It’s easy to see why they consider the dog to be man’s best friend. They are loving, loyal animals that generally have a very kind demeanor. But a pup that is raised without any formal training can present some serious problems. One of the biggest worries that many dog owners have is that their beloved animals will wander away from home and never return.
A large fence around your property is one way to solve this problem, but not necessarily the best way. A physical fence is expensive and has its limitations. Over time, the fence may wear down or the dog may dig a hole beneath the posts. You also cannot take the fence with you if you travel with your animal.
But there is a fence that you can take with you on the go
The Spot On GPS dog fence is a virtual fence and dog tracking system that you’re sure to love…
But Does the SpotOn Wireless Dog Fence actually work?
The quick answer, is yes.
It is highly customizable, highly effective, and considerably more affordable than a traditional fence. If you want to ensure your favorite pet stays on your property and doesn’t get lost, then this is a great investment. This virtual fence has already helped countless pet owners and it can help you too.
How Does The Spot On GPS Fence Work?
This is not the first virtual fence we’ve seen on the market. Electronic dog fences have been in use as far back as the 1970s. But this is the first virtual fence to combine several highly accurate tracking methods and correlate their results using a one-of-a-kind patented AI system.
The technology uses this location information in addition to the customizable virtual fence outline to keep your pup where he belongs. Should he wander close to your designated fence boundaries he will be reminded with a series of loud beeps. If the noise does not turn him around, then a mild static shock can be used to turn him around. However, the static shock is entirely optional.
The complete system has several working mechanisms all contained within the collar itself. There is no extra physical equipment or wires needed to utilize the system. Let’s start by looking at how Spot On tracks your dog’s location within the fence boundaries.
- Location Tracking
The collar relies heavily on GPS tracking to create the fence outlines and track your dog’s location. Spot On does not use one specific GPS satellite system. Instead, they pull data from three different global positioning satellite systems: Galileo, GLONASS, and GPS). By pulling data from all three systems and comparing them internally, the software is able to remain extremely accurate regardless of weather conditions. These are not the satellite systems used for satellite TV, but rather the same ones used by the United States military.
GPS data alone is not enough to consistently determine your dog’s location with a high level of accuracy. For example, GPS drift is a common problem that can result in inconsistencies up to fifteen feet. The Spot On tracking AI compensates for these inconsistencies with an internal set of sensors located in the collar.
Each collar contains inertial sensors that are used to track the speed, acceleration, and trajectory of the animal. This information, combined with the location data from all three satellite systems, is enough to paint a very accurate picture of the dog’s location. This is referred to as Spot On’s True Location technology and it is far more reliable than competing GPS collars.
- Noise-Free Antenna
GPS noise is a significant problem for most virtual collar systems. If you live in a location near tall buildings or trees, then the signal can be obstructed, which greatly reduces its accuracy. The Spot On GPS collar currently has the greatest noise immunity of any GPS collar on the market.
The collar’s noise-resistant antenna is placed on the backside of the neck. It is not a large or bulky antenna, yet it’s still enough to cut through the noise with a clear view of the sky. The noise-free antenna helps improve the collar’s accuracy tremendously. So much so that the collar is capable of pinpointing the dog’s location within three feet even in unfavorable conditions.
- Companion App
While not necessary for use of the GPS fence, the companion app includes a lot of features that most pet owners will find very useful. One free year of the cellular app is included with the original purchase of the collar. Afterward, it will require a monthly fee of $6.95. The 12-month access is more than enough time to determine whether the app is useful enough to continue payment.
One of the best features of the companion app is that it will send you notifications if your dog leaves the fenced-in area. No matter where you are at you can be immediately notified and take action if the dog does not return to the fenced area.
The companion app also provides you with real-time location tracking of the collar at all times. You can see exactly where your dog is and where he is moving, whether it is inside or outside of the boundary. The displayed location is accurate up to three feet.
Finally, the app is also useful for storing and sharing custom maps. You can save and name up to ten different maps in the app. This feature is incredibly useful if you travel frequently with your dog. You can create a fence boundary at each location and use the map to quickly change fence settings on the go.
How Do You Set Up Your Invisible GPS Fence?
Set up with the Spot On virtual fence is extremely simple. There are no wires to bury or post holes to dig. All that you need to create the fence is the collar itself. All of the necessary technology is inside of the device. Though, there are optional flags that you can use as visual markers for your fence boundary.
The first step is deciding exactly where you want the fence boundaries to be. These boundaries should be at least fifteen feet away from unwanted terrains, such as roads or a neighbor’s yards. You can use the optional boundary flags to physically outline this area. The flags will make it easier when you begin setting up the virtual fence but can be removed afterward.
To begin creating a barrier you need to be holding the collar in your hand with a clear view of the sky. Turn on the collar and navigate the menu to “create new map”. The collar will first establish a GPS signal, which can take between 30 seconds and 3 minutes. After the GPS signal has been established the collar will ask whether you prefer a circle map or a custom map.
Walk to the start point for your fence and click the “custom” option to begin creating a map. From this point, all that you need to do is walk the intended boundary line yourself. Continue to hold the collar up and in your hand to ensure the best possible GPS signal.
Walk the full length of the boundary until you have returned to your starting point. If there is any obstacle that you cannot physically pass you can simply pause the GPS mapping function and resume on the other side of the obstacle.
What Happens When Your Dog “Breaks” The GPS Barrier?
The collar uses two correction methods to help train the dog and prevent breaches of the barrier. The first method is purely audible. There are two warning areas within 10 feet of the designated boundary. As the dog proceeds into these warning areas, the audible feedback will become harsher. Once the dog is properly trained, these audible warnings are typically enough to prevent the dog from leaving the designated area.
However, dogs can sometimes be rather hardheaded. If they do leave the area, then the collar can provide a mild static correction. There are multiple levels of static correction that you can choose from based on the size and age of your pet. The static correction should be more than enough to encourage the dog to turn around and return home.
Some collars apply a second static shock when the dog crosses the boundary to return home. Of course, this is bad for training purposes and confuses the dog. The Spot On GPS dog fence is designed so that it does not provide a second static shock when the dog is crossing the barrier to return home.
What Else Can You Do With The Spot On GPS Collar?
Aside from containment, the collar is an excellent tool for continually tracking your dog’s location. You’ll need to invest in the monthly cellular plan to fully utilize this feature after the first year. But it is highly recommended if you are worried that the animal might leave the containment area. And even if you are not, it will provide comfort and peace of mind knowing you can always view exactly where your animal is at.
Summary: Should You Buy Spot On?
We believe the Spot On virtual collar is a great investment for all dog owners even if you already have a physical fence. The use of multiple satellite systems and inertial tracking sensors make this one of the most accurate location trackers available. It is an excellent training tool and comes with far more customizable features than any of its competitors. If you’re looking for the best GPS collar for your favorite pet, then look no further than the Spot On GPS fence.