SpotOn GPS Dog Fence Review – Is it Worth $999?

SpotOn GPS Dog Fence Review

The SpotOn GPS Dog Fence is a different animal from the Halo 3. Even so, there are many elements that remain the same. If you have a tiny dog, look elsewhere, as this collar is gigantic and resembles some kind of silent transformer from one of the Michael Bay movies as it sits silently, charging on my desk.

With two Doberman Pinschers, big collars are nothing new. And, despite the size of the SpotOn dog collar, it fits my smaller Dobie, Athena, snugly without slipping and circling her neck like a hula-hoop. The SpotOn collar is designed for dog owners looking for a way to contain their dogs within a customizable, virtual fence without the need for a leash.

The question is, how well does it work? Even more importantly, does it work well that it’s more than worth the investment? Well, I have one, and after spending some serious time with it, I’m ready to give you a full breakdown of the SpotOn collar. It’s well worth the read because the SpotOn is an exceptional GPS collar that seriously brings smart-home tech to the pet world.

SpotOn Dog Collar

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SpotOn GPS Fence Review: Will This Advanced Wireless Technology Keep Your Dog Contained?

spoton collar

Whether or not the SpotOn collar works for you is largely dependent on your dog and your willingness to participate in the process of integrating the system and your pup. In other words, the SpotOn collar is at its best when your dog is trained to recognize the beep and vibration it emits.

SpotOn collars also have a static correction feature. However, I personally don’t place much stock in negative reinforcement, so I don’t use it with mine. In fact, I never bothered with installing the contact points that come with the SpotOn collar.

If you’re willing to take the time to teach your dog the negative connotations of the vibrations and beeps, the SpotOn collar will serve as an excellent virtual fence containment system for you and your canine. Setup is not onerous but simple and quick, so long as you follow the instructions from beginning to end.

Out of the box, you’ll have the collar on your dog’s neck, your virtual fence in place, and training your dog to obey the warning signals emitted from the collar in less than an hour.

Features of SpotOn Virtual Smart Fence

spot on dog collar review

Honestly, I love the SpotOn collar and am chomping at the bit to write (and hopefully create a video) of the SpotOn versus the Halo 3. As for the SpotOn collars, there’s a lot for dog owners to love, as it comes packed with many key features that make it stand out in the smart collar market.

spot on features

Key Features

  • Customizable, smart, virtual fence creation
  • It’s loaded with training features
  • Simple and intuitive boundary marking
  • All-terrain GPS tracking
  • Excellent portability
  • Includes a “Forest Mode”
  • Battery life notifications
  • Includes tracking feature


This is the part that will turn off most, and it’s quite understandable. There’s no getting around the fact that the SpotOn dog collar is the most expensive GPS collar on the market. And it’s not even close. The Halo 3 set the benchmark at around $600, and the SpotOn one-upped it by almost doubling the price.

If you’re dying to get your hands on a fantastic GPS collar that lets you create a virtual fence and train your dog, the SpotOn is all of that and more. However, you may need to dig deep into your savings to get one.


From the moment I opened the box, I could see that this was a pricey collar. It’s huge but not poorly designed, as in being too blocky or unbalanced. Throughout my time with it, Athena and I discovered several things we really like.

  • You can easily and quickly adjust the boundaries
  • The training methods for it are simple and effective
  • You don’t have to assemble anything, as it’s ready to go out of the box
  • You don’t have to have cell service to operate it
  • Optional static correction
  • You can opt out of using the subscription plans
  • It’s a highly accurate GPS collar


Unfortunately, nothing in the world is perfect, and I found a few things about SpotOn that I wasn’t happy with. The good news is some of those things are not the fault of the collar.

  • It’s a seriously expensive collar
  • Static correction is definitely not for everyone
  • GPS trackers are vulnerable to hacking
  • Electromagnetic frequencies can potentially disable the collar
  • You have to charge it frequently

SpotOn Dog Collar

Check updated price and use code ‘WAF’ to save $50 instantly on your ‘Spot on Collar’ purchase – Save Big! 🐾

SpotOn GPS Fence: Does it Work?

The SpotOn GPS fence is one of the highlights of the product. It works fantastically well. With SpotOn, gone are the days of having to spend a fortune on fence construction or having to get around the pain-in-the-neck boundaries Homeowner’s Associations often set.

spoton collar reviews

It certainly helps that my Dobermans are highly sensitive to noises they don’t understand. As they approach the invisible dog fence, the collar emits a beep. As they continue to close on the perimeter, it issues a longer, louder beep. A few more steps, and the vibration feature kicks in.

Within a couple of days, Athena was turning around the moment she heard the loud beep. The vibration doesn’t hurt them, yet their lack of understanding as to what it is and why it’s vibrating on their necks is what creates the understanding for avoiding it altogether.

Now, some will have more issues with stubborn dogs, but the accuracy of the virtual fence and the collar’s ability to quickly detect the boundary are both exceptional.

SpotOn GPS Fence: Marking Boundaries

spoton dog fence

Marking boundaries is very similar to the Halo 3. In fact, I did the exact same thing with the Halo 3 a week earlier. You simply take the collar outside with you, follow the directions on the app, and walk the boundaries of your yard.

With the SpotOn Virtual Fence, you have two options. You can get some exercise and walk out your perimeter fence, or you can interact with the satellite map on the SpotOn app to draw your boundaries.

Both are very simple, and SpotOn will interact with obstacles throughout your property as you draw or walk your lines. For instance, if you want to draw a line and come across an area that sticks through the perimeter (an area you don’t want your dog in), simply pause and lift your finger.

Place your finger back on the screen, on the other side of the obstacle, and SpotOn takes care of the rest, filling in the obstacle on its own. It works the same way while walking. As you approach the obstacle, whether it’s water or a garden you want to protect, simply hug the edges, and the SpotOn Virtual Fence will adjust accordingly.

Keep Out, Forest Zones, and Home Zones

spoton virtual fence

These two features are new and part of a major upgrade to the SpotOn collars and SpotOn fence options. The Keep Out update allows you to create no-go zones that are completely within the invisible fence you draw.

For instance, I had to exclude my garden since it’s within the boundaries of my original, invisible fence. Before I got my hands on the SpotOn, I wasn’t aware I could do this and assumed I would have to narrow my invisible fence perimeter to completely exclude the garden.

You work these Keep Out Zones just like you do the virtual fences by walking it out or outlining it on your app. Home Zones are the exact opposite. All you’re setting up here is an area (most likely your house) where your dog can freely go without having to remove the collar to keep it from going off.

Both features are a breath of fresh air and allow you to create multiple fences, a GPS dog fence within the GPS fence, and a safe spot beyond the control of the fence boundary.

The Forest Zone is merely an extension of the Home Zone. If you have a property like mine, which is entirely covered in gigantic oak trees, Forest Zone removes confusion between what is a tree canopy and what is a home rooftop. That way, you can more accurately set your Home Zone.

SpotOn GPS Fence: Training without Static Correction

spot on gps dog fence

The optional static correction is just that—optional. I avoid it and would not recommend using it. However, for SpotOn to cover all of its bases, I suppose it was inevitable for the feature to be included. However, the SpotOn GPS Collar is not a shock correction collar since you never have to use it as such.

I mentioned above that I didn’t use the testing mechanism or even screw on the leads that came with it. If you are confident in positive feedback and your ability to train your dogs, you should never need them. Even if you use them, you’re liable to create more problems than you had before.

Regular dog training is usually more than enough to do the job, and the SpotOn collars empower you to do that better than normal. I realize I’m a little lucky since my dogs don’t like the noise and the vibration, mostly because it’s strange, and they only know to associate the noise and vibration with approaching the physical fence.

The physical fence is where my virtual one is drawn because my Dobermans can jump it.

SpotOn Dog Collar

Check updated price and use code ‘WAF’ to save $50 instantly on your ‘Spot on Collar’ purchase – Save Big! 🐾

SpotOn GPS Fence: Can it Double as a Training Collar?

Under normal use, the SpotOn GPS Fence only doubles as a training collar when it comes to the “stay inside the zone” training. Since you can set the collar off with the app, you can theoretically use it as a training collar, provided you don’t give your dogs mixed signals.

For instance, I use positive feedback with a clicker. You can effectively create positive feedback with the beeping or vibration from the collar. However, that would do the opposite of what you want when it comes to virtual fencing. Every time your dog approaches where it shouldn’t be, it will associate its position with positivity.

For the primary use of the SpotOn, I was happy to see that it rivals the Halo 3 in terms of training videos. There are more than enough on the app to get you started, and the videos provide the type of dog training that makes a professional dog trainer proud.

Our Experience Using the SpotOn Fence

One thing I noticed about the SpotOn Fence that functioned much better than the mainstream versions is the spoken communication aspect. When Athena approaches the boundary, I get a notification on my smartphone.

Of course, she may approach and then leave the boundary area well before I can get to the aspect of the app that lets me issue a command. However, if she wants to be stubborn and remain in place, I can communicate with her through the collar, almost like a walkie-talkie. All I need is my phone and the app.

I like how accurate the GPS is. As a virtual fence and using GPS technology, it remains remarkably on point. The only time I ever noticed a slight hiccup is before or after a thunderstorm. The “hiccup” I’m referring to is a slight drift on how far my dog can go within the boundary before getting a warning or a bit of slowdown between the app and the collar.

spot on collar

If there’s one thing I really don’t like about the collar, it’s the buckle clasp, specifically the male end. The male end of the buckle comes detached from the collar. The collar, made of thick, rubberlike material, clasps onto the male buckle, and the clasp that holds the male end of the buckle is also made of rubber.

The result is a clasp that constantly lets go of the buckle, resulting in the collar falling right off. I remedied this with duct tape. Yup, $999 of brand-new collar that has to be remedied with duct tape.

Training Process

The training process, as I’ve mentioned several times above, was a breeze for me. However, not all dog owners should expect it to be the same. My dogs aren’t super smart and special just because they’re mine, and I have a bias. They just happen to dislike strange noises that come out of nowhere.

Innovative dog fence aside, it was the noise that helped me train them. However, others will experience varying levels of difficulty, depending on the dog and the dog owners who train them. The collar does come with a ring you can attach a leash to. This is how I did it. I would hold the leash, allowing them to walk into the boundary. I wouldn’t allow them to go any farther.

When my dogs gave up trying to go that way (which was pretty quick when the noise or vibration startled them) and turned to come back, I was there with a treat. It’s very similar to training a dog to heel. If you can train your dog to heel, you can definitely train them with the SpotOn.

Battery Life

One of the more disappointing aspects of the SpotOn system, and my fellow dog lovers will probably agree, is the battery life. However, unless you seriously work the collar all day, it will last around 12 hours.

how to charge spoton-collar

An active dog, spending a lot of time outside testing the virtual fence feature will drain the battery quicker. Every time the GPS finds your dog’s location, that’s a little bit of battery use. The real-time tracking feature is fantastic, but not so much on the battery.

Keeping your dogs safe is a luxury, paid for with a hefty price tag and an average battery capability. I have a huge docking station for charging batteries and powering my devices, and it goes on the docking station every evening.

My advice is to use the Home Zone feature on your SpotOn collars and recharge and leave them on your dogs throughout the day. Charge them after the very last time your dog goes outside for the night.

SpotOn Dog Collar

Check updated price and use code ‘WAF’ to save $50 instantly on your ‘Spot on Collar’ purchase – Save Big! 🐾

Subscription Plans For Tracking (Optional)

One of the nicer aspects of the SpotOn is the optional subscription service. I imagine it would be even more difficult for people to stomach a subscription after dropping $999. If you want it anyway, SpotOn offers three plans.

  • Monthly Plan at $9.95
  • One-year plan at $95.40 ($7.95/Mo)
  • Two-year plan at $142.80 ($5.95/Mo)

Unfortunately, without the subscription service, you won’t receive real-time tracking if your dog escapes the virtual fence system. A subscription will also provide you with automatic breach instant alerts.

SpotOn also offers a 90-day free trial so long as you opt for the one-year or two-year plan. I paid for a month to test it out, and I really don’t see the necessity of it if you are fairly confident your dogs won’t escape and run for the hills. My dogs have jumped my physical fence in the past and simply went around to the front door before scratching to come back inside.

Features I Really Like with the SpotOn Collar

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the SpotOn, though I think the device is definitely due for a price reduction. They also need to change the design of the collar so that the strap and buckle are all one piece, with a more secure buckle.

1 – Static Correction is Optional

Dog owners should never feel a need to use static correction. It’s been proven countless times that it causes more harm than good, especially if you’re dog is still growing. It messes with their heads and often causes a seriously weak bladder, along with flinching behavior. I don’t like that SpotOn has it, but I’m glad that it’s entirely optional.

2 – Boundaries are Easy to Set Up and Change

spoton gps dog fence

I appreciate the ease of use with the SpotOn. Once the app and collar are connected, setting up and changing your boundaries is a breeze. I especially like the new Home Zone and Keep Out Zone features, and they are simple to set up as well.

3 – Cellular Service Isn’t Necessary

While you definitely need a smartphone, you don’t have to have cell service to get the most out of the SpotOn. As long as your tablet or smartphone is connected to the internet, the app is available.

Also, unlike the Halo, cellular connectivity is not a part of the GPS tracking. Your SpotOn GPS fence is all you need.

4 – The GPS is Accurate

Without cellular, the GPS is very accurate. The only times I ever had the slightest issue with the accuracy was prior to or after a storm. During the storm wasn’t as bad; however, the dogs definitely weren’t outside at that point.

Is It Worth It to Pay For The SpotOn Collar?

For some, it certainly will be. If your dog has a knack for escaping and disappearing somewhere in the neighborhood, a SpotOn smart collar is definitely an option. With the number of features it offers, all of which are intuitive, with a simple solution for everything, it nearly justifies the price tag.

However, you can find variations of the same collar, one of which is half the price (Halo 3). If your dog never escapes and shows no interest in going off on its own adventures, $999 would be a lot of money for very little return.

SpotOn GPS Fence: Is GPS Safe for Dogs?

is GPS Safe for Dogs

GPS is perfectly safe for dogs. The only thing being used is a satellite signal for locating the collar, not something that is known for harming dogs. As far as the SpotOn collar is concerned, the static correction levels go all the way up to 30, twice that of the Halo.

However, I would stay well away from static corrections and leave the contact points inside the box. In my opinion, the static feature is the most dangerous part of the collar.

Final Thoughts on the SpotOn Fence Reviews

I’m really enjoying the SpotOn GPS Fence as of this writing and will likely continue to do so. In the near future, I’ll jot down my comparison of the SpotOn and the Halo 3, the latter of which I believe is an excellent device as well.

If you aren’t shy about spending that kind of dough and are worried about keeping your dog safe, these first-generation collars are worth the purchase, especially if your dog leaves or escapes often and you would rather avoid chipping them. Hopefully, this review will help you with your decision!

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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