GPS pet tracker - live tracking for dogs with Tractive
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GPS pet tracker - live tracking for dogs with Tractive

GPS dog tracking with Tractive - the big test report. How does GPS tracking work for dogs with Tractive? How much is Tractive? Does Tractive work abroad? Do I need a SIM card for Tractive? Learn all about real-time dog tracking, including costs, subscription models, and the tracking app's features.

by Boris Krones

Table of contents

GPS dog tracking with Tractive - the big test report - Foreword

my-GPS.org operates GPS positioning platforms and telematics platforms since 2008. During this period we have purchased and tested over 150 different GPS trackers. Tractive has been on the list for quite some time. Very small GPS device, many good reviews - we got curious.

gps tracker for dogs test report tractive

+++ Attention: The Tractive Tracker is available until December 31st, 2019 for only 89€ incl. subscription - access now and save +++1

Tractive App looks tidy and clear

You can see it at first glance - Tractive is versatile and seems to be able to do everything you need. Or is it not? What can the Tractive dog tracker do? What do dog owners really need? And does the GPS Tracker meet your expectations? And the ratings, are they real or are they a fake dealer buying fake ratings? We are professionals in GPS tracking. And we'll put Tractive under the microscope for you.

The most important Tractive App functions at a glance

First of all, we'd like to introduce you to the functionality of Tractive. There we will show you what you can do with the Tractive App. A little further down you'll find our FAQ section. Users ask, we answer, the 20 most important questions around the Tractive Tracker and the subscription.

Track dog by live location in map view

track dog location by gps map

The most important function is live tracking. It allows you to locate your dog almost in real time. Live tracking takes place on a digital map. Your dog is located where the dog symbol is on the map. By the way, the blue dot in the middle is you, i.e. your mobile phone is also located, so that you can see not only where your dog is but also where you are. Once your dog has run away, this mobile phone tracking is very handy so that you can see at a glance in which direction you have to run. From this live view you can also navigate to the other functions.

Virtual fence - alarm when leaving the property

virtual fence geofence alarm leave property

The virtual fence (geofence) is one of the most important functions of GPS tracking, along with the live tracking of the dog. So it is not surprising that the Tractive app already has this function. The task of the virtual fence, also called geofence, is to trigger an alarm when your four-legged friend leaves the property.

GPS track during real-time positioning

gps live track during real time positioning

The GPS track may not be so important, but it is certainly exciting. The live track shows you which way your dog has walked - the track.

GPS route recall

gps route trace dog recall

If you want to see later what path you or your dog took while walking, you can call up a history. This history is automatically saved in Tractive. You can also access it later. Just select Start date (and time) and End date (and time) and you're ready to access the track history.

View GPS route

view gps dog trace route

The actual course is displayed as a line. The individual waypoints collected by the Tractive Tracker are thus linked with "intermediate lines", resulting in a GPS course.

GPS Route with Heatmap

gps route trace dog heatmap

The term Heatmap means freely translated warm-cold colored map. However, this term has nothing to do with temperatures on a map. A heatmap on a map tries to show waypoint accumulations using colors. So if your dog is longer in a place, there are more waypoints in a small area, this accumulation is then shown in color. It has become common practice to simply use cold and warm colors as we know them when using heat maps. Yellow means warm, while red means hot. So where it is red, the dog has stayed longer than in the other areas. This can be seen better on the following picture.

Heatmap shows accumulations if the dog stays longer at a place

heatmap accumulations dog stays place

OK, we just put the tracker in a car and parked it on the side of the road. The blue line is the actual track. Only when the car was parked, the area turns red, because of the parking we spent more time in a small area than elsewhere.

Questions and Answers (FAQ) - the 20 most important questions and answers about Tractive

Users ask questions, we answer. In the following section you will learn everything you need to know about Tractive, its tracking service and the dog tracker. These are questions that users have been asking us over the past weeks and months.

How does GPS tracking work for dogs with Tractive?

how does gps tracker dogs work

The Tractive GPS dog tracker is a GPS GSM Tracker. Tractive receives satellite signals from space. Based on these signals Tractive calculates its position. This position is then transmitted over the mobile network to Tractive's tracking service. The user can now access the live map of this location service via a smartphone app or web browser and view the live location.

How exactly / precise is Tractive?

gps tracker dog precision

The accuracy of Tractive is determined by the accuracy of GPS. Under optimal conditions, a GPS position is accurate to 7.8 meters. Optimal conditions apply when the Tractive GPS dog tracker is outside buildings and the sky is cloudless. The use in the building reduces the accuracy considerably. Even dense forest can negatively affect the accuracy of the GPS signal.

Tractive where to buy - where can I get the GPS dog tracker?

where to by gps tracker for dogs

You can buy the Tractive GPS dog tracker for dogs directly from the Tractive online shop (direct link to the web shop). You can then purchase the subscription later via the Tractive app. It is not recommended to buy through intermediaries, as they may charge higher prices. Support, complaints and help may also be easier if the product is purchased directly from the manufacturer Tractive.

How often does Tractive update the position on the real-time map?

gps tracker dog map update refresh rate position map

In standard mode, positioning takes place every 2-60 minutes. This depends on the activity of the dog. Digital motion sensors are located inside the Tractive Tracker. If they detect a movement, the positioning occurs more frequently, the animal rests - or if the tracker is lying on a table, chest of drawers etc., the positioning interval is reduced. In real-time mode, the positioning takes place much more frequently, i.e. at intervals of 2-3 seconds.

At what distance does the dog tracker work?

gps tracker dog owner distance tractive

The distance to the dog owner plays no role technically. The dog can be right next to its owner, but also in another city, in another state and even in another country.

What payment options do I have with Tractive?

tractive payment options

Tractive offers the usual payment options on the market.

Do I need a mobile network for the Tractive GPS dog tracker to work?

do need mobile network gps dog tracking tractive

A mobile phone connection is required for data transmission between the dog tracker and the owner via the tracking app. The position data is transmitted via the mobile network. The location is therefore dependent on the network coverage. In the USA and the United Kingdom, however, GSM coverage is close to 100%.

Can the dog's position be shared with friends, acquaintances or family?

share gps position dog friends acquaintances family

Using both the online web app and the smartphone app, you can create a share and share the dog's location live with friends, family or acquaintances. The viewer doesn't need a Tractive account.

How can I attach the Tractive GPS transmitter to the dog's collar?

attach gps tracker dog collar

You can attach the Tractive GPS for dogs to the dog's collar or harness in seconds. Removal also takes just a few seconds.

How heavy is the GPS Tracker? How much does the Tractive Tracker weigh?

gps dog tracker weight tractive

The Tractive GPS dog tracker weighs 30 grams. It is therefore so light that it does not burden even small dogs, even if the dog tracker is directly attached to the collar. This is especially advantageous for small dogs.

What is the battery life of the Tractive GPS dog tracker?

tractive gps dog tracker battery life

The battery life of the Tractive Tracker varies. It depends largely on the type of use. In standard mode, the tracker sends a coordinate to the tracking service every 2-60 minutes. In real-time mode, however, the tracking service sends one coordinate every 2-3 seconds. Real-time mode is associated with increased power consumption. You should only use real-time GPS tracking if you really need to locate your dog live, such as when the dog has run away or in a medical emergency. It also plays an important role whether the tracker is permanently attached to the dog or removed from the dog after a walk. Depending on use, the battery life is therefore 2-5 days.

Is the Tractive GPS dog tracker battery replaceable? How much does a replacement battery cost?

tractive battery replaceable costs

The battery is replaceable. It can be separated from the device with just one movement. A replacement battery currently (as of 09.12.2019) costs 12.99€ (nearly $14,50). The optional Akku Plus costs 14,99€ (nearly $17). Basically, we recommend ordering 1 or 2 of these replacement batteries (Akku Plus) when ordering the tracker.

Is the Tractive Tracker waterproof?

tractive gps dog tracker waterproof

The Tractive Tracker has no opening to the outside, no SIM card slot and no USB port. It is protected against water ingress according to IPX7 protection class ("protection against water"). More precisely, it is a protection against damage after brief submersion (max. 1 m water depth / up to 30 min). The Tractive Tracker is therefore waterproof according to DIN EN-60529:1991.

Do I need a SIM card for Tractive?

tractive sim card

No separate SIM card is required to use your Tractive GPS dog tracker. Data is transferred over the cellular network, but the SIM card is already built into the device. Mobile phone charges are included in the subscription fees.

What network does Tractive use?

tractive network operator

Tractive does not use a special mobile network, but the next available network. Depending on network coverage, Tractive can change the network. You don't notice this and don't need to change any settings. This ensures that you almost always have optimal network coverage.

Can I also use Tractive GPS DOG with the my-GPS.org real-time tracking platform?

use tractive with my gps org tracking platform

It is not possible to use the Tractive Tracker in conjunction with the my-GPS.org GPS tracking platform. If you want to use a dog GPS tracker without a SIM card and without monthly subscription fees, we advise you to use the TKStar GPS Tracker for dogs in conjunction with a prepaid SIM card. You can also use the TKStar GPS Dog Tracker in conjunction with the My-GPS.org GPS Tracking Platform and even our free GPS tracking plan.

Does Tractive work abroad?

tractive abroad

Tractive works in over 150 countries around the world. However, a Tractive Premium subscription is required for use abroad. Other settings do not need to be changed in the device.

Which Tractive subscription should I take?

which tractive subscription

This question is not so easy to answer, because the answer depends on your needs. If you are travelling within the country, the Basic subscription, which is available from 3,75€ per month, is usually sufficient. However, if you are travelling abroad and have to look for your dog there, you will need a Premium subscription. This is available from 3,33€ per month. Also sharing the location of your dog with friends, family and acquaintances is only possible with a Premium subscription. In short: abroad? Premium. Share location? Premium. Only in your own country: Basic. Quite simple.

What is Tractive Care? What does Tractive Care cost?

what is tractive care costs

Tractive Care is a additional option that you can add when you activate your tracker. If you lose your tracker, it is stolen or damaged, this tracker will be replaced easily and uncomplicatedly - at no extra charge. Currently (10.12.2019) Tractive Care costs 20,28€ per year.

How can I book Tractive Care?

Tractive Care can be added directly to the activation of your tracker after delivery. This is done in the selection process, where you also specify your subscription.

Can I add Tractive Care to an existing subscription?

You can also add a Tractive Care package later. You can set this online in your Tractive account settings.

How can I cancel Tractive?

how cancel tractive subscription

Normally your subscription will be renewed automatically. The easiest way to cancel is to disable the automatic renewal of your subscription. Your subscription will simply expire. You can do this automatically with the Tractive App, but also online via your Tractive account.

How much is Tractive?

how much is tractive

The Tractive Dog Tracking GPS Tracker costs 49,99€. In addition you need a subscription. In the Basic subscription you can choose between monthly, yearly and 2-yearly payment. Depending on the subscription, your subscription starts at 3.75€ / month (with the 2-year subscription) and can be up to 7.99€ / month (with the monthly subscription). Advantage of the monthly subscription: You can cancel every month and are not stuck in any contract period. This flexibility is quite expensive with 7,99€ / month. If you already know that you want to use Tractive longer, you can also use the annual subscription (4,16€ / month) or the 2-year subscription (3,75€ / month), which is significantly cheaper, but is also associated with a contract term of one or two years.

The premium subscription is slightly more expensive than the basic subscription (from 4.99€ / month in the annual subscription), but only 10€ / year more compared to the basic subscription. If you opt for a premium subscription with a contract duration of 5 years, you will only pay 3.33€ per month. All in all, the costs are quite manageable and justified in comparison to the performance (web portal + app + incl. SIM fees).

Tractive Basic and Premium Subscription in direct comparison

tractive basic premium subscription comparison
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