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SpotOn Fence Review 2024 (Can You REALLY Trust a GPS Dog Collar?)

If you’re still sorting through SpotOn Fence reviews, you know this GPS dog collar looks pretty impressive. The question is, can you really trust a collar with your dog’s safety?

It’s not foolproof. This is a training tool. If a real fence won’t cut it for dog owners, in theory, the SpotOn GPS fence can give you some peace of mind. In reality, it’s an affordable fence, but it’s kind of an expensive dog collar—and this is your pet’s safety we’re talking about.

So, let’s get to know this collar before you spend—what is it—about $1,000 now?

Anyway, if you find in this SpotOn GPS fence review that you like this collar you can click the link below to get a discount at checkout.

CLICK HERE: Get my EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT for the SpotOn (applied at checkout) →

Unboxing The SpotOn GPS Fence

  • The collar
  • Two sets of static correction prongs—one long and one short, depending on the thickness of your dog’s coat.
  • A tool to tighten the prongs and test the static without getting shocked.
  • A charger with a base and a wall plug. It usually takes an hour or two to charge, depending on how dead it is.

Collar Design

The SpotOn collar is pretty industrial looking, but it looks legit and it’s made in the US. The materials used in the collar are silicone and hard plastic. The weight is right about what I’d expect from looking at it—not heavy, not light. There’s a power button and the optional static correction prongs that go on the back, if you use them.

GPS dog fence reviewer Zach Lovatt shows the SpotOn collar.

I can’t say it looks like it was designed for comfort, but at the same time it doesn’t look that bad. It comes in three sizes, and I’ve even seen people using extensions out there for large dogs. There are no color options for the SpotOn collar.

Setting Up The SpotOn Collar

Setting up the collar is pretty easy and pretty quick. It comes with a charge, but as with any electronic device it’s not a bad idea to charge it completely first.

In the meantime you can set up the app, make a profile for your dog, connect your subscription if you’re using one. It’s not required but the escape alerts, live tracking, low battery notifications, and all that are good to have.

And then you’re ready you connect your collar over bluetooth and take it outside to make sure you’re getting a nice strong signal for the GPS system to do its magic. All this takes maybe five minutes, something like that.

After that, you’re ready to set up fences.

Creating Fences

GPS dog fence reviewer Zach Lovatt demonstrates how to create fences with SpotOn.

So, you can either draw your fence on a map, that’ll get you up and running in a minute or two. Or you can walk the fence boundary while holding the collar, which I like a lot better as it drops fence posts automatically as you walk so you can get pretty precise with it.

You can pause to skip over things like ponds, and then when you get close to your starting point it’ll ask you if you want to complete the fence. Then just name it, make sure it’s loaded to the collar, and activate it. The interface of the SpotOn app is great. It’s simple and easy to use.

You can customize your fence further by creating GPS-based home zones and keep-out zones. They need to be at least 30’ x 30’, but beyond that they can be any shape and size you want. Keep in mind SpotOn recommends a minimum fence size of a half-acre to give your dog enough space to truly feel free. I’ve made fences smaller than that, although at a certain point I do start to notice that GPS drift, which can be a concern when you’re drawing boundaries near roads or other hazards.

SpotOn GPS Fence Review—Rapid Fire

Now, before we talk about how it actually performs let’s do a little rapid fire for this SpotOn review.

So first off a lot of people ask about the battery life. You’re pretty much going to get a day of use from a full charge, and probably less if you spend a lot of time in tracking mode. That’s the nature of the beast with GPS collars, there are some similar solutions that offer more battery life, but they’re really a different product class.

You’ll notice SpotOn dog fence offers you the option for a cellular subscription. It’s about $10/month, or a bit cheaper with a one- or two-year plan. However, you don’t need a subscription to use the collar, you can create and use fences without it. But it makes a lot of useful things possible, like escape alerts, escape reports, live tracking, low battery notifications, remote recall tones, and a remote light.

SpotOn Off-Grid mode

I think if you have decent cell service where you’re using the collar, the cell subscription’s worth considering. It doesn’t have to be the same as your phone’s carrier, by the way. For the backpackers out there, SpotOn recently launched an off-grid mode so that you can create fences without any cellular or wifi connection at all. No other collar does this as far as I know.

The app provides built-in training materials that are concise and digestible. If you could use a hand they include a free zoom call with a professional trainer, and they make it easy to contact support by phone, email, or live chat. They helped me troubleshoot an issue with my collar last summer. It’s nice to call and talk to real people here in the US. They offer a 90 day return window and accident forgiveness as far out as a year. So, I get the impression they stand by their product.

Boundary Test 

Now, here’s how the virtual fence is supposed to work: Starting 10 feet from the boundary, the collar should start making an alert tone. Then About 5 feet from the boundary it should switch over to a warning tone. And finally, once your dog leaves or crosses the boundary it should switch over to correction, which can be vibrations, static corrections, or both. It should also enable GPS tracking mode automatically.

GPS dog fence reviewer Zach Lovatt wears the SpotOn collar during a boundary test.

If your dog comes back it’ll give an alert to let them know they’re home safe. If they continue past the boundary the corrections will stop after 10 seconds for your dog’s safety.

Now, what I find is that with a clear view of the sky, even in rough weather, the SpotOn holds the boundary lines quite reliably. SpotOn says the boundaries may shift by up to 10 feet over the course of the day due to GPS drift, but when I test it several times one after another, the alerts, warnings, and corrections stayed very consistent.

In reality though, you may not have a clear view of the sky. The most challenging situation for any GPS fence will be heavily forested areas—particularly pine trees. Obstructions can lead to more pronounced boundary drift, so that’s something to be aware of when you’re using a GPS fence. That drift has also been more noticeable when I test fences substantially smaller than SpotOn’s minimum recommendation of a half-acre.

However, even in more difficult situations where GPS drift is a reality, it still delivers the alerts, warnings, and corrections in a distinct sequence that your dog will be able to understand and rely on. Spirent, and independent testing lab, recently conducted a test of SpotOn alongside its primary competitor and found similar behaviors.

The Verdict

So, does the SpotOn GPS Fence have its limitations? Yes. But so do all GPS dog fences and GPS devices in general for that matter.

If I were to trust a GPS collar to keep my dog safe and to give them a fair shake—because remember, this collar can shock them—then I’d be very happy with SpotOn. Not because it’s the solution to all your problems, or because some celebrity recommended it—but because I’ve tested a lot of invisible dog fence collars, and this is the one I trust most on my own neck.

So if a real fence won’t cut it for a dog owner like you, then the SpotOn GPS Fence is cheaper, it brings some cool benefits to the table like live tracking that a real fence can’t offer. And while it’s not a physical barrier, the SpotOn dog collar is a training tool that can help you give your dog the freedom to roam your yard, or the outdoors, off-leash. I’ve done several SpotOn reviews and this collar just proves its excellence everytime.

If you like SpotOn you can click the link below to get a discount on your dog’s collar. You’ll see that reflected when you actually head over to checkout.

Until next time dog lovers, keep those tails wagging.

CLICK HERE: Get my EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT for the SpotOn (applied at checkout) →
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