Isfreetorrent Tractive GPS Tracker for Dogs and Cats - waterproof pet finder collar attachment:Isfreetorrent
Reply: 10

Tractive GPS Tracker for Dogs and Cats - waterproof pet finder collar attachment:Isfreetorrent

Tractive
1#
Tractive Published in October 21, 2018, 10:27 am
 Tractive GPS Tracker for Dogs and Cats - waterproof pet finder collar attachment:Isfreetorrent

Tractive GPS Tracker for Dogs and Cats - waterproof pet finder collar attachment:Isfreetorrent

Price:£39.99+ Free shipping with Examen17result Prime

Capt Haddock
2#
Capt Haddock Reply to on 17 January 2017
The basic Tractive model has a very short battery-life if the animal is active. This is not practical since it requires daily battery top ups to be sure that there will be battery power. The product documentation is very coy about the battery life, but buried in the online information is this:
"......Battery life is influenced by several different factors, such as cell coverage, GPS availability, temperature and your pet’s activity level. Live Tracking mode drains the battery more quickly that normal mode. Depending on usage and environmental factors battery life is between two and five days...."
If you need to track an active dog on day two, expect a flat battery just when you don't need it.

Additionally Tractive refuse to refund the £66.99 compulsory annual subscription if the refund is requested after 7 days on the grounds that "We have found that in most cases 7 days is a sufficient time frame to notify us that a customer decides to undo the payment for any reason".(sic) This is when their web site says "Exchange & returns within 14 days".
They also say..
"..we cannot make exceptions regarding our deadlines. In doing this we would put a disadvantage on the other Tractive customers..."

Of course they would!

This is the worst sort of self-serving sanctimonious claptrap.

Beware.

P.S. Amazon's return policy is different and fair, but it only covers the tracker £44.99 not the subscription £66.99.
Jonathan Miller
3#
Jonathan Miller Reply to on 21 April 2015
This is an example of the "internet of things." Mr Peanut Butter and I have been testing this device for 7 months. So this is not an off-the-cuff review but an account of our real-world experiences.

In summary, this is for me an indispensable but flawed product. Since if I lost my dog I would pay anything to get him back, the cost of the device and the small monthly subscription represents a valuable assurance policy, even if it is not always 100% dependable under exigent circumstances.

Some basic parameters must be understood. This device incorporates not one but two RF devices. 1, GPS receiver and 2, a mobile phone SMS transmitter.

The third RF-dependent element is the smart phone application. This is a good solid app, but to receive full data from the device you will need a robust 3G or 4G signal.

So, if you live in an area with a weak or non-existent mobile phone signal, this will not work for you. The device requires a steady connection to a GPRS mobile network to communicate its position.

If you live or take your dog into into a deeply forested area, it will not work because the GPS signal will be attenuated or non-existent, hence the device will be unable to geolocate the dog. This is worse in the summer due to the phenomenon of green leaf attenuation.

Then there is a physical issue. Or two, really. The first is charging the device. This can be fiddly and you must be very careful that the contacts on the charger make a good connection with the device. If your dog loves leaping into muddy water (as does Mr PB) then the device will become dirty and the contacts less effective. I have found cleaning the contacts with a toothpick is usually a good solution. But I hope they can come up with a contactless charger in the future.

More serious, if your dog is very active and dives into brush in search of any passing wildlife to assassinate, you need to be very careful that the device does not detach from the clip that fixes it to the collar. This is without doubt the weakest point of the design. If your dog is less bold or active, this might not be a problem. However, this is not the case with Mr Peanut Butter. On two occasions, the device became detached. Fortunately, both times I was able to locate it because it became detached in a position with a good mobile and GPS signal. I was lucky because if it had detached in a stream or under a tree, it might not have been possible to retrieve it.

We have tested the device in two locations. In rural Surrey, England, the most heavily wooded part of England, it is of limited value. The mobile signal is often feeble or non-existent and the GPS reception intermittent. The last position received may be nowhere close to where the dog has subsequently moved. This is assuming you can receive any information on your phone, which is likely to be similarly impaired by the environmental problems.

But in rural Hérault, France, with wide open skies and 4G everywhere, it works like a dream.

We are now on our third device. The first failed quickly and would not charge or indeed show any signs of life. It was promptly replaced at no charge. The second also failed, after several months, the GPS receiver having given up the ghost. This was also replaced. I found Tractive customer service to be impeccable, responding rapidly to my questions in an efficient and very courteous manner.

Let me return to the clip. Although Tractive insists that for most users this is not a problem, the fact that they sell spare clips suggests they are coming to realise this is an issue. In any case, this is apparently to be addressed in the second generation Tractive due to be released this summer.

However, there is a do-it-yourself fix for this. I suggest you super-glue the clip to the device or secure it with gaffers' tape. Then, after charging it every night, you must undo your dog's collar and thread the device onto the collar.

The battery is good for a couple of days but I prefer to go out with a full charge so I recharge nightly.

The device has proven durably waterproof. Mr PB is a labrador and loves streams, ponds and swimming pools. Obviously, he is only splashing around but it seems to emerge from its frequent immersions without a problem.

To return to customer service. They are immediately responsive to email and very courteous. This I think is an element that will make Tractive a long-term player in this market.

If you love your dog and you exercise him off the lead, or fear he might take himself out on an adventure through a gate inadvertently left open, then you absolutely should consider this device.

Mr PB is a very social creature with lots of friends. The Tractive attracts lots of interest from other dog owners. But I find it needs quite a bit of explanation so they understand how it works and the benefits and limitations.

They often ask: what is the range? Well, it doesn't work like that. The subscription covers all the mobile phone networks in Europe so your dog could be in Finland and Albania, and you will still get a fix. But you can be 50m away from your dog and if there is no GPS or GPRS, then it will not work, and if there is no 3G or 4G, then you will not get useful information on your phone.

I do not think the problems I have described should inhibit a dog owner from buying this device but be careful with the clip and understand that it is not Tractive that determines whether it works or not, it is the laws of physics and the quality of the mobile network.

I cannot imagine being without the Tractive, much as I have occasionally cursed it.
J. N. Riddell
4#
J. N. Riddell Reply to on 3 December 2017
These are good trackers. The size is quite big when hung around a whippet collar but they deliver when needed.

We have two, one for each dog and put them when we take them out. The tracker fits around the colour with a plsstic bracket that goes round the back of the collar and snaps into the tracker to hold it in place. To charge, you remove the tracker and attach the charger (USB lead, no plug) - it looks like a set of 'teet' you clamp onto tracker. It looks odd but it works.

The tracking device itself works well, even in the middle of the countryside. We lost or dogs and used the tracker to find them the miles away. The map view overlays with Google maps so you have context of where they are.

Battery like is OK. It would be much longer I'd I remembered to switch it off when I got in bit you can expect around 36 hours of charge if you just leave it on.
Mead
5#
Mead Reply to on 23 May 2018
We tried this tracker for a month - this is not a rushed review.

PROS: small enough for a cat.

CONS: It just does not work. The location is so random and so superficial, that your pet, really, could be anywhere within 10+ meters radius ("GPS signals generally provide an accuracy of approximately 7.8 meters in perfect conditions".) For instance, it shows rapid and huge leaps of activity our cat performs, yet, they are physically impossible, because to do them, the cat would need to jump over three story buildings. It is not unusual for the tracker to show the cat next to us, yet, it is nowhere to be seen or heard (it has a loud little bell). Based on the tracker, our cat is a crazy maniac constantly running around - even when it is comfortably asleep on the roof the the shed.
My own location travells around too. Even when I am seated in the garden. The tracker is unable to locate me. And we live in SW London. Good GPS coverage. No tall buildings.
Moreover, the clipping mechanism should be better. We had to reinforce it with a bit of elastic, so to make sure that the tracker does not drop off.
And then there is the question of subscription. THEY REALLY DO NOT WANT YOU TO HAVE A MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION. They want you to pay for annual or biannual. Although very well hidden (goodness, incredibly well hidden) monthly subscription is available under “other options”. It took me a few days to find it.
Cancellation is not easy too. The option is so faintly printed, that you will be forgiven for thinking it was a shadow on the screen.

This is a money milking project. Avoid.
Paul Ratigan
6#
Paul Ratigan Reply to on 4 July 2017
So first off you do need to sign up for a years contract with this to use the service. I used it for 3 days and it froze up and couldn't be reset. Customer service got back to me right away and gave me reset instructions and when that didn't work they reset it on their end so pretty happy with that service.
It works great for me and tracks my dog in real time most of the time in my local woods. I suspect there is a good gps signal where i live so i generally have no problems.
It has really helped demystify my dogs behavior when she runs away and i can see her responding when i whistle and head back towards me.
Andy Rudall
7#
Andy Rudall Reply to on 12 August 2017
Very disappointed and dissatisfied with this product. Constantly just loses signal and does not re connect to GPS until rebooted. This resulted in us losing our dog for 7 hours in an area known to have good GPS signal. It's unfortunately not fit for purpose. DEVICE CANNOT BE RELIED ON.
Chris
8#
Chris Reply to on 2 June 2018
Before I start my review, I feel it's important to say i've had three different dog trackers (Dog Tracker Nano, Findster Duo+ and Tractive) and they all have their limitations but Tractive seems to be the best one. So in this review i'm going to look at the Tractive, side by side with the other two.

The first one I used was Dog Tracker Nano. Despite it's name it's a lot thicker than the Tractive and the smartphone app and mapping is nowhere near as good. If you compare Tractive in live mode with Dog Tracker Nano which is supposed to be always live it's not as accurate and doesn't update the location as often as Tractive. The other thing about Dog Tracker Nano is there server seemed to be always going down. So you could check it one day at weekend and it wouldn't be working. Then all of a sudden come Monday, it would be working again with your dog in the same location. So not much use if you happened to have lost your dog on the day the server went down. Their is one benefit to Dog Tracker Nano that both the others don't have. With Findster and Tractive if someone were to steal your dog, they could just remove the tracker, throw it away and you wouldn't be able to locate them. With Dog Tracker Nano you can purchase a special lockable dog collar separately which would be difficult to remove.

The other one i've used is Findster Duo+. The benefit to this one is their are no service fees involved. With Tractive (and Dog Tracker Nano) you pay a monthly or yearly fee to keep it online. This pays for the sim inside the tracker to be connected to the mobile phone network. The Findster Duo+ doesn't work like that. The tracker on your dog picks up the gps signal and uses MAZE technology to send a signal to a second unit that you carry with you. That in turn sends the GPS signal directly to tha app on your phone. Using this technology also brings another benefit, it's not using a phone signal so it should work anywhere, you are not limited to only be able to track where there is mobile phone coverage.The MAZE technology only works for up to 3 miles, so if there is more than 3 miles between you and your dog it won't work. This 3 mile limit obviously reduces in hilly, mountainous or built up areas. So in theory all this sounds brilliant. But not so in practice. When I used the Findster Duo+, even though it had been fully charged, the dog tracker part always seemed to be always switching itself off. Also the app and the speed of updating the location seemed to be the worse of the three. Also with my test when you were more than half a mile away it was out of range.

So overall out of the 3, Tractive is the best at what it's basically designed to do and that's tracking. If you go in live mode and you have a 4G signal you can actually see your dog coming towards you in virtually real time on the map. It's fairly easy to take it on or off the collar for charging and the battery normally last 2 days unless you are going a really long walk, in which case you will need to charge it overnight. The only thing I don't like are the colours. I have a black lab, so I don't want a big white thing on his collar with everyone asking "Ooh whats that?"

I think improvements can be made to these dog trackers in the future. A combination of the MAZE technology from the Findster and a sim card would be a good idea. Because if you buy a dog tracker you do really want it to work anywhere. It could work on the sim and default back to MAZE technology when it went out of range. As more dogs are getting stolen, some sort of lockable collar is a good idea too. So there you go, the Tractive isn't perfect, but it's the best of the bunch, for now.
Mrs. Julie Sheldon
9#
Mrs. Julie Sheldon Reply to on 7 August 2018
I noted there were several unfavourable reviews for this product but having purchased and used this device and spoken to another user, the bottom line is if you know how it works and how to use it then it will find your pet with a high degree of accuracy. Essentially when activated it only send a location ping every 15 minutes to save on the battery. So when you turn the app on your phone - the location can be very hit and miss only updating within that time frame. Your best turning the device on as son as you leave the house and this gives it time for the gps to locate etc. The best way to track is to activate the live tracking which them may take a minute or more to communicate with the device. However once located and communicating it is extremely accurate, tracking the pet across the map with a red line, literally down to a few feet. The live tracking only lasts up to 15 minutes so you need to activate the live button again once this has happened. The manual states the unit is best positioned on the sky facing side of the animal, which in terms of a collar is easier said than done as it always works its way round through gravity to the underside of the dog. To stop this you would basically have to have the collar too tight!! - so more thought about a suitable collar is needed here or purchase the vest with a gps pouch on the top of the animal. Another review complained about the clip but attached to me whippet greyhound this device has so far never come off so cant agree there bearing in mind she absolutely bombs everywhere.
Jonathan Francis
10#
Jonathan Francis Reply to on 31 December 2017
I am very impressed with this. I have a dog which likes to wander and I have lost her on numerous occasions, luckily people see the number on her collar and ring me. I have a small holding and my dog likes to roam the fields freely, I can now track her movements accurately and hopefully never lose her. I have not encountered any signal issues yet even in my fields. I pay £79 a year this includes an insurance if the tracker becomes lost. My dog likes to dig in the grass and ruts in the field and the tracker has not come off yet it is a very positive fit.
Amazon Customer
11#
Amazon Customer Reply to on 20 May 2018
Brilliant product as far as I am concerned. Our dog likes to run about in the woods at the local country park. Sometimes she gets too excited and forgets where she left us. Using the Tractive we can see where she is. Also by using the live tracking option when she runs into the woods we have learnt that normally she returns to the spot where she went in. By knowing that we have prevented her getting lost by knowing not to move on looking for her. However, we also now know that when she forgets where we were she heads back to the car park, and can head off to pick her up.

It is fun to use the history option to look at where she tends to go and what patterns there are to her behaviour. The web platform works great - both on our android phones and laptop back home.

Some comments on coverage. Just like when you use your phone or sat nav, there may be areas where you lose signal. Inthe large country park where I normally use this I know that there are some black spots where the signal does not work. This seems to coincide with sections where the phone signal is not so great. Outside of these black spots, the Tractive works just fine under trees. For the purpose that I am using this, which is finding my dog if she gets lost, the occasional loss of signal is not a major problem for me because I know she will soon hit an area where I can see where she is in the app.

I've seen other dogs using a Tractive in the same park and their owners have all been positive about the device.

I use the original Tractive collar clip and it has held up perfectly against vigorous dog running through bushes and being submerged in ditches for short periods. I did purchase some spare clips from Tractive but have not needed these. I use the lower profile of the two clips that come with this pack on a single-layer nylon collar.

You do need to pay an annual fee for the communications/online service, but I feel this is worth it for peace of mind. Also bear in mind, that if your dog gets lost and is picked up by your local Council you could be charged around £90, so it could ultimately save you money.
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