Fi Dog Collar Review: A GPS Dog Collar For Active Dogs

After wearing a Fi Smart Collar for 3 years I'm now onto the latest, Series 3 - this is what I've learned.

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All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links, we may earn a commission.

The Fi Dog Collar Series 3 is a GPS smart collar for your dog, which uses a combination of Wi-Fi and GPS to track your dog’s location, as well as tracking the number of steps your dog has taken in the day, and It also offers dog sleep tracking.

Perhaps obvious once you think about it, the ‘Fi’ in Fi Dog Collar is pronounced the same as the Fi in ‘Fido’ or Wi-Fi.

For this Fi Collar review, I have worn all three versions of the Fi Collar over more than three years, including the newest Fi Collar, the Series 3 (featured in this review), and the previous version, the Fi Collar Series 2.

I’ve included a comparison to the Fi Series 2 in this Fi Series 3 review, too, in case you’re familiar with the Series 2 and wondering how the new version compares.

Keep reading this Fi Dog Collar review to find out what I (and my humans) think about using this GPS Fi Smart Dog Collar in real-world, everyday scenarios.

Fi Collar Review Table of Contents


How does the Fi Dog Tracker Collar work? Specifically the Invisible fence collar, dog tracking features, and activity tracking

This GPS Dog Collar uses the AT&T network for locating your dog when he or she is out of the house alone (or if they escape the bounds of your home), as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-based safe zones (also known as an invisible fence collar or a GPS dog fence), which would typically include:

  1. Your home – where your dog’s Fi Collar base station should be plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi. This creates a WiFi Geofence for your dog.
  2. Proximity to you – or more specifically, within Bluetooth range of your phone. This creates a Bluetooth dog fence relative to your smartphone. When your dog steps outside the range of bluetooth, the Fi Collar switches to tracking your dog with GPS.
  3. Custom Safe Zone/GPS Dog Fence – You can set custom radial GPS dog fences in any location you like, using the Fi dog collar App. So this is the geofence you would use if you were at a friend’s house, or camping for example, where there’s no GPS base station, and your pup could potentially wander off, away from your parent’s smart phone.
  4. As needed, additional base locations (such as your office, or dog sitter/parents’ home), and the phones of other trusted people, such as your dog walker, friend, spouse, kid, etc.
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The dog tracker design is very attractive and has a small GPS unit compared to other brands (see the gallery at the end of this review for more photos).

This isn’t just a GPS dog tracker however, it can also track the number of steps your dog takes throughout the day, and then compare your dog’s activity to other Fi Dog Collar users around the USA.

I love this leaderboard feature as it’s a great motivator for my human parents to take me out on more walks and trail runs.

Oh speaking of trail running, you totally need to go trail running with your pup, this trail running with your dog guide shares everything you need to know about how to take them for the first time, and beyond! If you’re not a trail runner yourself but would like to know more, read our beginner’s guide to trail running (for humans).

The Fi collar also tracks my sleep quality too! Now my parents know all about my ‘running in my sleep’ habits! Gots to stay fit!

What is the Fi Dog Collar made from?

The Fi Dog Collar has a nice, solid construction to it. It’s definitely a lot heavier than my regular webbing collar, as it has a matchbox-sized small GPS unit and durable metal hardware, including a quick-release buckle and loop for dog tags and leash attachment.

My favorite dog running leash connects very nicely to it.

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The Fi GPS Dog Collar features heavy-duty metal hardware.

Fi state that their collar is chew-proof and generally dog-proof – and it comes with a 1-year warranty, which is reassuring.

The Fi Series 3 unit has a full stainless steel body frame, which apparently allows for more than 400lbs of static force (which is much more than previous versions, by the way). This is a LOT of strength, designed to withstand even the most boisterous of dogs (yes, including me, I’m pretty dang strong, ya know).

I’ve worn mine pretty much every day for the last couple of months and it has picked up a few light scratches as you can just about see in the photos, and I’m sure it will pick up a few more as I spend more time on the trails and nosing into brambles, that sort of thing.

One thing to be mindful of is if you have long, metal dog tags attached to the D-ring that they might hit the GPS unit when you run or shake off, so if that’s a concern, I suggest getting soft tags, a tag silencer, or a jingle-free tag that attaches to the collar strap rather than the D-ring.

If you do damage your Fi dog tracking collar’s fabric, or you want to change the color, you can buy a replacement nylon webbing Fi collar band for less than $30.

Alternatively, you can also get creative and put your Fi tracker on other brands of dog collar.

I didn’t start wearing my Fi GPS dog tracker until I had grown to 30lb and was a 4+ month-old pup, as my parents didn’t want me wearing a heavier collar when I was younger and smaller.

I was more of a baby dog at that point so I wasn’t able to go out on as many adventures as I do now.

Is the Fi Dog Tracker waterproof?

Yes! If you’re going to invest in a Fi collar dog GPS tracker and pay a lot more than a regular dog collar to buy one, then you definitely need it to be waterproof and stand up to not just rain but your dog jumping into ponds, lakes, puddles, etc etc.

I’ve tried drowning it in a lake when my humans took me stand-up paddleboarding, but haven’t been able to.

The Fi Series 3 is highly waterproof and has an IP68 and IP66 rating, which are the highest waterproof standards available and mean it’s been tested for water pressure and submersion, not just splashes and rain. Perfect for adventurous dogs!

Fi Dog Collar is waterproof too - Here's Kepler the Border Collie on a SUP
Me wearing my waterproof Fi GPS Collar on a SUP with my parents – CLICK HERE to see the Instagram post. To find the best SUP for dogs, click here.

It’s my personal preference but I prefer to have my baths naked, so I haven’t tried it in the bath, but if the Fi collar folks say it’s waterproof, then I guess you could have a bath with it on, too…

…but why would you feel the need to, unless you hate baths so much that you may escape from home mid-bath?).

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Here’s how the Fi Series 3 looks with the yellow collar.

How long does the battery last on the Fi GPS Dog Collar?

One of the outstanding features of the Fi Dog Collar is that the battery can last up to three months between charges.

The three months battery life is based on if your collar does not spend much time outside of the range of your home base station, i.e. you don’t get out much.

The length of time the Fi collar’s battery lasts naturally depends on how active a dog you are and how much time you spend out of the range of the house base station.

When outside the range of your base station’s wifi, the GPS dog collar requires more battery power when connecting to your parent’s/dog-walkers phone via Bluetooth.

So you should expect the battery to run down more quickly if you spend a lot of time away from your home wifi and parent’s phone.

This is the same story when it’s picking up GPS signal when out of range of their phone and your home base (if you have a Fi subscription to effectively turn your Fi Dog Tracker into its own mobile device – more on that, later).

As a Border Collie, and therefore by definition one of the most active dog breeds, I do drain the battery quicker than the stated three months maximum battery life, and my parents charge it after around 8 weeks.

It gets charged more frequently if we are out traveling for long periods on a road trip in our campervan, for example. This is because it’s not on wifi so the battery drains down quicker.

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My Fi collar, getting charged on the included base charging station.

They get notified when it has 20% or less battery, so there’s plenty of time for them to remember to charge it before it gets very low, and they normally charge it at night when I’m safe and sound in my bedroom.

8 weeks for a collar worn by a busy dog doing 2-3 walks a day (and/or running and frisbee sessions) is a long time to go between charges (especially when considering my parents have to charge their smartwatches pretty much daily!).

What is a ‘safe zone’ for the Fi Dog Collar?

The Fi Smart Dog Collar comes with a Fi Base, which is also used to charge the Fi collar.

Safe zones are defined by a perimeter range around the Fi Base, as well as when the collar is away from home but within Bluetooth range of a designated owner/dog-walker.

Having the home safe-zone being designated by the Base location helps save on battery life as the Fi collar dog GPS tracker doesn’t need to pick up and track from GPS when it knows it’s within range of the base station, which is a neat feature.

You set up the Base and the designated humans using the Fi app. Designated humans may include family members, your dog walker, and anyone else who may be alone with your dog.

Designated humans need to have their phone with them and the Fi app installed for this to work. The app also needs to be open and running in the background on their phone.

If your dog is near one of your designated owners/walkers when out of the house, then you can get notified via the Fi app notification and/or a text message when they leave the safe (home) zone for a walk with that person.

For example, the message my parents receive when my Dad takes me out for a walk is ‘Kepler just left home with Alastair’.

If I was to leave home without someone my parents have set up in the Fi app, or if the person walking me does not have their phone with them, the message my parents receive will just say ‘Kepler just left home’.

This also happens if someone doesn’t have the Fi app open in the background on their phone to help the collar connect via Bluetooth when out of range of the base station – so the collar doesn’t know the dog is near an owner/walker.

If you receive a notification like this, and you know your dog should not be out on a walk somewhere, then this may be the trigger you need to set off the ‘Lost Dog Mode’ and start tracking down the sneaky canine if they’ve escaped home.

For me, the message comes through within around a minute of leaving the house – I have to be outside of the safe-zone perimeter, which extends beyond our front door (as our current home is not large) so there is sometimes a lag between me leaving the front door and triggering the notifications that I have left home.

It’s also worth noting that your dog is frequently at another location (such as a friend or family members’, pet sitters’, office, etc.) it may be helpful to have an additional Fi Base (currently $39) to avoid having to transport your home Fi Base and reconfigure wifi to each location.

Also, if you have a large house/property then you may also benefit from having more than one base station (assuming each base station can connect to a wifi network – i.e. you can’t get one to have at the end of the garden if that’s out of range of your Wi-Fi).

How does the Fi Collar dog GPS tracker ‘Lost Dog Mode’ work?

If you activate Fi Collar’s ‘Lost Dog Mode’ using your Fi app, then this turns on live location tracking on your dog’s collar to help find him or her.

NOTE: you need to have a Fi subscription so that your Fi GPS Collar acts as its own cell phone, to enable the Fi collar to be tracked using GPS when your dog is not near to an owner’s phone. When you buy a Fi Series 3, you’re essentially buying that subscription and you can choose different subscription lengths (see pricing details later in this review).

Lost Dog Mode also activates a red pulsing light on your dog’s Fi collar to help make them easier to spot in the dark, and sends a location notification to you every minute so you can track them down.

When we tested it (by having my Mom take me out without her phone, so it looked like I had taken myself for a walk), the GPS was accurate to within around 50ft or so. This was a fun game of ‘find me’, but it could save my life if I was to escape. 

I expect the accuracy would vary depending on how strong and reliable the cell service is in a location where your dog goes missing, but I would hope that it gets my parents close enough to me that they can either see me at a distance and/or call me back to them.

It’s also worth noting that because the Fi collar dog GPS tracker relies on me being within cell service, it won’t be able to track my location in an area without a phone signal.

When in Lost Dog Mode, the battery life of the Fi collar dog GPS tracker is up to two days, as it’s using GPS signals to refresh the location status every minute, which consumes a lot more battery juice than regular use.

With the Fi Series 3 collar, the ‘lost dog mode’ features live tracking. So the map and information in your Fi app should constantly update for your dog’s location, similar to how you’d track a friend with an Apple device using ‘Find my Friends’. This is a significant upgrade from the Series 2’s lost dog mode, which updated every 60 seconds rather than on a more frequent ‘live’ basis!

Does the Fi Dog Collar dog tracking device have a light?

Yes! One feature that my parents love is that at the push of a button on the Fi app, my Fi collar lights up with a pulsing light. You can choose from 7 different colors including blue, pink, yellow, and green.

It’s just one part of the Fi collar so not anything super-bright or flashy, but it’s a nice feature for night walks, especially if it’s very dark where you are, you’re near an area with cars or other people, and you’re a dark-colored dog who is harder to see.

Speaking of night walks, if you’re in need of a dog collar light or reflective dog gear to help them be seen when walking in the dark, check out our reflective dog gear buyer’s guide.

Activity Tracker for Dogs: Using the Fi GPS smart dog Collar to track your dog’s steps

activity summary Fi Collar review trail and kale
Fi Collar App activity summary screen

A nice feature of the Fi Smart Dog Collar is that it’s not just a dog GPS tracker to find your dog’s location.

My Fi collar dog GPS tracker also counts my steps and summarizes how many steps I did on each walk (or run).

This way, my humans can use the app to set a daily step goal for me and track my daily step activity in the Fi app.

I gather there is no proven science specifying what is a ‘healthy’ amount of steps for a dog, and of course, that would vary between dogs’ individual needs.

But it’s a nice feature, and like a human’s smartwatch step tracker, can be used as a prompt to make sure that if you’ve had a quiet few days and not taken your pup out for as much activity as normal, you may want to step it up.

Speaking of stepping it up… have you heard that it’s possible to get a treadmill for your dog? Great for those freezing winter days when you still want to get your workout in!

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Fi Smart Dog Collar App breed ranking overview

The Fi ‘Strain Score’

Equally, and importantly for a growing boy such as myself, the goal can also be used as a target to stay BELOW – ie. So that I don’t get too much exercise, as I need to make sure I don’t over-use my growing puppy body and risk an injury.

Before Fi introduced the Strain Score in June 2022, my parents used my steps data and general common sense to help ensure I was getting enough rest and not being too busy or working out too much.

But now, the Strain Score actually gives you more information on this, by comparing your dog’s activity compared to their average, as well as other Fi dogs. It’s a measure of activity, relative to rest and sleep.

The information can be found if you scroll down within the ‘activity’ view screen.

What is the Fi dog collar strain score 1

Here’s what my Strain Score looks like from yesterday. I had a chilled morning but then got to run around my backyard with a frisbee while my Mom did some gardening in the afternoon… but stayed within the average range of similar Fi dogs’ activity levels.

This is a really cool feature and a step towards the Fi device helping track dogs’ health and recovery status from exercise in a similar way to my parents’ favorite human GPS watches do [more on those, here: The Best GPS Watches For Running & Hiking].

Fi dog breed ranking

One nice feature that my parents find entertaining is the ranking by breed, which tracks the last month of steps and compares you to how other dogs of your breed are doing with their step count and Strain Score.

There are options to set yourself up as a mixed breed, so I’m in a category with Border Collies and Border Collie mixes, for example.

Sleep tracker for dogs: Using the Fi Collar to track your dog’s sleep

An update to the Fi collar software in mid-2021, the Fi Series 2 also tracks your dog’s sleep, if you feel it’s safe to leave your smart dog collar on them overnight.

Like with people, getting enough sleep is important for dogs’ health, both long-term, as well as short-term to help them recover from intensive workouts and the day’s activities.

This is especially true for puppies and young dogs, especially dogs like me, who will move around all day if not given the opportunity to learn to relax and sleep.

Fi GPS Dog Collar Sleep Tracker Review
Fi collar sleep tracking – weekly hours of sleep vs naps (left), and hourly nap vs awake vs sleep time (right)

The Fi sleep tracker shows how much time during a day your dog is sleeping, napping or awake, and shows this by the hour, day, week, and month. The left screenshot above shows what the app has tracked for my weekly sleep duration.

It also differentiates between sleep and naps (sleep is dark purple, and naps are a lighter shade).

It’s not clear how it does this and whether it’s mainly based on the time of day your dog is still (i.e. naps are during the day, sleep is at night), but I’ve found it to be reasonably accurate.

You can see a couple of days (Thursday and Saturday) where I had a lot of nap time, which isn’t necessarily wrong, as my parents alternate my higher-activity days with calm days at home.

An example of the Fi’s hourly sleep tracking is shown on the right of the image above. This is the Sunday from the weekly sleep tracking shown on the left.

This is a typical day, where I wake up between 6-7am, go for a walk, play, and bumble around for another hour or so, and then spend most of the day alternating between naps and moving around the house.

On that particular day, I went out in the early afternoon for a frisbee game and tricks and then hung out around the house until around 8.30 pm when I slept on the sofa with my parents until going into my crate for bedtime.

Using the Fi app

My parents like the Fi app and find it clean and easy to use. Some may say the app is overly-simplistic in terms of activity tracking as it mainly tracks your dog’s steps and GPS location points (as well as acting as a dog sleep tracker).

Simplicity, however, means they like the easy-to-use functionality, and hey, I’m a dog, not a pro athlete (yet).

With that in mind, I don’t think anyone in my family feels the need to get much more granular in terms of the details of my activity just yet, tracking steps and my sleep is enough.

In the future, though, perhaps a good direction for Fi to investigate would be heart rate tracking – imagine the possibilities!

We all know that for humans doing ‘X amount of exercise at a heart rate within a given range’ is better than just doing ‘X steps in a day’, so this would be an awesome feature.

Not sure how they’d get a good heart rate reading past all my hair, though…

Fi Series 2 vs Fi Series 3 Dog Collar Comparison

Here are the main differences between the two versions. While the Series 2 is no longer sold by Fi, you may be interested to know how similar or different they are, if you’re familiar with the Series 2 and contemplating upgrading your dog’s collar to the 3.

The most important difference is that Fi Series 3 is designed to connect with 40% more satellites and 200% LTE signal, which is great news because the critical tracking functions are only as good as the unit’s ability to locate your dog using either GPS or LTE cell signal.

The Fi Series 3 collar is also 50% smaller than the Fi Series 2. The Fi Series 2 (as you can see in the photos in our image gallery at the end of this review) is still a compact unit, but this improvement makes it truly slimline and unobtrusive.

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My Series 3 collar (top), compared to my previous Series 2 Fi collar (bottom).

The newer version has greater pull resistance, which may be important to you if you have a strong dog that pulls and you intend to walk them with this collar.

It also has an even higher waterproof rating. I found Series 2’s waterproofing to be perfectly great, but now you can pressure wash it if you want to (hopefully while it’s not on your dog) and it should be fine.

Here’s the full list of differences:

  • 50% smaller – Fi Series 3 Module is half the size of the Fi Series 2 and lighter weight.
  • 50% more pull force – Series 3 sports a full stainless steel body frame that can sustain 400 lbs of static force.
  • Series 3 offers sizes Extra Small – Extra Large. See: What Size Fi Collar Should I Order?
  • Collar choices – You can choose from 8 different collar choices for Series 3.
  • 2x LTE network distance covered – All Fi Collar’s LTE-M signal reaches about 30% farther than any conventional cellular network. With Series 3, Fi achieves another 100% in signal sensitivity to ensure your dogs can be located in the most remote areas.
  • 40% more GPS satellites – Fi Series 3 uses the positioning satellite constellations GPS (US), Gallileo (Europe), GLONASS (Russia) and Beidou (China). That’s 78 satellites working to locate your dog within a 6ft radius.
  • The Series 3 Collar is waterproof and rated both IP68 and IP66K.

How much does the Fi Dog Collar cost?

When you buy the Series 3 Fi collar, you can choose between a month-to-month, 6 months, one or two-year subscription, which ensures you have access to all the GPS and LTE coverage, and all tracking features the collar has to offer.

The month-to-month subscription costs $19, and the longer-term plans cost even less per month.

The 2-year subscription works out at $14/month, which is, in my opinion, an excellent deal, especially as there’s no extra cost to buy the collar, so it’s effectively free (or, well, the cost is baked into your subscription fee).

Use our exclusive coupon code TK20 via the link below to get $20 OFF your Fi Collar order – (Activation fee will be waived).

The Fi Series 3 Smart Dog Collar costs as little as $3.90 a week – that includes a dog collar and the small GPS device mounted on it, together with the base station that you plug in at home.

If you use our code 4C83FW via this link you’ll receive an extra band free of charge which is nice if you like to mix up your look to keep your Instagram followers entertained. 🙂

My parents have had an ongoing subscription since getting the unit, so this Fi collar review is as in-depth as it could be, covering the GPS-specific features of the Fi Collar dog GPS tracker.


Do you need a Fi Subscription to use the Fi GPS Dog Collar as a dog tracker?

The subscription covers the GPS/LTE connection to the Fi collar – effectively, making it into a mobile device.

A subscription gives your parents access to the full capabilities of your dog’s Fi collar – allowing for remote access to your location and activity.

If you buy the latest version of the Fi Collar, the Series 3, the price includes the full subscription and the collar itself, so you don’t have the option NOT to have a subscription (this wasn’t the case with the previous version).

Without a subscription, the Fi collar would still function – but if you go outside the range of your peoples’ smartphone or your Fi Base, then nobody can use the Fi Collar’s functionality to locate you.

This kind of defeats the point of one of the key functions of the Fi Dog Collar, that is, so that people can track you and have a much better chance of finding you if you wander off, so it seems that if you are considering getting your dog a Fi GPS collar, then you should get the subscription.

What cell / mobile phone network does the Fi Dog Collar use?

The Fi Dog Collar uses the AT&T network for locating your dog when he or she is out of the house alone, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-based safe zones.

Your own mobile phone does not have to be on the AT&T network for your Fi GPS Collar to work, the two are unrelated.

How do you attach the Series 3 GPS unit to the collar?

Let me guess… your parents bought you a new Fi collar (you lucky pup) but it’s arrived and proving difficult to attach the unit to the Fi collar band itself… even using the included instructions?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered (we had the same challenge). There’s a sneaky extra step you need to take to be able to slide the GPS unit onto the collar attachment points. Watch this video to see how to do it:

You’re welcome! If that helped, please do us a solid and like and comment on the video on our YouTube Channel!

How do you remove the Fi GPS Dog Collar’s metal clips?

You may want to remove the metal clips from the Fi collar dog tracking device so that you can switch out the collars that you attach the Fi Smart Dog Collar to.

Quite a few dog collar brands are making ‘Fi-compatible’ Fi collar bands, which is pretty nice if you want a specific custom collar for your dog but also want to have the Fi device attached to it.

We’ve been asked this question a lot, and it’s most easily explained in a video – see below for a demonstration of how to detach those clips from the Fi Series 2 collar.

My parents also attached the Series 2 Fi dog tracker unit to my favorite Ruffwear collar, which isn’t a ‘Fi-compatible’ collar but they engineered it to work!

Have a read of this post if you’re curious how to use the Fi collar dog GPS tracker with other brands of collar.

What Dog collar sizes are available and can you use the Fi Collar for cats?

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The Fi Collar dog GPS tracker is surprisingly small considering the tech inside, but alas too big/heavy for a cat to wear comfortably.

No. The Fi smart dog collar is far too big for a pet cat to wear, unfortunately, and that goes for tiny dogs too.

This is a shame as a Fi collar for a cat would be great and I’m sure my feline brothers Coby & Champers would love to wear their own smart cat collar and look as cool and high-tech as me.

This leads me on to the Fi smart dog collar sizes that are available for purchase:

  • Small – 11.5″–13.5″ neck
  • Medium – I wear a size medium Fi Smart Dog Collar, as my neck fits in the 13″–16.5″ neck size range. In case I forgot to mention earlier, I’m a border collie and I weigh roughly 45 lbs.
  • Large – 16″–22.5″ neck
  • Extra Large – 22″–34.5″ neck

To see a more detailed sizing chart visit Fi’s dog collar sizing chart and guide here.

[letsreview]


Fi Dog Collar Review – video for the series 2 – Series 3 update coming soon!


Fi Collar Review: Is the Fi Dog Collar the best GPS Dog collar?

Certainly on features, the Fi Dog Collar is one of the best dog tracking collars out there. By virtue of the long battery life, streamlined design and robust good looks, we’ve found it to be a great investment that I wear every day.

It gives my parents peace of mind that if I roam further than intended, they can quickly track me down and get me back safely.

I hope you enjoyed my Fi collar review and please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.

If you’re looking for cool gifts to give the adventure-loving dog in your life, also check out our best dog gifts list for more ideas!

Kepler
Keplerhttps://www.trailandkale.com/adventure-dogs/
Hi, I'm Kepler, the official adventure dog of Trail & Kale! I'm a frisky pup with a love of life, frisbees, and dirt. I write about dog gear and the essence of being an adventure dog :) Learn more about me and my hoomans, and all the things that Trail & Kale stands for.

56 COMMENTS

  1. Great review and video. Purchased this for our Labrador puppy (over 30 pounds now) yesterday, and you answered every question that we had. Well done!

  2. I want to purchase this for my Toy Poodle that is 10 lbs. What is the width of the color and is it the same size width on all sizes S, M, L, XL?

    • I guess technically you could attach it to a harness if the harness has a pocket! We had thought about this too as it would be great for Kepler not too wear too much hardwear at once.

  3. We just recently received our Fi collar. There were a few hiccups in setting it up, but nothing major. For example, the app said the collar needed a firmware update and began. But then the app froze. After restarting, could never get the firmware update to start again. Contacted support through chat, and they said this was a know app problem and a fix was coming. She also verified our collar was running the latest version of firmware.

    After about a week now, we are really enjoying all this collar provides, esp the fitness tracking and rankings. Also, the GPS maps seem quite accurate when we are out for walks, so there is the piece of mind that comes from knowing that we should be able to locate our dog if she gets lost.

  4. my wife (77) broke her femur in February..trying to rehab her was a chore in and of itself….then we had to put our much loved pound pooch to sleep in June….I found a new rescue (Bandit) and got the FI the next week….this is now Sept….she is walking this little beast 3-4 miles per day….Bandit is #535 overall in the nation…#5 in his breed and #30 in Texas…(as of 9-23-20) she is trying for #1….our neighbors are beginning to think my wife is mad at me….this thing has made our lives so much easier and has helped her more than any rehab facility ever could….our many thanks to you for this wonderful product …..I wish I could attach a photo of the 2 of them….

    • Sorry about your wife’s injury and saying goodbye to your beloved pooch. Congratulations on your wife’s recovery and your newest addition, Bandit! I am so impressed by your wife walking 3-4 miles per day. Dogs are such blessings and it sounds like Bandit is doing quite well while keeping your wife busy. Very inspiring. Thanks for adding a review, I will keep the Fi collar in mind.

  5. My Lab’s Fi collar broke apart when subjected to strong pulling. Fi replaced the collar, and also stated that “…the pull force is 100 lbs and with larger dogs this can be exceeded if they pull. ” Ordinarily my Lab doesn’t pull at all but he was attacked, so his pulling was not surprising. The plastic crap used to fasten the collar to the GPS module failed: the collar broke. The Fi collar is not trustworthy.

  6. The Fi Collar uses AT&T. I want to make sure I understand correctly … that the $99/year subscription adding a Fi Collar will work with my Verizon Cell phone as long as there is AT&T coverage in my area. Is that correct? And for what distance and time will it show the path taken by my dog if he is lost?

    • Hey,

      The collar works independent of your cellphone’s service provider. It will show you location until the battery of the collar runs out… which in our experience is around 8 weeks (depending on how much time your dog spends away from the wifi base unit at home. The collar battery runs down a bit quicker the more GPS it uses.

  7. Ok so I just wanted to add to a previous question, so I do have AT&T but if someone didn’t have that service could they use this tracker ? I know it says it runs through there, but you had stated it runs independent to the service company. I am really in need of a good tracker, as my dog is very active and will literally rocket off with not a second thought ( as I experienced today ? very stressful)

    • Hi Kristen,

      The Fi runs on its own cellular service so it doesn’t matter what service provider you or anyone else has – the Fi collar will still work. Think of it as having its own little sim card in it.

  8. Would this work if we don’t have WiFi at home and live in the country, in a wooded area, where cellphone service is not very reliable?

    • Hi Sarah, good question. I think it’s fair to assume that if phone service isn’t very reliable then the GPS/LTE-M network the collar uses to track your dog’s location may not be able to update often enough to be that accurate. It would still track their steps, etc, though, as that doesn’t require GPS. Also, if the collar is mainly working on either bluetooth (when in range of a phone with the app and connected via bluetooth) or GPS/LTE-M signal because it can’t connect to a wifi network then this would run the battery down much quicker than it would otherwise. There’s some useful info in the help section of their website to this effect (see extract below):

      “The Fi collar will always try to use the least amount of battery possible. Whenever it’s in range of your Fi base or a smartphone belonging to a designated owner with the Fi mobile app installed, and running, the collar will use those connections (via Bluetooth) to locate your pup and display their activity.

      Once the collar is out of range of either your Fi base or Fi app (bluetooth signal), the collar will use GPS to acquire your pup’s location. It is extremely important that the Fi Collar only connect to LTE-M/GPS outdoors, as GPS it not reliable indoors. In order to to achieve the longest battery life, it is also essential GPS is only used when needed (when you are apart from your dog, and they are outdoors.) ”

      I hope this helps!

  9. Thanks for your article. Can the monthly subscription be added and restarted at any time? What if I don’t “turn on” the monthly subscription until I need the GPS services? Thanks.

    • Hey Lulus,

      That’s a great question! I think the paid subscription starts 1 month after you activate your Fi collar (you get 1 month free). Here’s some more info from their FAQ section:

      GPS subscriptions include a free 30-day trial. This means that you won’t be charged for whichever plan you add to your cart with your Fi collar immediately upon checkout, but, instead, in 30 days after activating your pup’s Fi collar. This cost will be charged to your original form of payment and your subscription will auto-renew by default at the end each cycle. All subscriptions are billed in annual increments.

      Subscriptions can be cancelled within 30 days of activation date, during the trial period.
      Billed subscriptions are non-refundable.
      Subscriptions are set to auto-renew, to make changes please submit a request through our request form, within the renewal period (30 days before the next billing date.)

  10. What if I am using the collar without a subscription … the. My dog goes missing. Can I then purchase a subscription and use the GPS function?

    • That I’m not sure about… but if you were to have your dog go missing you’d want to be ready to start your search party rather than scrambling to signup for a subscription.

  11. Does the base unit need to be “plugged/hardwired” into the router or can the base unit connect to the router wirelessly? Thank you

  12. your review is excellent and answered questions that other reviews did not touch including Fi online!!! You supplied enough info for me to be confident to make a purchase. Thank You

  13. Hi,
    Just to be sure, I can leave the base at home and travel out of state and it will work to find dog if have subscription and cell service?
    Thank you

    • Hey Deanna! That is correct! As long as you have the subscription, the Fi collar will be tracking your dog’s whereabouts! You can setup a safezone with your mobile phone if you don’t have your base with you.

  14. Hi. I recently bought a Fi collar from a friend. It’s only a couple months old but she lives in the mountains and doesn’t have the wifi or cell service to make this collar work as she’s like. Her loss is my gain – except I cannot get a hold of anyone in customer service to help me with the transfer. I’ve sent email after email and can’t find a phone number anywhere. Help!

  15. The Fi website now links to several high-end collar & leash manufacturers that can make compatible collars in all sorts of styles–from super rugged, military/tactical styles to beaded/Austrian crystal embellished styles. Someone in comments asked about harnesses–one of Fi’s “partners” has “Fi compatible” harnesses. The collars are NOT a necessary add-on, but if someone wants something extra tough or extra bling, a nice option, and they all seem to have a $50 off promo if purchased at time of Fi unit purchase (the collars are fairly expensive, but look to be premium materials & workmanship).

    Great review! My main concern is whether one of these trackers REALLY will help me find my dog should he get lost–I haven’t been impressed with what I’ve read on the other trackers. But if this one can get me within 50 ft with updates every minute, that sounds sufficient. The last time I investigated these trackers, I wasn’t impressed. Sounds like technology has improved 🙂

    • Thank you! Yes technology has come a long way and this collar/app combination is a great way to ensure you keep your dog fit, and also have a safeguard in place, should your dog ever run off.
      -Alastair

  16. I’ve had a Fi collar for my older hound for around 2 years, and whistle devices for my two younger dogs for about the same amount of time. We live out in the country, and they like to escape and go on adventures sometimes. Anyhow, the series 1 Fi had some issues, so if you read reviews, know that there was a series 1 and now there is the series 2. The younger dogs had whistles because they were much more accurate and responsive. They have now been switched over to Fi series 2 collars because they are now superior to the whistles. The dogs were constantly losing the whistle devices because the attachment is a weak point. The Fi collar is rock solid, and with the updated antenna on the series 2, it is far superior. I highly recommend the new Fi trackers.

  17. Have been thinking about this collar for awhile, but was looking for a more in-depth review – this was super helpful. Thank you!

  18. My collars, brand new, are dying in less than a week – like three days between full charges. I was wondering if anyone else has found this to be the case? I spent this much specifically because I wouldn’t be charging it all the time.

  19. Awesome review! You covered absolutely everything. What may have not been discussed, was answered in the comments. Just purchased a Yellow Fi for my 2 yr old Labrador. The website offers more than Yellow or Gray now. They also offer blue, and pink along with the yellow and grey. We are looking forward to our Fi collar!

    • Ah, that’s awesome! So glad we could help, and I hope you and your pup enjoy the collar as much as we (and Kepler) do. Let me know if you have any questions when you get it. Enjoy! 🙂

      Best,
      Alastair

  20. I have gone through the blog post and I must admit it is very informative. I liked the writing style too. Keep up the good work and share more contents. Cheers!

  21. Visited this blog to know about the FI dog collar review. I enjoyed reading this article. You would get the best review over here and would suggest others too. I like how you have researched and presented these exact points so clearly.

  22. We have been Fi customers for years. When our dog died suddenly, Fi refused to allow us to return our newly purchased collar or give us the years subscription back because we were a few days past the 30 day window. Find a better company that actually cares about its customers and their much loved dogs.

    • So sorry for your loss Wendy! That’s such a shame Fi chose not to honor the return period if you were only a couple of days out of the return period – especially given the circumstances! Hope you’re able to pester them some more and get at least some of your subscription back.

  23. Thank you so much for this awesome article! Best one I’ve read on explains the Fi! I always signed up for your newsletter so excited to get those. I had a couple questions. We travel a lot. Do we need to take our base with us when we travel? Or can we just let it run off gps and Bluetooth from our phones? I wasn’t entirely sure how that worked. Also, I tested the safe zone today. She was outside of it. By probably 100 ft or so and it still showed at home in her safe zone. Was it saying that because I was outside too with my phone? She was probably 70 ft from me and 100 from the safezone. So was a little concerned and curious on how that works. I clicked lost dog just to see what it would do but it didn’t show me where she was. I wondered if it’s because my phone was within a certain range. Sorry for all the questions I am just trying to figure this out lol. Thanks again for the article!!

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