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  • Dog Tracking Systems vs Dog Beeper Systems

    March 04, 2021 4 min read 2 Comments

    Garmin Tracking System vs Beeper System

    Keeping track of a fast-moving or far-ranging dog can be a challenge, especially while hunting. In the past, hunters relied on dog bells or a spotter to help keep track of the dog. Nowadays, we have more advanced technology to assist in tracking your dog when they get out of sight. The two options are using a locator/beeper system or a GPS tracking system. For more information on locators and beeper systems, see: What is a Beeper Collar? A GPS tracking system works similarly to a car GPS, but instead of a destination, it points the way to your dog while also providing useful information, such as distance and whether they are moving or stopped. Continue reading for a breakdown of the key features of both GPS tracking systems and beeper systems, advantages of each, and my personal opinion on beeper system versus tracking systems.

    Key Features of Both Systems

    Both a beeper system and a GPS tracking system are designed to assist in the hunter or trainer in keeping the location of the dog known at all times. A beeper system alerts the hunter to the dog’s location by producing audible sounds, where as a GPS tracking system uses GPS technology to track your dog exactly using satellites. A beeper system can be a standalone locator only providing audible sound or a combination beeper/e-collar and uses remote transmitter to provide training capabilities as well as audible tracking. A GPS tracking system can also be a tracking only system or a tracking and training combo collar that provides training abilities in addition to GPS tracking.

    Advantages of a Tracking System

    Tracking systems use the latest in GPS technology to track your dogs’ location up to 9 miles away depending on the system and terrain. GPS tracking systems do not produce any noise while in operation; therefore, running completely silent. Beepers, on the other hand, generate loud noises that damage the dog’s ears over time and potentially alert wildlife within the area.

    GPS Tracking Systems

    Tracking systems are also more feature-rich, providing data like exact distance, direction, running speed, and keeps track of metrics, such as distance covered and average speed. They have greater dog expandability, with most of the newer systems being able to be expanded to run 20 dogs at a time. The exception to this being the PRO 550 Plus, which can track 3 dogs and the Sport TEK 1.5 that can track 12 dogs at a time. A feature exclusive to tracking system is connectivity through Bluetooth. The SportDOG TEK 2.0 system can be connected to Bluetooth headphones to provide tracking updates on your dogs. The Garmin Astro 430, PRO 550 Plus, Alpha 100, and Alpha 200i all can connect to Garmin’s GPS watches and the DriveTrack in-car navigation systems. The Dogtra Pathfinder Connector connects to your smartphone, turning your smartphone into your tracking handheld, which also allows for complete usage of all other smartphone features.

    Examples of Dog GPS Tracking Systems:

    Advantages of a Beeper System

    You may be asking, “With all those features of a GPS tracking system, how can the beeper systems possibly have any advantages?” To answer that question, one advantage over tracking systems is that beeper systems are cheaper to buy. Most tracking systems cost $400, but can be as much as $1,000 for a one-dog system. Standalone beepers can be less than $100 and full systems with e-collar range from $269 to $379 for a one-dog system.

    Dog Beeper Systems

    Beepers can also provide hands-free operation as well. With a GPS system, you have to be looking down at a screen, but a beeper or beeper system allows you to keep your eyes on the field. The last major advantage of a beeper system is when a dog is in thick cover on point, a GPS system might only say “near,” but the dog can be out of sight and nearly impossible to see. A beeper system can use a locate feature or have it set to produce a different tone when on point, allowing you to find your dog even in the thickest of cover.

    Examples of Dog Beeper Systems:


    Let me start by saying that the technology being built into each of these types of systems is impressive. Beepers have accelerators and 3-axis sensors to determine movement. Then there is also the fully integrated beeper and e-collars of the Dogtra 2700 T&B and T&B Dual systems that manage to make everything combined into a compact collar. GPS tracking systems are on their own playing field in recent years; allowing you to track up to 20 dogs up to 9 miles, providing metrics like speed, direction, distance, and even as far as recording your dogs’ track for play back later.

    Now for my personal opinion of which system is better: If you can afford a GPS tracking system, you won’t regret it. I don’t know how many times I have heard, “I don’t know how I have been hunting without it all these years,” or “a GPS system completely changed how I hunt.” With a tracking system you can now let your dog work harder and further, increasing your finds. I am a tech-savvy person and love all the features of the modern tracking systems.

    LCS Trade-in Program

    Do you have an old beeper, e-collar, or tracking system that you would like to trade-in for a new beeper or tracking system? Lion Country Supply has a great trade-in program that can help you upgrade your equipment. We accept both working and non-working systems. For more details see, Lion Country Supply Trade-In Program.

    If you have any questions on the dog beepers collars or GPS tracking collars, please leave a comment or send us an email at service@lcsupply.com.

    What is your preferred why of tracking your dog, beeper or GPS Tracking System? Let us know down in the comments!

    Thank you for reading!

    - Michael Cassatt, LCS Director of Marketing

    2 Responses

    Bert Wintz
    Bert Wintz

    March 21, 2021

    My Lab, Mattie, was chasing a crippled duck into cover, and with a howling wind, she apparently could not hear my whistle to return. I frantically started searching for her to no avail. She was missing for three days, when some high school boys spotted her on the highway three miles east of my duck blind….. sure wish I would have had a tracking collar back then……..

    Charles garbarino
    Charles garbarino

    March 07, 2021

    I liked the beeper when I was younger but I am a lot older now and don’t hear as good as I used to, so know I prefer GPS collars.

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