Track Your Dog With This DIY GPS Harness


Have you ever wondered how far your dog actually runs when you take it to the park? You could be a standard consumer and purchase a GPS tracking collar for $100 or more, or you could follow [Becky Stern's] lead and build your own simple but effective GPS tracking harness.

[Becky] used two FLORA modules for this project; The FLORA main board, and the FLORA GPS module. The FLORA main board is essentially a small, sewable Arduino board. The GPS module obviously provides the tracking capabilities, but also has built-in data logging functionality. This means that [Becky] didn’t need to add complexity with any special logging circuit. The GPS coordinates are logged in a raw format, but they can easily be pasted into Google Maps for viewing as demonstrated by [Becky] in the video after the break. The system uses the built-in LED on the FLORA main board to notify the user when the GPS has received a lock and that the program is running.

The whole system runs off of three AAA batteries which, according to [Becky], can provide several hours of tracking. She also installed a small coin cell battery for the GPS module. This provides reserve power for the GPS module so it can remember its previous location. This is not necessary, but it provides a benefit in that the GPS module can remember it’s most recent location and therefore discover its location much faster.


  1. joe1 says:

    you could also attach an old cellphone to the dog

  2. Sebastian says:

    Lovely system, but the Flora is relatively expensive, i think you can do it for a lot less when using a generic Arduino clone + GPS module.

  3. LK says:

    You could also use a Navspark, which has GPS built in and comes in the size of an arduino nano.

  4. Order Up! says:

    Forget the dog, I am thinking of using this on my domestic partner.

    Btw, anyone have plans for a DIY domestic partner?

    • vosnul says:

      Didn’t Intel just announce they were going to open source a domestic partner real soon?

    • static says:

      The plans for open source domestic partner have always been available for a long time. Problem is you can’t have a domestic relationship with a newly constructed domestic partner and stay out of jail for 16 years, even longer in some States.

    • static says:

      I once noticed a for,er niebhbor of min in his mom’s front yard waving a Yagi antenna around. I was sure he didn’t become a ham, so I stopped to ask watc’s up with that. Turns out there is a sports competition where people outfit a dogs with a tracker turn the dogs out, and go out to find them. The gut put the tracker on his domestic partner when she and his mom went out for a walk.

  5. rexxar says:

    I thought there’d be some sort of cellular modem, to find the dog when it wanders away. I don’t see much utility in finding out where he’s gone after the fact, but it’s neat nonetheless.

    • kendall14 says:

      I agree with you, but I could see a cellar modem getting expensive. I would think that a RF transmitter and receiver from cheap from ebay. I have seen reports of getting 200+ ft which I think could be perfect for this. You could get in closish range and then you could find your pet exactly, think driving in car then picking up the signal. Just a thought.

    • Liam Jackson says:

      I’ve thought of something similar taking the board and battery from an old tiny android phone with GPS. Then you can just code up an android app (or use of of the many tracking apps already out there).

      Something like the Xperia X10 mini.

  6. buxtronix says:

    Did this a few years back, but on my cat. A tiny (discontinued) Sparkfun GPS module and an Openlog is all it took:

  7. vosnul says:

    I always skip the wearable electronics stuff from Adafruit or elsewhere. Most, if not all is only suitable for Halloween or comi-con types of events and the data gathering examples are not really useful beyond some novelty value.

    GPS on a dog? For when you might loose him/her? If you can’t train your dog, you should not get one.

  8. Tim-1138 says:

    I believe this system has nothing to do with locating your dog, but rather tracking the distance and therefore the energy and level of excercise they are getting. a lot of people who have trained their dogs properly can walk them off leash, and this would allow them to track exactly how much they are doing. I have a dog with a disabilty and she uses a cart, I was thinking of a system like this to track exacty how much time/distance she gets in it daily as part of her rehabilitation. It would be nice to be able to slowly ramp up her physical activity daily and track it.

  9. static says:

    Never seen so many comments where it’s evident those making the comment didn’t bother to watch the video. One even asked a question, that was answered in the first sentence of this article.

  10. Will Lyon says:

    I like Becky even more now that I see she’s a fellow pittie lover :D

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