7 Best GPS Dog Trackers For Hunting: Compare & Save

gps dog trackers

123RF (Steve Oehlenschlager)

If you hunt with a canine companion or group of dogs, tracking your most valuable hunting partner can prove pivotal when it comes to bagging game.

GPS dog trackers allow you to maintain remarkably precise info on your dog’s location at impressive ranges, so finding your dog or dogs, and whatever it is they’re onto has never been made easier. Some tracking devices furthermore integrate the ability to send stimulation, vibration, and or tone to your dog in order to make corrections and further enhance training!

The more you consider the potential of a tool like this, the more it makes sense for improving the safety, logistics, and overall success of any hunt that includes your pooch.

What Are The Best GPS Dog Trackers?

Garmin Astro 430 Dog Tracking Bundle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Up to a 9 mile range
  • 2.5-second update rate
  • High-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS satellite reception are more effective than GPS alone
Price: $649.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Garmin Astro 900 Dog Tracking Bundle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Up to a 5 mile range
  • 2.5 second update rate
  • Uses 900 MHz FHSS, approved for operation in Canada (and the U.S.)
Price: $649.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Garmin Pro 550 Plus Dog Trainer and Tracker Bundle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Over a 2 mile range
  • 2.5-second update rate
  • Can make corrections, and track your dog with the at-a-glance directional tracking on the built-in display
Price: $649.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Garmin Alpha 100 TT15 Combo Hunting Armor Bundle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Up to a 9 mile range
  • Multi-dog tracking GPS and remote training device in one
  • Can track up to 20 dogs or fellow hunters by receiving signals from additional Alpha 100 handhelds and compatible dog devices
Price: $729.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Dogtra Pathfinder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 9-mile range
  • 2-second GPS update rate
  • Tracks and sends corrections to your dog(s)
Price: $396.19 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Dogtra Pathfinder Mini Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 9-mile range
  • 2-second GPS update rate
  • 22% Smaller than the original Pathfinder
Price: $399.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Dogtra Pathfinder TRX Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 9-mile range
  • 2-second GPS update rate
  • Tracking only model - no corrections
Price: $379.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Garmin Astro 430 T5 Dog Tracking Bundle

    Pros:
    • Up to a 9 mile range
    • 2.5-second update rate
    • Track up to 20 dogs
    • 160 x 240 pixel display resolution on the 1.43 by 2.15 inch screen is crisp and easy to read
    • Up to 20 hours of battery life
    • High-sensitivity GPS and glonass satellite reception has higher ability to track in challenging environments than GPS alone
    • Includes preloaded topo U.S. 100K mapping and a free 1-year birdseye satellite imagery subscription
    • Compatible with multiple model dog devices from Garmin
    • Hunt metrics dog performance data shows distance traveled, time afield and more
    • Dog Track mode pulls up a compass view pointing to your dog’s location in more challenging environments
    • microSD card slot allows you to load even more mapping options, such as TOPO U.S. 24K and HuntView maps (sold separately)
    • Load your laptop or computer with BaseStation software to turn it into a field control center for tracking multiple dogs
    • 4 GB of memory
    • Powered by a long-lasting rechargeable NiMH battery pack or AA batteries
    • Orange color of the device makes it easy to locate if dropped in the field
    • Includes a belt clip,charging clip, vehicle charging adapter, AC adapter, and USB cable
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive option, but superior technology is well worth the cost
    • Use of the MURS sat system is restricted by the Canadian government
    • Mastery of the handheld unit can be challenging at first, but rewarding once you figure out how to best utilize the GPS's capabilities
    • 2.4 by 6.3 by 1.4 inch size of the handheld unit is a bit cumbersome for some hunting styles, although the unit weighs only 9.2 ounces with batteries

    The Garmin Astro 430 T5 Dog Tracking Bundle is one of the most advanced tracking devices on the market for your hunting dog or dogs that features remarkable range, precision, and mapping capabilities overall.

    This is a tracking only device, so you cannot stimulate your dog with this option. The Astro 430 features up to a 9-mile range, 20 hours of battery life, and updates location every 2.5 seconds, so this is a great go-to for serious hunters embarking on more intensive expeditions into the backcountry and beyond. 

    The 160 x 240 pixel display resolution on the 1.43 by 2.15 inch screen is crisp and easy to read, while the handheld device itself is bright orange in order to be easily located in the field if dropped. It’s a bit cumbersome to carry depending on your gear load, but the long battery life and non-reliance on cell service or an app to function is more than worth the weight.

    This system utilizes high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS satellite reception which when used together are more effective than GPS alone, increasing accuracy in more challenging environments like woodlands. Garmin furthermore includes preloaded topo U.S. 100K mapping and a free 1-year birdseye satellite imagery subscription, so you’re ready to hunt right out of the box.

    A microSD card slot allows you to load even more mapping options, such as TOPO U.S. 24K and HuntView maps (sold separately), so you can enhance the detail of your display even more for those technical landscapes and environments. 4 GB of memory furthermore ensures you’ve got plenty of storage space for adding maps, tracking and recording the hunt metrics of multiple dogs (up to 20), adding/planning routes, and much more.

    It’s the advanced level of nitty-gritty capabilities of this system that sets it apart from the competition. Hunters who simply want to know where their dogs are in the field will be impressed with the reliability and function of this product, but sportsmen who enjoy deriving real-time useable data, as well as take-home insights out of every hunt, will be blown away by the Astro 430.

    Functions like hunt metrics dog performance data can show you the distance traveled, time afield and more for every dog on your team, while Dog Track mode can be pulled up in a moment’s notice for a compass view pointing to your dog’s location in more challenging environments.

    You can furthermore load your laptop or computer with BaseStation software (offered free) to turn it into a field control center for tracking multiple dogs. It’s a neat program with all sorts of technical info and applications that tech-savvy hunters and those who are just downright fascinated by their dog’s efforts will love exploring.  

    The Astro 430 truly allows you to stay on point in regards to where, when, why, and what your hunting dog(s) is up to in the field, while also providing interesting and insightful data on how to improve your strategy for the next hunt.

    This bundle includes everything you need to get started, and the 430 is furthermore compatible with other dog devices fro Garmin, so chances are if you already own some tracking collars, they will function with this unit. For serious hunters seeking top-tier performance and reliability out of their GPS dog tracker, and for data-nerds who love analyzing the events of completed hunts, the Astro 430 is the device you should own.

  2. 2. Garmin Astro 900 Dog Tracking Bundle

    Pros:
    • Up to a 5 mile range
    • 2.5 second update rate
    • Tracks up to 20 dogs
    • Up to 20 hours of battery life
    • Uses 900 MHz FHSS, approved for operation in Canada (and the U.S.)
    • Preloaded TOPO mapping for the U.S. and southern Canada and a free 1-year Birdseye Satellite Imagery subscription
    • High-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS satellite reception has higher ability to track in challenging environments than GPS alone
    • Hunt metrics dog performance data shows distance traveled, time afield and more
    • Dog Track mode pulls up a compass view pointing to your dog’s location in more challenging environments
    • microSD card slot allows you to load even more mapping options, such as TOPO U.S. 24K and HuntView maps (sold separately)
    • Load your laptop or computer with BaseStation software to turn it into a field control center for tracking multiple dogs
    • 4 GB of memory
    • Powered by a long-lasting rechargeable NiMH battery pack or AA batteries
    • Orange color of the device makes it easy to locate if dropped in the field
    • Bundle includes a belt clip,charging clip, vehicle charging adapter, AC adapter, and USB cable
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive option, but superior technology is well worth the cost
    • Only compatible with the Garmin T 9 collar device
    • Not as far of a range as the Astro 430 (5 vs. 9 miles)
    • 2.4 by 6.3 by 1.4 inch size of the handheld unit is a bit cumbersome for some hunting styles, although the unit weighs only 9.2 ounces with batteries
    • Mastery of the handheld unit can be challenging at first, but rewarding once you figure out how to best utilize the GPS's capabilities
    • Radio communication frequency used by Astro 900 tracking handheld and T 9 dog device are not authorized for use outside of the United States and Canada

    The Astro 900 Dog Tracking Bundle is highly comparable to the 430 previously listed, but instead employs 900 MHz FHSS for radio communication rather than the MURS sat system in order to be approved for operation in Canada (and the U.S.).

    The MURS sat system operates on the same frequency as some of the Canadian government’s emergency response agencies, so its use is restricted. This has led to the development of the Astro 900 – offering hunters more or less the same GPS tracking experience with just a few capability differences.

    The main differences between the two Astro units is that the 900 has a reduced 5-mile range compared to the 9-mile range of the 430, and is also device-specific while the 430 offers compatibility with several Garmin devices (collars).

    Those differences aside, this is essentially the same GPS tracker. Featuring a 2.5-second update rate, 20-hour battery life, and expansion up to 20 dogs, the Astro 900 is on par with the best of the best systems out there, its only real downfall being a reduction in max tracking range. 

    This device also employs high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS satellite reception and is both preloaded with TOPO mapping, and able to download and expand its mapping capabilities through the microSD port. 

    With so many incredible tools and advanced applications to learn, the Astro series of GPS dog trackers is certainly a bit daunting to attempt mastery at first. With a little practice, however, you’ll be deriving all sorts of useable data from your dog’s behavior and applying it to future hunts – no doubt a remarkable tool that diehard sportsmen and casual hunters alike will love learning the ins and outs of.

  3. 3. Garmin Pro 550 Plus Dog Trainer & Tracker Bundle

    Pros:
    • Over a 2 mile range
    • 2.5-second update rate
    • Can make corrections, and track your dog with this unit
    • Rechargeable battery lasts up to 24 hours
    • Track up to 3 dogs
    • Up to 18 levels of continuous and momentary stimulation, tone and vibration correction for effective training
    • At-a-glance directional tracking on the built-in display with GPS and GLONASS satellite reception shows which direction and how far away your dogs are
    • Pair with fēnix® series watches for map-view tracking while you’re on foot or with Garmin DriveTrack™ series in-vehicle dog trackers and GPS navigators to track from the road
    • High-sensitivity GPS and glonass satellite reception has higher ability to track in challenging environments than GPS alone
    • Use the switch to quickly select a dog for on-the-spot training and to see where it is in the field
    • IPX7 waterproof
    • Easy to operate one-handed
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive option
    • Handheld device only provides directional and distance info - must pair with another Garmin device in order to view where your dog is on a map
    • Not ideal for hunters who need to track larger groups of dogs
    • Max range is not terribly impressive at around 2 miles

    The Garmin Pro 550 Plus Dog Trainer & Tracker Bundle is a unique, somewhat specialized approach to tracking your canine companion that allows you to both make corrections, and track your dog.

    The Pro 550 Plus has a roughly 2-mile range, 2.5-second update rate, and 24-hour rechargeable battery life. It’s an impressively capable tool that offers some highly practical functions depending on your hunting style.

    This device does not have a screen display that shows a map of your surroundings but instead implements ‘at-a-glance directional tracking’ on the built-in display. It’s essentially a small screen that shows you the direction of your dog’s location and their distance from you, as well as battery life. The device can track up to three dogs, the remote’s display also of course indicates which dog you’re looking at.

    Like Garmin’s Astro series of trackers, this unit implements GPS and GLONASS satellite reception for greater accuracy and function then GPS alone. 

    If you like the sounds of a simple directional tracker that displays distance but also want to be able to view your dog’s location on a map if needed, you can pair this device with fēnix series watches for tracking while you’re on foot or with Garmin DriveTrack series in-vehicle dog trackers and GPS navigators to track from the road.

    It’s a brilliant design that provides you with basic tracking capabilities using the base model alone, while also giving you the option to dive into greater detail if you find it necessary. Compatible pairing devices that enable you to fully utilize the GPS capabilities include the D2 Bravo, fenix 3 series, fenix 5 series, fenix 5 Plus series, fenix CHRONOS, MARQ series, fenix 6 series, Instinct, and tactix Bravo.

    Up to 18 levels of continuous and momentary stimulation, as well as tone and vibration correction, are integrated for effective training and discipline in the field. You can quickly select a dog (up to 3) for on-the-spot training, as well as to see where they are in the landscape. The remote is furthermore designed for easy one-handed operation so your other arm can remain free for other tasks.

    Featuring an IPX7 waterproof rating and exceptional inherent durability, the Pro 550 Plus remote and compatible collars (TT10 / TT15 and T5) can handle the elements and the abuses of a rigorous hunt.

    No doubt a reliable and highly practical GPS dog tracking device that is a great fit for all skill levels and a wide range of hunting styles.

  4. 4. Garmin Alpha 100 TT15 Combo Hunting Armor Bundle

    Pros:
    • Up to a 9 mile range
    • 2.5 second update rate
    • Can track up to 20 dogs or fellow hunters by receiving signals from additional Alpha 100 handhelds, TT 15 and T 5 dog devices
    • Up to 20 hours of battery life
    • Remote training device with 18 training levels of continuous and momentary stimulation
    • Tone and vibration alerts
    • Large, glove-friendly touchscreen 1.53 by 2.55 inch display featuring super crisp 240 x 400 pixel display resolution
    • Preloaded with TOPO U.S. 100K maps and a free 1-year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery Subscription
    • High-sensitivity GPS and glonass satellite reception has higher ability to track in challenging environments than GPS alone
    • Lockout setting is available to avoid accidental stimulation or tone.
    • BirdsEye Satellite Imagery (1-year subscription included) allows you to view terrain in even greater detail, including roads, water, woods, and more
    • microSD card slot allows you to load even more mapping options, such as TOPO U.S. 24K and HuntView maps (sold separately)
    • Load your laptop or computer with BaseStation software to turn it into a field control center for tracking multiple dogs
    • Hunt metrics dog performance data shows distance traveled, time afield and more
    • IPX 7 waterproof rating
    • 4 GB of memory
    • For competitions that don’t allow stimulation, tone or vibration, the compatible T 5 tracking devices are an excellent alternative
    • Bundle includes field bag, PlayBetter Portable Charger, protective silicone case, HD screen protectors (3-Pack), GPS tether lanyard, and power adapters
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive option
    • 2.5 by 6.5 by 1.5 inch size of the handheld unit is a bit cumbersome for some hunting styles, although the unit weighs only 8.8 ouncess
    • When it falls below 25% battery life, the collar goes from pinging the Alpha 100 every 2.5 seconds to every 2 minutes in order to conserve battery life - a pro or a con depending on the scenario

    The Garmin Alpha 100 TT15 Combo Hunting Armor Bundle is a super-inclusive, excellent value buy for hunters seeking a highly versatile and reliable GPS dog tracking and trainging system with some practical added bells and whistles.

    You can think of this unit as the ultimate culmination between all of Garmin’s top dog tracking and training devices. It can track up to 20 dogs for up to 9 miles, as well as send corrections, making it an exceptionally versatile and powerful hunting tool that offers the best of both worlds when it comes to tracking and training.

    In regards to its tracking capabilities, this unit is highly comparable to the Astro 430 but offers an even more user-friendly and easy to view handheld unit (although slightly more cumbersome) featuring a large, glove-friendly touchscreen, 1.53 by 2.55 inch display with a super crisp 240 x 400 pixel resolution. If you’re going to track and train up to 20 dogs at once then you oughta be able to effectively navigate the cacophony of location information that updates every 2.5 seconds – Garmin has you covered with a particularly large screen display.

    Another similarity to the Astro series of trackers, the Alpha 100 utilizes GPS and GLONASS rather than GPS alone and is preloaded with TOPO U.S. 100K maps and a free 1-year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription so you’re ready to hunt right out of the box. A microSD card slot furthermore allows you to load even more mapping options, such as TOPO U.S. 24K and HuntView maps (sold separately).

    Don’t forget to check out Garmin’s free downloadable BaseStation software to turn your laptop or computer into a field control center for tracking multiple dogs. 

    Hunt metrics dog performance data furthermore shows distance traveled, time afield, and more, so the layers to this device’s information-wealth are boundless. Hunters seeking an advanced unit that they can use to really pick apart their hunting strategy should have their eye on this option.

    In regards to the Alpha 100’s training capabilities, this unit offers 18 training levels of continuous and momentary stimulation, as well as tone and vibration alerts. It’s an impressively nuanced system that offers wonderful control over the corrections you send to your dog(s), even integrating a lockout setting to avoid accidental stimulation or tone.

    If you and your dog(s) compete, the Alpha 100 is permitted for competitions that don’t allow stimulation, tone or vibration, by pairing with the compatible T 5 tracking (only) devices. 

    While this GPS and training system is already exceptionally equipped and capable, this bundle offer includes some components and add-ons that will add even greater function and longterm integrity. This package deal includes a field bag for the device and accessories, a PlayBetter Portable Charger for re-powering in the field, a protective silicone case and HD screen protectors (3-pack) for better-bracing the handheld unit for impacts, a GPS tether lanyard, and all the necessary power adapters.

    All things considered, the high price point of this bundle is still far outweighed by the performance and wide spectrum of capabilities offered by the Alpha 100 – no doubt an excellent buy for hunters seeking the best of the best for themselves and their dogs.

  5. 5. Dogtra Pathfinder

    Pros:
    • 9-mile range
    • 2-second GPS update rate
    • Tracks and sends corrections to your dog(s), with up to 100 correction levels and tone alerts so you can keep your dog focused on the hunt
    • For dogs that are 35 pounds or more
    • Expands to up to 21 dogs
    • Barking sensor notifies you when your dog is barking
    • Offline maps, and tracking only mode
    • Pathfinder remote is sleek and simple, featuring just two buttons
    • Create customizable Geo-Fence alerts
    • Connect to the PATHFINDER app for even greater live action detail and all sorts of applications
    • No extra navigation packages to purchase - just use Google Maps
    • Can use without celluar data - just download the free maps and operate your smartphone in offline map mode
    • Reasonble price point
    Cons:
    • Remote/transmitter does not have a button to send corrections - you have to take out your smart phone and use the app
    • Complaints about the intuitive use of the app interface
    • Must rely on your smartphone in order to view your dogs location and effectively utillize the device features - not ideal if you're low on battery or need your phone for other tasks
    • Use of the MURS sat system is restricted by the Canadian government
    • Location sharing requires a separate GPS connector per user

    The Dogtra Pathfinder is an impressively affordable and capable device that can both track and send corrections to up to 21 dogs.

    Rather than utilizing a handheld unit that features a screen display, the Pathfinder instead implements an app that you pull up to view and operate on your smartphone. This style of display and operation has its pros and cons (see our extra content section below), the main details to consider being the strain it puts on your phone battery, and the fact that you may need your phone for other tasks.

    The Dogtra app will drain your phone relatively quickly, so backcountry hunters and those who spend long days in the field are likely better off with a handheld unit that offers longer, independent battery life. That being said, a lot of first-time, more intensive GPS users might find that the app is intuitive and easy to use, so if you’re seeking a device with greater simplicity of operation in mind this is a great place to start. 

    It should be noted that some customer reviews indicate the app is frustrating to operate, but most reviews with this sentiment are written by those that are accustomed to more advanced, technical GPS trackers, so newbies to this product type likely will have the opposite experience (find the app to be user-friendly). 

    The Pathfinder has a 9-mile range and updates every 2 seconds, right on par with the industry-leading models at a far lower price point. It can track up to 21 dogs and features up to 100 correction levels as well as tone alerts so you can keep your canines focused on the hunt.

    It’s furthermore fully waterproof and durably built to handle high levels of abuse and any and all weather conditions. 

    The Pathfinder remote is sleek and simple, featuring just two buttons for easy operation. Remember that the majority of applications are controlled through the use of the app on your smartphone.

    There are no extra navigation packages to purchase – just simply use Google Maps on or offline using your phone’s GPS capabilities. There is therefore no cellular data required for operating this device (other than the initial download of the app). 

    Connecting to the Pathfinder app allows for even greater real-time data, and also enables functions like customizable Geo-Fence alerts. For a GPS dog tracker at this price point, Dogtra has incorporated quite a few impressive features. Keep in mind that apps can furthermore be updated, so the capabilities of the Pathfinder series of trackers have the potential to be even better-enhanced down the road.

    This model is intended for dogs 35 pounds or greater, so if you’re shopping for a smaller breed, be sure to check out the Dogtra Pathfinder Mini, also listed here.

  6. 6. Dogtra Pathfinder Mini

    Pros:
    • 9-mile range
    • 2-second GPS update rate
    • Tracks AND sends corrections to your dog, with up to 100 correction levels so you can keep your dog focused on the hunt
    • 22% smaller than the original Pathfinder
    • For dogs 15 pounds or greater
    • Expands to up to 21 dogs
    • Barking sensor notifies you when your dog is barking
    • Offline maps, and tracking only mode
    • Remote is sleek and simple, featuring just two buttons
    • Create customizable Geo-Fence alerts
    • Connect to the PATHFINDER app for even greater live action detail and all sorts of applications
    • No extra navigation packages to purchase - just use Google Maps
    • Can use without celluar data - just download the free maps and operate your smartphone in offline map mode
    • Reasonble price point
    Cons:
    • Remote/transmitter does not have a button to send corrections - you have to take out your smart phone and use the app
    • Complaints about the intuitive use of the app interface
    • Must rely on your smartphone in order to view your dogs location and effectively utillize the device features - not ideal if you're low on battery or need your phone for other tasks
    • Use of the MURS sat system is restricted by the Canadian government
    • Location sharing requires a separate GPS connector per user

    The Dogtra Pathfinder Mini is simply an alternatively sized model to the standard Pathfinder that’s designed for smaller breeds, 15 pounds or larger.

    All of the capabilities of the Mini are the same as the original Pathfinder, the design difference only going as far as the collar size in order to achieve greater comfort and compatibility with smaller breeds.

    Some customer reviews insist that this collar is inherently lower profile due to its design, and is also great for dogs above 35 pounds (the recommended weight for the original Pathfinder). Point being, if your dog is only slightly above 35 pounds, you might find that the Pathfinder Mini collar is a lower profile, more comfortable fit for them than the original Pathfinder. 

    If you’re trying to decide between the advantages and drawbacks of app-based tracking devices like those offered by Dogtra, and handheld display units that utilize preloaded maps like those offered by Garmin, then make sure to read through our extra content section below for a few insights. At the end of the day, both styles are highly capable and effective, but there are certainly a few aspects on both sides of the spectrum you should be aware of.

  7. 7. Dogtra Pathfinder TRX

    Pros:
    • 9-mile range
    • 2-second GPS update rate
    • For dogs that are 35 pounds or more
    • Expands to up to 21 dogs
    • 3.5 hour rapid-charging battery features up to a 24 hour battery life (your phone's battery power is responsible for the display)
    • Offline maps, and tracking only mode
    • Compass direction for deterining the direction of your dog and sensors to tell you if they are running, walking, or standing still
    • Barking sensor notifies you when your dog is barking
    • PATHFINDER remote is sleek, small, and simple, featuring just two buttons
    • Create customizable Geo-Fence alerts
    • Connect to the PATHFINDER app for even greater live action detail and all sorts of applications
    • No extra navigation packages to purchase - just use Google Maps
    • Can use without celluar data - just download the free maps and operate your smartphone in offline map mode
    • Reasonble price point
    Cons:
    • No correction controls offered
    • Use of the MURS sat system is restricted by the Canadian government
    • Must rely on your smartphone in order to view your dogs location and effectively utillize the device features - not ideal if you're low on battery or need your phone for other tasks
    • Complaints about the intuitive use of the app interface
    • Location sharing requires a separate GPS connector per user

    The Dogtra Pathfinder TRX is a tracking-only model of the Pathfinder that does not have any correction capabilities.

    This unit has all the same tracking features and abilities of the original Pathfinder, but simply lacks contact points for stimulating your dog. Offering a 9-mile range, industry-leading 2-second update rate, and the ability to expand up to 21 dogs, this is another highly capable tracking device for the cost.

    As with the other Pathfinder models, there is offline mapping and tracking modes available, as well as an array of applications to derive both real-time and post-hunt information easily accessed through the app. 

    It’s a wonderful unit for those who are new to GPS dog tracking that has a less aggressive learning curve than most other devices while offering many of the same metrics and functions, as well as more or less equivalent integrity.

    Those on a tighter budget who don’t require integrated correction capabilities for their tracking system will no doubt find a friend in the Pathfinder TRX.

Tracking & Correction Devices

GPS dog trackers that also have the ability to send stimulation, vibration, and or tone can be a valuable tool if you're working on training a new hunting dog or building on your existing training. 

Having the ability to contact your dog in the field can be used for a range of useful applications. With the proper training, you can tell your dogs to return to you, stop chasing unwanted game, or stay put from miles away!

Correction devices can be absolutely pivotal when it comes to the logistics of your hunt, or more or less useless depending on the context, so consider whether or not you will actually utilize these features before springing for a unit with integrated correction abilities. 

Handheld GPS Trackers vs. Smart Phone App Utilization

Some GPS dog tracking devices, like those offered by Dogtra, lack a display and require you to connect to your smartphone and utilize a designated app. This style of tracking has it's pros and cons, so here are a few details to consider if you're on the fence.

The Good:

  • -Devices that don't feature a handheld display are typically cheaper
  • -The remotes are typically much sleeker than handheld units that feature a display if you prefer to pack minimalist 
  • -Utilizing app-based tracking is generally easier (depending on who you are) and more straightforward than learning the nuances of more complicated handheld units
  • -Apps can be updated, so its capabilities are not set in stone

The Bad:

  • -Tracking apps typically drain smartphone batteries quickly, so use in the backcountry or on multi-day expeditions is not ideal
  • -Utilizing apps for tracking and/or making corrections will likely take longer when you have to retrieve your phone and get to the app and furthermore might be frustrating to operate if you're wearing gloves 
  • -App-based tracking typically does not provide the same level of precision, and reliability as does downloaded software, although an app can be updated

GPS Range & Accuracy

Remember that physical barriers will dampen the range of GPS based mapping and tracking. Dense forest cover, large geological features, and intense topography, to name a few potential culprits, can greatly reduce the range of even the highest quality units.

Consider springing for a tracking system that utilizes both GPS and GLONASS, like most of Garmin's available units, if the landscape you hunt in is particularly challenging to send a signal through.

If you're hunting in more or less open meadow habitat or agricultural land, you'll experience far greater GPS precision and range than if you were to go trekking into a landscape full of stony valleys, slot canyons, or large diameter old-growth trees.

Keep this fact in mind when trying to decide on the maximum range of your device - chances are you're better off rounding up rather than down to account for wilderness obstructions.  

See Also:

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