Halo Collar 3: An Honest Review [2023]


Dedicated to the safety and monitoring needs of vigilant pet owners, the GPS-powered Halo Collar 3 is a groundbreaking solution, proposing real-time location tracking and a virtual fencing system that ensures the safety of your pet. In this amplified review, we will delve deep into the nuances of its superior technology, dissect its multitude of benefits, and discuss potential drawbacks to aid well-informed decision-making.

The smart collar market has exploded in the last 5 years. And it’s definitely slightly different as this one combines an invisible fence and your normal location tracker/GPS tracker and activity tracker collar so that dog owners have a more full smart dog collar – or a smarter collar! 

Anyway, let’s kick into the halo dog collar review and see if it’s the best that modern technology can offer the modern dog parent.

Introduction

This product was provided free of charge for rebarkable to test and review – it’s a size medium-large, and was tested on Lucy. Features that were not tested on my dog(s) include the ecollar/training collar functionality, indoor halo beacons and the consequences of violating the fence for ethical reasons. These were instead tested on a multi-meter.

How Does The Halo Collar Work?

The Halo collar works based off of GPS location services and it’s positioning of the collar (which assumedly is on your dog), and you setting up a “safe zone”, you set boundaries within the Halo collar app, denoting an area you’re happy for your dog to be (usually this would be the perimeter of your property, or close to it). The idea then is that your dog’s location will trigger to alert your pup that they’re getting close to the boundary, with a beep, a vibrate, and ultimately a shock. The principle comes from operant conditioning and would be considered “Positive punishment” (aka, the application of an uncomfortable or painful thing to make the subject stop and not repeat doing what they’re doing). 

There are also other features within the collar including general GPS tracking and activity tracking. 

Who This Works For

Now, for anyone who follows this blog or knows me, may be surprised to see this being reviewed here as I am a positive reinforcement trainer. Now, please do not get me wrong, I do not, and will not ever support an ecollar, and I have not and will not go into it’s beacons for this exact reason – however – there are instances where this is about the only option some pet parents will have, so, I want to explore it in a safe, constructive manner, so that those who have no other options can make the best of a tool.

People I think this would be ideal for:

  • Renters Or If You’re Moving: If you have a dog and you’re either regularly moving, or you’re not able to put in a fence, this is a relatively affordable solution for you.
  • Nomadic Lifestyle Livers: If you’re living that van life, or not settling in a place for a long time, this one could be really useful for you, as it’ll 
  • Land Owners: if you own a property that is impossible to fence (for whatever reason), this one might just work for you.

Whilst the Halo 3 is not a replacement for proper training – it can assist if you’re not in a position to put in a full fence, for whatever reason, and a regular GPS dog collar might be a better option for most of you – so make sure you check out the Halo vs Fi series 3 comparison. 

What The Halo 3 Is Good At

I haven’t tested the “Training features”, but I have tested everything else. It’s good to note that all punitive things were not tested on my dogs and instead were tested using a multi-meter, because I will not punish my dogs where they don’t need to be punished.

Easier Than An Invisible Dog Fence

You can set up multiple safe zones or smart fences, using virtual fence posts to mark out the area.

There’s no doubt that this is more affordable than a fence, and way easier to deal with than an invisible fence. Sure it takes charging every day (which is more than the average GPS collar or invisible fence). Setting the halo fences is easier than some candy crush levels, and certainly easier than laying an invisible fence wire. Then, after that the halo collar GPS system takes care of pretty much else.  The smart fence

Comes with appropriate training

The new halo collar comes with a 21-day training program to ensure you understand the halo system, and whilst it does start at some very low basics, the halo training process does cover everything you need to know about your new collar, however, some users have shown disdain for it’s basic approach. And I actually see it from both sides. It’s hard to create a course that can walk everyone from the basics to the advanced notes of dog training – but having a quicker option than running the full 21-day halo training program would definitely give me more satisfaction, and others who might be more advanced than the average dog parent – or (even) just a on pager on how the halo collar works and how to effectively use it – that could be a good idea too!

Unparalleled Location Accuracy

The Active GPS Antenna ensures the Halo Collar 3 offers accurate, real-time location tracking – and supposedly offers better location accuracy than it’s competitors. It maintains this accuracy even in challenging terrains or conditions more akin to a Garmin collar, that might prove difficult for other location tracking devices like the fi collar. In my experience though, both the Fi and the Halo collar are similar in their positioning at any one time. This does, however, come with the drawback that one charge results in up to 24hrs of battery life. 

2
the puppy life skills pack

Customized Safety Perimeters: 

Now, as discussed, there’s not a whole heap of times that the halo collar will outperform an actual fence, but, it does have the functionality to give freedom when a fence isn’t present or cannot be present, and it’s safety perimeters? Are great for this.  The unique customizable virtual fences align with natural boundaries or human constructions in different environments. They provide a fitting safety perimeter, offering pet parents the luxury to customize their pet’s playing or roaming field.

My husband (Mr Rebarkable) and I were discussing what we would do if we had 200 acres of unfenced land, and dogs (aka the hounds) who love to roam and would be as happy as could be having that amount of space to run and explore – and i know we’d never be able to afford to fence that – let alone maintain it and 

Introductory Training Program: 

The in-built training program is responsive to individual behaviors in dogs, making shaping routines more effective for pet parents and trainers. It is the result of collaboration with a leading dog behaviorist and showcases the power of scientific knowledge meeting technology. Now, I will warn you, it very much starts from base principles, but it’s very worth it to go through it and ensure you know how to correctly use and set this up so that you know your pup is at minimal risk of aversive fallout.

Ease of Use.

The easy-to-use Halo App provides accessibility to monitor your pet seamlessly, access training routines, and receive important notifications regarding your pet’s activities. Its intuitive navigation ensures anyone can utilize it effectively, even without advanced tech skills. I like the fact it gives some great insight into our dogs activities and locations, and overall it works really well. 

Adaptable Machine Learning (Maybe?)

The integrated machine learning capabilities of the Halo Collar 3 make it a smart, learning device that continuously adapts its functions. With this feature, the device learns from your dog’s activities to improve its predictive capabilities, enhancing overall performance and safety – what does that mean in the day to day functioning of this collar? If I’m honest, I’m not exactly certain, it feels a little like they’re jumping on the AI bandwagon, but I’m just not certain what it actually does to improve the collars performace

Suitable Solution When Fencing Isn’t Possible

Now, I really would advise a fence whenever you can do a fence, because a fence also means things can’t come in to your yard (or your designated area of your wireless dog fence), but sometimes that just isn’t possible for dog parents, and I’d be negligent to simply tell people to fence their yard, or move, or that they shouldn’t have a dog – which isn’t an answer! Because sometimes we can’t just stop having a dog when our life situations change. And I appreciate that. I just want everyone to go into a tool like this fully aware of what they mean, and the consequences of using one.

What Could Be Improved

The Halo collar has made improvements since the original halo collar, but there’s still things that can be worked on, and I’d like to see remedied – some might be more difficult than others, but it can be done.

It’s Punishment Based

Now. I’ve addressed this briefly above, but again, this is a shock collar that uses static electricity to create an unpleasant stimulus (referred to as a “XXXX” in the training) to 
The collar works on fear based principles, punishing your dog for going to a certain point of your yard. To humans this makes sense! But your dog doesn’t understand that there is a boundary there. This does open a can of worms when it comes to training – and actually limited my ability to test the Halo collar, in fact we tried it on a day to day basis, and tested the wireless fences as a set up and measured the electric shock delivered via a multimeter specifically for the halo collar review. 

(Table)

You can also use this for training however, I wouldn’t recommend that… ever. Again, this is a tool for very specific back up purposes, 

It Needs A Lot Of Charging

Ugh – I yearn for a longer battery life on the Halo collar, some halo collar alternatives (like the fi series 3) can go months on a single charge – but the Halo collar is down to X after just a day of normal use. I realise this is a consequence of the additional features and the virtual fence that it’s constantly running, but it’s an extra cost in power, and an extra cost in time – and when you’re time poor, this one is a good chunk more maintenance than I’d ideally like. It has become part of our routine, but I will be switching my furry friends back to the Fi collar after this review as we have no need for the virtual boundaries as we’re lucky enough to have a fence.

It’s Not IP Rated

Now, this sounds dumb and nuance-y, but I just cannot fathom why they don’t have an IP rating on the device. The IP rating (Ingress Protection rating) is an industry standard scale that denotes how dust/dirt proof a device is, and how waterproof it is, for example the fi series 3 has an IP rating of IP68, meaning it’s dustproof, and waterproof up to 6ft in fresh water – which is gives pet parents great peace of mind. So… why wouldn’t they bother getting this done on a $700 device? I cannot fathom why this was neglected. 

Cost Factor

The high-end features and advanced technology that powers Halo Collar 3 positions it at a steep price point. For pet parents on a budget, the initial cost might seem hefty, and then when it’s coupled with a monthly subscription fee, that then becomes a burden. Even the basic plan is $5.99 a month, which means that you’re paying close to $850 for two years of using this device – which is really quite expensive – and if you go for the top level package that’s breaks over $1400 over 2 years… Sure, it’s cheaper than a fence if you have a significant area, but it’s also still a lot! 

Wait! Don’t Forget Honey!

Honey is a coupon site and last I tested it has coupons for the halo collar! So make sure you use them if you can they’ll help you get the best available pricing on the Halo collar right now.

It’s not as good as a real fence

This sounds really obvious, but this isn’t a tool that’s going to replace or be as effective at containing your dog as a real fence — and also the opposite – it won’t keep other dogs (or wildlife) out of your yard. Yes your set safe are a will mainly keep your dog safe, however, if you have a dog with a high prey drive? That virtual boundary, and the punishment it applies, may well be absolutely nothing as your dog runs after a deer or a rabbit. 

It’s Figurehead… 

Cesar Milan (yes, the Dog Whisperer of 90’s fame) is possibly the worst thing that have happened to dogs in my opinion and in the opinion of most reputable dog trainers, and choosing to associate their product with him is something I strongly dislike – not to mention that it talks about “Behavioral psychology training methods”, and sure, it uses operant conditioning, but not in an advisable way… I feel like his endorsement is a negative as we try to move the dog industry forwards and he weighs the dog-world down like a millstone. 

A Note On Halo & Nervous Dogs

If your dog is of a nervous disposition, I wouldn’t use this tool at all, because redirected bites do happen. That means that if your child is out with your dog, and your dog gets surprised by the punishment the collar doles out, it could result in a bite to a human. 

Also, any punishment based training with a nervous dog could simply add to the issue. If you have a nervous dog, you might want to opt for a fi collar instead.

Would I Recommend The Halo Collar? 

For very specific people, yes, but not for the majority. 

Undoubtedly, Halo Collar 3 represents the integration of advanced technology into a device that prioritizes pet safety and tracking. As such, it is a smart investment for pet parents where cost is not a concerning factor – but it is not an alternative for proper training or a proper fence if these things are possible.

Even though the initial expenditure may seem substantial, the peace of mind that comes from the wealth of features and capabilities provided is hard to measure in monetary terms. The user-friendly Halo App complements the product with its simplicity and helps in utilizing the tool effectively.

What sets the Halo Collar 3 apart is its AI-driven technology that adapts and learns over time. This feature, combined with the behavior-informed training program’s potential to shape your pet’s habits positively, makes the Halo Collar 3 unassailable in its category.

If your priorities tilt towards ensuring pet safety and are prepared to invest in a tool that employs advanced technology for tracking your pet’s location, training it based on its behavior, and creating customizable safety boundaries, there’s no overlooking the Halo Collar 3. With this device, pet parents can strike the right balance between safety and freedom for their pets.

If you’re sure the Halo 3 is the best option for you, Go get your Halo 3 Collar!

Author, Ali Smith

Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.

Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!

Thanks to depositphotos.com for the images!





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