog’s health — not only knowing where they are, but if they’re getting enough activity.

For this list, we’ve included several of the new class of information-gathering collars, as well as a few more tried-and-true collar types, including the standard ones used for training. Here you can compare and contrast the styles and decide exactly what you need for your dog.

For those who want to keep closer tabs on their dog, here’s our list of the top ten best smart collars for dogs.


Smart Dog GPS and Activity Tracker Collars

These collars monitor your dog’s activity level and location at all times. All of these send data back to your smartphone, so you have ready access to the most vital information whenever you want it.


1. LINK AKC Smart Dog Collar

smart dog collar, gps dog collar, dog activity tracker, dog training collar

(Link AKC)

At the time of this writing, this product is so new, it has yet to be released. If you opt for this one, you’re pre-ordering the very latest in smart collar offerings. It won “Best of Innovation” at CES 2017, and combines a GPS locator with an activity tracker into an single attractive collar.

Along with the home base, this collar creates a so-called “digital safe zone” around your home. If your dog leaves that area, it will send an alert to your smartphone immediately. As it tracks your dog’s activity, it will make recommendations tailored to your pet to encourage healthier habits. The app will also let you record vet visits so you have a complete picture of your dog at any given time. To top it off, the collar has as bright LED that is controlled with the app.

You can use this with your own collar, but the tracker and the collar holster for it are both clad in brown leather, so you might be better off with the included collar. There is a service charge associated with the device, starting at $6.95 per month, but the peace of mind may be worth it.

Need more options? Browse more dog collars here.

Price: $179 (20 percent off MSRP)

Buy the LINK AKC Smart Dog Collar here.



Pros:

  • GPS tracking shows the location of your dog at all times
  • Customized activity level recommendations
  • App-controlled LEDs for visibility
  • Ambient temperature alerts

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Requires monthly service plan for connectivity — starting at $6.95 per month
  • Brand new product is likely to have bugs to work out
  • Only available in one color

Find more LINK AKC Smart Dog Collar information and reviews here.


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2. FitBark Dog Activity Monitor

smart dog collar, gps dog collar, dog activity tracker, dog training collar

(FitBark)

Unlike the Link above, the FitBark is purely an activity monitor. Charge it up and fasten it to your dog’s collar to get insights into their exercise level, or lack thereof. Like a FitBit for humans (get it?), this will also track your pup’s sleep habits, as well. You can use this information to give your vet a more complete idea of what’s going on with your dog, in case of unexplained behavioral changes.

Battery life on this unit is 14 days, and connects to your smartphone (Android and iOS compatible) via Bluetooth. Weekly reports tell you how your dog compares with other similar dogs, so you have a better idea of how your shared exercise routine is going. It’s also available in five colors — Cool Grey, Baby Pink, Emerald Green, Light Blue, and True Red.

Need more options? Browse more dog collars here.

Price: $69.95

Buy the FitBark Dog Activity Monitor here.



Pros:

  • Tracks changes in your dog’s behavior
  • Compare with similar dogs
  • Durable and waterproof
  • Available in five colors

Cons:

  • No GPS tracking
  • Connection only via Bluetooth

Find more FitBark Dog Activity Monitor information and reviews here.


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3. Whistle GPS and Activity Monitor for Dogs

smart dog collar, gps dog collar, dog activity tracker, dog training collar

(Whistle)

These two Whistle devices add up to (roughly) one of the Link devices above. The GPS tracker version is aimed more for that purpose. It creates a “Whistle Zone” around your home, and sends SMS or push notifications when your dog ventures out of the area. When it’s in range, it communicates via shortwave radio to the docking station in your home, which saves on battery life. Outside of that area, it relies on a wireless network to communicate, which comes with a monthly charge beginning at $6.95 per month.

The activity tracker is more akin to the FitBark, keeping closer tabs on your pup’s movements and creating progress charts and trends. This one doesn’t have GPS and doesn’t use a cellular network, so it won’t help you find a lost pet. The price is a little higher, possibly because the GPS tracker makes a concession on price due to the subscription necessity. It does, on the other hand, have both wi-fi and Bluetooth radios in it, so it can use either protocol to beam info to your smartphone, with app support for both Android and iOS.

Battery life on both devices is about ten days, and both are shock proof and rugged. With the bushed metal look, they will go together nicely as a pair, although that’s a fair amount of collar real estate and would likely be pretty heavy, even for big dogs. Better to choose which function you need most and go with that one. It seems based on the responses to Amazon reviews that the team at Whistle are proactively working on the software bugs, so any issues you have should be addressed quickly.

Need more options? Browse more Whistle pet products here.

Price: $77.98 for GPS Tracker, $99.99 for Activity Monitor

Buy the Whistle GPS Pet Tracker here.

Buy the Whistle Activity Monitor For Dogs here.



Pros:

  • Works on any collar up to one inch wide
  • Modern brushed aluminum look
  • Defined “Whistle Zone” alerts you when pet leaves the area
  • Responsive customer service

Cons:

  • GPS tracker requires monthly service plan for connectivity — starting at $6.95 per month
  • Both modules are fairly heavy, so smaller dogs might struggle to wear them
  • To get both functions, you have to buy both modules, which is expensive
  • Buggy software following recent releases

Find more Whistle GPS Pet Tracker information and reviews here.

Find more Whistle Activity Monitor For Dogs information and reviews here.


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4. Pod 2 GPS + WiFi Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor

smart dog collar, gps dog collar, dog activity tracker, dog training collar

(Pod)

This option is a two-in-one device, combining all the necessary elements of GPS and activity tracking. Like the others, you can set a safe zone and receive alerts when your pet strays beyond it. It gives you an option for eight hours of continuous tracking to record your dog’s escapades, as well as fitness level reports.

Unlike the others, though, this has a major advantage in that it is small and light. If you have a dog under 15 pounds or a cat, the trackers above likely won’t work for them. This one was specifically designed to accommodate animals of just about any size. There’s no Bluetooth connectivity, but it does have wi-fi built in, as well as 2G wireless capability. The cost for the service is $49 per year, with the first year free.

As an added bonus, the folks at Pod are expected to release a new version soon, and users of a previous generation will get a 50 percent discount on the upgrade. We’ll update this post once the new one comes out, but this version could still easily do the job for you.

Need more options? Browse more dog collars here.

Price: $198.99

Buy the Pod 2 GPS + WiFi Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor here.



Pros:

  • On-demand pet locator
  • Light enough for small dogs and cats
  • Wi-fi and 2G wireless coverage
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • Requires service plan for connectivity — $49 per year after the first
  • 2G service can be spotty in some areas
  • Some users experience the device turning off randomly
  • New company still working out bugs

Find more Pod 2 GPS + WiFi Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor information and reviews here.


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5. Premium Worldwide GPS Pet Tracker By Find My Pet GPS

smart dog collar, gps dog collar, dog activity tracker, dog training collar

(Find My Pet GPS)

If all you need is a dedicated GPS tracker for your dog, consider this option. Using GSM 2G, it tracks your pet’s location and alerts you via email, SMS, or in-app notifications. Battery life for this unit is up to seven days, depending on area and use. Not much for bells and whistles here, just a purpose-built GPS locator for your pup.

Need more options? Browse more GPS trackers here.

Price: $89.99 (36 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Premium Worldwide GPS Pet Tracker By Find My Pet GPS here.



Pros:

  • Uses 2G connectivity to monitor and send alerts
  • Light enough for most pets
  • Free app
  • Helpful customer service

Cons:

  • Requires monthly service plan for connectivity — $4.99 per month
  • Expensive for what it is
  • Unclear instructions
  • No activity tracking

Find more Premium Worldwide GPS Pet Tracker By Find My Pet GPS information and reviews here.


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Smart Dog Training Collars

While the collars above focus on location and activity of your dog, training collars are aids to correct a variety of unwanted behaviors. These include going places you don’t want them, barking, and more. They often come with their own handheld radio device, but some connect to a smartphone.


6. PetSafe Smart Dog Trainer Collar

smart dog collar, gps dog collar, dog activity tracker, dog training collar

(PetSafe)

Most traditional dog training collars require you to carry around a radio transmitter in order to trigger the corrective action. PetSafe has paired its collar with a Bluetooth radio so you can use your smartphone instead. We all carry our smartphones in the normal course of our day, so this improves the convenience of such a devices considerably.

The effective range on this is about 75 yards, which is fairly limited for this sort of device. However, assuming you’ll only put it on when you’re actively training, this may not be too much of a concern, and should certainly work inside the house. Correction stimulation includes one level of beeping, one level of vibration, and 15 levels of “static stimulation” or shock to prompt corrections. Shock collars are relatively standard and generally do not cause any harm, but if you’re opposed to them, you’ll still have the first two options available to you with this collar.

Need more options? Browse more PetSafe products here.

Price: $79.99

Buy the PetSafe Smart Dog Trainer Collar here.



Pros:

  • Waterproof, submersible up to five feet
  • Three types and 15 levels of stimulation
  • Replaces typical handheld unit with smartphone functionality
  • Free dedicated app

Cons:

  • Range is only 75 yards
  • Instructions for use lacking
  • Shock mechanism may be considered inhumane for some users

Find more PetSafe Smart Dog Trainer Collar information and reviews here.


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7. PetSafe Pawz Away Pet Barrier

smart dog collar, gps dog collar, dog activity tracker, dog training collar

(PetSafe)

Another PetSafe product, this unit is meant to keep your dog (or cat) away from specific places in the home. By placing a transmitter about the size of a smoke detector in a spot where you don’t want Spot, you can passively train your dog to stay out of trash cans, off furniture, or even out of rooms where you prefer they not go.

This again relies on static/shock correction, this time automatically progressing through several different levels as they draw nearer to the transmitter. Between three and 15 seconds, it will use the highest level of correction, but then shut off to prevent injury and overstimulation. For most pets, the first level is more than enough, and some reviewers report that it isn’t necessary to use all the time. A few rounds of training with this, as well as subsequent reinforcements, should be enough for your pet to understand.

Need more options? Browse more PetSafe products here.

Price: $37.49

Buy the PetSafe Pawz Away Pet Barrier here.



Pros:

  • Trains dogs to avoid areas of the home
  • Adjustable range from one to six feet
  • Correction prompt stops after 15 seconds
  • Additional barrier transmitters can be added

Cons:

  • Recommended continuous use of 12 hours or fewer
  • Some dead spots in the range radius
  • Collar is bulky for smaller pets
  • Shock mechanism may be considered inhumane for some users

Find more PetSafe Pawz Away Pet Barrier information and reviews here.


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8. Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar

smart dog collar, gps dog collar, dog activity tracker, dog training collar

(Educator)

Educator produces a line of dog training collars and tools, with this one being the mid-to-upper range. The key to this one is the stopwatch-shaped transmitter, which allows for easy use. Using the knob at the top, the user can select stimulation levels between one and 100, with an additional boost setting from one to 60. In addition to the stimulation, there’s also a Pavlovian tone which further trains your dog to respond.

There are options for different designs for the transmitter itself, as well as various ranges. You can choose 1/2 mile, 3/4 mile, and one mile, each with one or two dog configurations. The battery life is somewhat limited, so you’ll almost certainly have to charge these daily during intensive training.

Need more options? Browse more Educator products here.

Price: $167.39 for 3/4 mile version (16 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar here.



Pros:

  • Variety of ranges and styles to choose from
  • Ergonomic “stopwatch” transmitter
  • Stimulation levels 1 to 100 with boost levels from 1 to 60
  • Corrective stimulation is blunt, not sharp, for less stress to the dog

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Needs to be charged daily
  • Instructions for use are lacking
  • May have to purchase different prongs depending on your dog’s coat

Find more Educator E-Collar Remote Dog Training Collar information and reviews here.


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9. PetTech Remote Controlled Dog Training Collar

smart dog collar, gps dog collar, dog activity tracker, dog training collar

(PetTech)

This PetTech model is the number one seller on Amazon for dog training collars, and part of that might have to do with the low price. This is your standard transmitter and collar package deal, but for much less than most competitors. The range on this model is 400 yards, which should cover just about any yard and home.

Battery life in this one is preserved by an automatic low-power mode, which will save you from having to recharge it everyday. With the addition of a second collar, you can train two dogs at once with this model. Stimulation levels from one to 100 allow you to use only as much as necessary to get your dog’s attention.

Need more options? Browse more dog training collars here.

Price: $39.99 (43 percent off MSRP)

Buy the PetTech Remote Controlled Dog Training Collar here.



Pros:

  • Four stimulation modes with intensity from one to 100
  • Auto Power Protect Mode saves battery life
  • 400 yard range
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons:

  • Recharging receptacle is flimsy
  • Prongs may not be long enough for dogs with thick coats
  • Instructions for use are lacking
  • Shock mechanism may be considered inhumane for some users

Find more PetTech Remote Controlled Dog Training Collar information and reviews here.


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10. DT Systems R.A.P.T. 1400 Remote Control Dog Training Collar System

smart dog collar, gps dog collar, dog activity tracker, dog training collar

(DT Systems)

This model is focused more on those who might be doing other things with their hands while correcting their dog. The transmitter comes with a secure strap and is ambidextrous to allow for triggering while carrying other items. There are only 16 levels of intensity, but that may mean it’s easier to find the one that works best for your dog. The 1,400 yard range is thanks to FM transmission for reliable performance.

This one is also good if you’re training multiple dogs at once. You can buy it in a three-dog configuration or simply add on a more collars later. It’s available in black and camoflauge.

Need more options? Browse more DT Systems products here.

Price: $159.57 (20 percent off MSRP)

Buy the DT Systems R.A.P.T. 1400 Remote Control Dog Training Collar System here.



Pros:

  • Waterproof transmitter floats in water
  • Expandable to three dogs per transmitter
  • 1,400 yard (3/4 mile) range
  • Collars last one to two weeks on a charge

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Prongs may not be long enough for dogs with thick coats
  • Tricky setup
  • Shock mechanism may be considered inhumane for some users

Find more DT Systems R.A.P.T. 1400 Remote Control Dog Training Collar System information and reviews here.


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Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

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