February 22, 2024

Keeping your dog safe on and off the leash is a priority for most pet owners. Whether your furry friend is a member of your household or a working dog, making sure you know where they are and they know where they can go is an asset.

The Halo Collar 3 combines all of the safety nets of a traditional invisible fence system with top-notch training tools and an app that puts all the control in your hand. Whether you are looking for training, perimeter control, or just real-time tracking on your pup, the Halo Collar 3 really does do it all.

The biggest hangup is the price tag. At just a hair under $700, this thing is not for the budget-conscious shopper. That being said, is it worth it?

In short: The Halo Collar 3 does everything you need and more. With new AI tech that keeps locations tight, the new Collar 3 is slick. However, when it comes to budget and power limitations, there are a few hang-ups.

  • AI-driven GPS platform
  • Real-time tracking
  • Universal carrier connectivity
  • Up to 20 invisible fences
  • Includes indoor beacon for room training
  • App includes Cesar Millan training tools
  • Custom-fit collar size
  • New, vibrant colors

  • Accurate, real-time tracking

  • Multiple fences allow custom safe spaces for your dog

  • Thorough training program

  • Easy-to-use interface

Halo Collar 3 Review

Halo Collar 3
(Photo/Halo)

I certainly have more dogs than most. With a fleet of hunting hounds and a handful of bird dogs, we are no strangers to dog training, dog tech, and dog collars. Traditionally, we’ve run Garmin collars on all our dogs.

Because of our dog-filled life, I was excited to take the new Halo Collar 3 for a test run. After a few months of testing prior to its release, I definitely see why the brand is a leader in the pet industry.

Let’s kick it off with looks, shall we?

New Colors and Custom Fit

New Halo Collar 3 Colors

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the marketing masters over at YETI, it’s that new colors sell. Halo clearly took note of that trend and brought its Collar 3 to the table with vibrant shades.

Because I am predictable and boring, I chose Graphite (one of the original colors) to grace the neck of my new bird dog for training. It also comes in white, but come on? White? Dog owners know how long white stays white.

Both the collar straps and covers feature the color you choose.

Custom Fit

Halo Collar 3 Sizing

Halo calls its fit system “Perfect Fit,” and it’s pretty accurate. You have the option to choose from small or medium/large. Within those sizes is an incremental sizing system no different than a standard collar. As long as your pup’s neck falls between 11 and 30.5 inches, you should be covered.

It’s also worth mentioning that this collar is designed for dogs over 20 pounds. Chihuahua owners need not apply.

An Artificially Intelligent Dog Collar?

Yup. Though it might sound cooler than it actually is. The new Collar 3 uses AI to discard false signals. Essentially, it uses a type of machine learning called PrecisionGPS to understand when signals are bouncing off nearby objects instead of directly transmitting. What this means to you is that the real-time location of your pup is crazy accurate.

Don’t worry. The robots will not be controlling your dog … yet.

The collar also has first-of-its-kind universal-carrier connectivity, allowing the best connection by choosing whichever carrier’s signal is strongest, regardless of who your cellphone provider is.

The Test

Charlie Halo Collar 3
Charlie testing the Halo Collar 3, while ignoring her mom; (photo/Rachelle Schrute)

Enter Charlie

I’ve been training an upland bird dog named Charlie, who’s an energy-filled Brittany. We’ve used a variety of training tools for her, including several other collars, pending our location and ability to keep things charged. The idea of testing a collar of this caliber on my messy, wild child was daunting but exciting.

Very specific to my situation is the need to keep bird dogs away from birds. Not only do we raise hunting dogs, we also raise poultry. Keeping our dogs from following their instincts and harassing our chickens and turkeys is a challenge, especially for a young and eager pup.

Creating Fences

Halo Collar 3 Fences
(Photo/Rachelle Schrute)

The option to add up to 20 fences was a huge perk for me. There are places I don’t want Charlie getting into. A hiccup in that process is that your fences can’t overlap. For me, that meant creating a perimeter fence on our property and jutting it in to create the exception for the chicken coop.

Each fence can consist of 20 fence posts, so customizing your space is easy. If you have multiple places that you want to exclude your pup from, you’ll just have to get creative with creating those lines to exclude those locations.

The other issue is that your digital fence posts must be at least 6 feet apart, which creates a small line of non-coverage. However, there would be stimulus before entering that forbidden zone, so it’s a nonissue.

Chicken Coop Exception, Halo Collar 3
This is how I drew my exception point for our chicken coop. Notice the small connection “portal” that allows me to exclude it from the fenced-in area; (photo/Rachelle Schrute)

Each fence has a Protection Zone and a Warning Zone. The Warning Zone is a small perimeter area that gives your dog boundary feedback, such as a series of beeps or vibrations. The Protection Zone is the area where stronger stimulus is administered to correct the behavior of going where your pup isn’t allowed to go.

You can see Charlie’s striped Warning Zone above. This gives her a reminder to not get any closer to our dang chickens or their eggs.

Feedback & Training Options

Cesar Milan Halo Collar 3

The feedback options are very customizable and come with the one and only Cesar Millan’s voice. Within the app, you can whistle for your dog via a speaker directly on the collar itself, recalling them from anywhere. You can even give praise via Cesar Millan saying, “Good girl” or “Good boy” in different tones, if you so choose.

The corrective stimulus is also very customizable in type and level, from simple sound feedback, including clicks, beeps, and other tones, to vibration at differing beats and levels. For emergency correction, there is a static pulse that can be adjusted to your preferred correction.

All of these feedback mechanisms are also available to manually administer. For me, that includes giving Charlie a quick peep, then a buzz, and finally, a gentle but firm zip when she refuses to not chase a poor hen across the field.

Cesar Millan-Approved Training

Within the app, the training includes both collar-specific training filled with videos and tutorials and pet training to help you get your dog into listening shape in no time. Because I am training my dogs to hunt, I have altered much of the training portion, but it is incredibly helpful to any dog owner who is on the path to training a smart, obedient pup.

The Downfalls

Cost

The first one is pretty obvious. The price is simply out of reach for some people — $700 is a hefty price for a dog collar, and we can’t ignore that fact. However, when looking at other dog collars on the market with similar features and capabilities, the price falls in line. I typically run Garmin collars on my dogs, and they are all very similarly priced without the perks of invisible fences and training options.

Battery Life

The other issue is the need to plug it in every night. There’s just no way to extend the battery life without adding a ton of extra weight and bulk. Because of this, the collar has to be taken off every night and charged.

This isn’t a huge deal if you’re home most of the time, but if you’re on the go with your pup, it may create a challenge. For me, I overcame this obstacle by picking up a dedicated battery pack for the collar when we’re off-grid and adventuring.

So, Is the Halo Collar 3 Worth It?

Charlie, Halo Collar 3
(Photo/Rachelle Schrute)

That depends entirely on who you are. For me, this type of collar makes sense. At $700, it is a steep price to pay. However, when it comes to protecting the life of your pup, it might not be that steep after all.

If you have a dog that loves to run off, or if you live on a busy road, it seems like a no-brainer to me. We probably lost $700 in eggs before we started testing the Halo Collar 3, so it makes both logistical and budget sense.

The setup is easy, the interface is simple to use, the features are rich, and the value is there.

If it fits in your budget, it’s certainly worth the buy.