GPS dog collars which at first were mainly used by hunters with hunting dogs have become mainstream lately due to it's useful features.
GPS dog collars can make the difference between locating an escaped dog in time instead of too late.
Shiba Inus have earned a reputation for being experienced escape artists and terrible off leash dogs.
Because when Shiba Inus are off leash, many of them become flight risks whenever something like a bird or a weasel taps into their still intact hunting instinct.
Dedicated, consistent training is a must to control this potentially life threatening behavior.
Yet even then, some Shiba Inu continue to remain untrusty off-leash dogs for the remainder of their lives.
In these situations, GPS dog collars could definitely be worth the investment.
What is a GPS Dog Collar or Pet Tracker?
In present day, GPS is everywhere—in your phone, your car, and other pieces of technology.
GPS is now quite affordable, and trackers are smaller than ever before.
GPS trackers have even been used to track migratory patterns and the location of endangered animals.
It should be no surprise that there are now dog collars fixed with GPS trackers similar to what is in your smartphone.
In short, a GPS dog collar great way to instantly track the precise location of your dog at all times.
This feature is handy for Shiba Inu escape artists that no matter how hard you try to prevent it, manage to escape from time to time - whether through a break in a barrier, or a break in your attention.
How Do GPS collars and trackers work?
There are three technologies that come into play with a GPS dog collar and tracker:
Mobile phone compatibility (SIM cards) that send a signal from the tracking device to your phone;
WiFi technology that allows the dog collar to communicate on the same frequency that the rest of your devices connected to WiFi use;
Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) is used to pinpoint your dog and tell you how far they are from your current position.
Thus, a pet tracker collar with GPS works as any tracker would. The signal from the collar communicates with the satellite to determine the dog’s position.
From there, you are able to receive that information directly to your smartphone or computer. That is why a mobile phone or WiFi network is necessary to make the GPS tracking collar work effectively.
Most GPS dog collars are paired with an app (downloadable from either the iPhone or Android store), which enables you to locate your pet on Google Maps or something similar.
What to Look For When Buying a GPS Dog Collar
When deciding whether to buy a GPS dog collar, you don’t just want to get any old tracking device and affix it to the collar.
Aside from ensuring that the collar has the ability to communicate your pet’s location back to your smartphone via built-in SIM card, there are some other features that you should keep a look out for:
WiFi. Although already briefly mentioned, the necessity of WiFi cannot go ignored. The reason WiFi is a good idea is that, while GPS works wonders outdoors, it tends to get weak indoors.
A good GPS dog collar will include a feature that allows owners to know where their pet is even indoors.
As soon as your indoor Shiba Inu decides to leave the indoor boundary line, your phone app should alert you to such activity.
Bluetooth. Now, you might be wondering, is there any difference between a GPS tracker and a Bluetooth one?
Yes, standalone GPS devices have receivers in them that connect to satellites - whereas a bluetooth tracker does not connect to satellites. Instead bluetooth trackers rely on nearby "near field" receiving devices like your mobile phone.
Most GPS technology nowadays are also Bluetooth enabled, allowing for seamless mobile connections.
Bluetooth may be usable on the tracker instead of WiFi, which offers a different layer of security for your pet. This is ideal when you want to exchange information with another device that is within a range of 30 feet or less.
Mobile Phone Mast Triangulation. Though it sounds like a difficult function, mobile phone mast triangulation is merely the speed at which GPS can work to find your Shiba Inu’s location.
A decent GPS dog collar will have this form of tracking, known as “cold-start,” to dramatically hasten the process of finding your missing pet.
Affordable Subscription. Unfortunately, there is no standard subscription rate for GPS dog collars.
The cost is going to have to find balance between paying for the actual tracker and the monthly contract. Because GPS collars use a mobile phone network, you have to pay per month to use the service.
Be sure you do not get locked into a long term contract.
Decent Battery. No one wants a device that dies in a day after charging to full. This same applies to the GPS battery. Though such collars require regular charging, you don’t want the collar dying in the middle of a search.
Quality GPS dog collars are ones that only need recharging once or twice a week.
Second, there should be a “standby mode,” which means a signal is only sent to the satellite when you desperately need it.
Night Light. Sure, you might not think that having a night light on the GPS tracker isn’t necessary, but you will be thankful when you have to go crashing through the woods at night.
The light can be switched on with your phone app and help you find your pet in the dark.
Durability. All dogs like to run, jump, play, and roll around in the mud. Therefore, the tracking collar you decide on should be able to withstand all kinds activities.
Waterproof collars are ideal for wet climates and / or dogs that like to get wet.
Think about where you live, how active your dog is, and the price range that would be ideal. Once you know that, you are ready to start shopping.
Two Recommended GPS Dog Collars for Your Shiba Inu
Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker
The Whistle 3 is the latest release from the GPS pet tracker company, Whistle.
On first glance, the Whistle 3 is a tiny powerhouse inside a gray box.
What looks simple is actually a device that can track your Shiba Inu’s activity like a Fitbit. Meanwhile, GPS data is continuously sent to your mobile phone via cellular network to make sure you can see where you dog is at all times.
The Whistle 3 also isn’t very heavy, so dogs of all sizes can use this GPS tracker without getting annoyed. The dimensions are 1.85” by 1.45” with a total thickness 0.61”.
For durability, the Whistle 3 is rated IP67. The device can be completely submerged in water for extended periods of time and still operate optimally. Since it is also sealed up, dirt cannot enter either.
As for connectivity, this is where the Whistle 3 can either score points with you or have them deducted. You can access data via the free Whistle application on your smartphone, as long as you are running either iOS 9.0 or later, or Android 5.0 or later.
Since data is sent over the 2G network, the data doesn’t require a high bandwidth to be transmitted over 30 second clips.
Despite using such an old network, you are still charged a monthly subscription fee with unlimited data.
The Whistle 3 can also communicate over WiFi for instant updates.
Unlike Bluetooth trackers that have a range of 50 feet, the Whistle 3 can locate your pet up to 3,000 miles away. Hopefully, your Shiba Inu never runs that far from home.
One downside? Battery life is short compared to other models, lasting around 10 days. You will receive notifications when the battery begins to get too low.
The main selling point for the Whistle 3, however, would be the easy to use Whistle application.
The setup procedure is quick, and within moments you will have a connection.
You can set the “home” area, set fitness targets for your Shiba Inu, and decide which kind of notifications you would like to receive.
Why we love the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker: The Whistle 3 is the most powerful GPS pet tracker available right now.
Compared to Bluetooth models, the cohesion of the mobile app and hardware of the actual device is much more reliable.
For a nominal monthly fee to have peace of mind about your dog’s whereabouts, the Whistle 3 is one of the best dog gps system ever created.
To check current pricing and availability of the Whistle3 Gps tracker, click here.
Tile Sport Bluetooth Tracker -
Though you might know Tile for their unique key finders, these Bluetooth trackers are also perfect to keep close tabs on your Shiba.
Tile Sport is NOT recommended for serious tracking (run away dogs at great distances) but recommended only as a cost-effective GPS free, short-range tracking alternative.
The attractive design of the Tile Sport Bluetooth Tracker will add a little bling to your Shiba Inu’s collar without becoming overly distracting.
The Tile Sport is slightly smaller than the aforementioned Whistle 3, with dimensions of 1.6” x 1.6” x 0.2 inches.
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to keep tabs on your Shiba Inu while at home, at play dates, or at doggy day care - then the Tile Sport is a great idea.
Here's why: you simply download a free app that allows the Tile Sport to communicate over Bluetooth to your phone.
Should you want to check-in on where your Shibe is, you simply tap the button on the app screen and the Tile will start chirping. The chirping can also be used in training to deter your Shiba Inu from getting into trouble.
In the event that the Tile Sport is out of range, the GPS coordinates of where it was last in range will be sent to your phone.
It's important to remember that Tile does not use GPS technology, so if your Shiba Inu is beyond range the tracking features become basically useless.
Though the extra range of the Tile Sport is the tracker’s claim to fame, 200 feet may still not be far enough to keep track of where your Shiba Inu, especially in "escape" situations.
Bluetooth, however, runs on 2.4 GHz, so just like a WiFi router, the transmission can be disrupted by obstacles. Keep this in mind when searching for your Shiba Inu. If you are not in clear line of sight, the Tile might lose reception.
Fortunately, the Tile Sport is one of the best for keeping a strong signal. Also, the Tile Sport is compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, meaning all you have to do is ask is where your Tile is, and Google or Alexa will respond.
For durability, the Tile Sport is a tough contender. The outside is made of stainless steel and is waterproof (IP65). It’s perfect for hiking trips, because even abrasive surfaces won’t leave a scratch.
The only clear disadvantages of the Tile Sport would be that the battery cannot be changed. Though the Tile will last you around the year, it is disposable. Once the Tile dies, you either buy a new one, or you mail it back to Tile to receive a discounted model through the ReTile program which didn't seem to be a great deal.
Why we love the Tile Sport Bluetooth Tracker for our Shiba Inu: The 200 foot range is perfect for small areas and distances.
Since the speaker is loud, you can use the chirping as a way to negate poor behavior (such as wandering off). Since the tracker is also lightweight, it won’t bother your Shiba Inu while they romp around the house or small outdoor enclosure.
To check the latest price and availability of the Tile Sport Tracker, click here.
GPS dog collars and ID tags are the perfect investment for the owner who wants to protect their Shiba Inu. The faster you find the doge that wandered away, the less chances they have of getting into an accident, getting injured or worse.
Whether you get a GPS or bluetooth system depends on your Shiba Inu and your budget. While the costs for these systems can be high - the extra piece of mind is priceless.
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