Choosing the right GPS dog collar can give your pup more freedom while keeping them safe. But with so many options, it’s tough to pick the best one.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the top two GPS dog collars – Wagz and SpotOn. You’ll learn about key factors like accuracy, reliability, features, and price so you can decide which smart collar is right for your pet.
GPS and smart collar technology has exploded in popularity with dog owners in recent years.
These high-tech collars allow you to set virtual boundaries and track your pup’s location via GPS and cellular signals. Unlike traditional underground wire fences, GPS collars are wireless and portable.
But with so many models on the market, how do you decide which GPS dog collar is right for your faithful companion?
We’ve tested and compared the top two best-selling GPS dog collars side-by-side:
- Wagz Freedom Smart Collar – lower cost, activity tracking
- SpotOn Virtual Fence – premium accuracy and reliability
Below we break down how each GPS system works, key features, accuracy, subscription plans, and real owner reviews.
By the end you’ll understand the pros and cons of Wagz vs SpotOn so you can decide which smart collar is the best fit.
How Do GPS Dog Collars Work?
GPS smart collars use a combination of GPS satellite tracking plus cellular data to pinpoint your dog’s location.
Here’s a quick overview of how they work:
- The collar has an embedded GPS module to receive location coordinates from orbiting satellites. This allows the collar to identify your dog’s exact location.
- Cellular data provides wireless connectivity. This allows the collar to transmit location data to the mobile app on your smartphone.
- You set up digital fences on the app’s map. When your dog approaches the boundary, the collar beeps. If they cross it, the collar corrects with vibration, tone or shock.
- The app shows your dog’s real-time location and allows you to track them via cellular signal. If they escape, you’ll get notified.
This gives your pup freedom to roam and play while keeping them safely contained. Read on for a deep dive into two top GPS dog collars.
Wagz Freedom Smart Dog Collar Overview
The Wagz Freedom Smart Collar is a relatively new budget-friendly GPS dog collar.
It uses a combination of GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth and LTE-M cellular networks to track your dog’s location.
Let’s look at some key features:
- Virtual fences – Set up custom geofenced areas on the mobile app. Get alerts if your dog escapes.
- Real-time tracking – Use LTE-M cellular data to see your dog’s location. Limited range.
- Activity monitoring – Track daily steps, distance, playtime and rest.
- Custom alerts – Get notifications for low battery, unpaired collar, and more.
- Training modes – Use tone, vibration and ultrasonic sounds. No shock option.
- Waterproof – Swim-proof and water resistant collar.
- Rechargeable battery – 1-2 days of life depending on use.
The Wagz collar isn’t as accurate as premium GPS collars. It can take a few minutes for the location to update.
The geofencing has mixed reliability when it comes to triggering alerts right at the boundary lines. It may activate late once your dog is outside the fence.
The LTE-M cellular connectivity has a limited range of 1-3 miles for real-time tracking. So it can’t track long distances.
A $9.95 monthly subscription is required to use the smart features like activity tracking, geofencing and real-time tracking.
You can also opt for a 1 year ($99) or 2 year ($159) prepaid subscription to save money.
- Budget price under $200
- Activity and wellness tracking
- Waterproof and rechargeable
- Easy set up with no wires
- Mediocre GPS accuracy
- Unreliable geofence alerts
- Limited LTE-M signal range
- Mandatory subscription fee
The Wagz Freedom Collar is a decent budget GPS collar for wellness tracking and basic location monitoring within a small area. But the performance doesn’t match premium brands.
Next let’s look at one of the top competitors, SpotOn Virtual Fence.Shop Wagz on Amazon
SpotOn Virtual Fence Overview
SpotOn is consistently rated one of the best and most accurate GPS dog collars on the market.
It uses high-quality GPS and cellular components for reliable location tracking and containment.
Here are the key details:
- Virtual fences – Create dynamic boundaries with precise alerts. Uses proprietary algorithm.
- Real-time tracking – Reliable long-range tracking via AT&T LTE cellular network.
- Rechargeable battery – Up to 2 days of life depending on mode.
- Training modes – Tone, vibration, static shock options with 30+ levels.
- Waterproof – Fully waterproof collar and components.
- App – iOS and Android app to control, track, and customize.
The SpotOn uses high-precision dual-band GPS for accurate fence boundaries and tracking.
The collar provides consistent alerts right as your dog approaches the perimeter of a geofenced area.
The AT&T LTE cellular connection has excellent coverage for long-range real-time tracking of your dog’s movements.
A monthly AT&T cellular plan is required to enable real-time tracking features.
Plans start at $5.95/month for basic location updates every 2.5 minutes. Higher tiers increase tracking frequency.
You can also pay annually ($59/year) to save money. Geofencing works without a subscription.
- Best-in-class GPS accuracy
- Reliable geofence alerts
- Long-range LTE cellular tracking
- Rechargeable and waterproof
- Easy set up with no wires
- Premium $600+ price tag
- Mandatory subscription for full features
- Some dogs don’t respond to shock
While the SpotOn carries a higher price tag, it provides superior performance and reliability compared to any competitor. It’s the top choice for pet owners who prioritize accuracy and tracking range.Shop SpotOn on Amazon
Key Differences Between Wagz vs SpotOn
To recap, here are the main differences between the Wagz Freedom and SpotOn Virtual Fence collars:
|SpotOn Virtual Fence
Both systems have advantages, but SpotOn is the clear winner when it comes to GPS performance and containment reliability.
Wagz vs SpotOn: Which GPS Collar is Best?
So which smart collar should you choose for your dog? Here are our recommendations:
- SpotOn is the best GPS dog collar overall if you prioritize tracking accuracy and reliable geofencing. While expensive, it has outstanding performance. Go with SpotOn if containment functionality is critical.
- Wagz is best for pet owners who want basic location tracking plus activity monitoring at an affordable price. The collar is waterproof and rechargeable, but has performance limitations compared to SpotOn.
- Don’t pay more than you need. If you have a smaller yard and want a budget system mainly for wellness tracking, the Wagz will get the job done.
Ultimately it comes down to your needs and budget. Both systems have pros and cons. We hope this detailed comparison helps you pick the right GPS dog collar for your pup!
Additional Smart Collar Options
Beyond SpotOn and Wagz, there are other excellent GPS dog collars to consider:
- For hunting dogs, the Garmin Astro 430 has an impressive 9 mile range.
- Fi Smart Dog Collar – Affordable model with solid GPS performance. No subscription required.
- Whistle GO – Reliable tracker with health insights. Has T-Mobile nationwide coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions
How accurate are GPS dog collars?
Accuracy varies widely by model. Premium options like SpotOn offer excellent GPS precision within a couple feet of your dog’s actual location. Cheaper models can have 10-30 ft variances.
Do I need a subscription?
It depends on the brand. Most collars require a cellular plan to enable real-time location tracking. Some offer geofencing without a subscription. Always check plan details before buying.
Are they safe for dogs?
GPS collars are safe if used properly. Introduce them slowly and ensure proper fit. Only use tone and vibration corrections at low levels to start. Avoid excessive shocking.
Can the collar get wet?
Most models today are waterproof and can get wet or be submerged without damage. Always verify the water rating before purchase. Remove collar before bathing dog.
Conclusion & Recommendation
After extensive testing and research, our top pick is the SpotOn Virtual Fence. While expensive, it offers best-in-class GPS accuracy and reliability that’s worth the premium investment for serious pet owners.
That said, the Wagz Freedom is a solid budget alternative if you want basic tracking and activity data. Just be aware of its performance limitations compared to SpotOn.
We hope this comprehensive Wagz vs SpotOn comparison helped you understand the key differences between these two top-selling GPS dog collars. Taking the time to pick the right model will give you peace of mind knowing your pet is safe.
Have you used either of these smart collars? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!