I will find you, I will GPS you!

Mummy has been thinking about using a GPS tracker on George. He’s well known for his escapades. 

He has two patterns of running.

When we get to the park, the two of us will run side by side – as far as the eye can see and then as I always do, I come running back to Mummy and George follows.

And then Georgie decides to take his own route and runs off by himself. Then Mummy starts to worry.

He can be so impressive with recall. He would run with me or he would walk with Mummy and then all of a sudden a switch is flipped and he decides he’s doing his own thing. No treats will get him back. He keeps running and running – and used to run into the undergrowth but hasn’t done so lately. Or he sits and watches out for squirrels and he will be totally deaf to any beckoning. But when he sees Mummy coming to get him, he would run off a little way. And he would run off again when Mummy is about twenty steps away. The only way to catch him is if a stranger goes to say hello and his very well developed social skills would betray him. IMG_2725The person who manages to capture his attention and fools him is usually someone whom Mummy had solicited to help. But you can imagine how dangerous this could be. It would be so easy for someone to take him.

We had lost him once in Hyde Park. He had one of his moments and he just kept darting back and forth till we lost sight of him. Someone found him sitting and staring at squirrels all by himself. They got hold of him and called Mummy.

With our imminent trip to the Yorkshire Dales next week for my birthday – it’s probably a good idea to put a GPS tracker on him. Mummy’s idea of letting us run freely over undulating greens of the beautiful countryside – free as a bird, might need some sense of security!  So she’s making sure George will be wearing his fuchsia pink Equafleece, his jingle bell and a GPS tracker.

Of course, that is if there’s GPS in the wilderness!!!!  Guess we’ll find out.

May’s comment: After Monty’s bolting away and so many stories of dogs just running in a moment of being spooked, I think it’s time for a GPS tracker.

Jane suggested we give Pod Tracker a try – IMG_2746because it is small and a perfect size for George.

IMG_2744We’ve tried it in the London parks. IMG_2737As this is Jane’s Pod on loan, it shows up as Milo and Jane – but it works as George was wearing the Pod. And he was standing right in front of me.

I tried it again when George went with a dog walker and it did take awhile to connect to GPS. I think if he was lost I would be panicking while waiting to connect to GPS. It took three tries.  IMG_2754When we made connection, I could tell he was on his way home.

This is an outdated model so now that I know the size is right for George, we will try the more updated one as soon as we have it. Will report back.

But I don’t have one for Darcy and who’s to say she won’t get lost. So looking into another make which Jane is also trying out – a Nano tracker from Retrieva.

If anyone has a good experience with one, let us know.

A couple of things to consider when choosing a GPS tracker:

  • is it comfortable to wear? Size was a factor – very difficult to find one for small dogs.
  • can the strap be adjusted for the size of dog? We had tried one two years ago and it was massively large for even for Darcy. Also broke my nails trying to take it off her. It was definitely theft-proof.
  • is it waterproof or just showerproof? They may run into puddles, pools of water or be in the rain, so that’s important.
  • how long does the battery lasts? How is it recharged?  Would be better if there are spare batteries so while one os charging the other can be used.

As for the App, that for me is essential that it provides real-time tracking. I.e. if my dog is running that it is able to follow it.  Some of them send perimeter alerts if your dog, like George, runs way. And ease of use, of course for someone like me who is easily put off by anything difficult to figure out.

8 Comments

  1. Teresa Sarno

    Can’t wait for your report, have been thinking of one for my girl Ellis here in NY and at our beach home in MA. May you are a wealth of wonderful doggie knowledge. Love reading your daily posts! Was hoping to bump into you, Darcy and George on my last trip to London in November, maybe next time I cross the pond!

    • Miss Darcy

      Oh Teresa, you should have just asked where we were and we would have gone to meet you! Can’t wait to try the GPS trackers ourselves. Too many stories of dogs lost and don’t want to be part of the statistic. x

  2. Jill Keiser

    The Pod Tracker sounds like a great device for George! After reading this particular blog, I think we may check into one for Gina when we go on our jaunts to the lake and other haunts. She does like George sometimes and runs off and treats won’t get her back either.

  3. Liz

    What a great idea, might get one for Elsie. She’s much like Darcy and never goes too far away from us a Spoodle/Cockapoo thing, very attached to her pack, but you never know what could happen if she was suddenly spooked.

  4. Fiona Wegg

    My cocker spaniel, Pip, is completely deaf. I like to still give him the freedom of an off the lead run and normally he’s terrific and checking back in with me so he knows where I am. However, every so often he follows a really appealing scent and forgets which direction I’m in when he looks up to ‘check in’. At this point he generally decides I must be miles away and then he just runs, usually in completely the wrong direction! He has a collar that tells people he is deaf so usually someone will catch him and I’ll track him down but a GPS device could be a big help. I’ll be very interested to read your results.

  5. Margaret Danks

    Great idea May. My heart breaks everytime I read of a lost dog. I couldn’t imagine the pain if Maggiedog went missing. She sometimes does a ” George” and thinks it’s a great game to run off just as I get close to her. Luckily we walk in wide open areas in the New Forest so I can always see her when she is off lead and takes off !

  6. Marie & Boo

    I would much prefer a micro chip inserted into my dog. I worry that if my dog was stolen that the GPS gadget could easily be removed.

    • Miss Darcy

      Microchips are already mandatory just that some people don’t do it. The dog tracker is for those times when they get spooked and they “flee” having lost their sense and so scared that they don’t stop running. There was a recent incident of a dog doing just that and it wasn’t the first time we’ve read about it. This is when the dog tracker comes into play and you find out where they have run to. I have also come across one where the collars are indestructible for the purpose of theft. When they are stolen, it will usually not occur to them to remove the collars at once since it is not a widely known device yet. In those crucial moments you can at least find out which direction they have headed off. The trackers are getting better and apparently developemnt of microchip trackers might become available in the foreseeable future.

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