7 Best Smart Dog Collars in 2020

It was Harry Truman that famously said, ?You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog.? For many people, dogs are a great loyal companions that are beloved members of their family. Losing a dog because they ran away can many times be heartbreaking and a highly anxiety inducing experience. For the longest time, the only thing one could hope for is that whoever found the dog, would check the collar, and call the owner or return it to its address. Even with traditional collars, owners would have to wait restlessly hoping that a good Sumaritan would come along to find their dog. Psychologists have found that the traumatic experience that occurs when pets are lost manifests in a manner akin to the losing of a child, sibling, or long term companion, due to the psychological connection and love that is shared. Ultimately, it is an experience that nobody ever wants to go through, so how would you go about preventing this occurrence?

Some people simply just buy a taller gate or fence for their house, but that falls apart during the happenstance in which someone accidentally forgets to close the gate or the gates gets closed improperly. With technology in its current state of existence, people have found newer and more innovative ways for dog owners to prevent their pets from going missing. One of these ways results from the invention of the smart dog collar. Smart dog collars are typically capable of tracking your dog’s location, tracking your dog’s activity, and sometimes talking to your dog from afar and/or acting as a virtual leash. There are many varieties of smart dog collars, so when you start looking into buying a smart dog collar, it is practical to begin by looking through the best smart dog collars to decide which one is suitable for you. As you read through this list of the best smart dog collars, their utility will be much more eminent than what has been immediately explained.

Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor

Whistle 100-04203-00 Go Explore/The Ultimate Health + Location Tracker for Pets

Whistle 3, is a very popular GPS and activity tracker that works with nationwide location tracking. This is because it utilizes GPS tracking through cellular technology. What this also means is that you will have to end up paying a monthly cellular subscription plan in order to keep the device online. The monthly subscription may be a turnoff to most people, but for these types of devices it is generally a standard if you want to have a rather unlimited range of tracking. This device works with the Whistle app on both iOS and Android. Whistle 3 will proactively alert you if your dog leaves their safe space, so you will know that they are wandering away before they get very far. With its incredible 7 day battery life, extremely durable and waterproof build, and its recording of your dog’s travel of 24-hr periods, the Whistle 3 will allow you to keep an eye on your pet in almost any circumstance.

  • Nationwide tracking with nearly limitless range from the host phone
  • Durable and waterproof + long battery life
  • Proactive alerts
  • One of the best smart dog collars earning the Amazon’s Choice title
  • Monthly cellular subscription required

Link AKC Smart Dog Collar with GPS Tracker & Activity Monitor (Leather or Sport)

Link AKC Smart Dog Collar with GPS Tracker & Activity Monitor

Similar to the Whistle 3, the Link AKC Smart Dog Collar has nationwide location tracking within the United States. Of course, this also means that this smart dog collar also requires a cellular subscription. A nice bonus of the Link AKC, is the stylish look that they were able to package their device in. The device is embedded into the dog’s collar between two straps of leather. This being said, it does make the collar a bit heavier than others, so it is highly recommended that you only get this for a medium to large sized dog. This smart dog collar also comes with temperature alerts that will tell you if the dog’s environment is too hot or cold. This collar makes it easy for you to take your dog out on late night walks as it has remote LED lights built in so you can see your dog in the dark. Vet records can be stored on this device so that you can better track your dog’s health, especially if you are someone who moves between residences. The battery life on this device is much shorter than that of the Whistle 3 having roughly 3 days of battery life depending on usage. If you have it on at constant usage, the collar will probably only last up to 1 day before needing to recharge it. This means you will end up having to recharge it on a daily basis like you do with your phone.

  • Nationwide tracking with nearly limitless range
  • Stylish collar that hides the device from sticking out like other collars tend to do
  • Stores vet records
  • Battery life is not stellar
  • Requires a monthly cellular subscription

Garmin Delta Smart, On-Collar Dog Training System with Activity Tracking

Garmin Delta Smart, On-Collar Dog Training System with Activity Tracking

This is the best smart dog collar for home use. This smart dog collar by Garmin is a very short ranged activity tracker that will help you keep track of your dog’s whereabouts within the house and/or yard. The Garmin Delta Smart is especially good at training dogs to avoid bad behavior such as chewing on shoes, digging through the trash, or entering sections of the house that you want to block off from the dog. This is collar works as a shock collar that will prevent your dog from barking at inappropriate times. This smart dog collar also uses the shocks to train your dog from bad behaviors like the ones previously mentioned. By using external nodes that you may place around your house, the collar will shock your dog if it ever tends to get too close to them. For example, if you place a dog on your shoe rack, whenever your dog gets too close to your shoe rack, the collar will disincentivize any further movement to get closer to the shoes.

Tractive 3G Dog GPS Tracker and pet Finder ? The GPS Dog Collar Attachment for Dog Tracking

Tractive 3G GPS Dog Tracker

The Tractive 3G is by far the best smart dog collar for anyone who travels often with their pet. Tractive has 2 tiers of membership, basic and premium. It is highly recommended that users should invest in getting the premium membership as the cost is marginally more expensive, but the benefits are vastly greater. With the premium membership, this smart dog collar is granted worldwide GPS coverage and tracking. Tractive does not use normal cellular outlets like AT&T or T-Mobile, so even if you leave the U.S. with your dog, the collar is still functional. The collar comes with a rechargeable battery that takes 2 hours to charge, but lasts 2-5 days, making it very convenient for travel. To further make it easy to keep track of your dog, you can create safe areas that will inform the dog and the owner when the dog is going out of bounds. This act of creating safe areas for your dog to venture in is also known as ?geofencing,? and it makes it perfect for limiting a dog’s range in new environments.

  • Worldwide GPS tracking
  • Can be used on multiple devices
  • Quick charging battery
  • To be cost efficient, you need to purchase a 2 year contract at $5.21 a month

Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker Free of Monthly Fees – GPS Tracking Collar for Dogs and Cats & Pet Activity Monitor

Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker Free of Monthly Fees - GPS Tracking Collar for Dogs and Cats & Pet Activity Monitor

If you do not want to deal with the extra monthly fees that are standard with most of the other smart dog collars, take a look at the Findster Duo+. Other smart dog collars can operate on cellular service allowing it a rather unlimited range, but this smart collar works in a radius around your main device. The Findster Duo+ allows you to track up to 3 pets at a time, and its range varies between a max of .5 miles and 3 miles depending on if you are in a highly urban area or in an open area respectively. Obviously, due to its lack of cellular usage, you can use the Findster Duo+ in any country. Similar to other smart dog collars, the Findster Duo+ also allows you to create safe areas for your pet that will alert you when your pet leaves the boundaries.

  • Usable in all countries
  • Does not use a subscription service
  • Track 3 pets at a time
  • Works off the grid
  • Limited range
  • Very short battery life, you should realistically only really be using this on field days with your pet, unless you want to charge it very often.

BLACK+DECKER Smart Dog Collar, GPS Tracker, 2-Way Audio, Water Resistant

BLACK+DECKER Smart Dog Collar, GPS Tracker, 2-Way Audio, Water Resistant

The Black+Decker smart dog collar lets you keep track of your dog anywhere you can get T-mobile’s 2g coverage. With Geofencing features and activity tracking, it covers a lot of the abilities that other smart dog collars have. What makes this one of the best smart dog collar models is that it allows you to have 2-way audio with your dog. Effectively, your dog is wearing a speaker on him so if he gets lost, you can tell him to ‘sit? or ‘stay.? If your dog is misbehaving or moving to places you do not want it to, you can remotely tell it ?no? to prevent further problems. If your dog goes missing, you may use the OLED display as a virtual dog tag that will give your contact information to whoever finds your dog.

  • 2-way audio with your dog
  • OLED virtual dog tag display
  • Nationwide coverage
  • Geofencing capabilities
  • Water resistant
  • Unreliable nature of 2g coverage

PetSafe Smart Dog Trainer

PetSafe Smart Dog Trainer

In contrast to most of the other smart dog collars, this device does not have tracking as its main feature. PetSafe Smart Dog Trainer is the best smart dog collar for new dog owners and new dogs. This smart dog collar greatly assists with the training of your dog. The device connects with your iOS or Android device and allows you to train your dog through the use of your phone. The range is roughly 75 yards, so it’s best used indoors or small outdoor areas. The collar has 15 different levels of static stimulation that can be varied to condition your dog toward good behaviors and away from bad behaviors. It also has an option to vibrate or beep to instill further conditioning to your dog.

  • Connects with iOS and Android
  • Large variation of settings to condition your pet
  • You still need to understand the concepts of conditioning a dog


A combination of a few of the devices on this list of the best smart dog collars is probably recommended to complete your arsenal of dog care tech. Obviously, it is up to the owner’s discretion which smart dog collar is needed for their given dog, but hopefully this list has properly assisted you in getting a better knowledge of which smart dog collar on the market is the best for the owner and dog.

Andrew Gora

Graduated from UMASS Amherst with a computer science degree. Currently the CTO of an SEO agency, and a lover for new smart tech!

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