The Ultimate Guide to the Link AKC Smart Dog Collar (2024 Review)

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Jason

Link Akc Smart Dog Collar Review

The Link AKC Smart Collar is a stylish GPS pet tracker that helps you keep track of your dog’s location, health, and adventures. With powerful tracking technology, activity monitoring, and a beautifully designed leather collar, it aims to strengthen the bond between pet parents and their furry companions.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how the Link AKC collar works, its key features, pros and cons, pricing, and how it compares to competitors like the Whistle Go and Fi Smart Dog Collar.

Link Akc Smart Collar

The Link AKC collar uses a combination of GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth technology to track your dog’s location in real-time both indoors and outdoors.

Here’s an overview of how it works:

  • The system consists of a tracking unit that attaches to your dog’s collar and a base station that connects to your home WiFi.
  • When your dog is within Bluetooth range of the base station (up to 100 feet), the Link AKC app shows them as “Home”.
  • If your dog wanders outside this Bluetooth range, you’ll get a notification on your phone within 30 seconds.
  • The tracking unit then switches to WiFi tracking to pinpoint your dog’s location as long as they are within range of your home WiFi network (up to 150 feet outdoors).
  • Once outside of both Bluetooth and WiFi range, the Link AKC activates GPS tracking via the AT&T cellular network. The first GPS location update takes 3-5 minutes and continues updating every 5-15 minutes as your dog moves.
  • You can view your dog’s current or last known location on a map in the Link AKC app and track their adventures over time.
  • The app also allows you to define custom safe zones where your dog can roam freely without setting off alerts.

So in summary, Bluetooth tracks your dog at home, WiFi provides tracking around your home, and GPS kicks in for long-range tracking anywhere with cellular service. Let’s look at some of the key features this enables.

Key Features and Benefits

Beyond just location tracking, the Link AKC collar packs a wide range of features to monitor your dog’s health, fitness, and adventures.

Activity and Sleep Monitoring

The Link AKC collar contains a 3-axis accelerometer to closely track your dog’s daily activity levels and sleep patterns.

It monitors duration and intensity of activity to ensure your dog is getting adequate exercise. You can even set daily activity goals customized to your dog’s breed, age, and size.

For sleep tracking, it analyzes sleep quality by detecting restlessness and abnormal sleep patterns. This can help identify any emerging health issues.

Link Akc Smart Collar Activity

Temperature Alerts

The collar monitors ambient temperature wherever your dog goes. You can set upper and lower temperature thresholds, and receive alerts if it gets dangerously hot or cold for your dog.

This is useful for keeping your dog safe in extreme weather or avoiding accidentally leaving them in a hot/cold car.

Link Akc Smart Collar Temperature Alerts

LED Night Light

The Link AKC tracking unit contains a built-in LED light that you can remotely activate from the app. This helps you locate your dog at night or in low visibility.

Adventure Tracking

The app lets you record “adventures” during walks, hikes, or any outing with your dog. It logs the GPS route, duration, photos, and location pins to remember fun trips.

Link Akc Smart Collar Adventure Tracking

Health Records

Store your dog’s veterinary records like vaccinations, medications, test results, and vet visits in the Link AKC app. You can also set reminders for appointments or medication.

Training Tools

Use the app’s remote training tools like sound activation and adjustable vibration levels to reinforce training. This allows contactless interaction with your dog when roaming far from home. For more on smart collars for training dogs, see this comparison of Dogtra vs Garmin.

Waterproof Design

The Link AKC collar and tracker are waterproof up to 3 feet, so your dog can swim and play without damage. The sports version has a fully waterproof design.

The Link AKC app allows you to access all of your dog’s activity insights, track adventures, set reminders, and configure the system to your needs.

Link Akc Smart Collar App

Key app features include:

  • Real-time location tracking map
  • Activity monitoring and goal setting
  • Temperature and geofence alerts
  • Remote night light and sound activation
  • Health records and medication reminders
  • Adventure journal with photos and maps
  • Customizable safe zones
  • Monitoring for up to 10 dogs per account

The app provides real-time notifications if your dog leaves a designated safe zone. Overall, the app provides deep insights into your dog’s behavior, health, and location over time. It’s available for both iOS and Android.

Design and Hardware

The Link AKC Smart Collar implements advanced tracking technology into a stylish, high-quality package. Let’s look at the key hardware elements:

Link Akc Smart Collar High Quality Package

Leather Collar

The leather collar comes in four sizes from extra-small to extra-large to fit dogs with neck sizes ranging from 8 to 25 inches. It’s made from premium oil-tanned leather in a classic brown color. A stretchy section ensures a snug fit.

Tracking Unit

The durable circular tracking unit (1.5 x 3.9 x 0.5 inches) easily attaches onto the collar via a secure carrier. It’s fully waterproof and contains the key electronics like GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular radios to enable tracking.

Link Akc Smart Collar Design And Hardware

Base Station

The sleek base station connects to your home WiFi network to enable indoor tracking. It also recharges the tracking unit when docked. The base station features USB pass-through charging so you can simultaneously charge your phone.

Battery Life

The built-in rechargeable battery powers the tracking unit for 1-3 days depending on usage. GPS tracking drains the battery faster. It takes 2 hours for a full recharge when docked on the base station.

Link Akc Smart Collar Battery Life

Overall, the Link AKC presents advanced technology in an elegant package with leather craftsmanship and a thoughtfully designed charging station. It suits dogs of all breeds and sizes.

The Link AKC Smart Collar has two main cost components – the upfront hardware cost and an ongoing service plan subscription.

Hardware

The upfront hardware cost is $179 for the collar, tracking unit, and base station.

Service Plan

To activate live tracking, you need to subscribe to a service plan:

  • Monthly: $9.95/month
  • Annual: $95.40/year ($7.95/month)
  • Two Year: $166.80/2 years ($6.95/month)

The service plan includes:

  • Cellular data for GPS tracking
  • Access to Pet Poison Control helpline
  • 3-year warranty
  • 1 year size guarantee in case your dog outgrows the collar

Total Cost

The total cost ranges from:

  • $189.95 for 1 month
  • $274.40 for 1 year
  • $345.80 for 2 years

This makes it one of the more expensive GPS dog collars available. But the premium materials and AKC branding help justify the price for some pet owners. Discounts are sometimes available directly from the manufacturer.

Link Akc Smart Collar 1

Based on my testing and research, here are the main advantages and potential drawbacks of the Link AKC system:

Pros

  • Stylish, high-quality leather collar included
  • Accurate live GPS/WiFi tracking
  • Useful fitness and health monitoring features
  • Intuitive smartphone app
  • Waterproof and durable construction
  • LED night light on tracker
  • Stores location history and adventure maps

Cons

  • Relatively expensive hardware and service plan
  • Bulky tracker size not ideal for small dogs
  • Short 1-3 day battery life
  • Larger homes may need extra base station
  • Limited range from home base station
  • Occasional lag in receiving first GPS update

While the price is on the high side, the Link AKC delivers an overall premium experience with fashionable hardware and powerful tracking capabilities. It’s best suited for medium to large dog breeds.

The Link AKC faces stiff competition from other popular GPS pet trackers like Whistle and Fi. Here’s a look at how key features stack up:

FeatureLink AKCWhistle GoFi Smart Dog Collar
GPS TrackingYesYesYes
Cellular NetworkAT&TNationwideT-Mobile
WiFi TrackingYesNoNo
Bluetooth TrackingYesNoNo
Activity TrackingYesYesYes
GeofencingYesYesYes
WaterproofIP67IP68IP68
Battery Life1-3 days7 days2-4 days
Price$179 + $95/year$129 + $99/year$149 + $99/year

Key Differences:

  • Link AKC uses Bluetooth and WiFi to track at home, others rely on GPS alone.
  • Whistle Go has the longest battery life at 7 days.
  • Fi uses the most waterproof design rated at IP68.
  • Whistle Go is the most affordable at $129 upfront cost.
  • All provide accurate, nationwide GPS tracking via cellular networks.

So in summary, the Link AKC stands out with its dual Bluetooth and WiFi tracking but comes at a higher price point than competitors. It offers a premium leather collar design not matched by the others. For those wanting long battery life on a budget, the Whistle Go is likely the better choice.

With over 450 reviews on Amazon and other sites, here are some common themes from actual owners using the Link AKC GPS collar:

Positive Feedback

  • Stylish collar, great fit and comfort for most dogs
  • Accurate location tracking gives peace of mind
  • Useful app with good GPS map and activity stats
  • Helpful for training dogs with geofences and sound activation
  • Reliable tracking as long as cellular service available

Constructive Feedback

  • Tracker unit is bulky and heavy for smaller dogs
  • Short battery life requires frequent recharging
  • Lag in receiving first GPS update after dog leaves home
  • Wish collar came in more sizes for better fit
  • Bluetooth range from base station is limited
  • False alerts when dogs are actually still home

So in general, owners praise the tracking accuracy when cellular service is available but cite battery life and false home alerts as pain points. The bulky size also makes it less than ideal for small breed dogs. But most agree it provides helpful peace of mind for keeping track of their pets.

The Link AKC GPS tracker is ideal for:

  • Dog owners who want an attractive leather collar with tracking built-in.
  • Those with medium to large dogs (30+ lbs). The tracker size won’t overwhelm.
  • Owners who prize premium branding and AKC endorsement.
  • Dogs that frequently roam or explore outside home boundaries.
  • Highly active dogs where activity tracking is beneficial.
  • Those seeking wireless control over lights and sounds.
  • Pet parents who want a comprehensive app with adventure journaling.
  • Dogs in extreme weather where temperature alerts add safety.
  • Households with reliable cellular coverage from AT&T.

For smaller dogs or those on a tight budget, other collars like the Whistle Go provide tracking at a lower cost. But if you value aesthetics, premium materials, and robust features, the Link AKC is a top contender.

The GPS tracking is accurate to within 10 feet when a strong cellular signal is available outdoors. WiFi tracking around the home is similarly accurate. Bluetooth range is up to 100 feet.

No, the Link AKC only provides cellular tracking within the United States via the AT&T network. It does not function overseas.

Yes, the tracking unit can be attached to most collars between 0.75″ and 1.5″ width using the adjustable tracking carrier. But the included leather collar is recommended.

The tracker may be too large and heavy for most cats. Link AKC recommends the collar for dogs over 10 pounds. The Whistle Go is likely a better fit for felines.

Can I track my dog’s location in real time?

Live real-time tracking is not available. But location updates occur every 5-15 minutes whenever GPS tracking is active. This provides near-real-time visibility into your dog’s whereabouts.

See this comparison of AirTag vs GPS tracker for more on real-time tracking differences.

Typical battery life is 1-3 days depending on usage. Frequent GPS tracking will reduce battery life. The battery fully recharges in 2 hours when docked on the base station.

What happens if I lose cellular coverage?

The Link AKC will show your dog’s last known GPS location until it regains cellular service. If they return home, Bluetooth tracking will show their return once in range.

Can I create custom safe zones?

Yes, you can establish custom geofences called PlaceBoundaries where your dog can roam free without triggering alerts. You can make them any shape or size.

Is there a monthly fee?

Yes, a service plan subscription ranging from $7.95-$9.95/month is required to enable cellular connectivity for GPS tracking. See this article on GPS pet trackers without monthly fees.

The Bottom Line

The Link AKC Smart Collar delivers advanced GPS tracking and activity monitoring in a stylishly designed package. While the upfront and ongoing costs run higher than some competing trackers, the leather collar, premium materials, and robust feature set help justify the price tag for the right owners.

If you have a medium to large breed dog that often wanders and you want the latest tracking technology paired with a fashionable collar, the Link AKC is an excellent choice. But the shorter battery life and bulky size make it less than ideal for smaller pets.

Overall, the Link AKC Smart Collar provides helpful peace of mind through location visibility, activity insights, and training tools. Just be prepared to pay a premium for the quality hardware, trusted AKC branding, and comprehensive app. If the price fits your budget, it can strengthen the bond with your four-legged companion.

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