Thanks to technology, our world is changing fast.
But it’s also making life easier. As every dog owner knows, technology like GPS dog fences can be essential for pet owners. Using a GPS dog fence can help you set better boundaries for your pup. The best part? You’re no longer limited to a radius centered on the base station, which has otherwise become commonplace among most wireless dog fences on the market.
Furthermore, a GPS dog fence can track your dog so that you know their exact location at all times. Even if your dog leaves the boundary of the pet containment system, you can still use GPS to find where they went.
Recently, I tested three of the highest-quality GPS dog fences to compare their performance: Wagz, Halo, and SpotOn.
Without a doubt, SpotOn is the clear winner. This brand is paws-down the best option for pet parents who want a reliable GPS fence.
But that’s nothing against Wags and Halo. Both brands have their place depending on the needs of the individual dog owner. However, they don’t perform at the same level as SpotOn.
Make no bones about it: price is a major deciding factor for many pet parents, too.
So whether you choose SpotOn, Halo, or Wagz for your pup, use my links below and above for the best deal I know. At this time I have exclusive SpotOn and Wagz coupon codes for our readers, and I’ll always keep those links up to date.
I finally had a chance to take the SpotOn GPS Fence, the Halo Collar, and the Wagz Freedom Collar out for a walk on a bright and sunny day just seven miles from downtown Boston.
Of course, I’ll let my field test results speak for themselves.
When I looked at the Wagz app, I saw that the dot to indicate my location was outside of the fence at the time, which was correct. However, it wasn’t showing the collar icon as being outside the fence. The collar did not give any correction despite the fact that it should have.
I verified that the Geofences were turned on and active. The Wagz should have been sending correction signals, but it wasn’t. I even issued a manual correction just to make sure, and that worked fine.
Based on my previous experiences with Wagz, I’m sure it would have eventually issued a correction once the location updated. Then again, that’s not what I was testing here.
When it came to Halo’s performance, the experience was similar to Wagz. The icon on the collar did appear to better track my actual location, although it was definitely not tracking 1-for-1.
I held my phone right beside the collar while I did the field test. When I looked in the app, my phone showed my correct location near the road. Even so, it still displayed the collar’s location within the fence boundary.
Eventually the Halo caught up. But, as you might imagine, this can pose problems when dogs are actively using the collars.
I was impressed to find that SpotOn’s app showed the accurate location of the collar.
As I moved around with the collar in my hand, the app didn’t refresh instantaneously. But whenever I tapped “refresh location,” it updated to the correct location within a second or two each time.
In the long run, what’s most important is how the actual fence works. Does it alert at the same place every time when the collar crosses the border?
After a series of repeated tests crossing the set boundaries, SpotOn proved to be a highly reliable tool—it issued warnings and corrections as it should. The collar also continued to issue alerts and warnings every time I continued past the warning zones. Eventually, it would give a correction.
At least the SpotOn is reliable on sunny days. But how does it perform in a snow storm?
Performance On Snowy Days
I did another field test on a cloudy, snowy day. Even then, SpotOn was strong and steady as it held the boundary lines. And that’s always been my experience with the SpotOn GPS Fence: It. Just. Works.
As shown above, SpotOn is the top performer. With SpotOn you can use the app to create multiple virtual fences that will keep your dog safe in different places. SpotOn also offers a wide range of other features. For example: GPS tracking, activity monitoring, and training tools to help you keep your dog happy.
Halo still has a lot to offer at a lower price tag, all things considered. Especially great training programs from Cesar Milan. However, I’d advise against using the virtual fence feature with static correction. It can be strong and unreliable when it comes to GPS.
At over $1,000 cheaper than SpotOn, Wagz can also be a great tool for pet owners. It offers focused activity monitoring features that can be useful for tracking your dog’s overall wellness.
Halo, SpotOn, and Wagz General Product Feature Comparison
|Item Weight||Approx. 2 pounds||Approx. 1.5 pounds||50 grams/ 1.7 oz|
|Battery Life||Up to 21 hours||22 hours of containment/ 14 hours of tracking time||12-24 hours for mostly indoor pups, 6-12 hours for medium activity pups, 4-6 hours for active outdoor pups|
|Water Resistant (IP-67 rating)||✓||✓||✓|
|Dog Neck Size||10-30.5 inches||10-26 inches||Any*|
|Minimum Dog Weight||20 pounds||15 pounds||15 pounds|
*Wagz GPS Tracker is attachable to any collar and is suitable for any dog neck size.
Halo, SpotOn, and Wagz Cost Comparison
|Subscription Plans||Basic, Silver, and Gold Plan||Monthly Plan, 1-Year Plan, and 2-Year Plan||Monthly Plan, 1-Year Plan, and 2-Year Plan|
|Subscription Plan Costs||$4.49, $9.99, and $29.99 monthly for Basic, Silver, and Gold plan respectively||Monthly Plan - $9.95/Month, 1 Year Plan - $7.95/Month ($95.40/Year), 2 Year Plan - $5.95/Month ($142.80/Two years)||Monthly Plan - $9.99/Month, 1 Year Plan - $99.99/Year ($8.33/Month), 2 Year Plan - $179.99/Two years ($7.49/Month)|
|Cellular Networks||AT&T, T-Mobile, Rogers Wireless, U.S. Cellular, Videotron, Bell, Telus Mobility Canada, TelCel/America Movil (Mexico)||Verizon or AT&T LTE-M||N/A**|
* All prices are accurate as of 1/4/2023. Prices are subject to change and may vary based on location, available coupons, and promotions.
** The Wagz Collar uses a top-tier nationwide cellular provider for cellular service. The Wagz Collar cellular service plan is covered by your Wagz subscription. Your phone’s cellular service provider does not impact the Collar; they are independent.
More on Wireless Dog Fences
GPS dog fences can be a great way to go, but they’re certainly not the only dog fence technology available to buy. Wireless dog fences are one of the most popular pet containment products on the market. They offer a safe and reliable way to keep your pet contained in your yard without the need for a physical fence .
If you’re interested to learn more, read The Pampered Pup’s guide to finding the best invisible dog fence for your pup and yard. You can stop worrying about the technical details and get back to enjoying time with your favorite four-legged friend. And, if you’re not familiar with them already, you can also learn the main differences between wired and wireless invisible fence systems.
Whichever you choose, remember to use my links above to get the best deal that I know of, because I’ll always keep those up to date.
Best of luck finding a GPS dog fence. Until next time, keep those tails wagging!