Those who have one or more dogs that run freely in the garden all day live with the constant fear of being able to lose them at any moment. If it is true that there are dogs that are more faithful to their owner, there are breeds, such as the Beagle, who would stay away from home even for days to follow a track, with the risk of not finding their way back.
Technology today has made great strides also in this respect and the Tractive GPS 2 that we have had the opportunity to try recently and test it: it is a GPS module to be fixed to the dog's collar and that allows you to monitor its position in real time and moving directly on a map on the smartphone, thus being able to know the details with a rather high precision.
The rather small device, specifically measuring 4.7 x 3.3 x 1.7 centimeters and weighs 30 grams. Where perhaps it would be rather cumbersome on the collar of a small dog, while little is already noticed on the collar of a medium-sized dog (such as the aforementioned Beagle, to whom we have also entrusted for our field tests), especially if black in color, thus blending in with the tracker body.
The whole device is made of excellent quality polycarbonate, apparently very resistant to touch. At the edges it is very rigid while in the center it flexes only slightly when trying to crush it forcefully between the fingers. Our tests have shown us that it is a valid product: for all the weeks we have left it hooked to the collar of the dog, with all that follows when dealing with a young and very lively animal. So consider that he took several hits during the various rolls on the ground and the games with the other dogs in the park to which he usually goes several times a day, and still the whole tracker today. It bears only the signs of aging, represented only by some superficial scratches on the body.
How does it work
The tracker attaches to the dog's collar by means of a clip that harpoons firmly to the three holes of the device. Initially we feared for the resistance of the clip, consisting of a simple plastic hook, but after the tests we had to change our mind. In the package there are two clips of different sizes, in order to be able to easily attach to more or less thick collars, and in any case both hooking and unhooking (necessary for recharging the battery, which we will talk about in a while) require a good dose of strength. It is important to make sure that the pins are perfectly inserted inside the holes: sure of this, there is no risk that it can come off even if the tracker should receive a violent blow.
For activation, nothing simpler: just press and hold the only button on the tracker for more than 5 seconds. The device will emit a combination of beeps with an ascending melody and the LED will light up green. Same goes for the shutdown: 5 seconds and an ascending melody, accompanied by the red LED on, will confirm that the tracker has been deactivated.
For the first pairing you need to download the Tractive GPS app, available for free on the iOS, Android and Microsoft stores and follow the instructions on the screen. At some point you will be asked to pair the tracker by scanning the QRcode on the back through the smartphone camera. The procedure does not take more than a few minutes to complete.
How are you
Let's first say that buying only the tracker is not enough. In order to use it, you must purchase a subscription. Besides, like having a small phone, which therefore needs a cellular connection in order to function. We are still talking about 3.75 euros per month which ensure not only real-time position monitoring but also a series of functions connected to GPS tracking offered by the software.
The device works very well, as long as there is good cellular network reception. It works just like a telephone: if there is a field, the position can be monitored, vice versa one must wait for the first useful signal in order to know the position of one's dog on the map.
Lapp monitors your position 24 hours a day: when you open the application you can know where it is at that precise moment and if you activate the Live Tracking option you can also follow all the movements with high percussion. Safe areas can also be designated, such as the perimeter of the garden or a park for dogs. The moment you leave the protected area, you will instantly receive a notification on your smartphone that signals the event. Likewise, when the dog returns to one of the protected areas, a notification on the phone will once again notify us.
It is possible to share the information of the GPS tracker with one or more contacts (for example with family members), and build a complete profile of the dog with which a specific tracker is associated if more than one were purchased, complete with name, type, race, date of birth, height, weight, number of chips and many other useful information especially if you also install the Tractive Motion application (for iOS and Android), a sort of personal trainer for your pet.
In fact, it transforms the tracker into a kind of fitness band to monitor the dog's physical activity during the day by comparing the period of movement with that of inactivity and assigning a score and a label based on it, going from lazy to walker and athlete. According to statistics, medals are also received, thus transforming it into an entertainment device to entice the owner to keep his dog active and healthy.
As for the battery life, with a full charge the tracker works for about 23 days. Much depends on the use made of it. With live tracking active, it can last even half a day: it is a very expensive function in terms of consumption and must therefore be used sparingly, only when the need arises.
Tractive GPS 2 is a fundamental accessory for those who usually accompany the dog on long walks outdoors, perhaps in the mountains, without keeping it on a leash. In case the shot of a rifle should frighten him or for any reason he should move away, it will be possible to trace his position and follow his movements in real time, having the almost absolute certainty of being able to find him in time.
Even those who own a house with a large plot of land and decide to let it wander around can count on a valid system that will allow them to trace its position at any time. The tracker charging times are also quite short: a few hours to have at least one full day of autonomy.
Tractive GPS 2 costs 99.99 euros but at the moment in special offer on the official website for 49.99 euros. The Italian distribution of Accessory Line. It is also on sale on Amazone in the main Italian Apple Premium Resellers.