Is The Tractive XL Dog Tracker Worth It?

Our Verdict

The Tractive XL is an IPX7 waterproof fitness GPS tracker designed for larger dog breeds who love adventures. With a staggering 1 month battery life and a robust build it’s not hard to see why Tractive has so many positive online reviews. As well as being a pin-point accurate GPS tracker, the Tractive XL measures your dogs activity levels, including their daily calories, sleep rhythm and wellness score. Although the tracker does require a monthly subscription, the XL was one of the most accurate GPS trackers I’ve tested. Read below for the full review.

Reasons to buy

+ Low monthly subscription costs
+ 1 month battery life
+ Monitors exercise and activity

Reasons to Avoid

– Relies on GPS, LTE/4G, 2G

Disclaimer: I am not a vet, but an enthusiastic pet owner with a diverse knowledge of dogs, cats and other pets. Writing well researched articles recommending dog friendly products to in-depth guides. Please seek a certified vet for a professional opinion on your dog, these articles are written from my own research and opinions. Please read our Terms and Conditions for more! As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

As responsible pet owners, ensuring our dogs have a healthy and happy life is our top priority. But with a busy life style, keeping track of your dogs safety, whereabouts and fitness levels can be difficult.

But if you’re in the market for a dog tracker, you’ve probably been surprised by the cost and high monthly fees.

So I picked up one of the cheaper monthly dog trackers, the Tractive XL and put it through its paces to find its strengths and weaknesses. Here’s what I found:

What is a dog tracker?

A dog tracker is a device designed to track the location of a dog (obvious right?). Usually connecting to your dogs existing collar, trackers typically use GPS (Global Positioning System) to determine the dog’s position and provide real-time or delayed information to the owner or user. Radio frequency and Bluetooth trackers can also be used but for other reasons will never be as accurate as GPS.

Dog trackers are commonly used to prevent loss or theft, aid in finding lost or missing dogs and measure their activity and sleep rhythm. Usually using an interface like a website or app, some dog trackers have built in heart rate and exercise monitors. Allowing you to not only track where your dog is, but their steps and fitness levels too.

Tractive XL specs at a glance

Unlimited range, virtual fences, alerts and sleep monitor

Initial cost






*data from 16.07.2023

Being built and designed for rugged adventurous use, the Tractive XL is best suited to bigger breeds 18kg and up.

With 1 month battery life, you hardly ever need to charge the device.

By paying yearly or biyearly you save yourself the most money on subscription fees.

Spec List
Dimensions89mm x 50mm x 17mm
Attachment strapRubber clips cover existing collar
Activity monitoringFitness goals, location history, virtual fences and alerts
Location updatesEvery 2-3 seconds
Notifications Escape alerts
Battery life1 month (depending on usage)
Dog sizeFor all dogs above 18kg
Warranty2 years from purchasing date

Full for the full spec list from Tractive, you can find it here under this link.

Tractive XL, what I thought

If you’ve ever scoured the internet for a pet tracker, you’ve probably come across Tractive. Having been impressed with the Tractive LTE (the original white design) I had to test the XL version for my Labrador.

Just like the original, the XL was easy to set up and uses the same app interface and features. Through the app, you can track your dog, establish virtual boundaries, and monitor their health with ease.

The design is what sets them apart, the XL comes in a much larger case making room for a battery 4x the power. However the bigger case leaves space a powerful LED, making it perfect for winter night walks. The LED was bright enough that I could see it from 30 meters away.

Tractive XL Vs PitPat GPS

How does the Tractive stack up against competition?

Tractive XLPitPat GPS
Dimensions89mm x 50mm x 17mm60mm x 34mm x 18mm
Monthly subscription£12.00£0.00
Yearly cost£113.99£149.00
Activity monitoringSet fitness goals, track wellness, sleep patterns and compareDistance, calories, activity type and duration
Location updates2-3 secondsEvery 10 seconds
SimBuilt in simBuilt in sim
Battery life1 month (depending on usage) 6 weeks (depending on usage)
Charging time4.5hrs6hrs
CoverageUK and most of EUUK and most of EU

The PitPat GPS is a good tracker, but I was impressed with the accuracy and faster updating live location from the Tractive XL.

Although both devices have live updates, 3 seconds vs 10 seconds makes all the difference when you’re in an emergency situation.

I also found that whilst both apps are good. The Tractive app is easier to use and has more features like setting boundaries with alerts. So when your dog leaves a certain area you set. You receive a mobile alert through your phone.

Here is a guide on how to set up virtual fences:

What do I think of the design?

Credit: Tractive YouTube

The Tractive XL surpasses the size of the original Tractive LTE by a significant margin, featuring a compact 89mm x 51mm x 23mm case. The tracker is designed for dogs/breeds above 14kg and having said that, it would be too big and cumbersome for smaller breeds/dogs.

Unfortunately, the XL only comes in a pastel army green colour, but the large center LED makes it very easy to find in the dark and can be activated within the app.

The XL uses a similar method to other trackers to clip onto your dogs existing collar. The brown rubber tags can be extended to 4cm in width over your dogs collar or harness. Despite my initial thoughts, the trackers holds extremely well and didn’t show any signs of coming loose during walks and runs.

The device held up great during my test even when it rained, the XL is IPX7 waterproof meaning it can stay submersed under water for 30 minutes. Just a quick wipe over when I got home and it looked good as new.

What about the battery?

The battery under normal use lasts for around 3 to 4 weeks. Definitely an upgrade over the original Tractive with only 6 days. Impressively, during the time I tested the XL I only charged it once and the battery held up after 3 and a half weeks of 45-60 minute walks.

However, like other trackers, If you live in an area of bad coverage, the battery will deplete faster. But an upgrade over most other devices.

Is the app easy to use?

The Tractive app is the backbone of the device. Not only can you see your pets live location, but you can set boundaries and monitor their overall well being.

The app is supposed to send you alerts in real time if your dog leaves the designated areas you set up. When I tested this myself, the alerts were almost instantaneous.

The activity and sleep reports were also great, giving a complete overview of their calories burned, times during the day when they were active and their sleep rhythm.

Not everyone is going to use this feature, but its great to know its their, especially considering the app is primarily a GPS location tool.

How to set up the Tractive XL

The Tractive uses the same app as the original device. So it’s not hard to set up. I’ve linked a video below from the official Tractive YouTube channel, on their channel you can find all the guides to set up any Tractive product or set fitness goals and virtual fences.

The video I linked compares the 2 trackers side by side.

My final thoughts

I was thoroughly impressed with the Tractive XL, I would even say it’s probably the best tracker out there for bigger dogs.

With many features including dog tracking, unlimited GPS range, fitness and sleep monitor all whilst packing a 1 month battery life there aren’t many options on the market for a better price.

But by no means is the Tractive tracker cheap, but for the money it’s great value, the tracking accuracy was unmatched and the app was easy to use packed into a small compact design.


Q: Can pet trackers help with training my pet?

While pet trackers primarily focus on location tracking, some models offer additional features such as geofencing or activity monitoring. Geofencing allows you to set virtual boundaries and receive alerts if your pet leaves a designated area, while activity monitoring provides insights into your pet’s exercise levels and can help you establish a healthy routine.

Q: Can I track my Labrador?

Yes, through the use of a dog tracker, Labradors can be tracked using a GPS signal. Most GPS devices use embedded sim cards allowing for live updates and unlimited range across the UK.

Q: Does the Tractive have escape alerts?

Yes, both the original Tractive tracker and the Tractive XL have escape alerts. By setting a virtual fence inside the Tractive app you can set alerts for when your dog wanders or leaves the set area. The app will then notify you through alerts.

Q: How much does the Tractive XL cost?

The Tractive XL costs £41.99 with a monthly subscription of £12.00. But you can save yourself money by paying in advance. The full year would cost £113.99.

*data from 16.07.2023

Q: Can I put an Apple AirTag on my dog?

Although Apple advises against attaching AirTags to pets, providing you live in an area with connection to Apple devices, the Find My network the AirTag uses can be great to track down lost pets and valuables.

The problems start when you try to leave or go in the country side where there are no devices. The AirTag must be in a 5-10 meter reach of any Apple product to work. Here’s a full answer here.

Q: Do trackers without subscriptions exist?

Trackers use sims just like phones, unfortunately sims need connection to a satellite to function and therefore a monthly subscription. But GPS trackers like the PitPat aim to remove the monthly payments by pricing the device a little more expensive.

It’s worth checking out!

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Olivia Williams

Olivia Williams is a keen writer and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Specialising in everything home related, whether that’s smart home products or pet goodies, she has an extensive knowledge on home appliances, dogs and safety products with a lot of reviewing experience. Before joining ThirtyBlue Media, she wrote content for her own website.