Best GPS Dog Fence of 2024 [I Tested All of Them]

Best Smart Dog Collars

A GPS dog fence isn’t exactly a dime a dozen, but there are enough of them on the market to make choosing one a difficult decision. For one, it’s important to know what a GPS pet fence is, as opposed to an invisible dog fence or even a wireless dog fence.

If you’re like me, you have a physical fence of some sort. However, there are those of you who may not have a fence of any kind. We’re all in the same predicament. After all, my Dobermans can clear a 6-foot privacy fence, and any adventurous chihuahua can dig beneath one.

A GPS fence solves this problem, along with several others. As a SpotOn, Halo, and Tractiv owner, I’m excited to share what I know about these GPS dog fences and smart collars. At the end of the day, the goal is the same: provide freedom of movement to our dogs while keeping them safe and being able to locate them at a moment’s notice.

But how does a GPS dog fence work? Are any of them worth the money? What are the fundamental differences between them? How precise are they? I’ll cover all of these questions, along with some of my own, so you can make the best decision for your furry friend.



Our Top Pick

Halo GPS Dog Fence

  • Battery Life: up to 24 hours
  • coverage area: over 1,200 sq. miles


SpotOn Collar

  • Battery Life: up to 22 hours
  • coverage area:
    1000 acres

Best GPS Dog Fences

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that there is no real difference in saying “GPS dog collar” as opposed to GPS dog fence. But an invisible fence is something altogether different. Invisible fences are nothing more than static correction fences, with little in common with other GPS fences.

So, a GPS fence won’t include any of those. What I will cover today are the SpotOn (2nd Gen), Halo (3rd Gen), Tractive, and Wagz. SpotOn and Halo are the powerhouses of the industry, so I’ll start with them. If you just want to check out the Tractive or Wagz, simply scroll down. However, you might miss out on some important and persuasive info!

1. Halo GPS Dog Fence

Halo Dog Collar Review

Most of the time, when people think about smart collars, they think about Halo, thanks to Cesar Milan’s association with the brand. You can even use his voice commands in the built-in speakers on the Halo Collar. I’ve had the Halo Collar for months, and it’s a fairly incredible GPS fence with a few key drawbacks.

Key Specs

  • Precision GPS assisted by AI
  • Real-time tracking
  • Active Tracking
  • Universal cell coverage
  • Tailoring fit system
  • Magnetic charger port (USB-C to magnet)
  • 24-hour battery life
  • Waterproof
  • 3-tier prevention feedback
  • 11″ to 30.5″ Neck Size
  • Maximum of 20 fence posts and 20 invisible fences
  • Maximum of 1,200 square miles of coverage for a single fence
  • Wi-Fi, GPS, Cellular, and Bluetooth connections

Halo 3 GPS Dog Collar Pros

Halo 3 GPS Dog Colla

Of the GPS fences on the market, the Halo 3 is one of the leading smart collar devices. I personally love mine, and my Doberman, Ares, got used to the device quickly, with a little training, of course. There are a few things that I liked that stood out for me right away and a few others that came with time.

Precision Tracking

Part of the reason I feel like Halo keeps my dog safe is how precise it is. I can pull up the app and watch Ares’ movement throughout the yard with about a one-second delay. This is pretty important because I have a heavy tree canopy, and there is no Forest Mode for Halo GPS dog fences.

Universal Cell Coverage

virtual fence with halo collar

I’m sure you’ve run into the issue of cell coverage before. You may have AT&T and are without a signal in a certain spot. In the meantime, your friend, who has T-Mobile, is standing next to you and has a perfect signal. Well, that’s not a problem with the Halo. If your dog escapes, the collar connects to whatever cell carrier’s signal is strongest at the moment.

Beacon Included

halo Beacon

The Halo 3 comes with a “beacon” device the size of a quarter. This beacon works with the GPS dog collar in two ways. First, it acts as a prevention device, keeping your dog safe and away from whatever room the beacon is in. Second, it deactivates the collar if that’s your setting preference. None of the other GPS fences or collars come with this.

Tailoring Fit System

wireless dog fence collar

This is one of my personal favorites because the Halo 3 comes with all of the tools necessary to fit the collar to your dog, cut off the excess strap, and replace the cut end of the strap with a shiny, new end cap. How’s that for a GPS dog collar?

Active Tracking

Active tracking collars are often separate devices. The Halo 3 has Active Tracking built in. This monitors your dog’s activities, such as sleeping, playing, and crossing attempts (when your dog gets too close to the invisible fence). The smart collar app maintains all of this info on a bar graph.

Preventions Feedback

If your dog crosses the invisible fence somehow and doesn’t come back, the Halo 3 engages in prevention feedback, alerting the dog with negative signals and positive feedback, depending on what direction your dog is facing.

Halo 3 GPS Collar Cons

I’ve never dealt with a smart device that didn’t have issues, and the Halo collar and GPS fence are not exceptions to the rule.

Fence System Drift

Satellite coverage is never perfect, and from time to time, the wireless dog fence I set up will drift a foot or two. Though it’s more rare, it may drift three or four feet. The fence remains in the same general spot, but that drift may change exactly where your dog is moving before receiving a feedback alert.

Small Dogs Need Not Apply

This is not a personal concern of mine since I have Dobermans (mostly considered to be a medium-sized dog). However, the Halo is not designed for really small dogs, such as toy poodles and chihuahuas. It’s simply too bulky to tighten into a loop that small.

The Collar Cover

halo collar cover

This is often seen as a highlight because you can choose multiple collar cover colors (try saying that three times, really fast). However, the cover is tight and often shifts over the magnetic charging port. It’s difficult to move it back without getting aggravated and simply removing it altogether.


Though the subscription prices are reasonable, you have to have one to operate the Halo collar. Without a subscription service, the collar is essentially a paperweight.

Halo Collar 3: Detailed Overview

When I set up my first invisible GPS dog fence, it was the Halo 3. The setup process was fairly simple and intuitive. I love the fact that the Halo Collar app comes fully loaded with tutorials and guides, and it also includes video guides. If you’re a visual learner like myself, this is a huge feature.

halo gps dog collar

You start by filling out your dog’s information, activating the collar, choosing a subscription plan, and then drawing out your invisible fence. As a wireless dog fence system, you control almost everything via the app. You can also set up a total of 20 GPS wireless dog fences anywhere you want.

In fact, I have two Halo GPS dog fences set up in Florida (at two different addresses) and one up in Tennessee. You can also create a single fence that covers thousands of acres. No matter how many dogs you have or where you go, you can set up your GPS fences along the way.

halo collar sizing

The collar was simple to size on Ares’ neck. Then, I used the included tools to cut the excess strap and place a new end cap on the cut length. Once my first wireless dog fence was up, I went outside and tested it, thanks to several video tutorials and video training guides in the app.

Check out my personal experience and review of the Halo collar in this video, where I show firsthand testing and give insights.

The Active GPS Antenna, built into the smart collar, keeps things very accurate, with the occasional aforementioned drift, despite a heavy tree canopy in my backyard. Deleting and replacing GPS fences is the only thing I found to be a little clunky, but something I overcame quickly.

how to charge a halo collar

The Halo collar battery life is marketed as a 24-hour collar. In practice, I found that 22 hours was closer to the target. Either way, it’s a collar that you will have to charge each night.

Halo GPS Dog Fence

The price of “Halo GPS Dog Fence” varies, so check the latest price at

2. SpotOn GPS Collar

spoton collar

I use the SpotOn collar on my female Doberman, Athena. Like the Halo, it allows you to build GPS fences without burying wires. It features its own GPS technology and includes a number of prevention feedback, including sounds, vibration, and static correction.

Key Specs

  • 10″ to 26″ Neck Size
  • 22-hour battery life
  • Verizon or AT&T cell coverage
  • GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/Beidou Receiver
  • Forest Mode
  • Up to 100,000 acres of fence coverage
  • Maximum of 20 fences
  • Keep Out Zones
  • True Location GPS
  • Waterproof
  • 3-Tier Prevention Feedback
  • Minimum of 1/2 Acre
  • GPS, Wi-Fi, Cellular, and Bluetooth connections

SpotOn 2nd Gen Pros

best invisible dog fence

I’ve had the SpotOn 2nd Gen collar for roughly the same amount of time as the Halo 3. Athena, my female Dobie, is the lucky participant. Like the Halo 3, there are a lot of things I love about the SpotOn, and a few drawbacks as well.

Forest Mode

This is where the SpotOn truly shines, especially with my heavy tree coverage in the backyard. This mode increases the GPS sensitivity, specifically in areas where the GPS signal is not consistent—dense tree coverage. I can personally attest to the accuracy of Forest Mode in my yard. Plus, it’s a feature that’s always on, so dog owners won’t have to hunt it down in the app.

spoton dog fence

Extremely Customizable SpotOn GPS Fence

As a direct comparison to the Halo collar app fence creation, SpotOn excels in every way. You draw the GPS fences with your finger, and unlike the Halo collar app, the level of precision and movement of the fence posts is quick, accurate, and very responsive.

Keep Out Zone

This is a feature I use consistently because we have a backyard garden and chicken/duck coops. Keep Out Zones are smaller zones you can create within the original wireless fence. After you’ve drawn out your SpotOn wireless fence, you can add these little Keep Out Zones throughout your yard, and they function in the same way as the standard virtual fence lines.

Higher GPS Signal Precision

Again, comparing the SpotOn virtual fence to the Halo, the difference is detectable. While I don’t have any problems with my Halo keeping my dog safely inside the virtual barrier, I notice that the SpotOn is simply more accurate, responds a hair quicker, and features less fence drift over time.

No Subscription Required

I already have a ton of subscriptions, including one for the Halo collar. The last thing I need is to add another one. Fortunately, a subscription is not required for a SpotOn wireless fence. The only thing you will need the subscription for is if you are using them as tracking collars because your dog leaves the fence area and escapes.

Active GPS Antenna

Combined with the patented true location technology, the Active GPS Antenna makes SpotOn collars more precise than other tracking collars on the market. It works to filter out interfering signals, maintaining accuracy. This is part of what I’m referring to when I point to the incredible accuracy.

SpotOn 2nd Gen Cons

Unfortunately, everything has its drawbacks. There’s no such thing as the perfect technology out there, at least not in consumer electronics. Overall, the entire system is fantastic, and, as a dog owner, I can appreciate the peace of mind it provides. However, there are a few things that nag at me as well.

Fitting The Collar

SpotOn 2nd Gen Cons

The Halo is much better in this regard. When I first received my SpotOn and put it on Athena, the collar simply fell off, with one of the straps simply falling off. I had to contact SpotOn, who acknowledged the problem and sent me a replacement kit with tools to fix the issue.

Battery Life

It’s not that the battery life is bad; it’s just that it isn’t quite what’s advertised. According to SpotOn, 22 hours is the limit unless you are actively tracking, which drains the battery quicker. In practice, I don’t get 22 hours, even though I’m not tracking. On the flip side, the SpotOn and the Halo collar have to be recharged every night.

No Variation

This isn’t a huge deal, but the SpotOn is pretty sterile in terms of aesthetics. What you see is what you get, with no colors to choose from or any other design features. Your dog gets a gray collar, and that’s the extent of it.

Not For Very Small or Very Large Dogs

spoton fence review

While 10″ to 26″ sounds like a wide range, it won’t cover every dog. Toy, miniature, or large Saint Bernards probably won’t be able to use the collar.

SpotOn 2nd Gen: Detailed Overview

Since I already have a smart home setup, the idea of incorporating smart collars with my dogs was an appealing one from the get-go. Plus, the idea that I could set boundaries, keep my dogs safe, and lean on a dependable system with a ton of additional features sold me.

spoton gps fence dog collar reviews

SpotOn has been a reliable smart collar for Athena and does what it’s designed to do without fail. Though it also includes static correction, like the Halo 3 collar, I don’t use it. The training guides that come with the app are more than sufficient for getting your dog to understand the limitations of their outside territory.

I love SpotOn’s Forest Mode accuracy since dense tree coverage is an issue at my house. The app is simple, intuitive, and highly responsive. The setup process was not needlessly time-consuming or complicated. SpotOn also allows me to choose whether I want to walk out my fence boundary creations or draw them on an overhead satellite view.

Like the Halo, I have a SpotOn fence for my dogs in my backyard, at another address in Florida, and a third location in Tennessee. I’ve created several additional fences throughout my YouTube coverage of the device as well. All of them are just as accurate and remain where they are unless I decide to delete them.

For more insights on the workings of the SpotOn collar, check out this video where I dive deeper into its features and functionality.

Another part that I really appreciate is how comfortably Athena wears hers. She’s not a collar fan and hunches down, giving me her pitiful look when I put the collar on her. However, after that, she wears it like there’s nothing there. It charges quickly and features a neat little cradle to place it in (the cradle is plugged into a USB-C Cable).

how to charge spoton collar

In the months that I’ve used SpotOn, I’ve never had to worry over the safety of my dog, and that’s a comfortable feeling to have, especially since I can’t keep eyes on them at all times.

SpotOn Dog Collar

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3. Wagz Freedom

gps fence collar

If you’re looking for a cheaper but still effective alternative, you’ll have to find the Wagz Freedom collar on eBay, Craigslist, or the Facebook Marketplace. The collar has been discontinued. So, why bother mentioning it? Well, mostly to give you a comparison with a mid-tier collar and to give you a heads up in case you run across one on the above marketplaces.

If you do, it’s important to know that Wagz no longer offers services, so you’ll effectively purchase a paperweight with some bells and whistles.

wagz freedom smart dog collar

Key Specs

  • Water Resistant IP67
  • Includes GPS Tracking
  • Wi-Fi (2.4GHz), GPS, and LTE (limited to Cat M1)
  • 3-tier Prevention feedback
  • Fitness Tracker
  • LED Safety Light
  • Removable, rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries

Wagz Freedom Pros

Unfortunately, Wagz closed its doors recently due to unspecified financial reasons. It’s unfortunate because Wagz did offer some neat features, and it was a decent smart collar in the mid-tier lineup. Of course, it’s not comparable with the Halo and SpotOn versions, but the price was far more comfortable.


Similar to Halo and SpotOn, Wagz features virtual fence creation with an overhead satellite image of your present location. The app was fairly simple to use, including a setup (for your dog profile) and using the touchscreen to draw out your fences.

GPS Tracking

GPS tracking is also included, using a cellular connection. Once your dog is located on the app, you can send that location to Google Maps and plan your route to try and retrieve your dog.

Activity Tracking

Wagz includes activity tracking and compiling data in one-week intervals. The data includes rest and active moments throughout each day, along with how many times your dog sets off the perimeter fencing you put in place.

Wagz Boost Battery

Not all of the Wagz come with the battery boost; however, if you order it separately, it will boost your battery length from a single day to three days.

Wagz Freedom Cons

With a much lower price than the higher-tier smart collars out there, some concessions have to be made.

Spotty Location Tracking

If one or more of your dogs gets lost and wanders into an area with a poor cellular connection, Wagz isn’t capable of using multiple providers or the latest and greatest in cell service. Instead, you will have to wait for updates in five-minute increments. If you’re searching for your dogs and in full-blown panic mode, 5 minutes is like an eternity.

Occasionally Glitchy App

Wagz is known for the occasional fits and starts, leaving something to be desired in the fluidity and ease of the app.

Subscription is a Must

Like the Halo Collar, Wagz requires a subscription to take advantage of 99% of its functionality. Otherwise, you’ll have an interesting $300 device for holding your paperwork in place.

No Collar

The Wagz device ships alone, and you’ll have to provide a collar of your choosing. However, the little catches on each end of the device are not the best, and the collar will pop off from time to time.

Wagz Freedom: Overview

Wagz has a few neat things going for it. The Safety LED light is surprisingly useful. If you’re like me and have a dog with black fur, that LED light is necessary at night, especially if you’re out looking for your dog.

The app is fairly well-balanced, though it’s glitchy at times. Setting up the collar and adding to your dog’s profile isn’t a clunky, complicated affair. The app even works with the collar to create a heat map, which is how the collar maps your dog’s movement throughout the day.

There are a few customization options available, mostly to make the collar and app more accessible with your personal preferences and settings. You also get a few training options within the app, along with wellness checks through the activity tracking feature.

Wagz Freedom

4. Tractive XL

tractive XL collar

Tractive is another, more affordable option in the smart collar industry, and this time, it’s still accessible in the marketplace. Where Wagz failed to gain enough traction, Tractive looks to seal the deal and cement a place within the smart-collar niche.

Key Specs

  • IPX7 Water Resistance
  • 1.23 ounces
  • Regular and XL option
  • Wi-Fi, GPS, and Cellular connectivity
  • Activity Tracking
  • 10 to 12-day battery
  • Power Saving Zone
  • Location Accuracy Mode
  • Highly durable casing

Tractive Pros

I’ve not had the Tractive for nearly as long as the SpotOn and Halo Collar; however, I’ve spent enough time with it to draw some pros and cons conclusions.

tractive gps

Activity Tracking

There’s simply no excuse for a smart collar to lack an activity-tracking feature these days. Fortunately, Tractive knows that and includes the feature. It tracks your dog’s sleeping, active, and general resting pattern throughout the day, compiling the data within the app for you to look at whenever you want.

Location Accuracy Mode

The Tractive device detects when the location of your dog isn’t accurate and allows you to turn this feature on, increasing the precision of the GPS location.

Battery Life

The Tractive far outperforms the Halo collar and SpotOn collar in this regard, with up to 12 days of battery life between charges.

Tractive Cons

The Tractive smart collar is only $35 bucks; however, for a price that small, you have to be willing to accept some concessions.

GPS in the Woods

Since I live under a heavy tree canopy, this is the first thing I noticed. Once you walk into the woods, the GPS becomes very unreliable and glitchy on the app.

Slow GPS

When you’re not in the woods, it takes the Tractive a while to give you the latest update, sometimes up to two minutes, staring at the app on your phone, waiting.

Rubber Mesh Clip

tractive collar

The rubber mesh clip that holds the collar in place is great, except for the fact that rubber and dog hair never get along. Dog hair gets caught in it, and, at times, it may pull some of the hairs out of your dog’s neck.

Subscription is a Must

Not only is a subscription necessary to use the collar, but it’s also $13 a month, making it one of the more expensive subscription services on the smart collar market.

Tractive: Overview

tractive gps dog collar

Tractive is a good option if it’s the smart collar you can afford right now. It’s understandable that not everyone is rocking hundreds of dollars worth of disposable income. The SpotOn and the Halo are leagues above and beyond the capabilities and tech the Tractive has to offer, but they’re a reflection of the tech packed inside.

The tracking capabilities of the collar are decent, but nothing to write home about, mostly because of the GPS failures I had to deal with when there was a tree canopy above my head. Plus, I have to wait every time I need an accurate location update.

In terms of battery life and durability, the Tractive is fantastic. In fact, one of the lone things that I would like to see with future Halo and SpotOn releases is a longer battery life, though both are fairly durable themselves. While Tractive is a decent option overall, the SpotOn and Halo are clearly superior products.

Tractive GPS Tracker

The price of “Tractive Collar” varies, so check the latest price at

Considerations for Purchasing a GPS Dog Fence

Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy. I can’t stress that enough. We’re talking about keeping your dogs safe and being able to locate them at a moment’s notice. Accuracy is absolutely crucial.

The durability of the collars is an obvious factor as well. What good is a smart collar for keeping your dogs safe if the collar falls apart in a few months?

The battery lifespan is what it is. It’s an important factor, to be sure, but if you want the best the industry has to offer, it’s a necessary concession. The good news is that both the Halo and SpotOn can be charged at night and will generally last all day. I don’t have an issue charging mine at nighttime and keeping them on the dogs throughout the day.

Fence types and the range of the fences are worth looking into. While all of the collars on this list will cover most yards, there are a few limitations on the Wagz and Tractive versions that don’t exist with Halo and SpotOn. The latter two are capable of covering thousands of square miles with multiple fences.

Plus, both the SpotOn and Halo have very little performance variability, regardless of where you happen to be at the moment. They are both highly accurate, while the Tractive and Wagz fall behind somewhat. The same holds true with boundary-crossing responses, something at which the SpotOn and Halo excel.

The installation process will quickly turn people off as well if it’s a convoluted mess, and you need to be able to adjust the collar easily, especially if you are purchasing one of these products for a growing dog. There’s a huge difference between a Great Dane puppy and a fully grown, adult male Great Dane.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do these dog GPS fences work?

All of them work, but there are varying degrees of accuracy and efficiency. The Halo and SpotOn are quicker, more accurate, and more responsive in times of need. The SpotOn is probably the most accurate, while the Halo is just behind it.

Can a dog get past a GPS fence?

A dog can definitely get past a GPS fence. That’s why training is immensely important once you have your smart collar in hand for the first time. The SpotOn and Halo (especially the Halo) come with extensive training features for both you and your dog, all of which are a part of the respective app.

Does a GPS dog fence function similarly to a shock collar?

A GPS fence can function similarly to a shock collar if you utilize the static correction feature in SpotOn and Halo collars. Fortunately, static correction is only one of many more preventative measures. Training your dog to respond to vibration, sound effects, and voice commands will effectively avoid static correction measures.

Final Thoughts

I’m really enjoying my time with the SpotOn, Halo, and now, the Tractive smart collars. While I like some of the features Tractive has to offer, the SpotOn and Halo are easily the most comprehensive, accurate, and effective smart collars I’ve ever used.

They do have their failings, such as subscription plans (Halo) and collar fitting (SpotOn), but their pros simply outweigh their cons. Whether it’s SpotOn’s patented true location or Halo’s comprehensive and data-rich video tutorials, I’m discovering more and more about these collars every day.

If you’re looking for a fantastic smart collar option to keep your dog safe, the SpotOn is the best choice for heavy tree cover, while the Halo is the most information-rich, especially with all of the video tutorials, many of which use Cesar Milan. Whichever one you decide to go with, consider your dog more than protected, providing you with peace of mind.

Thomas Godwin
Thomas Godwin is passionate about animals and the outdoors. Holding a degree in Creative Writing, he's combined his love for nature with his skills. At home, he's busy caring for his chickens and Appleyard ducks. He often spends time at the Gulf Coast of Florida, enjoying the local wildlife. Biking through nature trails is another favorite pastime, where he observes animals in their habitats. Thomas also crafts campers and loves kayaking on the Blackwater River. His family, including his wife, two daughters, and their two loyal Dobermans, Ares and Athena, often join him in these adventures, sharing his enthusiasm for nature and animals.

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