The general way GPS dog fences work is pretty simple. Much like any GPS device, the GPS dog collar will track your dog’s location anywhere in the world. But they also make use of GPS satellites to create the circular boundary fences themselves, rather than depending on underground wire or having the transmitter establish the boundary. Given these facts, are GPS dog fences effective? Let’s dig deeper.
Unlike other wireless invisible dog fences, a GPS dog fence simply checks your dog’s position against the extents of this boundary as drawn on the GPS map, instead of having to use a transmitter box to sense whether the GPS dog collar has gone past this boundary.CLICK HERE: Access EXCLUSIVE deals for our readers →
Just like wired dog fences and radio-based wireless dog fences, GPS fences make use of a radio signal from the GPS satellites to geolocate the receiver collar. But since it only uses a one-way signal from the satellite above to the receiver collars below, there is much lower risk of obstruction and interference than wireless transmitters that need to create circular boundary fences or domes at ground level.
Instead of the circular boundary being centered around a transmitter, it will be drawn by the GPS around a designated point. Once the GPS fence system built into the dog collar detects that it is getting too close to the area, it will issue the warning beep just like other wireless invisible fence systems, and deploy the static correction if the collar gets outside the circle. Devices like the Halo collar for dogs offer features and guides to help you properly use them on your pet.
The main appeal of a GPS dog fence is the tracking feature. The GPS technology that’s commercially available these days lets us track things accurately to about 4.9 meters on average .
This is about the same margin of error that the average GPS collar works with. This may not be that great if you’re looking to pinpoint a smartphone that you dropped. But if you’re looking for a dog who has run away, for example , it will make zeroing in on their location so much easier.
The great thing about the tracking feature on a GPS receiver collar is that they usually notify you immediately if your dog escapes the GPS dog fence. This enables you to act as quickly as you can in the crucial first 24 hours of losing your dog. This feature alone answers why your dog should have a GPS collar or fence.
Low Chance of Error
The biggest issue with a radio- or WiFi-enabled electric dog fences is the fact that they’re prone to interference from electronics, metal, and other WiFi signals.
Things like nearby tall buildings, dense metal objects, or stray signals are often the bane of WiFi or radio-based electric dog fences. These types of wireless electric dog fence can have their range significantly reduced, refuse to work, or even shock a dog for no reason if enough interference is experienced.
A GPS dog fence, on the other hand, rarely needs to worry about such obstacles. While the above mentioned things also affect GPS to some degree, they’re much less of a threat to the proper transmission of GPS signals.CLICK HERE: Get your FREE new puppy checklist →
While GPS dog fences also use a radio signal to operate, GPS systems make use of at least four satellites  to hone in on their target. This means that any error that could be produced by obstructions and interference could be corrected for, thus decreasing inaccuracy.
High Accuracy and Reliability
The near-zero likelihood of interference also gives GPS fences a high rate of reliability. There’s much less chance of it miscalculating a dog’s distance from the fence boundary and shocking them in error.
Some GPS electric dog fences also employ cell signal to increase accuracy. While this does make the chance of interference slightly higher, it’s usually negligible and is made worth it by the greatly upgraded accuracy.
Because a GPS invisible fence doesn’t need to use a transmitter, it usually just comes in the form of a slightly bulky collar. This self-contained system makes it much easier to carry around than other wireless fences which make use of a cumbersome transmitter and perhaps Bluetooth beacons to extend and shape the boundary line. Perfect for when you’re going on camping vacations or traveling with your dog.
The rechargeable battery is also often removable, meaning you can purchase more for continued operation during extended trips away from a readily available wall socket.
In one of our articles, we discuss further the answer to the question: What is a GPS dog fence?
Lower Initial Cost
The average GPS-enabled GPS dog fence costs between $700 to $1,000. Although this is still quite expensive, it’s significantly lower than the average cost of an underground dog fence, which can cost up to $2,000.
That being said, you would still have to subscribe to a GPS plan that averages at $10 per month per collar. But you would need to commit much less money to get a GPS invisible dog fence set up initially. And you also won’t need to purchase a separate, dedicated dog tracking device. Find out more details how much a dog tracker cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
How reliable are GPS dog fences?
The average GPS dog fence is highly reliable and accurate, thanks to the inherent accuracy of the global positioning system. With at least four satellites working together to zero in on your pet’s receiver collar, you can be sure that you’ll be able to track them with extreme accuracy and that the invisible fence won’t activate the shock collar erroneously.
Do GPS invisible fences work?
Yes. Thanks to modern GPS technology, it’s much easier to design affordable electronic dog fence systems with top-notch accuracy. Their popularity alone is plenty of evidence that their performance is satisfactory.
Which is better underground or wireless dog fence?
Underground dog fences and wireless dog fences each have their own strengths and weaknesses (see our comparison between wireless dog fence vs in-ground electric fence). But for average pet owners, it may be better to simply get wireless pet fences to avoid the high initial cost of getting wired pet fences set up.
How does GPS wireless dog fence work?
Just like hidden fences or other types of wireless fence, wireless GPS systems use a radio signal to determine whether the dog collar your pet wears has gone past a boundary. But instead of using buried wire or back-and-forth communication with a central transmitter, the signal comes from four or more satellites in orbit. These satellites mark out a circular area around a point you designate, and watch for whether your dog’s collar is about to or has left this area.