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Two Best Dogs!

Enabling thread kinda - I finally got my GPS trackers!

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I have mentioned on and off for years my desire to have a GPS tracker for the dogs! Alas all the ones popular overseas do not work reliably in Australia and the oh so popular radio ones do not work so great in the environments I go in (forests/mountainy), cost way way too much and came with undesirable features.

 

But at last! By pure luck of mispelling the UK GPS tracker I was considering buying and being shown an Australian GPS tracker, I have two! They're called the NutTAG SEEK GPS (lol). I have had them 3 weeks now and I am pleased as punch! I even made me coworker go for a wander with one and tracked her down ;)

 

The key was to buy the ones used by vulnerable people (e.g. elderly with dementia, children with disabilities). Turns out they come with a "pet owner" app option but they're still obviously geared to people. E.g. "Fall notifications", an SOS button, stationary timing alert. As an added benefit, they don't cost too much more than the imported UK dog ones but they're locally supported (the head office is in Melbourne) and I was heavily reassured by all the companies that use them compared to kickstarter based dog collars.

 

They DO have a little sim card in each. I get a whole year free with telstra as part of my purchase, then next year will need to buy a $30 year plan. It's $30 for a whole year (+/_ SMS costs), I find that acceptable.

 

They're intended for continued monitoring on people, but I am only using them for dog outings such as walks to track our kilometres or offlead outings as safety (plus humorous running maps!) My dogs wear breakaway collars at home and I would hate for the breakaway to come off in play and for Thistle to think "hmm, free chew toy!". It does have a geofence function I don't have turn on, that would send alarms if the dogs left it.

 

They're pretty small and light weight. You access it through both a free phone app and a website portal. In emergencies you can extend guest access to people helping you to follow the tracker. Also! It can have up to four emails AND four phones to send alerts to!

 

I am very excited by the two way call function. The dog side answers automatically, and I can turn speaker on remotely to (theoretically) talk to someone who has found the dogs but I am hoping to play around with teaching a remote verbal drop! It would take practice as it does distort my voice some.

 

There's lots of different tracking modes. I have been doing "15 second beeps" on our outings. 30 seconds was just not frequent enough, they cover so much ground in 15 seconds and I want to share maps of their walkings! But you can change these remotely to save battery power in the event of a dog being lost with it on.

 

Cons:

The charge on/off alert isn't very accurate. I turned it off as I was getting charge on alerts while on outings.

The little pouch is clearly for attaching to people's wrists or on a necklace or something and for humans not bouncy bouncy dogs. I added some velcro strips from bunnings to the pouch in matching black to ensure my GPSs stay IN the collar attachment

Haven't had them drop out from satellite yet, but they can drift by about 15 metres. This doesn't fuss me as I'm pretty sure if I've lost the dog and I am now within 15 metres, I will find them.

They only come in black, and I bought two. I attached hairbands to them to differentiate as they are "linked" to a profile. The hairbands are also a back up attachment to the collars.

 

Here are some amusing pictures of some of our walks so far:

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You can just see our little colour coded hairbands!

 

When they are charging they are awfully cute:

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Here is our first test walk, with the "beeps" sent at 30 second intervals. I did not yet realise I can disable the check in pins from view. But each checkin has a time stamp and the like:

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For Thistle, she blew off a recall a 56 and I let it go. At 60-61 she blew off another recall to go into the duck pond so I went over and leashed her. She was grounded for rest of the day from offlead shenanigans :)  While Thyme still got to run about and stuff.

 

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I like that in this one you can see the moment I realised the 30+ ducks were NOT going to move off the path and was forced to leave the path to go around them :') My dogs are pretty good, but they're not "walk through the middle of 30+ ducks" good :laugh:

 

There's a playback function at assorted speeds, kind of amusing to watch it zip all over the place when off lead!

 

Edited by Two Best Dogs!
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Good plan ...you will have lots of fun with these..and also tailor them to your use :)

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