Tractive: a closer look at trackers
Whilst trackers aren’t the magic fix for recall, they can make training much safer and less nerve racking. Used carefully, they can be an extremely valuable tool.
One of the most popular trackers used by our adopters is the Tractive Dog GPS Tracker, so let’s take a closer look.
The tracker itself costs approximately £30-35 and is also available with an activity tracker, just like a FitBit!
It’s important to note that you do need to purchase a subscription plan on top of the tracker cost. These start from as little as £3 a month, and, while you can pay monthly for the basic subscription, if you want to upgrade to the premium option, then you have to pay upfront. Premium subscriptions start at £54.99 for a year.
Once your tracker has arrived, you need to link it with the Tractive GPS app and create a profile for your dog. You can also set up virtual fence to alert you if your dog leaves a certain area (gardens, regular walking areas etc) and share the data with another user. Once you’ve done this, you’re good to go!
The tracker and app has a lot of great features. Firstly, it has the simple map view which allows you to track your dog in real time during the walk or review at a later date. It also lets you see how much exercise your dog is doing and the distance they cover during a walk!
Perhaps the most useful feature is the AR (augmented reality) view which allows you to very quickly find out which direction the dog is in and how far away he or she is.
As well as being a useful tool as part of recall training, the tracker can help you keep tabs on your dog when they are out and about without you, whether that be with a dog walker, at doggy daycare or with another family member.
The tracker also has an alarm and light that you can turn on via the app to locate your dog (or the tracker if it gets lost!)
Besides the cost, there are some down flaws to the tracker that should be considered.
- As you might expect, the tracker relies on a GPS signal and an active internet signal which means it isn’t reliable everywhere, especially areas with dense cover such as woods and forests.
- If your dog likes running through trees, bushes, or anywhere else they can pick up a scent, it is possible for the tracker to unclip and get lost. However, they do fit well on a PerfectFit or Embark harness and cable ties can be added for extra security.
- Both the tracker and your phone need to have charge before a walk! Don’t leave home without plenty of battery on your phone as the live tracking can take up a lot of power
A tracker is not a substitute for a secure field. You should build up recall training with your dog first on a long line and in secure areas until you are confident to drop your long line.