Link AKC Smart Collar Review [2022 Upd.] Read Before Buying!

Link AKC Smart Collar Review [2022 Upd.] Read Before Buying!

Last Updated on December, 2022

Our dogs love to wander here and there, and we worry about their safety. That’s when the pet trackers come in handy.

Are you considering trying out the Link AKC smart collar to find a solution for this issue?

If yes, you have landed in the correct place.

I have used the Link AKC collar for my 4-year-old pup, Skipper. He loves to roam around a lot. So, I tried the Link AKC tracker because I wanted to keep an eye on him.

And I will share my experience with the AKC smart dog collar and its features.

So, in this Link AKC smart collar review, we will discuss its ups and downs and if it is worth your investment.

Let’s get started!

The Good

Link AKC smart collar has a durable design which is waterproof and shockproof.

The Not So Good

The device provides inaccurate location and temperature readings. And its battery life is weak and does not last. Plus, it is bulky for small pets.

The Bottom Line

Although Link AKC smart collar has a durable waterproof and shockproof design, I cannot recommend it to dog owners. After analyzing the inefficiency of the device, I recommend you check out Fi Series 2 for a better experience. (Look out for it in the Better Alternative section below.)

About Link AKC Smart Dog Collar

Link AKC smart collar is a GPS dog locator that allows you to access your pet’s location and monitor activity levels and your dog’s well being.

Link AKC is a Connecticut-based company founded in 2015. Their main goal is to develop tech products to protect pets and improve pet-guardian bonds.

And the device has received endorsement from the American Kennel Club and won the CES Best Innovation Award.

However, the Link AKC device is available only in the United States.

link akc dog collar

How Does it Work?

Link AKC smart dog collar uses Bluetooth, GPS, and WiFi technology to track your pup’s location.

It uses AT&T cellular network to pinpoint your dog’s location.

And it needs AT&T coverage to do this.

So, if you move to a place without AT&T coverage, you won’t be able to keep track of your beloved pet. OH NO!

a dog wearing link akc collar

The tracking system of Link AKC includes a tracking unit and a base station. The base station is a semi-round device. And you have to attach the tracking unit into the base station when charging.

You can attach the tracking unit to AKC smart dog collar or any other collar. And keep the base station anywhere in your home.

Moreover, you should keep the base station plugged in all the time. This is because it forms a safe zone via Bluetooth. It defines the places your dog can walk and run freely.

The device automatically creates two safe zones. Not only that, but you can also customize the safe zones for your pet’s safety.

You should access the Link AKC smartphone app to track your pup through GPS.

The Bluetooth connection between the tracker and the base station or your cell phone breaks when your dog roams outside a safe zone. 

As a result, you will receive a notification within 30 seconds and start tracking the pet via GPS.

Then, you will see the first location on the map within 3 to 5 minutes. And this location will receive constant updates.

Features of Link AKC Smart Dog Collar

Now, let’s take a closer look at the main features of the Link AKC collar.

Design and Durability

AKC smart dog collar comes in two different styles including Classic Leather Collar and Sports Collar.

The sports collar has a reflective fabric stretch sleeve which is GREAT for adventurous and playful dogs.

And the classic leather collar is a bit stiff and more suitable for sophisticated dogs.

The AKC smart dog collar comes in a range of sizes:

a human holding link akc collar
  • Small: 9-14 inches
  • Medium: 14-17.5 inches
  • Large: 17-21 inches
  • XL: 20.5-25 inches

It is better to measure the dog’s neck before ordering the product. But you do not have to worry about that.

If you ordered the wrong size, you can exchange it for FREE!

The size of the GPS tracker remains the same, no matter what size you choose. The dimensions of the GPS tracker are 1.5 in * 3.9 in * 0.5 in. 

And, it comes with a curved tracking unit.

The device has a gorgeous collar, tracker unit, collar carrier to attach the tracker, a base station, and a USB cable.

The ergonomic curved design of the AKC smart dog collar can fit both large and small dogs. Also, if your pet outgrows, you can upgrade to a new one.

The collar carrier has a spring release button that pops off, so you can attach or remove the tracker to the base station to recharge. The carrier and tracking unit weigh 2.55 ounces.

And the tracking unit is impact resistant and water resistant (IP67) up to 3 feet.

a dog in near the water and wearing link akc collar

That’s a pretty AMAZING feature if your dog loves to be adventurous in the water. Don’t you think?

Moreover, AKC smart dog collar is not recommended for small furry friends that weigh less than 10 pounds. In some cases, the device can be too large or bulky, even for pets that weigh more than 10 pounds.

GPS Tracking

Link AKC smart dog collar uses Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS to locate and monitor your pup.

This allows constant GPS location tracking. But, Link only tracks 24 hours of your pup’s location. And unfortunately, in most cases, the device cannot provide a real-time location of your dog.

And GPS tracking requires a strong cellular connection. And if the cellular network is weak, the device may provide inaccurate location details.

Link AKC uses Bluetooth to tell you whether your pet is near you or the base station. And it will send notifications if your pooch leaves a safe zone.

Moreover, Link AKC uses GPS to monitor your pup’s changing location. And it will provide a map with paw prints to show their recent locations. 

In addition, the Link AKC smart tracker does not work indoors. So, you won’t be able to track your pet if your dog ventures into a closed area.

Activity and Health Tracking

You can track your dog’s activity using the Link AKC smart dog collar. This ensures that you know your dog’s activity levels and exercise goals.

Link AKC features a 3-axis accelerometer to measure your dog’s activity.

Moreover, the tracking system has a patent-pending algorithm that differentiates the activity levels, such as moderate and intense.This feature lets dog owners know if their pets enjoyed their playtime.

Mentioned below are the health and fitness features the activity tracker offers.

  • Exercise goals: You can customize your pup’s exercise levels according to age, size, breed, and behavior. The activity tracker also lets you track your pet’s daily activity progress.
  • Activity monitoring: This feature allows you to track moderate and intense activity levels against customized exercise goals. This includes daily steps, calories, distance, and duration.
  • Health records: This feature stores vet records and sets reminders on important vet appointments. A separate records tab stores the medical-related info.
  • Sound training: Whenever your dog wanders around, you can train your pooch to return to a safe area by playing a remotely-controlled click-like sound.

Battery Life

You know the importance of the device’s battery if your pup wanders here and there, right?

So, here’s the deal!

The battery life of Link’s tracking device varies based on activity levels and network coverage. So, the average battery life of the tracking unit is about two to three days.

But, the battery may last only a few hours if the GPS stays on for a more extended period.

a human touching charging link akc collar

And Link AKC also has a battery-saving button, which you can turn on/off when your dog is around you.

Moreover, Link AKC recommends charging the collar every night to avoid running out of charge during the day.

In addition, Link AKC comes with a LED indicator that displays the charging level.

AKC smart dog collar has a non-removable and rechargeable battery that takes several hours to charge.

Smartphone App

The Link smart collar has a dedicated app to locate and monitor your beloved pet.

And AKC smart dog collar’s app is compatible with iOS 11 or later and Android 7 or later.

This app allows you to access your pet’s location and define permanent and temporary safe zones.

You will get instant notifications if the dog leaves a safe zone.

Link AKC GPS Tracker ios mobile app

Moreover, you can also monitor your dog’s activity, set goals, and take pictures of your pooch’s adventures with your phone’s camera and store photos too. The app also allows you to rename, share, and edit these pictures.

So, you can create a digital album with this adventure feature.

Accessing and sharing medical records and receiving medication reminders are other app features.

The app also sends you a temperature alert if your pup’s ambient environment gets too hot or too cold.

LED Light

The Link AKC GPS tracker has a built-in remotely controlled LED light. This makes your dog more visible during late night walks.

If you lose your furry friend at night, you can activate the night light and spot your pet quickly.

Training 

The Link AKC app has a collection of built-in training tools. These tools enable you to encourage your dog’s good behavior through positive reinforcement. 

This feature uses remotely-controlled tones and vibrations to train dogs.

Moreover, the app has a resource center that allows you to browse the Link My Pet YouTube channel and Wanderer blog. So you can view training tutorials and resources needed to train your pooch.

How Much Does Link AKC Smart Dog Collar Cost?

The Link AKC device costs $149.

And there are three monthly subscription plans to choose from. You can select any service plan to enjoy the maximum benefits of the device. The plans are as follows:

  • 2 year: $7.75/month
  • 1 year: $8.25/month
  • Monthly: $12.95/month

You can access Pet Poison Helpline and 24/7 veterinarian assistance by purchasing a service plan.

Plus, AKC smart dog collar comes with a 3-year warranty in case of malfunctions. And it has a 90-day risk-free guarantee, so you can return the collar if you are unhappy with the product.

My Personal Opinion

Are you ready to know my actual experience with the Link AKC collar?

So, what are you waiting for? Keep reading to find out!

Well, I got the AKC smart dog collar for my pet dog Skipper to ensure I know everywhere he goes.

Even though he is an obedient pup he is also very playful and loves to wander here and there. That is why I decided to try out a GPS dog collar to ensure my dog’s safety.

link akc collar on the table

My experiences with the Link AKC smart collar had some inaccurate locations on the map. And the Bluetooth range is smaller to pinpoint a dog’s location.

Moreover, the device could not provide a fast real-time location of my pooch.

This happened multiple times when I was hiking with my pet. I was so scared because I could not find my pup where the app pinpointed.

And that was a TERRIBLE experience since I could not track Skipper throughout the journey.

Imagine if you lost your pooch in a crowded place and can’t find him. That’s HORRIBLE! 

Apart from that, the activity monitor of the device provided valuable details about Skipper’s daily performance levels.

And the poor battery life of the device was irritating. Also, you will need more than one base station if you live in a large house.

Moreover, the bulky size is another downside of the collar.

a human putting link akc box on the dog's head

By the way, the temperature alerts were beneficial for me to ensure my dog’s health on hot summer days.

However, the app also sent false temperature alerts many times. The device could not deliver accurate temperature readings on many hot and cold days. 

And these false alerts made me WORRIED about Skipper, and there was nothing wrong with him.

But WAIT! What if I tell you there’s a better alternative? So, keep reading till you discover it!

What Others Say About Link AKC Smart Dog Collar?

Well, there is a combination of positive and negative reviews on the AKC smart dog collar.

Many Link AKC customers complain about faulty location tracking and temperature readings. And they claim that the features do not work as great as advertised.

Although many users loved the product’s options, they were not satisfied with the results.

Many customers are unhappy with the battery life too.

So let’s check out what others say about the product.

Link akc customer experience 1
Link akc customer experience 2
Link akc customer experience 3

Pros and Cons of Link AKC Smart Collar

Now shall we check out the pros and cons of the Link AKC collar?

Pros

Health and adventure features
Waterproof and shockproof
3-year warranty
90-day risk-free guarantee

Cons

Provides inaccurate GPS locations
Inaccurate temperature readings
Bulky size
Poor battery life
Does not provide real-time location
Not suitable for small pets

Better Alternative

Once I finally gave up the Link AKC collar I searched for a better alternative. Then I discovered Fi Series 2.

And once I dug through the internet, I learned that Fi Series is a famous GPS tracker many dog owners love.

So I decided to check it out.

Believe me!

fi collar

Fi series 2 is an EXCELLENT product, which gave me the desired results.

Fi series 2 provides more accurate and fast 24/7 real-time location tracking using the LTE-M network. And the signals of the LTE-M network reach around 30% farther than 3G, 4G, 5G, and LTE.

Sounds FREAKING AWESOME, right?

Moreover, Fi series 2 is specially designed for the outdoors, which is excellent even for the most adventurous dogs.

The collar has a wider range of sizes as follows:

  • Small: 11.5” – 13.5”
  • Medium: 13” – 16.5”
  • Large: 16” – 22.5”
  • XLarge: 22” – 34.5”

And it costs $149 and has three GPS plans as follows:

  • 1 year: $1.89/week ($99 billed annually)
  • 2 years: $1.79/week ($186 billed every two years)
  • 3 years: 1.59/week ($248 billed every three years)

Why is Fi Series 2 Better Than Link AKC Smart Collar?

Unlike Link AKC collar Fi series 2, it delivered me the desired results.

So, here are the AMAZING reasons why Fi series 2 is better than the Link AKC smart dog collar.

  • Fi provides fast, more accurate, and reliable 24/7 real-time location and GPS tracking using the LTE-M network. And it has better signal coverage.
  • It uses higher quality materials that are more durable
  • It has an IP68 waterproof rating. Plus, it is salt water resistant too.
  • Dirt proof and adventure proof. Fi series 2 uses an armored Aluminum faceplate and reinforced internal metal armor. This makes the device chew proof too.
  • The device’s reinforced hardware can withstand up to 300lbs pull resistance.
  • Has an unmatched battery life which lasts up to 3 months when using the Dog At Home Only Mode. And you do not have to charge the device every night.
  • Fi series 2 has a remotely-controlled LED light with a range of colors to choose from.
  • It has a more extensive range of collar sizes to select. The collar ranges from 11.5 inches to 34.5 inches.
  • Fi has Escape detection features. It allows you to find your pet in the fastest and most accurate way after an escape.
  • Lost dog mode is another important feature of the Fi collar. It lets you quickly reunite with your lost dog by sending you fast location alerts.
  • Has advanced health, fitness and activity features. Fi provides daily, weekly, and monthly activity levels and tells you how much activity your pet needs to maintain overall health.
  • Sleep tracking. The sleep tracking feature analyzes sleep patterns and notifies if your dog has any health issues.

My Experience Fi Series 2

fi collar on the table

It was a FANTASTIC experience to use Fi Series 2 to keep track of my pooch Skipper.

It provided faster, more accurate, and more reliable location readings and health information. 

And the battery life was superb. It did a great job throughout our long walks and hikes.

Moreover, activity tracking was very beneficial and precise. It was helpful for me to analyze my pup’s health and exercise needs.

Plus, the sleep tracking was pretty IMPRESSIVE. I got all the important health-related alerts instantly.

I am really happy with Fi Series 2 and I recommend it to any dog owner.

What Do Others Say About Fi Series 2?

Many Fi series 2 customers are pleased with the product. According to them, Fi series 2 is one of the BEST dog tracking collars. 

Many customers claim that Fi series 2 is WORTH BUYING.

Like my personal experience, many dog owners have gotten the expected results and ensured the safety of their dogs.

The following are some of the Fi series 2 customer experiences.

Fi series 2 customer experience 1
Fi series 2 customer experience 2
Fi series 2 customer experience 3

Conclusion

The Link AKC smart dog collar does not provide accurate real-time location. Link AKC’s biggest downside is that it constantly needs AT&T coverage to track your dog’s location.

So, I recommend Fi series 2 instead. It is a way better and more reliable choice.

Fi series 2 provides faster and more accurate dog tracking and has great battery life. So, if you want to keep a keen eye on your dog in the best possible way, check out Fi series 2 and ensure your dog’s safety.

Other Pet Tracker Reviews & Comparisons:

FAQs

Yes. GPS Trackers are entirely safe for dogs to use. This is because these trackers are on the lower end of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Yes. But it is safe for both dogs and humans. Fi is within the same standard of Radio Frequency exposure limits as the cellular phones.

Link AKC smart collar offers three subscription plans:

  • 2 year: $7.75/month
  • 1 year: $8.25/month
  • Monthly: $12.95/month
BETTER ALTERNATIVE
Fi Collar
Fi Collar GPS tracker
Accuracy
Range
Price

5.0

5.0

4.9

Overall Score

5.0

visa-master-amex-paypal
Pros
Better water and dirt resistance
It comes with a stylish collar available in different sizes
Superior in terms of its features
Extremely easy to set up and use
Great battery life
Get the BEST PRICE until the end of December
Cons
It requires a rather hefty monthly subscription

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Author
Cristina Cerase
Cristina Cerase is a graduate of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She is also a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) in both Canine and Feline Practice. She has a Labrador Retriever dog breed.

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