An Expert’s Breakdown – Dogster


Our Final Verdict

We give SpotOn Fence a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.

Quality: 5/5

Usability: 5/5

Accuracy: 4.9/5

Value: 4.8/5

One of the best ways to keep your dog safe is having a fence. But if you live on a large property or have HOA restrictions, keeping your dog contained can be a challenge. Luckily, with SpotOn you don’t have to worry about building a fence or committing to a specific perimeter.

SpotOn is a GPS-smart fence that allows your dog to roam free while giving you peace of mind that your best bud is safe. It works like an invisible fence where you decide how far your dog can go and your pup is alerted when they’ve reached the boundary. All you need is SpotOn’s GPS dog collar and your smartphone to create fences, track your dog’s location, and receive real-time notifications when your furry friend leaves the perimeter.

With SpotOn’s app, you can make as many fences as you want, edit them whenever you’d like, and take them with you wherever you go. Whether you’re at grandma’s house, on the go, or in your own backyard, SpotOn lets you build custom fences to keep Fido safe.

I live on several acres and SpotOn Fence has been amazing for my dog, Micah. Everything from the fence line to the app is accurate and the collar itself is incredibly durable. If you’re a dog owner with a big yard, this is hands down one of the best gadgets you can own. Keep reading to find out if you and your dog are ready to live life unleashed.

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About SpotOn

SpotOn Fence dog Collar

What is SpotOn Fence?

SpotOn Fence is a GPS tracking and containment system that lets you create virtual dog fences and keep an eye on your pup from your smartphone. The system uses True Location technology, which connects SpotOn’s dog collar and app with a network of satellites to provide you with an accurate fence line and give you real-time data of your furry friend’s location.

The company is run by a team of dog owners and was founded with the vision to make dog containment more convenient and reliable. With a mission to let dogs run free, SpotOn provides dogs with the freedom they love and dog owners with the reassurance that their canine companion is safe.

Who is SpotOn Fence Best Suited For?

SpotOn Fence is made for dogs that like to run, sniff, and wander and pet parents that enjoy giving their four-legged friends independence. The technology covers areas from 0.5 acres to over 100,000 acres, making it ideal for dog owners with big yards and those with access to a lot of land. No need to worry about your location either. SpotOn works in remote areas and in regions with uneven terrain and dense tree cover.

I live on a 5-acre property and SpotOn has been great for keeping Micah close to the house. I also take Micah to a 20-acre park and the system has been amazing for setting boundaries while giving Micah the freedom to run around.

SpotOn’s collar is bulky and heavy compared to traditional collars, which is something to keep in mind if you have a smaller pup. The collar fits neck sizes from 10 to 26 inches, so this isn’t a great option if your dog has a neck smaller than 10 inches. An XL Strap Extender Kit is available for dogs with neck sizes up to 29 inches.

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Overview

SpotOn Fence dog Collar

Having a big backyard is every dog’s dream but losing your pup (even on your own property) is every dog owner’s worst nightmare. With SpotOn Fence, you can let your dog off leash without worrying about how far they’ve gone. Between the GPS fence and the tracking features, you can control how far your pup wanders and check in on their location.

Contents

The system comes with everything you need to set up a virtual perimeter around your yard and effectively train your dog.

When your box arrives, it will include:

  • SpotOn Collar
  • Static contact point tester/insertion tool
  • Static contact points
  • Charging base and wall charger
  • Quick start guide
  • Free GPS network connection
  • SIM card (only used with a tracking subscription and connects to all carriers)

How it Works

One of the first things you’ll want to do when the collar arrives is download the SpotOn App.  Once the collar is connected to the app and you make a profile for your pooch, you can build your first fence.

Building a fence is quick and easy and can be done by drawing a perimeter on your phone or (for a more accurate fence line) walking the boundary. I opted to draw the fence and was impressed with how accurate it was. When making your boundary line, you can also create keep-out zones inside your main perimeter for areas you don’t want your pup to go.

After loading the fence onto your dog’s collar and testing it out, you’re all set to train your pup. If you don’t know where to start with training, SpotOn has a comprehensive training plan through their website and app that helps you teach your dog what the alert system means.

Once your dog understands the alerts, it’s time to let them off leash.

SpotOn Fence dog Collar

Optional Boundary Boost Subscription Plan

While you don’t need a subscription to use the GPS fence, you do need one to access the tracking and recall features. With the subscription, you’ll get notified every time your dog leaves the fence and be able to call them home through the app.

Real-time tracking is also initiated when your pup breaches the boundary, so you can see a timestamp of when they left, their current location, and the route they took to get there.

If it’s nighttime, you can remotely activate a light on their collar for increased visibility.

Since Micah has never attempted to leave our physical fence, I didn’t buy the subscription. But if your dog is a runner or an escape artist, it might be worth trying out. SpotOn offers a 90-day free trial with one and two-year plans for anyone interested in the upgrade but not ready to commit.

There are three subscription plans including:

  • Monthly Plan for $9.95
  • 1-Year Plan for $95.40 ($7.95/month)
  • 2-Year Plan for $142.80 ($5.95/month)

Boundary Training

The collar uses tones, vibration, and static correction to notify your dog when they’ve reached the perimeter. When your dog reaches the edge of their fence, the collar plays an alert tone to tell your pup they’ve gone too far. A second warning tone is played just before a vibration or static correction. If your dog is outside the fence they won’t be issued a warning or correction when returning home.

Vibration and static corrections aren’t for everyone and if they’re not for you, there’s an option to turn them off in the app.

While the tones and corrections help with training, it’s up to you to teach your dog what they mean and how to respond. If you need help with training, SpotOn has a training plan on their website and app to guide you through the process. You also have access to a 30-minute consultation with a trainer when you buy the collar.

SpotOn App

The app is the control center of your fencing system. This is where you’ll create fences, manage your dog’s collar settings, and track your dog’s location (if you have the optional subscription plan). This is also where you’ll manage your subscription plan if you choose to enroll.

I found the app to be user-friendly. The navigation bar at the bottom of your screen is where you’ll find your dog’s profile, real-time tracking, and saved fences. If you click on the dog icon, you’ll see everything you need to know about your dog’s collar, like battery life, satellite connection, and fence activity. You’ll also see a satellite image of your selected fence and whether or not your fence is active.

It’s important to customize the settings before putting the collar on your dog to ensure the correct fence is loaded and your chosen alert system (tones, vibration, static correction) is turned on.

Homepage-of-app-and-editing-fence-line

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Waterproof and durable
  • No subscription needed for GPS Fence
  • Has Forest Mode
  • Long battery life
  • Accurate and reliable
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Works in remote areas
  • Fences cover over 100,000 acres
  • Can make unlimited fences
  • Designed and made in the USA

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Property must be over 0.5 acres to use
  • Subscription is needed for tracking and recall features

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Key Features

Screenshot of alert and warning boundaries

Quality and Durability

When it comes to technology, glitches are inevitable, and that was my biggest concern with having a virtual fence. But after trying out the system in multiple locations, I’m happy to say, I have yet to run into a technical issue.

The quality of the system is top-notch and the collar itself is incredibly durable. Micah is an active boy and the collar looks brand new despite being worn on all his outdoor adventures. It’s waterproof too, which is amazing for rainy days and dogs that like to swim.

Military-Grade Technology

SpotOn uses patented True Location technology paired with a highly sensitive GPS antenna to provide an accurate fence line and pinpoint your dog’s location. SpotOn’s team is known for developing electronics for the U.S. military, and when third-party tested by Spirent–a leading expert in GNSS testing for organizations like NASA and Meta–SpotOn’s GPS fence consistently outperformed competitor products in all fields of testing.

Unlimited Customizable Fences

Whether you’re at home or on the go, you can create as many fences as you want and save up to 10 fences at a time. Building a fence only takes a few minutes and you can edit them later if needed. You also have the option to create keep-out zones inside your main perimeter for areas you don’t want your dog to go. Keep-out zones could include things like sheds, rough terrain, or water.

There’s a pond at Micah’s favorite park that I made a keep-out zone after he decided to go for an impromptu swim with the ducks.

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Is SpotOn Fence a Good Value?

SpotOn Fence dog Collar

Priced at $999.00, there’s no denying this is an expensive product. But if you have a large property and are looking for a reliable and convenient way to keep an eye on your pup, SpotOn is well worth the money. Unlike traditional fences, SpotOn’s entire system is virtual, which saves you the expense of fencing your yard and the hassle of burying wires.

You can’t put a price on safety and when seen as an investment in your dog’s well-being, SpotOn Fence is a great value.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What if I have more than one dog?

You can manage multiple dogs through the app and share fences between dogs. However, each dog will need their own collar and their own optional subscription plan.

A $75.00 discount is automatically applied to each additional collar you buy.

Do I need cell service to use SpotOn Fence?

Since GPS is used to contain your pup, you don’t need cell service to use SpotOn’s GPS Fence. This means you can create, manage, and activate fences on your dog’s collar in remote regions and on all your off-grid adventures.

If you enroll in the subscription plan, cell service is needed. The cellular upgrade lets SpotOn Fence communicate with your phone so you can unlock features like real-time tracking, recall, and notifications.

How long does the battery last?

The collar has a rechargeable battery that lasts around 25 hours and takes about 90 minutes to charge.

What is the return policy?

If you receive the collar and decide it’s not for you, you can request a refund within 90 days.

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Our Experience with SpotOn Fence

SpotOn Fence dog Collar

I live on a forested 5-acre property and love giving Micah the freedom to run around. That said, five acres is a lot of land for him to explore alone. Micah has solid recall but my family and I joke that he teleports because of how fast he disappears when he wanders off. Given the size of the property, it’s hard to know which direction to look for him and there’s nothing like searching a 5-acre hill at night, so when I heard about SpotOn, I knew I had to try it out.

When the collar arrived, it was nicely packaged with everything I needed to set it up. The directions were easy to follow and it only took a couple of minutes to get the system up and running. I’ve never used a GPS fence before so I didn’t know what to expect. But to say I’m impressed is an understatement. This is a high-quality product with a ton of great features and the technology has far exceeded my expectations.

I was a little skeptical when I created my first fence since I wasn’t sure how accurate drawing on a digital map would be. But after taking the collar outside for a test run, the boundary was exactly where I drew it on my phone and the warning tones worked like a charm. Micah responded well to the tones too, which was great (I didn’t use vibration or static correction).

Helping your dog understand the alert system is essential to keeping them inside the fence, so if you’re struggling to train your pup, SpotOn’s step-by-step training plan is worth checking out. You can also take advantage of the 30-minute training consultation, which is an amazing perk.

If you’re still concerned about your dog leaving the boundary after training or want to check in on your pup’s whereabouts, you can sign up for SpotOn’s subscription plan. With the subscription, you’ll get access to some really cool features like real-time tracking and recall.

I will say, this is a beast of a collar. Micah is a 54lb Standard Goldendoodle with an 18” neck. I ordered a size Medium (12” to 18”), which fits him perfectly and has plenty of room to size up and down, but it’s still bulky and heavy compared to his normal collar. He doesn’t mind wearing it and the strap has a soft rubber texture, but if you have a small dog, this is definitely something to consider.

While SpotOn is expensive, it’s so much better than alternative containment options. The system is hassle-free and (even with the high price tag) it’s significantly cheaper than fencing a large property or installing an invisible fence. You don’t have to worry about wires or hardware either. I like that I can limit the radius around my house without restricting Micah’s freedom, and having peace of mind that my boy is safe has been invaluable.

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Conclusion

SpotOn’s mission is to let dogs run free and that’s exactly what it’s allowed Micah to do. The boundaries are precise (even in forested areas) and having the flexibility to build custom fences has been a game-changer.

If you’re a dog owner with a lot of land, this is one product you don’t want to pass up. Not only will you breathe easy knowing your dog is safe but your dog will be living their best life unleashed.





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