For pet parents, a GPS dog collar is not just an investment — it’s a top priority.
It should also do more than simply confine your dog to your property.
There’s a plethora of smart collar GPS dog fences, all of which are capable of keeping your pet safe. But only a few of these collars offer location data for Fido, let alone the ability to seamlessly share that data with your vet.
I’ll compare my experiences with both products, including how easy they were to set up and their performance during field testing. My hope is that this review will answer any lingering question you may have about which collar is best for your pup.
I always like to start you off with a quick overview, but this comparison was a tough call. The products have a lot of similarities. Despite that, it’s their nuances that are likely to be deciding factors for some consumers.
With that in mind, my gut’s telling me that the Wagz Freedom Collar is probably the better choice for most dog owners. Why? Well, not only is it lightweight and compact, but it’s also a little more affordable than the Halo Collar.
If what you need is a straightforward and truly reliable GPS dog fence, however, then I recommend checking out the SpotOn GPS Dog Fence. The SpotOn is packed with sophisticated GPS technology that can hold a boundary line far more effectively than either the Wagz or the Halo.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use Wagz or Halo to boundary train your dog. These are still great, affordable products that offer plenty of value to dog owners.
If you ultimately decide to pick up the Wagz or Halo for your pup, make sure to use my links below to get the best current deals I know about.
SETTING up AND Creating A Fence
Whether you’re setting up the Wagz or Halo, the first thing you’ll need to do is download the product’s app to your smartphone.
Both collars require a subscription to a cellular data plan before you can use them. The Halo Collar offers higher-tier subscriptions if you’d like more features, but the baseline plan is enough to get you up and running.
By comparison, the Wagz only offers one subscription tier.
The process that the Wagz uses to create an invisible fence is pretty similar to the Halo. For both, you’ll need to manually draw your desired perimeter by dropping virtual “fence posts” in the smartphone app.
Need to change the size and shape of your fence? You can still drag and drop fence posts after you create it.
Let’s look at how the Wagz fence performed during setup. Once you’ve established your fence, the Wagz will issue a correction whenever the collar crosses the fence boundary. The collar can communicates a correction via any combination of ultrasonic, vibratory, and audible tones. Note that the Wagz does not include an option for static correction.
In theory, the Halo provides three stages of feedback: warning feedback, boundary feedback, and emergency feedback. Warning feedback should start when the collar is about 7-10 feet from the boundary. If your dog continues to approach the boundary, the collar will simultaneously activate both warning and boundary feedback.
The Halo Collar’s warning feedback defaults to audible fast beeping, while its boundary feedback defaults to vibration. Should the collar continue past the boundary, it will issue continuous emergency feedback until the collar has returned.
The Halo defaults to static correction for emergency feedback, and it’s quite strong. (Check out my Halo Collar review if you want to see me get shocked.)
In summary, the Wagz is a shock-free collar that simply issues a correction if your dog crosses the boundary. The Halo defaults to shocks (static correction) if the collar crosses the boundary, but I personally feel that it should have built in some warning alerts.
So how did the Wagz and the Halo actually perform in the field?
In my experience, the GPS performance of these two products was neck-and-neck. What’s unfortunate is that both collars had jumpy, slow response times.
During testing, I made it past the boundary — sometimes well beyond the boundary — before either collar issued a correction. This has happened every time I’ve tested the Wagz and the Halo. Neither of them issue consistent responses, which will probably be pretty confusing for most dogs.
Boundaries aside, there’s also a major discrepancy at times between where both collars’ GPS trackers think I’m standing versus where I’m actually standing.
The lackluster GPS tracking is manageable with the Wagz, because at least you don’t have to worry about it shocking your dog. But the Halo often ends up shocking the dog without sending any prior warnings.
Which is exactly what happened to me in the field when I wore the Halo collar around my neck.
My advice? Turn off the static correction feature on the Halo Collar. Don’t use it. I don’t think it’s fair to your dog.
It’s possible that the Wagz and the Halo might perform better under different circumstances I’ve yet to try. Nevertheless, this has been my experience with these products on several occasions, including days with clear skies just seven miles from downtown Boston.
When I tested them side-by-side against the SpotOn Collar, the difference was night and day. The SpotOn is so much more reliable.
Although the Wagz and Halo can create invisible boundaries for your dog, these products have a lot of room for improvement. I also think it was very smart of Wagz to make their Freedom Collar shock-free.
So what else should dog owners know when deciding between the Wagz and Halo?
Both can track your dog’s location so that you can find them if they run away. And both allow you to issue manual feedback, which can aid the boundary-training process.
For better or for worse, the Halo lets you issue static correction while the Wagz is shock-free. Neither are reliable when it comes to GPS tracking — a significant problem if you hope to use it as a virtual fence.
You can use both the Wagz Freedom Collar and the Halo Collar to establish keep-out zones around your home. Halo includes a “Halo beacon” with their product, which you can use for this exact purpose. For the Wagz, you’ll need to purchase Wagz Tags (sold separately).
Likewise, both collars require a subscription. Halo’s subscription is pricier than Wagz’s, but their prices are still comparable.
As collars go, the Halo is aesthetically pleasing and doesn’t look like it would be too uncomfortable for your dog to wear. It also has a ring where you can attach your dog’s leash and tags.
It has an internal battery, and seems to last a little longer than the Wagz.
The Halo can also log data about walks, but offers little else in that regard.
I like that you can just clip the Wagz to your dog’s existing collar. It’s lightweight and compact, so it shouldn’t be too uncomfortable for your dog to wear.
The Wagz has a replaceable battery and comes with a spare. You can charge one while the other is being used.
The Wagz is also packed with activity-monitoring features. It counts your dogs steps, logs their walks, and tracks their sleep. It even provides a health and happiness score that gives pet parents a quick overview of their dog’s lifestyle.
Choose the Halo if…
If you want a GPS dog collar that has a static correction option for more stubborn pets, then the Halo Collar may be the better choice for you. The Halo also offers training modules from Cesar Milan — so if he’s your guy, that might mean something to you. However, I do not recommend using the Halo as a containment system. Its boundaries and stimulation are too inconsistent to be effective.
CHOOSE THE WAGZ IF…
If you need a device that attaches to your dog’s existing collar and offers several types of correction feedback, but is NOT a shock collar, the Wagz is probably your best bet. The Wagz Freedom Collar is also cheaper than the Halo, but somehow manages to offer more activity-monitoring features.
Again, if you’re really looking for a high-performance GPS dog fence, I’d urge you to check out SpotOn. If you are only interest in dog activity trackers, see how they compare against GPS fences in my Fi vs Halo review.
If you still decide to pick up the Wagz or Halo for your pup, remember to use my links above. These links will get you the best deal I know about, and I’ll always keep them up to date.
Hope this helps with your decision. Until next time, keep those tails waggin’!