Having a virtual fence can be an incredible convenience and a great device to have with you in your bag of tricks. If you have the type of pup that is constantly getting loose, the Halo Collar 3 Wireless Dog Fence is a great option for you whether you have an enclosed yard or not. The Halo Collar 3 dog collar is a Virtual Fence, GPS tracker, Training Device rolled into one gadget to keep your furry little family member safe and sound.
The Halo Collar 3 does require a monthly subscription plan to function but you can go with 3 tiers of membership from a nominal $5.99 a month for Basic coverage, $9.99 for Silver or $29.99 for Premium which includes a bunch of extras. We’ll detail the plans out in moment for you.
Halo has provided us with the Halo Collar 3 so that we could provide hands on review coverage of the Connected Dog Collar and our experience with the unit to our readers.
In the box is the Halo Collar 3, Halo Protective Case, Collar Strap, Contact Blanks, Long/Short Contact Tips, USB-C cable with magnetic adapter, Indoor training Beacon. Additionally included are Caps and a Clamp that allows you to crimp the new end cap on the strap once you’ve cut it to size for your pooch.
It’s fully waterproof so if you’re pooch likes to dive into lakes the Halo remains safe and sound. There’s a 60 day guarantee which gives you plenty of time to give the Halo 3 a go without worry that you’ll be stuck with the device if it’s not what you expected. (less $25 shipping, handling and taxes, where applicable)
“60-day guarantee: If you’re not 100% happy with your Halo during your first 60 days, we’ll provide a full refund according to our terms & conditions.”
Size & Weight
The Halo 3 comes in 2 sizes: small for dogs with 11″ – 15″ necks and a Medium/Large version for 15″ – 30.5″ necks. Our Milo weighs 62 lbs, he could use a small diet but falls into the medium size. The unit can be slightly heavy for smaller dogs so you’ll probably want to remove it when the dog is inside. While it can work for small dogs, it’s hard to picture this device on say a Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Maltese or other super small breed.
Now if you’re little friend likes to get into things indoors that he/she shouldn’t be, then you can use the indoor training Beacon to help keep boundaries for your pup when you’re not home. GPS technology typically works best when you have line of sight to the GPS satellites so you need the indoor Beacon if your plan is to use this to also curb your pups behaviors indoors. Additional Indoor beacons can be purchased for $44.99. They also have Outdoor Beacons available for when you have less than optimal GPS/cellular coverage for $59.99.
We are lucky enough that Milo is pretty darn obedient, he’s not an angel 100% of the time but put it this way we can leave a dish of food on the table for an afternoon and he won’t touch it (most of the time). Now if your little buddy isn’t as cooperative you can use the indoor beacon to train him.
The indoor beacon works off of Bluetooth and does not require any GPS. Using just a CR2025 watch type of battery the beacon gives you 5-6 months of use. Simply place it near the area you want the dog to stay away from and using the Halo app, designate the feedback action; beep, vibrate, static and through repetition your doggie will understand to stay away from certain indoor areas.
Battery life & Charging
Battery life is about 24 hrs give or take (your mileage may vary) so you’ll need to adjust your routine to include charging it daily if you are using it often. But you can easily adopt a regiment where you’re placing it on the charger nightly. The Halo Collar 3 includes a 1 meter USB-C to USB-C fast charging cable with wall plug for convenience as well as a USB-C adapter to magnetic contact for easy charging.
Thankfully the Halo Collar 3 includes this adapter so you can use any USB-C cable that you have around. The downside being that you can easily lose that little adapter so it’s best to leave it attached to the provided USB-C to USB-C cable. The adapter uses a magnetic connection but the USB-C wire is a bit stiff and the nub that the adapter attaches to on the collar a bit short so the fabric cover often gets in the way and can be a bit cumbersome.
GPS Antenna & Cellular signal
The Halo Collar 3 uses the Global Positioning System to provide location services for your dog collar. GPS is great but as you know the signal can cut in and out without line of sight just like your GPS does when you are using maps. The cellular signal is needed to communicate with your app. More on GPS tracking in a moment.
The Halo Collar 3 comes packed with functionality:
- Virtual Fence, save up to 20
- PrecisionGPS ai driven tracking
- Realtime notifications when your dog ventures outside your virtual fence
- Cellular GPS tracking support and app integration
- Activity Tracker and reports
- Emergency Feedback: Sound, Vibrate, Static (shock)
Having a fenced in property is ideal but fences can be an expensive depending on the size of your property. For example, at approx $60 for each 5 foot wide section of decorative synthetic 8ft tall fence the cost can add up quickly. Even if you already have a fenced in property maybe your fence has holes or is low enough that the dog can jump out the Halo Collar 3 has some pretty accurate tracking going on. If you are lucky enough to have acres of land for your doggie to govern then a physical fence isn’t always feasible.
The Halo Collar 3 leans on GPS tracking giving you the ability to not only track your dog’s location but to create a virtual fence via the Halo app. It’s super easy to use and best of all you can redefine the parameters or have multiple fences setup for when you take your pooch with you wherever you go!
Setting up a Wireless Fence
Setting up a Wireless Fence is easy and you can setup 20 of them to store for when you revisit a particular location. Setting up a fence brings up a google maps GPS screen. You can utilize the screen as is, or add a satellite layer so you can see the actual terrain you’re on. Then like making a connect the dots drawing you can set fence posts to define your boundary with a tap. Alternatively you can physically walk your boundary lines while holding your Halo Collar 3 dog collar and simply tap to place a fence post once you physically reach that point.
As with any GPS device, you’ll need line of sight for the best results. Thankfully, if you’re not getting the strongest GPS signal you can simply walk to an area outside the tree canopy or out from whatever structure you’re under to get a better signal. From there the GPS, cellular and Wifi can estimate the location until it gets GPS (global positioning system) signal again. That said, the Halo Collar 3 tracking seems to work very well.
If you are going to be in a place where you get little to no GPS signal you can pre-setup your virtual fence prior to arriving at your location and the fence will still function. If you are in a location where you have no GPS or cellular signal, you’ll need to lean on Bluetooth for any kind of feedback from the collar which limits you to approx 33ft.
The key here is going to be training. You’ll want to watch the Halo set up videos as they are ultra informative and easy to follow along.
This is a Training Collar not a Shock Collar
Although the Halo Collar 3 does have the functionality of a shock collar you don’t have to use it and we never do. The new term is “static feedback” but that really just means shock. No judgements but we’re not big fans of shock collars. We opt not to use the contact tips and instead keep the plastic blanks in the Halo Collar 3. The Halo Collar 3 is more than just an electric fence; it’s a dog trainer, virtual fence, location tracker, activity tracker.
Again we are not fans of the electric shock but for the purposes of this review we have installed the metal probes and placed the collar on our own leg to see what the dog might experience; the static feedback is adjustable on the app from levels 1-15. Default is level 4. What we can say is that although dogs might have tougher skin than humans, level 4 is jolting! This really just reinforces our opinion that a shock collar is not our preference. (You can spin on or off like studs on a pair of cleats.)
The Halo Collar 3 can provide vibration and audible feedback. It may startle the pup initially but as with any dog training, familiarity and consistent repetition allows the Halo Collar 3 to be an effective training tool as well as a powerful portable fence and GPS tracking system. If your pup is a runner, GPS tracking is essential.
There’s a whistle function to call your dog, which is great because I was never able to whistle really loud using my fingers. You have the option to use the static feedback or place the blanks on so you’re just utilizing the GPS tracking and audible cue’s if you want to use them.
Location tracking in our experience is very good. It’s able to keep up relatively accurately with Milo running while playing catch and retrieve. The tracking is dependent upon signal strength and line of sight as with any GPS device. The unit will lean on both cellular signal and Wifi to estimate location. It has a tendency to bounce in and out of signal so at times the dog’s location could be slightly off but not so far off that we couldn’t see the dog immediately.
When Milo would leave the fenced area we did receive notifications quickly but not always immediately. Since the collar uses both GPS and cellular, it’s ideal if you reside in an area with good GPS as well as cell signal then the Halo Collar 3 can be quite accurate. While you may not get an alert immediately the notifications come in repeatedly for as long as the dog is outside the virtual fence area you designated.
There are places where both GPS and cellular signal are sparse or non-existent. If you are looking for a GPS collar that is able to track your dog with little to no signal you’ll want more of a hunting dog GPS tracking collar with a hand-held receiver like the professionals use. But these are straight trackers that can be quite pricey and not necessarily virtual fences.
Halo Collar 3 Monthly Plans
Basic at $5.99/mo gives you everything you need to utilize the Halo Collar 3 effectively: including continuous GPS and Cell service, real-time tracking alerts, up to 20 virtual fences, daily activity reports and automatic firmware updates.
The Silver plan at $9.99/mo really doesn’t give much more except that you an get 1 on 1 expert training session on setting up the Halo Collar 3 for your location, $25 discount on replacement collars and 25% off on accessories.
The Premium plan at $29.99/mo is quite pricey but adds live weekly events and Q & A’s with trainers Heather Mickelson, Brett Endes and Charlie Chun. Cesar Milan himself does not do any interaction unfortunately. Very helpful if you could use some expert advice or help training with your pup. This can be a cost effective option when compared to hiring an in-person dog trainer on location.
Unless you need the 1-on-1 training or discounts the Basic $5.99 monthly plan keeps you connected and gives you what you need to effectively use the Halo 3 Dog Collar.
That’s a Wrap
The Halo 3 Collar offers a wealth of functionality in a connected dog collar. Features up to 20 saved virtual fences, real-time GPS location tracking, indoor/outdoor functionality, audible/vibration cues, activity tracking & reports and emergency feedback (Sound, Vibrate, Static/shock) and a built-in rechargeable battery gives you approximately 24hrs of use.
If you live in an area that features good GPS and/or cellular signal then the Halo 3 collar can be a convenient and effective way to keep track of your pup throughout the day.
The Halo 3 Collar will not magically train your dog. As Cesar almost always suggests, it’s the owners actions (or inconsistent actions) that dictates how the dog behaves. Training your puppy doesn’t have to be an impossible task though. It takes time and patience but the payoff is huge. When operated with the proper training and guidance the Halo 3 Dog Collar can be a very effective means to assist you in training as well as keeping track of your pooch so they stay safe and sound for years to come.
Available in Graphite, Sunburst, Orchid, Ivory
Now available for purchase at Walmart, Amazon, Chewy, Best Buy.
Halo Wireless Dog Fence and GPS Dog Collar $699 on sale for $649.00 with online coupon discount.