Dog GPS tracking is the practice of using the Global Positioning System (GPS) to locate the position of a canine quickly and accurately. The dog usually wears a tracking device mounted on a collar, giving the owner the ability to track it using either a handheld GPS unit or a cell phone. In some cases, a monthly subscription fee applies, and the units may only work if they are in range of a satellite. These devices are especially useful if a dog gets lost, and many owners are willing to pay the expense in exchange for peace of mind.
The Global Positioning System operated by the U.S. military is what makes dog GPS tracking so effective. A vital part of the system is the network of satellites maintained in orbit around the earth. GPS receivers are able use signals from these satellites to pinpoint locations on most parts of the globe. In the case of dog GPS tracking, this allows the owner to know where his or her pet is.
The typical dog GPS system consists of a collar mounted tracking device that is worn by the dog. This device is often used by dog owners afraid of losing their pets and by hunters wishing to track hunting dogs in the field. The tracking device performs a combination of functions. It acts as a GPS receiver that identifies the dog's position and transmits the location information to the owner.
The owner usually receives the location information via cell phone or handheld GPS receiver. Some devices are able to automatically send location information by text message to the owner's cell phone when the dog leaves a specified area. Others require the owner to call into the GPS dog tracking service which then sends the requested information within minutes.
When handheld GPS receivers are used for dog GPS tracking, the location information is continuously sent out using radio waves from the dog collar to the handheld. The owner is often able to use the handheld for directions and maps to the dog's position and to track its movements in real time. Devices designed for hunting use also provide other information about the dog's wherabouts.
A dog GPS tracking system can vary in price, and some models also require a monthly service fee. The units are a generally reliable way to locate a dog as long as the animal in range of the satellite system, but they may not always work because the signal is fairly easy to block. Dog GPS tracking can be extremely useful, especially if pets wander off frequently, but should not be relied on exclusively.