5 Best E Collars for Dogs That Like Roaming

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Wow! Dog collars have come a long way. Many e collars, also called smart collars can do everything from track your dog’s movements, set up invisible fence boundaries (with escape detection), provide activity data, while training your dog as well. Phew, that’s a lot of functionality for a dog collar!

We researched roughly 35 e collars and smart collars (non-shock, humane collars) primarily focused on dog tracking and providing activity data, to arrive at our short list of the best options on the market. We also tested all of these e collars and smart collars to ensure they’re all they are cracked up to be. In general, the functionality was incredibly impressive for these e collars. There were some shortcomings we also encountered through our testing and research that we highlight too.

There are over 100 million dogs in the U.S. and less than 1 million smart collars have ever been sold. Most dog owners just aren’t aware of this GPS technology for dogs. However, its very clear the future of e collars and smart collars is here!

In creating our list, we did the following:

fitdogster Review Process – E Collars for Dogs

Top Dogs: Best of the Best E Collars

All the e collars on our list below were very impressive but if we had to short list a couple, here are our two top dogs!

Halo 2+ Wireless Dog Fence & GPS Collar  (Best Premium Smart Collar)
A little bit bulky around the neck for smaller dogs but the functionality is amazing. It’s an incredible smart collar for active medium to large dogs.

Go directly to review

FI Series 3 Smart Collar  (Best Overall Smart Collar)
Best value dog smart collar. The FI Series 3 is even smaller, lighter and has more accurate GPS capabilities. It is very durable, has the best waterproof rating on the market and has a long battery life.

Go directly to review

What Should I Look for in an E Collar?

Before you even dig into assessing the e collar itself, make sure the e collar is appropriate for your dog. E collar companies are usually very clear about the sizing of their collars. Some dogs are just too small for certain e collars and some dogs are not a good fit for certain e collars, because they are simply too big. Make sure you abide by their sizing suggestions to avoid this frustration!

Know the Functionality You Really Need

Every dog is different, so understanding their needs relative to the functionality of the available e collars is super important. You could end up spending a lot more than needed or not buy the right collar with the actual functionality you need. If you have an active dog then the virtual fence function can make a lot of sense as well as technology to keep them away from designated areas. If your dog has any health issues then functionality to track health metrics could be important for you to consider. So keep everything in the proper perspective and buy the functionality you really need!

Understand the Technology

Once you’ve figured out what you need, understand the technology. Not all tracking technology is created equal. Some are based on just cellular technology, while others use GPS, radio frequency (RF) or Bluetooth. There are trade offs with these tracking technologies, mainly cost versus tracking precision. That extra precision can have a higher value if you’re living in a rural area and your dog is highly active. Conversely, less active dogs in a more urban or suburban environment may not require as much precision.

Also, many of these e collars come with apps. Great features offered by e collars and their companion app include the creation of virtual fence(s )(& escape alerts), location updates and activity tracking. Some e collars can create beacons (discouraging your dog from from entering certain areas) and even the ability to guide a lost dog back home. Many related apps will track your dog’s activity, sleep and health metrics over time, so you can monitor progress. Some of the more advanced e collars can even change the stimulus that works best for your dog (vibration, sound or static) and light up for nighttime-visibility. Also, tracking of multiple dogs is possible with several e collar apps, if this is a needed feature.

Some e collars apps even have programs to help train your dog, creating a tighter bond between you and your dog.

Durability & Comfort

Make sure to also consider durability and comfort when evaluating e collar options. When doing so, keep these major features in mind for the e collar (the collar and tracker itself), sometimes they’re integrated into one.

  • Strength/comfort of collar and tracker
  • Weight of tracker
  • Waterproof, there are various levels of “waterproof”, review this closely
  • Flexibility of collar (adjustability and range of fit)

Battery Life

Yet another trade-off to consider is battery life. The advanced functionality of some e collars can be much more substantial relative to others, making them more of a true smart collar. However, these added features not only come at an added monetary cost but can also drain battery life. This added functionality can significantly decrease battery life, so take this into account as well when considering the options.

Weigh the Cost

Because of the difference in features and functionality across the e collars offered on the market, the vary significantly amongst them. As mentioned previously some e collars can be viewed as true smart collars with an amazing feature set. Balance the functionality with the cost to arrive at an e collar or smart collar solution that makes the most sense for you and your dog.

Subscription Options

If you’ve determined that an e collar is for you, then you’ll often be looking at a monthly subscription. You guessed it, subscription pricing can vary widely! So again, it’s important to also really dig into what you get for your money. As with most subscriptions, you can also get a better monthly rate if you commit for a longer period of time.

#1 Halo 2+ Wireless Dog Fence & GPS Collar

The Halo 2+ Wireless Dog Fence & GPS Collar combines the most robust functionality and features on the market. Halo was created in partnership with two electrical engineers, brothers Ken and Michael Ehrman, and the world’s most renowned dog behaviorist, Cesar Milan. This amazing technology comes at a hefty price ($699.00) but if you have a real need for the added technology, it’s worth serious consideration. You can also get discount offers from time to time. The Halo 2+ Wireless Dog Fence & GPS Collar offers all of the following capabilities:

  • Accurate GPS dog-tracking collar
  • Dog activity and health monitoring
  • Virtual “smart fence” technology, that is an invisible fence for dogs
  • Cesar Milan dog training content

The Halo 2+ Wireless Dog Fence & GPS Collar is the next generation of the Halo Wireless Dog Fence & GPS Collar. The major improvements offered by the Halo 2+ vs the Halo include:

  • Significantly more durable collar with a Pro-case
  • More accurate location technology
  • Improvements in cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth technology
  • Better battery life

Halo 2+ Wireless Dog Fence & GPS Collar

Best Premium E Collar

Key Features:

  • Battery life will last for 20+ hours on a single charge
  • GPS/GNSS, Bluetooth, WiFi and LTE tracking technologies (can cover up to 10 square miles)
  • Ability to design/store up to 20 different virtual fences
  • Lost dog mode, ability to safely guide your dog back home
  • Beacon feature – discourages entry into pre-defined areas
  • IP-67 water-resistant rating
  • Adjustable feedback prompts for optimal learning – sound, vibration, optional static
  • Customizable profile color and matching Halo LED (nighttime visibility and collar mode changes)
  • Halo subscription plan options ranging from $4.49/month (basic plan), $9.99/month (silver plan) and $29.99/month (gold plan)

Positives (+)Negatives (-)
Highly accurate GPS/GNSS + Beacon technologyExpensive collar + subscription plan
Flexible fit (dogs over 20 lbs & between 11 to 30.5 inch neck size)Requires subscription to tap into full functionality
Customizable for dog’s learning – sound, vibration, optional staticUsage of certain features cut back on battery life
Durable design, especially with Pro-case
IP-67 water-resistance rating

#2 FI Series 3 Smart Collar 

The FI Series 3 Smart Collar is a sleeker, more streamlined design relative to the FI Series 2 Smart Collar. FI is a New York based venture backed company that was co-founded in 2017 by Jonathan Bensamoun and Loren Kirkby. FI has won several awards and accolades for it’s smart collar technology, best innovation by Time magazine in 2021.

The FI Series 3 is the latest generation smart collar by FI. The several major improvements over the FI Series 2 include:

  • 50% smaller than FI Series 2
  • 40% more GPS satellites (faster escape detection and tracking)
  • 200% LTE signal – track in remote areas
  • 400 lbs+ resistance for heavy chewers and pullers
  • IP68 & IP66K – higher waterproof rating
  • Up to 3 months of battery life from one charge

FI Series 3 Smart Collar  

Best Value GPS E Collar

Key Features:

  • Uses four positioning satellite constellations – GPS (US), Gallileo (Europe), GLONASS (Russia) and Beidou (China) to locate your dog within a 6 ft radius.
  • Uses LTE-M, reaches about 30% farther than any conventional cellular network
  • IP68 and IP66K water proof (tested for pressure and submersion)
  • Max battery life of 3 months (1 1/2 – 2 months in most situations)
  • Collar available in 7 different colors (+ several options for semi-customer collars)
  • Anti-chew stainless steel body frame sustains 400 lbs of static force
  • Subscription plans range from monthly ($19.00/month), 6 month plan ($102/every 6 months), 1 year plan ($192/annually and the 2 year plan ($336/every two years).

Positives (+)Negatives (-)
Highly durable, stainless steel casingExpensive subscription plan
Very accurate GPS (within 6 ft)
Comfortable size for most dogs
Up to 3 months of battery life (one charge)
Durable stainless steel casing

#3 Whistle Health & GPS+

The Whistle Health & GPS+ (aka the Whistle Switch) was born out of the Pet Insight Project that was a partnership launched in 2018 by Whistle Labs and Banfield Pet Hospital. This involved distributing 100,000 of the early generation Whistle FIT Health Monitors to Banfield Pet Hospital dog owners. These “citizen scientists” dog owners have been responsible for helping translate accelerometer data from Whistle devices into dog behavior – scratching, licking and eating. This data has helps to provide reliable insights into Whistle wearing dogs. It’s clear, Whistle’s technology strength is grounded in canine health.

The Whistle Health & GPS+ is the latest version of Whistle’s Health & GPS monitors. Enhancements over the Whistle Health & GPS include:

  • Wearable for dogs as small as 5 lbs, versus prior 25 lbs minimum
  • Battery life – 24/7 with two interchangeable batteries versus 15 days

Whistle Health & GPS+  

Best Health Monitoring E Collar

Key Features:

  • Two interchangeable batteries for 24/7 battery life
  • IPX 8 water-resistant rating
  • GPS tracking through AT&T network and Google maps
  • Accelerometer monitors licking, scratching, sleeping, eating an drinking
  • Weekly health activity reports
  • Ask a vet – licensed vet chat feature
  • Can set up virtual fences
  • Whistle Health & GPS+ subscription plan of $6.66/month ($80 paid annually)
  • Durable metal casing

Positives (+)Negatives (-)
Relatively affordable GPS & Health monitorRequires good cell service for GPS to work
Two interchangeable batteries allow for 24/7 battery life
Accelerometer provides detailed health indicators & data
Affordably priced subscription plan
Can fit dogs 5 lbs+ up
IPX 8 water-resistant rating

#4 FitBark GPS 2nd Gen

The FitBark GPS 2nd Gen is the latest version of FitBark’s GPS & Health monitors. FitBark was founded in 2013 and seeded by TechStars and T-Mobile. FitBark’s products include BlueTooth, WiFi and cellular-based GPS and health trackers. FitBark’s technology has been used by over 150 vet schools and research institutions explore new drugs, foods, procedures and medical treatments. FitBark is located in Kansas City, MO in the KC Animal Health corridor with employees in the US, South America, Europe and Asia.

FitBark GPS 2nd Gen’s significant improvements over the original FitBark include:

  • Seamlessly supports all three major cellular carriers – Verizon, AT&T and T-Moble 4G LTE-M
  • Supports GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, SBAS and QZSS for your pet in rural and urban areas
  • 3x Antenna Performance – re-designed for better location and overall performance
  • More reliable escape detection
  • Better battery life – 2 hour charge lasts roughly 3 – 5 weeks
  • 16 grams (.56 oz) and water-proof

FitBark GPS 2nd Gen 

Best Lightweight GPS E Collar

FitBark GPS 2nd Gen

Key Features:

  • Lightweight design at 16 grams/.56 oz for dogs 5 lbs+ up
  • Durable polycarbonate housing (10 colors available and affordably priced)
  • 3D accelerometer to monitor dog activities and behaviors
  • FitBark monthly subscription plans range from $5.95/month (3 year commitment) to $9.95/month (no commitment)
  • App can link to AppleWatch, to track your dog’s location and activity from your watch face
  • Can optionally link your Fitbit, Apple Watch, HealthKit or Google Fit account for a unified pet/human dashboard

Positives (+)Negatives (-)
3D accelerometer in a durable polycarbonate housingRelies on 4G LTE cellular GPS system (only available in US)
Upgraded cellular coverage – LTE-M and NB-IoTBlueTooth drops off periodically
Ability to set up multiple virtual fences
Lightweight (16 grams/.56 oz) and can fit dogs 5 lbs+ up
30-day money back guarantee on tracker and subscription
2-year product warranty

#5 Link AKC Smart Collar  

The Link AKC Smart Collar was originally launched by the American Kennel Club in May 2017 under a separate company called Smart Pet Technologies, LLC (SPT). In 2018, SPT was acquired by Wagz, Inc. (a pet technology subsidiary of SigmaTron International, Inc.). The Link AKC is a stylish e collar that tracks your dog’s fitness, location, and temperature. 

Link AKC Smart Collar  

Best Design E Collar

Link AKC Smart Collar

Key Features:

  • Can keep collar on and removing/insert tracking unit
  • Battery life of 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 days (still recommend daily recharging)
  • IP-67 water-resistant rating
  • Recommended for dogs 15 lbs+ and up
  • Collar available in four sizes: Small for necks 9 to 14 inches, Medium for 14 to 17.5 inches, Large for 17 to 21 inches, and Extra Large for 20.5 to 25 inches.
Positives (+)Negatives (-)
Attractive leather collarRelies on AT&T cellular network
User friendly appCan be a bit bulky on smaller dogs
30-day money back guarantee (useful if you have poor AT&T coverage in your area)Works with a base station, may need more than one for larger houses
3-year replacement warrantyAt 2.55 oz, a bit heavy for smaller dogs

To Sum It All Up

The are numerous e collars available to dog owners. Most of these e collars on the market have a specific focus or strength, such as training, tracking (GPS), health/activity tracking, invisible fence, anti-barking, but very few of them do multiple things well. We have carefully selected what we believe to the best smart collars on the market that have to ability to do several functions well.


How do I choose the best e collar or smart collar?

We suggest really digging in to the functionality and, if possible, testing out some of these products. Understanding the functionality as well as the pros/cons of each smart collar can help you make the most informed decision or even decide if a smart collar is even for you and your dog. There are some variations in technology and pricing among the choices out there, so it’s definitely wise to do your homework on the smart collars and the companies themselves.

What’s most important in choosing a smart collar or e collar?

Understand what you need and how the offerings of smart collars or e collars stack up against this. It’s important to know what you need and how all the functionality works. Is it user-friendly? How long does the battery last? Does your lifestyle enable you to be on top of remembering to charge a battery daily (if required)? Is the added functionality worth the nuisance of daily charging? Is the company that makes the smart collar financially sound? Will they be around for a while?

What are the most important features to look for in a smart collar?

This is very much a personal decision for you and your dog. Most smart collars, even if they do multiple things well, have a core focus or strength. You have to decide if you value the tracking most or things such as the virtual fence technology, training or health/activity tracking.

What is the smallest size dog that wear an e collar or smart collar?

Generally, some of these e collars are pretty bulky and generally are made for dogs that are at least 20 lbs+. Some of the most progressive companies acknowledge the need for lighter and smaller smart collars, and their latest models reflect this. Smartly so, they want to open up the market to more dogs. These more technology forward thinking companies are making e collars and smart collars for dogs as light as 5 lbs.

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Mother of three children and avid dog lover. I've had several dogs over the years including Border Collies, Pomeranians and Shih Tzus. We absolutely love our current Shih Tzu Fiona and I'm consumed with learning about all dog breeds, dog fitness and discovering new dog wellness tips!