Best GPS Hunting Dog Collar Reviews of 2018
Want to keep an eye on your dog when out hunting, and ensure he doesn’t get lost? Need to call him back when he gets too far away, and train him to stay within the boundaries or in a blind? A GPS dog collar will do the trick. Similar to an invisible fence collar, but with a GPS embedded and a tracker device on the other end, a GPS dog collar will allow you to follow and track your dogs in real time from up to several miles away, and command them and call them back remotely with the built-in vibration or stimulation.
Whether you’re training your dog for hunting or just looking for a way to keep an eye them, a GPS collar is an invaluable tool. Here’s our pick for the best GPS hunting dog collars of 2018.
Top 5 Rated Models Comparison Table
Max # of Dogs
1. Garmin Alpha 100
2. Garmin Delta XC
3. Sportdog Tek
7 miles max
4. Garmin TT 15 Mini
5. Dog Expedition TC1
Reviews of the Best GPS Hunting Dog Collars of 2018
#1. Garmin Alpha 100
Our Top Choice for the best GPS dog collar of 2018 is the Garmin Alpha 100. The GPS device is capable of tracking up to 20 dogs at once (using different collars each) from up to 9 miles away. You can communicate with your dog and train him remotely with the 18 levels of electric stimulation (like an electric fence collar, but milder), and with a selection of audible tones and vibe commands.
The device comes preloaded with over 100k topo maps for anywhere you might be training, and the GPS automatically overlays your dog’s position on the map. You can also set virtual boundaries and receive alerts if he wanders out of the defined area. The compass screen gives you in-depth speed, direction-traveling and distance away stats for any of the 20 dogs you might be tracking.
There are few things we don’t like, however; the device interface is bit clunky, and feels more like an outdated car GPS than a high-tech tracker. You also often have to reprogram the device to your settings upon shutting it down and powering back up, as it does not save all your functions/virtual borders in all modes. Also, the collars can wear down and crack after heavy use on large dogs.
But by itself, the Garmin Alpha 100 is an excellent GPS dog collar. It’s the most expensive, but really only the one in this price range and caliber, and the ability to track so many dogs at once is awesome. It’s our top pick for the best GPS dog collar of 2018.
- Track up to 20 dogs at once
- 9-mile max range
- 18 levels of stimulation for remote training
- 100k preloaded topo maps; lets you set virtual boundaries
- High quality build
- Interface is clunky
- Settings must be reprogrammed often
- Collars crack after a while
#2. Garmin Delta XC Bundle
Don’t have the money to drop on the Garmin Alpha 100? Look instead for the Delta XC. This device doesn’t have the topo maps and display of the Alpha 100 but does have the 18 levels of stimulation for training. The straightforward handheld controller has a LCD display that lets you see the stimulation level and choose from vibrations or tones, as well as between training configurations and different dogs; you can train up to 3 at once. The collar device has interchangeable long and short contact points so you can customize to your dog’s hair and size.
The main draw to this device is its compact durability; it’s simple and straightforward, water-resistant and rugged, and built to last (IPX7 rated against water and shock). It’s also affordable; it doesn’t have the GPS tracking and maps of larger models but switches that out for a good price.
Problems? It has a very short range; they advertise it as reaching up to half a mile, but at that distance, the reception and function is spotty and very limited. Some people say it works best at no more than ¼ mile, or even less. That’s not very much.
But for an affordable, ruggedly built GPS dog collar, it’s a solid choice.
- Compact, tough, waterproof
- Trains up to 3 dogs at once
- 18 levels of stimulation
- Shorter range
#3. Sportdog Tek Series
The Sportdog Tek series lets you keep an eye on up to 12 dogs at once, with a range of up to 7 miles. It features 99 levels of continuous, momentary, and rising stimulation levels, as well as vibration and tone modes. The body is waterproof and submersible down to 25 feet.
You can program settings for each dog individually, choosing a stimulation range for each dog’s temperament. You can view and track the location of each dog at any given time, updating every 2.5 seconds. There’s an integrated compass and you can store up to 20 waypoints and saved locations.
Unfortunately, even with an advertised range of 7 miles, the Sportdog Tek has a very poor signal; mountains, hills and thick forest really cut down on the effective range, which is too bad. It’s also not the most accurate in terms of tracking and instant updates. For that reason, we think it’s a bit overpriced.
It’s not a bad device at all, and you can track up to 12 dogs at once. But for the price it asks, it has poor connectivity and reception, and is a bit lacking in features.
- Tracks up to 12 dogs at once
- Waterproof down to 25 feet
- 99 levels of stimulation for training and controlling
- Saves up to 20 waypoints
- Poor reception and range
- Lags when updating
#4. Garmin TT 15 Mini Dog Device
The TT 15 Mini is the tracker that comes with the Garmin Alpha 100. It has a top-mounted, high-sensitivity GPS/GLONASS receiver, works with the 18 levels of continuous stimulation and predetermined stimulation that the Alpha 100 is capable of, and the audible tone and vibration. You can pair it with the Astro 430 as well, for tracking only (and no other features).
It’s water-resistant down to 15 meters depth and has a range of up to 4 miles. There are also LED beacon lights built in, which add visibility and help you locate the dog when it gets dark. A sleep mode lets you save battery life when you don’t need it. You can also switch out the collar straps for any ¾”, PU coated collar.
Cons? It doesn’t come with its own tracking device, so you’ll have to purchase it separately. And the Mini only works with very small dog breeds; you’ll need to get a larger option for a big boy.
Overall, it’s a very high-quality GPS dog collar from a reliable maker; works with several different devices and is pretty durable. It’s pricey for a collar without a tracker device, but worth the extra investment.
- High quality; waterproof down to 15 meters
- 18 levels of continuous/predetermined stimulation
- Works with both Alpha 100, Astro 430
- LED lights for low light visibility
- 4-mile range
- Device purchases separately
- Small dogs only
- Expensive for no tracker device (but we think worth it)
#5. Dog Expedition TC1 Border Patrol
Another all-in-one GPS dog tracker, the TC1 has two modes: GPS E-fence mode, and Training Mode. E-fence mode has a range of 800 yards, as well as 50 levels of stimulation for training and controlling your dog, as well as vibrations, and a “welcome home” feature, which lets your dog return home without being corrected.
Training mode has a range of up to 2 miles, also has 50 intensity levels of "Nick" and Continuous Stimulations, as well Vibration and Jump Stimulation. Fenceview tracking lets you track locations up to 2 miles away and keep an eye on the status of the collar – battery life, out of fence area, etc. You can track up to 5 dogs at once.
Downsides? It’s a bit overpriced, we feel, for the range and capabilities it has. It can be hard to get even the 2 miles of range out of it, but it costs almost as much as the superior Garmin Alpha 100. And it’s just not very durable, either, with the antenna breaking easily, leaving it with even less range.
It’s not a bad device in terms of features but lacks range and quality for the price it asks.
- GPS E-Fence Mode – 800 yard range
- Training Mode has 2-mile range
- 50 levels of stimulation; vibrations, continuous, nick
- Welcome Home Feature
- Works with up to 5 collars
- Poor build quality; not durable
- Range is finicky and not reliable
What to Look For In a Hunting GPS Dog Collar
Range is very important; you want to make sure your dogs never get too far from you and your device, so you don’t lose them. Top of the line models may have maximum ranges of up to 9 or 10 miles, while lesser devices may only go 2 or 3. Also bear in mind that geography, mountains and thick forests will have an effect on range; 9 miles in an optimal, optimistic range, and you’ll probably only get a few.
Read reviews and pay attention to how durable the GPS collar you’re look at is. Dogs can get into all kinds of situations when out in the woods – water, mud, thick brush. Try to look for at least a waterproof GPS collar, and try to get the most durable on you can; you don’t want the antenna snapping off or the case cracking when the dog runs through heavy branches.
Stimulation is the electric shock or vibrations that the collar puts out, so you can train your dog and command it from afar. Most collars will have continuous stimulation, letting you slowly ramp up the level to find the perfect amount for your dog and his commands. Many will also have vibrations, “nick” modes (minor, sudden jolts, kind of like a shock) for milder commands and customization.
Also look and see if the collar you’re looking at has virtual fencing and boundaries, so you know when the dog gets a bit too far away, and tracking. Some even have downloadable satellite maps of your terrain and location for accurate, easy tracking.
Our pick for the best GPS hunting dog collar is the Garmin Alpha 100. It works with the Garmin 15 TT Mini, 18 levels of stimulation, has a range of up to 9 miles, and a host of GPS features – tracking, top maps, virtual borders. It’s the go-anywhere, do-anything GPS tracker for training your dogs, and has the durable build and price tag to match.
Our second choice from our reviews is the Garmin Delta XC, being a very affordable pick. It doesn’t have all the maps and features of the Alpha 100 but offers main points – GPS tracking and 18 levels of stimulation. It’s always way cheaper, if you aren’t ready to plop down $700.
Choose one and train your dogs for the hunt with ease.