Tractive GPS Pet Tracker Review

Sportdog Brand Yardtrainer 350
Tractive GPS Pet Tracker 3G US Edition

Quick disclaimer: This particular model we are reviewing today uses cellular network data in order to locate your pet and will work only in the US. If you are planning to use it outside of the US consider contacting the manufacturer or purchasing another version. If on the other hand you're located in the States you can safely continue reading on our comprehensive review.

Now that we got that out of the way let's see how this marvel of technology actually works in a real-world test.

If you're in the market for a simple yet effective GPS based tracker for your adventurous canine pal or ... pretty much anything you can fit a small square-shaped device on - then the compact Tractive GPS Pet Tracker is one of the better options out there.

​Specifications

  • GPS tracking device that is attached to an existing collar
  • Integrated SIM card - utilizes mobile 3G technology
  • Waterproof and submersible
  • Monthly subscription
  • This version only works in the US
Collar fits dogs that weigh 8 pounds or more
5 -22 inches neck size
Eight levels of static stimulation and tone-only mode
Waterproof and submersible
300 yards of range
Fits neck sizes 6-23 inch
Compatible with PetSafe PIF-300 wireless fence
Fits dogs weighing 5 pounds or more
Five levels of correction as well as a tone-only mode
Rechargeable batteries
In-ground system
Waterproof collar
Four levels of stimulation plus vibration
Utilizes a conventional 9V battery
Low battery indicator light
System supports multiple collars

Tractive GPS Pet Tracking Device – The Basics

Sportdog Brand Yardtrainer 350 – The Basics
Petsafe Stay and Play Fence Receiver – The Basics

Compact and lightweight, this product is somewhat unconventional but it deserves a spot on our list. It's amazing if you're looking for a versatile GPS tracker that you can use not only for your pets but also people, suitcases or any other valuables. The device itself is very neatly designed. It's a small, rectangle shaped receiver that is attached to a collar of your choice via plastic clips that are included in the package. In order to start using the unit, all you need to do is install the mobile application on your smartphone and set up a profile. If you don't own a smartphone or feel more comfortable using the device on your computer, there is a related web-based version of the app. Make a new profile, enter the basic info about your pet and your set.

Tractive GPS pet tracking device has an integrated SIM card and utilizes mobile 3G technology. This means it uses local cell phone towers to extract location information 24/7, but it also means there is a 5$ monthly subscription to cover the costs of using the infrastructure. While this is considered a downside, at least the initial cost of the device is affordable and you can cancel and resub at any moment without additional costs.

One of the main features of this unit is that you can create a custom GeoFence(circular or square shaped) at any location. If your escape artist decides to make a quick exit, you will immediately get a push notification on your smartphone, giving you enough time to act quickly. Since this is a location tracker, you can extract location history and save waypoints using the app.

This particular model is designed for owners with particularly stubborn and feisty pets. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it on dogs without behavioral issues, but the sole purpose of it is to deliver a somewhat uncomfortable static signal which is responsible for toning your pet’s behavior down.
As you can tell, it has eight levels of correction. Most other models on the market usually don’t have more than four or five. Those three more levels are what makes this collar so effective when restless pets are in question. The 300 yards of range gives you more than enough time to react properly if something goes wrong. In other words, you can rest assured that it won’t go out of signal range before you press any of the buttons on the controller.
The first thing you need to know is that this isn’t a fully functional system but a collar. That means it won’t work without a proper transmitter. In this case, if you have the PetSafe PIF-300 system already installed, this particular collar won’t have any issues when synchronization is in question.
This model offers five different levels of static correction and a tone-only mode for training. Five levels offer more than enough variety for you to fine-tune the unit and find the one that doesn’t over-stimulate your pet. It fits on any breed as long as they weigh more than five pounds. Therefore, if you own a particularly small breed, you might want to look for something with less correctional intensity.
The batteries are rechargeable, and the charger is included with the unit. You have the choice of buying the collar without the charger, but do that only if you already own one. In case this is your first PetSafe product, we recommend buying the whole set in order to avoid unpleasant surprises and additional costs.

​The ​Features

​The ​Design

We were very pleased with the compact and lightweight design of the receiver. The device is recommended for dog breeds that weigh over nine pounds and when attached via the plastic clips, sits comfortably around your pet's neck and doesn't feel intrusive at all. Since the model is fully sealed it has a great waterproof rating and is fully submersible up to 1m of depth. The LED light located on the front of the receiver indicates low battery and signal status.

The collar is pretty neatly designed. The biggest upside of it is the fact that it isn’t bulky or cumbersome. That being said, we did find the two contact points on the collar a bit peculiar and invasive, but it’s not a massive concern as it is more of a matter of your pet getting used to it. The on/off button might not seem like a big deal, but many other models simply don’t feature one. When you have a battery powered gadget, an on/off button is of utmost importance when it comes to efficiency and energy saving.
The transmitter works well and it’s quite easy to get the hang of it. It features two buttons of which one sends a short-timed signal whereas the other sends a continuous signal. On top of that, you can choose between eight different levels or even select the tone-only mode if you’re just getting started. Keep in mind that you need to find the optimal level of correction as soon as possible because not all dogs react the same to respective impulses.
Dog With Tractive GPS Pet Tracker 3G US Edition

The Battery

The built-in Lithium Polymer batteries can last for days with moderate use.  These are of course rechargeable so no additional purchases are required. What we noticed while using the device is that the Live Tracking feature drains battery life pretty quickly. The refresh rate is around 2 seconds which is great, but it also has a power saving feature so the device turns off Live Tracking automatically after 15 minutes in order to preserve power.

Since the design is fully sealed, the charger comes in the form of clamps which you then attach and secure to the contacts located on the back of the device. It features fast charging so you can expect to have it fully charged in about 2-3 hours.

This model features rechargeable NiMH batteries that last about 40-60 hours per charge. The biggest complaint most people have is the fact that this model does not feature Li-Ion batteries which are more efficient and offer better performance.
Both the collar and receiver feature a low-battery indicator and can be charged at the same time thanks to the included split-end charger. Make sure to keep them charged at all times and you shouldn’t run into any major issues.
While many people consider this feature pretty irrelevant, the difference between rechargeable and switchable batteries does exist and it’s worth mentioning. As far as the advantages go, the biggest one is the fact that you don’t have to stack on batteries and plan ahead. Instead, all you have to do is plug it into the charger and let it recharge. The cycle lasts only about two or three hours, meaning there isn’t much downtime in the first place.
The drawback of this system is that the battery is built-in. In other words, if anything happens to the battery itself, the whole unit becomes more or less worthless. Luckily, these batteries aren’t prone to failing and breaking often.
The correction levels are excellent. The difference between levels isn’t massive which allows you to adjust the collar quite precisely. Furthermore, if you don’t want to use the correction system right away, there is a tone-only mode which is designed to help your pet get used to wearing and using its new accessory. The fact that everything is wireless makes this model perfect for parks, camping, RVs, and etcetera.
One of the great features is the vibration mode. It allows the owner to train their pet without having to use the electric stimulation. It helps you to gradually train your faithful companion instead of making you use progressive methods immediately.
Other features
While most pet collars look pretty similar to each other, some crucial differences need to be pointed out. As far as the advantages go, the biggest one is the build quality. One can easily tell that this unit is made to last, even in case you have a particularly feisty furry friend. The gadget isn’t too bulky or cumbersome, but it’s not the most comfortable thing on the market either. The collar features a plastic clip which does its job relatively well.
The system box is pretty straightforward, and there’s not much more to it. It comes with an adapter which can be a nuisance for some people due to its somewhat short wire. Therefore, make sure you plan the positioning thoroughly and install the box near an electric outlet to avoid issues with the length of the adapter wires.
While most pet collars look pretty similar to each other, some crucial differences need to be pointed out. As far as the advantages go, the biggest one is the build quality. One can easily tell that this unit is made to last, even in case you have a particularly feisty furry friend. The gadget isn’t too bulky or cumbersome, but it’s not the most comfortable thing on the market either. The collar features a plastic clip which does its job relatively well.
The system box is pretty straightforward, and there’s not much more to it. It comes with an adapter which can be a nuisance for some people due to its somewhat short wire. Therefore, make sure you plan the positioning thoroughly and install the box near an electric outlet to avoid issues with the length of the adapter wires.

PROS:

• Very versatile
• Lightweight and compact
• Controlled via smartphone or a web app

​​• Easy to use
​​• Affordable
​​• Good coverage
​• Easy to setup
​• Good build quality
​• Smooth correction levels
• Easy to use
• Affordable
• Good build quality

CONS:

• Sometimes struggles with single strength

• Monthly subscription

​​• Underwhelming battery
​• Batteries are built-in
​• No on/off switch
• Batteries don’t last long
• No OFF button

What We Liked about It

While it has its flaws, there is a certain novelty value to this product. It's so easy to use and versatile that you can practically track just about anything with it and you get all that functionality on your smartphone or on the Web so there is no need for an extra handheld device. The battery life is great, especially if you primarily use the GeoFence feature. Having the option to store way points and share additional information about your pet is also nice. A waterproof design is always a plus since you can't always count on ideal weather conditions.

The best thing about this particular model is its portability. In other words, you don’t have to set up any invisible fences or hassle with miniature flags. All you have to do is put the collar on your pet and start the training. Also, the user manual is well-written, and it contains quite a bit of useful information on how to start the training process if you’re a complete novice.
The other thing we liked is the price. Many people expect it to be more expensive than the wireless containment system, but it’s not. In fact, it comes at an affordable price meaning that most pet owners can indeed plan on investing in such a gadget without having to think about their budget too much. However, it may not be as versatile as some containment systems that are available on the market nowadays.
The overall versatility and build quality are the things that we liked the most. In the sea of cheap and underwhelming dog collars, this stands out as one that’s worth investing in. As we already said, if you own the PIF-300 system, this particular unit is one of your safest bets.
The fact that it’s very easy to use makes it ideal for beginners and inexperienced pet owners. It’s also an affordable piece in comparison to some other models that offer similar capabilities and features. It isn’t the best thing on the market, but it’s certainly a piece that’s worth checking out.
People who are searching for high portability combined with great efficiency should find this collar interesting, to say the least.

​What We didn’t Like

What We didn’t Like

Besides the monthly subscription that is mandatory in order for the device to work, we found that it sometimes is not as reliable as we were hoping it would be. You may experience a certain lag from time to time which can be a nuisance, especially if you trying to locate your pet urgently. It does give you the exact location eventually but it will sometimes require some patience. This mostly depends on the quality of coverage of the mobile network operator at the given location.

The batteries are probably the weakest point of this product. While they aren’t bad per se, the engineers could have implemented Li-Ion batteries without a problem. The included ones may be considered obsolete and subpar in comparison to Li-Ion. While 40-60 hours seems long and sufficient, you may run into battery issues occasionally.  
The other thing a lot of users complained about is the inconsistency of the signal. In other words, if you select the level seven, the device might output a level four signal. It’s not a frequent occurrence, but it can happen. If you’re worried about consistency, consider checking some other models out, this one might give you troubles in the long run.
The battery is okay, but the fact that it cannot be changed might be a deal-breaker for some people. The recharging cycle doesn’t last long, but it can catch you off-guard. However, there is a low-battery LED light on the collar, meaning you should keep an eye on the levels.
The pet area cannot be changed into a square or rectangular shape. While this is usually typical for most wireless containment systems, it’s still worth mentioning. If you have anything against a circular shape of the area of effect, you might want to look into wired units as they offer more adjustability.
The lack of the OFF button is a major issue for many pet owners. Even though the process of changing the batteries is incredibly simple, it’s not uncommon for people to forget about it. That means you’ll have to go to the nearest store in case you forgot to stack on batteries the last time you were shopping.
As we already said, this fence does not come with wire included. While it’s clearly stated in the description, you would be surprised by the number of people that oversee it. Therefore, if you don’t have wiring installed in the yard, make sure you purchase it separately.

​Conclusion


The bottom line is that the Tractive GPS Pet Tracking device does the job well and offers some very innovative features. The initial price is great and if you don't mind paying the monthly sub then this is a highly recommended product for you. For us, some of the pointed out flaws come in second to all the benefits this device brings to the table and that is why we gave it a well-deserved rating of 4.3 out of 5

If you are looking for a more conventional GPS pet tracker that features options like remote training, maybe you should consider another dog gps device we already covered.

If you're just looking for a way to keep track of your favorite furry friend then you can't go wrong with this model.

The Yardtrainer 350 is a decent remote trainer; there is no question about that. Is it the best one on the market? It certainly isn’t. Is it worth checking it out? Yes, it definitely is. In the end, it all comes down to your requirements and preferences. If its features and capabilities fit your idea of a perfect dog trainer, don’t hesitate to give it a chance. On the other hand, there are plenty of other models to choose from.
As far as the advantages go, the biggest one is its ease of use. If you’re an absolute beginner, this model won’t be much of a challenge thanks to its simplistic concept. As for the downsides, the battery and signal inconsistency should be your primary concerns.
This collar is a universal answer for most of your problems. If you have a feisty or disobedient pet, the Stay and Play Fence Receiver can help you when it comes to behavioral corrections. On the other hand, you have to be prepared for trials and errors because nothing happens overnight, especially when it comes to radical changes.
Beginners and inexperienced owners love the ease of use and simplicity of this unit. On the other hand, people who already trained their pets usually look for something with more features. In the end, it all comes down to your needs and preferences. As far as we are concerned, it’s definitely worth checking it out.
If you’re looking for a long-term solution when it comes to training your pet and correcting their behavior, an invisible fence is one of your safest bets. Now, make sure you fully understand your possibilities and responsibilities towards your furry friend. These things can easily become an instrument of abuse if you don’t use them correctly. That doesn’t always mean it’s the owner’s fault, but it does correlate with owner’s ignorance or lack of experience.
As far as your budget goes, you won’t damage it too much. As we said earlier, these fences aren’t cheap but are certainly a good investment, especially if you own a problematic dog. Many people spend hundreds of dollars on professional trainers, and they don’t always guarantee success. This way, you can take a role of a trainer even if you don’t have any experience, and train your pet according to your own preferences. It does take a bit of effort and time, but it definitely pays out in the end.
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