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Thread: GPS Dog Trackers -- does anyone have any experience with them??

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    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    GPS Dog Trackers -- does anyone have any experience with them??

    I'm considering getting a GPS tracker for my little Spaniel -- does anyone have any experience with them (and if so, this model in particular?)

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PDPGUK6?psc=1
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    Quote Originally Posted by una_dogger View Post
    I'm considering getting a GPS tracker for my little Spaniel -- does anyone have any experience with them (and if so, this model in particular?)

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PDPGUK6?psc=1
    Looking at the link you posted it appears to me that you need to purchase wireless service for GPS tracking to work. This also means that you have to be in cellular range in order for tracking to work.

    I don't have a gps tracker like this, so no experience with this type of the model, however, some time ago we bought Garmin Astro 320 ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ) when we got our dog. We put it on her maybe 3 times before we realized that she was not running away from us on hikes and we didn't need a tracker at all. Then I used it a couple of times for my own hikes - I would put transmitter in my backpack and leave the receiver in my car, so that my wife or friends could use it to locate me in case something went wrong. After a couple of uses I realized that it was difficult to get consistent tracking beyond a mile which was not enough for my hikes. Maybe some of it was terrain and some of it shielding from my car, but eventually I bought Spot and we completely stopped using Astro. I guess I could still use it as backup to my eTrex but I think I would more likey upgrade to Garmin GMAPS 64 for hiking if my eTrex died.

    I also recall that our friends mentioned Sport Dog as another brand for gps dog trackers. I think they were happy with whatever they had but I can't remember any details.

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    I have no experience with such devices, but I understand that they are popular among hunters who use dogs.

    Here is a link to the Garmin products: https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/cInt...c10342-p0.html A search brings up a number of other suppliers.

    The Garmin devices use the MURS radio frequencies (150MHz, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-Use_Radio_Service) and thus do not depend upon any cellphone systems.

    Doug

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    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Good advice - thanks so much!!!!

    I've looked at Garmins, but I am only interested in a tracking device that is smartphone/bluetooth enabled, don't want an electronic training collar and garmin seems to combine the two. (although their range is impressive!!)
    Last edited by una_dogger; 12-26-2016 at 08:28 AM.
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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by una_dogger View Post
    I've looked at Garmins, but I am only interested in a tracking device that is smartphone/bluetooth enabled, don't want an electronic training collar and garmin seems to combine the two. (although their range is impressive!!)
    You hadn't told us what your intended use and location would be...
    * Location? If in a town with good cell service, cellphone based systems would likely be ok, otherwise (eg in the backwoods) not.
    * You had not previously told us that your interest was purely tracking.

    Garmin sells both training and tracking-only devices. For instance, the T5 (regular and mini) collars are pure tracking collars (no way of signaling the dog) and the Astro 430 is a hand-held GPS that also displays the location[s] of the dog[s]. (A quick look at the 430 docs suggest that it also does not have any dog signaling features.)

    (Actually, I don't see any Garmin devices that do both--they are either trackers or trainers, but not both. I have no idea about other manufacturers.)

    The advertised ranges are maxima under ideal conditions. Realistic ranges would likely be much shorter.


    Bluetooth is for short distances only--a bluetooth collar would be useless. The only use for bluetooth would be to use the cellphone as a remote display for a display-less dog-tracking receiver. (This would also mean that multiple devices would all have to operate properly which would reduce the reliability.)

    Doug

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    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    http://www.gundogsupply.com/garmin-a...HUEaAqQy8P8HAQ

    This is a GREAT device, but price tag is out of reach. I'd LOVE one, but its probably not going to happen. When in the back country, Gem is on leash. She has such a strong bird flushing drive that she would be very easy to lose, and her small size (18lbs) means she is extremely capable of getting into places (thick scrub, thorny scrub) where getting her out once she has locked on to a scent is very tough (not that I haven't belly-crawled in after her!)

    Main use is for trail running locally -- she is 90-95% reliable off leash, and Pemi is nearly 100% successful in herding/locating her, but I have way too many concerns about coyotes grabbing her. So use is mainly emergency tracking in areas with 100% cell coverage.

    If I can't find something reliable in my price range, I may have to bite the bullet and go with the Garmin.
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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Forgive me if this sounds simplistic, but why don't you just keep her on a leash? Even with a tracking system you still have to catch her and if she runs into a coyote or something you might be to late. My dog has almost perfect recall, if not perfect, but he is still leashed outside of our property at all times.

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    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    Forgive me if this sounds simplistic, but why don't you just keep her on a leash? Even with a tracking system you still have to catch her and if she runs into a coyote or something you might be to late. My dog has almost perfect recall, if not perfect, but he is still leashed outside of our property at all times.
    I'd still want a tracking system for her. The point is not to keep her off leash and just "find her". The point is to have a tracking system on her in case she became lost. I think you know my dogs are well trained :-). I'm thinking of the Spaniel Safety Factor here, god forbid we ever need one, which I hope we don't but would rather be prepared.

    Besides, leashes break, get dropped etc. A dog dragging a leash in the woods/mountains -- could be hung up, hanged, tangled, prevented from finding his/her way -- all the MORE reason to have a tracker!! I was hoping one of the small tracking devices intended for finding lost keys, etc would work but it sounds like they would not.
    Last edited by una_dogger; 12-26-2016 at 02:20 PM.
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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by una_dogger View Post
    I'd still want a tracking system for her. The point is not to keep her off leash and just "find her". The point is to have a tracking system on her in case she became lost. I think you know my dogs are well trained :-). I'm thinking of the Spaniel Safety Factor here, god forbid we ever need one, which I hope we don't but would rather be prepared.

    Besides, leashes break, get dropped etc. A dog dragging a leash in the woods/mountains -- could be hung up, hanged, tangled, prevented from finding his/her way -- all the MORE reason to have a tracker!! I was hoping one of the small tracking devices intended for finding lost keys, etc would work but it sounds like they would not.
    I see your point. Always good to be prepared, we all have different methods based on our dog's instincts and behavior's. Yes, I would agree your dog's are well trained for sure. In fact some of the tips you have given me for Bud, have worked out quite well.

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    Senior Member weatherman's Avatar
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    I hear you- we have two Cockers and I've gotten to the point where I feel like I need to have visual contact with them 100% of the time after our neighbor's Maltese got taken by a coyote just feet from both of our houses- on Election Night, no less, to just add to the misery. Not sure if even this would help, short of me seeing it and literally diving in.

    But we have recently acquired a "secret weapon"... Annie, the Irish Wolfhound. 6 months, 75 lbs, and the loudest bark you've ever heard. may not be a hardcore hiker, but she loves the woods and sticks to her older sisters like glue! She's the one who'd need a GPS because as a sighthound, nothing I can say will get her back, so far. No off leash for her till I fix that.
    Last edited by weatherman; 01-10-2017 at 02:10 PM.
    --would rather be hiking than typing.

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    I don't have experience with these devices, but we just got a new dog (9mo coonhound mix), so I have been looking into them. I'm leaning towards the radio-based hunting type devices rather than the cell-tower/ smartphone app devices. I think that in remote areas, the lack of cell tower signals is more of a drawback than the limitations of a 9 mile line-of-sight radio link.
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    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    I've looked into the Garmin type devices for my Welsh Terriers but never made the purchase. I have seen Garmin in action from both ends and can testify that they work quite well. Down here in Georgia and NC I've encountered bear/boar hunters. They're always more than willing to show you their technology. Holding a device similar to a large GPS a hunter pointed to the screen and motioning off to the left said the dog down in that hollow is after a boar, and the one off to the right is after a bear and the third one is still looking. A while later I felt something brush my pants and it was one of the dogs, obviously the one still looking. He had an antenna sticking up from his neck I thought at first it was ET. He sniffed us out then took off in another direction. The system works well. I never made the purchase because I decided that my Welsh Terriers are far too head strong for their size and want to take off without fear after large game--too large. I still remember Lauky running off a bear standing not more than ten feet from us. Aska is just the same. I'm convinced they both would have died in combat if I had let them run off lead. As you said, somewhere above, the chance of dropping the leash is very high, it happened with Lauky on Madison and took me 3 1/2 hours to get him back and I was lucky. I therefore hike with them attached to my waist. It's very low-tech I admit and there is the inherent danger of getting pulled off balance but it has worked for me over the last nine or ten years.
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    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Thanks, Ed!
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    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Pemi is trained a herding a"fetch" so that makes Gem tough to lose but I'd still like something to pinpoint Gem's location On the slim chance was ever needed :-)
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