GPS Dog Tracker

thatoneguy82

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 23, 2008
1,895
2
Beach Cities, CA
So, I have a 4 year old Maltese named Cody. He's a handful, a neutered dog that will hump anything and he's easily distracted when he's outside (just like me, haha). Anyway, there's been several times where's he's ran off and we had to have a search party but thankfully he came back. There's an extremely busy street just outside the neighborhood, I really don't even want to think about him going there.

He has the Home Again microchip and it's active. But, that only works if someone actually finds him and brings him to a vet that has a machine that can scan/read that microchip. I figured a GPS dog tracker may be a good thing, like I already have for most of my stuff, car, iPhone, iPad, MBP, etc. So why not something more valuable to me?

Does anyone have any recommendations on a good GPS for dogs? Remember he's a Maltese, so he is tiny. He's about 15-20lbs so I can't get anything too huge or anything that will stick out. I was googling and I saw this Tagg the Pet Tracker, http://www.pettracker.com/. Anyone have experience with this?

Thanks!

 

juanm

macrumors 68000
May 1, 2006
1,572
2,890
Fury 161
It's an easily programmable open source electronic board, with a huge internet following and resource database:

Here's a similar project: link

As an advantage, you could program it to do more: send an sms with his coordinates if he got outside a certain area, put a button with a label "Push this button if you find this dog" or a thousand more things.
There are several models of hardware. You'd need a Nano or a Mini, I guess.

www.arduino.cc

Some cool projects:
http://hacknmod.com/hack/top-40-arduino-projects-of-the-web/
 
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b3av3r

macrumors regular
Dec 9, 2012
185
0
Louisiana
We use Tagg for our dogs. We bought it straight from Tagg and it was $100 which gives you the trackers, the base, charger and cable, and I believe 3 months of service for free. The service is $7.95/month and you can add up to 9 additional trackers for only $1 more/month.

If you have a real problem with your dog running off then I definitely recommend Tagg. The product is simple and well-made. It claims to be water resistant but this is something we have never tested. It attaches to a collar or harness with an odd plastic and rubber band piece. It can be a pain to get this piece attached and even worse trying to get it off. However, once it is on it stays. The only downside is that the rubber band piece can become stretched out and loose if you try to remove and reuse it more than a couple times. You can order replacements pieces from Tagg for around $5 I believe. The tracker itself clips to this plastic piece so it is easy to snap it on and off. We have had one incidence where the tracker partially came off and could have fallen off completely. This happened after a very strenuous play sessions between our 15 lb. dog and our 100 lb. Great Dane puppy. If the tracker falls off it will send an alert to let you know if came off the dog's collar/harness.

You can set a home zone. If the tracker is inside this zone it uses minimal battery power and there are no alerts sent out. However, if the tracker leaves the zone then you will receive alerts (text message and email). The zone size can be adjusted but it will only get so small and at the smallest is slightly larger than our 1/4 acre lot. It takes less than 5 minutes to receive an alert if the tracker leaves the home zone (I haven't ever timed it). I would say it is closer to about 2 - 3 minutes. If you live on a busy street/highway then the Tagg will probably not alert you quickly enough for you to get the dog.

You can "live" track your pet with the Tagg app. In this mode it updates you with your pet's position every 30 seconds or so. This eats up a lot of battery though.

This bring me to the only real complaint about the Tagg. The battery life. Everything we read said the battery should last about a month (if the Tagg stays within the home zone using minimal battery). I knew not to expect what was advertised, but I was hoping for something close to this claim. I assumed around 3 weeks instead I didn't get 2 weeks before I got the alert the battery was low. I was a little disappointed by this, but we got in the habit of charging the Tagg every couple days overnight while our dog is safe in the house.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,810
8,581
Colorado
Instead of getting something to track your dog, why not get something that prevents him from running away? I'd recommend getting an invisible fence installed in your yard.