No one wants to look at an ugly chain link or vinyl fence, so it’s no surprise that GPS collars are the way of the future. Not only do they keep your dog safe and your yard beautiful, but they are also substantially less work than installing an invisible fence with wires in the ground. However, this advanced technology comes with a hefty price tag, so definitely do plenty of research before deciding which wireless dog fence to buy.
While there are many different GPS collars available on the market, two stand out from the crowd: the Halo Collar and the SpotOn GPS Fence. I own both of these collars, so hopefully this review and comparison will help you decide which is right for you.
Halo Collar and SpotOn GPS Fence are fierce competitors when it comes to GPS fencing technology designed to keep your pet safe. Many dog owners find that it comes down to choosing between the two once they decide to go the GPS fence route.
Halo and SpotOn share many of the same features, making it difficult to figure out which one is better. Halo collar is more affordable than SpotOn, but when it comes to a GPS collar, you want to make your decision based on features and not price alone.
The new Halo Collar 3 charges by attaching a cable magnetically to the collar. With SpotOn you plug the charging cable into a charging dock, and then place the collar into the dock to charge. These are both fast and easy methods to charge. Notice the Spoton collar does not have a cover.
The size of your dog will determine which size of Halo Collar or SpotOn Collar you need. Both companies offer three collar sizes, so check the sizing guide to order the correct size. Halo collars fit 11”- 30.5”, while SpotOn collars fit 10”-26”. If you have a larger dog, the Halo Collar is a better option since it is slightly bigger.
As with most GPS collars, both Halo and SpotOn feature a lithium-ion battery. Typically, these batteries will last for 3 to 5 years with daily charging and normal use. The battery life of your collar will also depend on the age of the collar. With a brand new Halo 2+, you can expect approximately 20 hours on a single charge, while older collars will give you 12-14 hours. SpotOn gives you a similar battery capacity lasting up to 22 hours when simply containing your pet or giving you 14 hours of pet tracking.
Given the similar battery capacity, Halo and SpotOn are comparable. However, consumers have reported that SpotOn charges faster than the Halo collar.
Both Halo Collar and SpotOn GPS Fence use an app to help you create your fences, keep track of your dog, and monitor activity and training progress. In addition to using the app with the collar, you’ll need the related app to access training materials to help you and your pet learn how to use the fencing system you choose.
The number of fence posts you can set up will determine the area coverage and the number of fences you can have with your GPS collar. Halo Collar lets you set up to 20 GPS wireless fences. Meanwhile, the SpotOn Virtual Fence gives you up to 1,500 GPS wireless fences. Both collars make it easy to set up your fence by walking the perimeter with the app open.
Keep in mind that GPS collars work best with larger yards. You’ll want an area of at least 30 feet by 30 feet to give your dog enough space without receiving warning feedback.
One of the key benefits of a GPS collar is that you can set up different zones or areas where your dog can roam. In this regard, it’s important to note a significant difference between Halo and SpotOn. With Halo, each of the established fences must be independent of each other. However, with SpotOn, you can have fences overlapping which can be beneficial, especially with larger yards.
The whole point of a GPS collar is to keep your dog safe. While you will establish a virtual fence using GPS, there is still the possibility that your dog could be part Houdini and escape. The good news is that both the Halo Collar and the SpotOn GPS Fence give you the ability to track your pet’s whereabouts using the GPS in the collar.
SpotOn has the most accurate dog GPS in the market. This is because they use a premium GPS antenna that connects to 4 satellite constellations at once. This antenna is designed to sit on the back of the dog’s neck where it has a clear view of the sky and the best connection to the satellites. This means the SpotOn collar gets a faster GPS fix and there is no calibration needed so your SpotOn Fence is always ready to go when you are. In addition, they have the patented True Location technology that reduces GPS noise, making their boundaries the most accurate & consistent.
What makes the Halo collar and the SpotOn collar successful are the various levels of prevention feedback the collar gives to keep your dog within the established boundaries. Both collars offer customizable prevention feedback based on the app settings. Different levels are assigned at 10 feet, 5 feet, and the boundary. The 10-foot and 5-foot warning is a tone alert, while the static correction is offered at the boundary. However, the number of static correction levels is a key difference between the two collars. The Halo collar offers 15 levels while the SpotOn collar offers 30 levels of static correction.
Both GPS collars let you track your dog’s activity. With the Halo collar, it will track the activity automatically. Using the connected app, you’ll be able to see your pet’s daily, weekly, and monthly activity. Additionally, you’ll get access to data about how many prevention notices they receive to help you track training progress. You can also track your pet’s activity with the SpotOn collar, but you’ll have to go into the app and manually turn on this feature.
Purchasing a GPS collar for your dog is not cheap. But, the price can be well worth the peace of mind that it can give you. Halo Collar comes in at $699, but there are often coupons that can save you a lot. This is significantly cheaper than SpotOn’s $995. Remember that with both collars, this is just the price of the collar. You’ll need to purchase a subscription plan to make the collars work.
If you really want a GPS collar but the initial cost is overwhelming, keep an eye out. Both Halo and SpotOn often have holiday offers with substantial discounts on collars, bundles, and subscriptions. SpotOn also offers a special discount for military, veterans, and first responders, as well as on multi-collar purchases.
Both Halo Collar and SpotOn GPS Fence have subscription plans. For Halo Collar, a subscription plan is required to activate GPS services, create the boundary fence, and access other features. Subscriptions are offered in three different tiers. The Basic Plan costs $4.49 per month and covers essential functions. The Silver Plan comes in at $9.99 a month, provides customizable options, and lets you track your dog’s activity while giving you access to historical data. The Gold Plan costs $29.99 per month and gives you all the Silver Plan’s features and premium training lessons with expert trainers, with new ones released each month.
The SpotOn GPS Fence doesn’t require you to have a subscription to activate the GPS. However, if you want the collar to communicate with your smartphone, you’ll need to get a subscription with a cellular carrier such as AT&T or Verizon. This plan will be separate from your regular smartphone plan. Unlike Halo, SpotOn only offers a single subscription plan. You can pay for this plan monthly for $9.95, but you’ll get a 90-day free subscription with a 1-year or 2-year plan.
SpotOn is the only smart dog collar that offers a choice of data plans. Customers can select either AT&T or Verizon, so they can opt for the cellular service that works best for their area. And, if they know they live in an area with poor cell service, they can opt out of the plans entirely. GPS fences will always work right out of the box with or without a subscription.
To ensure your GPS collar is as effective as possible, you and your dog will need some training. Both Halo and SpotOn offer expert training with the purchase of the GPS Collar. Halo’s training has been developed by Cesar Millan, a world-renowned dog behaviorist. If you have a Gold Plan, you can access this training via the Halo app. Halo offers special training events for customers as well. SpotOn’s 3-step training process can be easily accessed on YouTube. Plus, the company offers a free 30-minute consultation with a certified SpotOn trainer if you run into any trouble.
|Up to 20 hours
|Up to 22 hours in containment
or 14 hours in tracking mode
|Time to full charge
|Approx. 2 hours
|With Subscription plan
|30 sq. ft. to 1000’s of acres
|1/2 acre to 1000’s of acres
|Static correction levels
|For GPS tracking
$4.49 or $9.99/mo
$7.95 or $9.95/mo
|Gray or white
Customer Service and Return Policy
In this category SpotOn is the clear winner. SpotOn offers a full 90 day return period. This goes along with their award-winning customer service. SpotOn is the only brand that you can call and actually get someone live on the phone. No group chats or zoom sessions. They offer one-on-one customer support.
The Halo Collar return period is 60 days.
Which GPS Collar is the Winner?
Here’s a list of the things that I noticed the most with respect to differences between Halo collar and SpotOn collar.
- With SpotOn you can turn individual fences on and off. With Halo you can only enable/disable all fences together.
- SpotOn gives you the option to walk the perimeter to set up a fence, which gives you a more precise boundary (you can also draw it using the app). Halo requires you to draw fences using their app.
- I prefer the SpotOn app. It simply has a more intuitive layout. I also noticed that the SpotOn app is quite a bit faster than the Halo app.
- As mentioned above I prefer the SpotOn charging method which utilizes a docking station.
- The training included with SpotOn is a lot easier than with Halo. It just includes 4 simple steps and there’s videos to show you exactly how to do it.
- I noticed that SpotOn does not have cover. Halo collar includes a cover which protects the collar from dirt and whatever else your dog may choose to roll in. 💩
When it comes down to it, Halo Collar is probably the better of the two for most people’s situation, as it gives you full functionality for a lower price. With Halo Collar, you can set up a virtual fence without having to break ground or buy a bunch of extra parts to make it work. Plus, you’ll be able to track your dog’s activity and whereabouts using the Halo app.
The users that should consider SpotOn Virtual Fence instead are dog owners with an extra large property or an awkward-shaped property requiring more than 20 GPS fence posts. In such cases, SpotOn’s 1,500 fences make it an easy decision. SpotOn claims to have super accurate GPS locating also. So if this is a concern of yours, go with SpotOn.
No matter which collar you choose, you’ll have one that is top-of-the-line. It just boils down to your exact needs and how much you are willing to spend on such a system.