GPS collars create wireless fences to keep dogs within set boundaries. On our farm, Porter Valley Ranch, we use the Halo collar, which promises to be a virtual fence, track dogs through GPS, track the dogâ€™s activity and aids in training dogs. The creator is Cesar Millan, world-renowned dog training expert and star of the TV Show, â€śDog Whisperer.â€ť
But training dogs for shows and obedience is not typically the goal of Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) owners. We explore the pros and cons of using a GPS collar in livestock guardian dogs in the video above and below.
Why Use a GPS Collar?
The number one concern for animal keepers is safety. Predators are a huge threat on hobby farms, wiping out livestock easily. Most farms have LGDs to patrol and ward off any attacks. For this reason LGDs are usually roaming the property and patroling several enclosures and pens at one time.
Their nature drives them to expect a pretty extensive area to roam. These dogs arenâ€™t as helpful or happy staying in one pen.Â
The problem with roaming is when the dog starts to venture outside the property lines. The Halo dog collar and other GPS collars aid in teaching the LGDs the limits of their property.
Staying in their limits keeps the LGD safe and working on the farm.
Read more: Considering a livestock guardian dog? Here’s what you need to know.
GPS Collar Features
The Halo Collar comes with a very extensive training program for users. Pretty much any training you want to accomplish with your dog can be done through their videos. For LGDs it is important to make sure they are welcoming and not threatening to guests, sit on command and even hunt. This product will help you meet any of those training goals.Â
- GPS virtual fence
- GPS tracker
- Training system
- A deterrent for any zone within your set perimeter (Beacon)
The downsides? Battery charge life and the price.
The battery says it can stay charged forÂ 20 hours, but most online reviews say it’s closer to 10 to 12 hours for highly active dogs. Because of this situation, you will need to decide whether you charge during the day or at night. For LGDs itâ€™s likely more important they wear the collar during the night, when they are patroling.
The second downside is the price. The product retails at $699 and requires a monthly subscription plan. However, can you really put a price on security? If you have a LGD who loves your family and protects your flocks, it is less expensive than buying a new dog and taking the time to acclimate them to your property.Â
The Halo 2+ Wireless Dog Fence and GPS Dog Collar are, together, a great way to integrate technology on your farm. In addition to teaching your dog new tricks, the collar will also teach you to watch their roaming habits. Looking at where the dog goes shows you where they are also not going. If you have an area of your property exposed, you will learn that through this device.
The device is also not specific to just one dog. It is possible to purchase one device to use on multiple dogs, which decreases the overall price. If you plan to have livestock guardian dogs on your property, a wireless GPS collar will definitely prove to be beneficial over time.Â