No, a smart dog collar is not just a collar for a smart dog. (Although we believe you that your dog is brilliant.) A smart dog collar is an activity tracker that does for you and your dog what an activity tracker does for a human—but also so much more. At its most basic functionality, it’s a fitness tracker for Fido. It’s a GPS-connected dog collar that links to an app so that you can track his activity, monitor his location, keep him safe, and develop insights about your dog and his health. Since most smart collars depend on GPS signals, they work best when they have a clear sightline to the sky.
But some collars are smarter than others. Some use electric shocks to train the dog and deliver negative reinforcement for boundary violations. Newer collars, like the Wagz® Freedom Smart Dog Collar™, forgo shocking your dog and feature humane shock-free corrections. The Freedom Collar system allows you to create geofences anywhere you can draw on a map to keep your dog in—or out of—certain areas. It even features Alexa voice recognition technology integration, so you can effectively have a conversation with your phone about your dog.
What can smart dog collars be used for?
Much like your dog itself, smart dog collars can do lots of fun and useful tricks. Many smart collars’ main function is as a training collar to teach your furry friend the idea of containment—either staying within or staying out of certain areas. But the uses and applications are myriad.
Sure, an invisible dog fence can be effective. But it is expensive, invasive, and controversial with respect to the borderline inhumane electric shocks it delivers to your pet. It’s also confined to a specific place on your property, and it has lots of geographic limitations. With a GPS dog collar like the Wagz Freedom Smart Dog Collar, the collar is the fence. And the dog’s containment area—or geofence—can be created anywhere on a map over any sort of terrain or land feature. When the GPS pet tracker in the dog collar senses your dog has violated a boundary, it will either vibrate, emit ultrasonic sounds, or emit audible sounds to deter a dog’s boundary violation.
The real-time GPS tracking can be used to find your dog on a map within 10 feet if he somehow eludes your line of sight or sees a squirrel to dart after. No more shouting your dog’s name aimlessly around the neighborhood looking for Lucky.
A dog collar with GPS location tracking also allows you to monitor your pet’s activity and wellness. It can measure her exercise, sleep time, breed-specific behavior habits, and more. And some can even provide insights, like the Freedom Collar’s Health & Happiness Score, which can be a running index of your dog’s overall wellbeing. This kind of activity tracking doesn’t just measure steps; it measures quality of life.
And even though a GPS dog collar can be used to curb bad behavior or even map and track your dog’s walks, what it’s really used for is peace of mind and freedom from worry.
Why should your dog have a GPS collar?
We humans use GPS in our cars to pinpoint where we are on a map and help us find our way. And that’s even when we know where we are and precisely where we’re driving!
As a pet owner, when you don’t know where your dog is, it can be scary. Being able to pinpoint her on a map is reassuring, if not a total godsend. (Being able to ask Alexa where your dog is—which is a feature of the Freedom Collar—is even better. ) Just imagine a future where there is never another Lost Dog sign desperately stapled to a telephone pole...because dogs won’t get lost anymore.
GPS uses orbiting satellites to triangulate you—or your car or your dog’s collar—to anywhere on Earth within ~10 feet. Most smart collars feature GPS technology. And presuming connectivity issues don’t arise, the dog tracking ability of a GPS collar far surpasses a non-GPS pet tracker system.
But a GPS collar is more than just a dog tracker. It is a crucial component to some virtual dog fences. The Wagz collar-and-app connected ecosystem allows you to create geofences anywhere on a map to keep the dog either inside of or outside of demarcated areas.
Whether you’re letting your dog run free, monitoring your pets’ safety and location while at work, or humanely training your dog for containment, the GPS tracker functionality in a smart collar is a smart decision.
What is a virtual dog fence?
An invisible dog fence can be tricky to grasp because it’s, well, invisible. A virtual dog fence might be even trickier to grasp because it’s . . . invisibler.
Let’s start with the easiest type of dog fence to grasp: an actual one. Whether it’s wood, plastic, metal—whatever—a containment fence is intended to keep your dog in—or out of—certain areas. Easy.
An invisible fence is not a new technology and is widely used. It contains a cable or wire buried around the perimeter of a property and this wire emits radio signals. The dog will wear a compatible dog collar that delivers an electric shock to the dog every time it crosses over that “invisible” wire boundary, thus teaching the dog that crossing that spot is a bad thing. Invisible fences are more invasive to your property, expensive, and they are not compatible with certain land or property features.
A virtual dog fence—also known as a geofence, wireless dog fence, or a GPS dog fence—is even more magical. Like the Wagz Freedom Smart Dog Collar, it is a collar-and-app wireless fence system that requires no wires, no specific type or shape of property, and is much more cost-effective to get up and running. The pet owner simply creates a geofence in the connected Wagz App, and any time the GPS signal in the Freedom Collar senses the dog violating a virtual fence boundary, it provides the dog with 100% humane corrections to encourage staying within the confinement areas.
Have an oddly shaped lot? Just draw the shape of it on a map and suddenly that’s your dog’s virtual invisible fence. No need to walk the perimeter like some other collars. Have a pool and want to keep the dog away from it? Set it up as a Keep out Zone and keep your pup safe.
What is no-shock training?
Dog training dates back centuries, when dogs were trained to perform specific tasks. But throughout history, dog owners were not always concerned with a dog’s wellbeing. The debate has arisen, and continues today, around the often controversial discussion: shock training or no-shock training?
To understand what no-shock training is, first we have to understand what shock training is. Shock training involves a dog shock collar that sends electric shocks to the dog when an undesired behavior occurs: barking, disobeying, or traveling beyond a containment boundary. Oftentimes, this is the mechanism that powers bark collars, anti-bark collars, and remote training collars.
Needless to say, this type of negative feedback is not for everyone.
No-shock training, on the other hand, removes the electric shock reinforcement and, in turn, it removes the inhumane treatment altogether. No-shock training replaces the shocking dog training collar with a vibrating collar, like the Wagz Freedom Smart Dog Collar. The Freedom Collar also employs ultrasonic sounds that only dogs can hear along with sounds that are audible to humans to create an optimal and entirely humane training ecosystem. It never uses electric shocks.
Dog training using a vibrating collar can be just as effective as shock training. But the decision between shock training and no-shock training is a personal one that takes into account the owner, the dog, and the desired outcomes.