We’re not even going to act like this is news — doggie tech is a very well established market. We’ve been all over this since the heady days of Puppy Tweets back in 2010, and while we’re not sure it ever got better than puppy tweetstorms, we have seen a lot more features (GPS tracking, most importantly) added to smart dog collars over the years. Some of them have even looked pretty good! So, it’s a crowded playing field that Link AKC is entering. But, it looks like this dog collar has the feature set and looks to have its day.
Smart dog collars are only for the most pampered dogs anyway, but it’s doubly true for the Link AKC. The collar has a convex design that contours to a dog’s neck, although just from eyeballing it, it looks better suited for medium or large dogs. The collar is made of latigo leather, instantly making your dog’s new fashion accessory more trendy than half your closet.
The collar includes most of the features we usually see on dog trackers — a GPS chip, activity monitoring, and a temperature sensor, all of which can be checked using a companion app. In addition, there’s a remote controlled light for use if your dog gets lost in the dark. And, shades of Puppy Tweets, there’s a feature called Adventures that creates a digital scrapbook for you to fill with pictures of you and your dog, and it can absolutely be shared on social media.
Where Link AKC really gets distance from the pack is in its included base station. While the collar itself does have a GPS tracker, the base station works as a simplified geofence. By connecting to the collar using Bluetooth, the base station can alert owners when their dog wanders out of Bluetooth range, indicating that they’re running the risk of getting lost. The base station can also charge the collar and one other device using a USB port.
A lot of the features are just for fun, but GPS tracking is genuinely valuable and a huge relief to any pet owner. And, if you’re going to get one for your pet, it might as well look stylish, right? Besides the fashion cred, Link AKC has some serious puppy cred, too — the AKC stands for the American Kennel Club, which has backed the collar. But, with so many features and premium leather, the Link AKC isn’t cheap. It’s available for preorder for $200. Sadly, it won’t be in puppy stocking this year — shipping is scheduled for December 28.