I thought I’d do a quick little review on the dog Tracker nano that we bought Reggie to make sure our gorgeous little Beagle puppy dog doesn’t run away with his natural instinct.

No amount of frankfurters, squeezy cheese or chicken breasts will be able to tempt him back to us if he picks up on the scent of a fox.

Most of the time that we take him out we are still on the training lead which seems perfect on a nice country walk but sometimes we want him to do what he should be doing and make the right choice of running back to us when he feels like he’s that little too far away and of course, you can’t do that when you are on a 15 meter training lead.

Because of this reason I started looking into what the best dog trackers were on the market, where I could demo the these units and what one would be best for our beagle pup. After delving into this and reading many reviews of dog trackers I found a company called Retriava Ltd that are based in Berkhamsted, not too far from where I work.

After looking on their website I saw that they were able to offer a demo of the dog tracker nano at local pets corner shops which was very handy as we have the West Hove shop near the bottom of our street. On their website the unit looked amazing and I wondered why none of the Google searches for best dog tracker 2017 had the Dog Tracker Nano in their lineups with this in mind I got the dog on the lead and walked on down to pets corner.

As I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to technology this type thing was getting me very excited as on their website it claims to be the ‘dog version of a Fitbit’. There I am dragging the poor beagle across Hove lawns telling him to hurry up whilst he’s trying to sniff absolutely everything he can to finally make it to the shop aaaaaaaannnnnnd get told that they have never received an instore demo unit.

I was absolutely gutted but knowing that Retrieva Ltd were very active on twitter I sent them a message asking if they could get a demo unit to the West Hove store ASAP as we need this for our family holiday to Devon. A week later we planned our trip back down to the West Hove store where we could finally test the new pups gadget. The demo was very limited instore to no-fault of the amazing staff there but I was happy to buy the dog tracker nano there and then.

When it came to purchase the product they give us some choices such as if you want a roaming sim which will help get the best phone connection to the tracker especially useful in rural areas, a year subscription (only pay for 10months and get use of 12) and a security collar meaning no one can take the unit off and do a runner… would be funny if they did… you could track them!

I was disappointed that you buy the product at Pets Corner, they take the money for just the unit even though I ordered the security package and then you get a call from Retreiva after to pay for the rest. I was hoping to get everything there and then and take home the unit but it gets sent out via mail instead… If you couldn’t tell by now, I HATE having to wait for things so to me having to wait for so long to see a 5min demo when I should have just ordered the product online a few weeks before was very annoying. Anyways… it arrived let’s get on with it.

What’s in the box?

Not a lot to be honest!!!!

  • Quick Start Guide
  • Screws for putting the dog tracker onto a collar or harness
  • Dog tracker Nano unit itself
  • Dog Tracker Nano cage (Optional extra – part of the security package)
  • Charging clip
  • USB lead type C
  • UK plug for the USB lead (Nice touch! Most companies scrimp on this!)

The security collar part is still out of stock so they sent me everything apart from that so I could get up and running.

what model did I go for?

I went for the security pack which at the time of buying was at the special offer of £157. Package is: Dog Tracker Nano + 1 year subscription + security collar + clam shell cover

On the website there is a ‘Gold edition’ What comes with this? I don’t know… it doesn’t say anything apart from that it will cost you a hefty 300quid.

So then, what does the Dog Tracker Nano do?

To put it bluntly, it tracks your dog. If your dog is out of sight you will be able to check the distance between yourself and your best friend, see on a satellite image of where your dog is and in a built-up urban area, what street your dog is on, the use of compass mode is pretty decent on where you can hold your phone up with live view and that will tell you which direction you should be moving in as where as how far you need to run or casually stroll to (even though I haven’t tried it, would be epic in the dark!). The ‘constant live GPS’ tracking updates every 30 seconds (or 10 seconds if you pay extra money which I refuse to as I think this should be part of the standard service) so if you have a greyhound on a mission the last updated gps could be up to 600 metres (yes really!!) away… just sayin!  As well as this you can track walks to find out distances and make sure that your dog is getting the exercise that is needed.

Virtual safety zones with audible alerts – This one was a biggie for me as when the dog is at home and he has the dog walker come round, the walker would be able to put the unit on the dogs collar and take him out without being tech-savvie and knowing anything about the unit… on paper, as I’ve put a geofence around out flat it ‘should’ notify that the dog has left the proximity and therefore I can log into the ‘track my walk’ section and record. I’ve tried to do this on 2 occasions now with no notifications come up at all so this isn’t working for me.

What does it look like and whats the size

So don’t expect it to be Nano… I wouldn’t have liked to have seen the non Nano version before as this is pretty hefty on the puppies neck. Although a little bulky, its under 70grams of weight so not too heavy. I’ve installed mine onto a nice Rok straps dog collar which I think looks smart. The units front has 2 buttons and 3 LED lights and a rubber grommet that covers up the charging port. The buttons aren’t informative at all with one being a green question mark and the other a red exclamation mark. I’ve had the unit now for 3 weeks and still don’t really know what’s going on with them.. I tend to be pressing them until I see some lights and then I know it’s on when I’ve got the green flashing light. I would have thought that the red exclamation mark would have been a track SOS button meaning if anyone found the dog, they could press it once and it would give you a push notification there and then. The charging port is pretty straight forward with the USB lead going into the charging clip and that clipping into the two prongs underneath the grommet and a full charge giving you a decent 3-5 day life. The unit is waterproof for lake, rivers and rain and ‘up to 1 meter’ so as long as you haven’t got a scuba dog, you should be fine!

What’s the app like?

SLOW… I hope that they make updates soon the maps take forever to load up.

On the back of the unit you will have the serial number to your dog tracker, you use this with the email address that you have registered with to log into the app. This is great as you can then give these details to more that the one iPhone. i.e my partner and the dog walker both have these setup on their phones.

It’s crashed on me loads and on one walk it said “please wait” for 25minutes so didn’t track that one!

I don’t get push notifications even though they are all turned on and I accepted them when I set the app up? When I go into the alert menu it comes up telling me in there that the dog has left the geofence but no notifications which is a MASSIVE drawback that this doesn’t work.. This is the biggest reason for getting the Dog Tracker Nano as if the pup is in the back garden it will tell us if he has left the area but no notifications.

What would I change?

Auto walk tracking… ‘Like a fitbit!’ Even on their website it says it’s ‘like a dog fitbit’ One of the best things about my fitbit is that it knows that I’m out having a walk.. it then logs that as an activity even when I forget to. This would be awesome for when the dog walker has the pup as then all he has to do is put the dog tracker nano around his neck and forget about it!

An alert/panic button – Anyone walking and seeing the dog in distress will automatically think to press the button once and for all lights to flash for a while. This will then notify your phone.

Where can you buy it?

I had the most helpful guys in Pets Corner Hove but really I didn’t see the point, you have to wait for the unit anyways so if you do buy this then get it off of the Dog Tracker Nano website.

What else in on the market?

PROS

Piece of mind knowing where your dog is if it runs off.

A great little product showing you where your dog has been to make sure it’s getting the exercise that is needed.

Decent 3-5 day battery life between charges

UK plug for the USB charge lead.

Can be used on multiple phones

CONS

App is seriously buggy with it crashing on me A LOT

Not as Nano as you would think making your dog look like its out on day release

You have to pay extra to have 10 second updates instead of 30 seconds which I refuse to do, this should be for all Dog Tracker Nano users.

Conclusion

Why would you buy it? To track your dog… if you want to know where your dog is at all times then a tracker is an amazing device, This one does look like my dog has got an ASBO though with it around his neck but well worth it for the piece of mind it will give you. The issues that I have with it at the moment is the app is letting it down with it’s slowness and the occasional crash, until they have sorted that… I would probably look at another tracker such as the dog tracker tractive as the amount of stars they have got on Amazon and the price compared to the Dog Tracker Nano.