Hello and welcome to the SpotOn family – we’re so glad you’ve decided to join the pack!
We’re dog people, like you, and we understand that life is better off-leash. That’s why we’ve created the SpotOn Fence – a total containment solution you can take with you and use anywhere.
This GPS-based fence requires no wires, no costly installation, and no base stations… nothing but a collar, peace of mind, and room to roam!
Check out our unboxing video and a quick video on how all the tech works together (below). Then follow the steps below to get started!
We host live set-up sessions with Sam, Customer Support Expert, twice a month. Sign up for our next session here.
1. DOUBLE CHECK YOUR PUP’S NECK SIZE
Your SpotOn collar should fit snugly and allow you to comfortably fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck next to the static contact points. Tuck any excess strap underneath (to prevent chewing!). Ensure that the GPS antenna is on the back of the dog’s neck, facing the sky.
To get started, first plug in your collar to give it a full charge; this should only take around an hour. Once charged, you’ll get about 24 hours of runtime in containment mode and about eight hours of runtime if tracking. For more information on how to optimize battery life, click here.
Helpful Hint: Leave the collar on while charging. This will save your GPS fix and keep your map active—making going outdoors easier for you and your pup!
4. REGISTER YOUR SPOTON VIRTUAL FENCE
You’ll need to register your collar the first time you log in. Just enter some basic info - your dog’s name and info, your phone number, the 8-digit Collar ID (located on the back of your collar), and select a color to represent your pup. Finally, add your pup’s pic and click the checkmark in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and you’re done – your SpotOn Fence is now registered!
5. Activate cellular service
You don’t need cell service in order to keep your pup contained (the SpotOn Fence works using GPS satellites!), but optional cellular service does allow you to:
- Track your pup’s location
- Receive battery and escape notifications
- Manage your fences right from the app
Cellular (also called tracking), is free for the first 12 months after activation and $6.95 a month thereafter. Activating cellular service makes setting and creating your first fence a little easier – not to mention, gives you instant notifications if your pet escapes… a moment where every second counts—but is not required.
ACTIVATE CELLULAR SERVICE
Helpful Hint: If you see "Collar Does Not Have Cell Service" it means either you have
not activated tracking, or your collar or smartphone has limited cellular service.
You can ignore the message and proceed with setup. Learn more here.
Once you have activated your cellular service, turn on your collar. Hold down the center button until the screen shows the SpotOn logo. Give the collar five minutes to boot up and establish connections, then toggle through any notifications. You are now ready to create your first custom fence!
Learn more about why you don’t need cellular with SpotOn here.
Plan Your Fence
To set up your first fence, go outside with your collar and flags and choose the area you’d like to fence. When planning your containment area, it’s important to remember:
- Your fence should be at least 80 feet wide at its narrowest point.
- You should include at least 15 feet of clearance from any dangerous area, such as a road or body of
water. (This buffer zone is important because GPS can naturally shift up to 10 feet.)
- You should begin walking your fence at least 15 feet from the side of your home or other structure
(this ensures optimal GPS performance).
Take your flags and begin walking the area you’d like to fence. Place a flag roughly every 10-20 feet. The flags are more for you than your pup—they are a visual reminder of the boundary. They will be helpful when testing your fence and training your dog.
When you’re done, turn on the SpotOn collar and wait for the home screen, which looks like this:
Hold the collar’s antenna – the circular bump on the back – facing the sky until the collar acquires GPS signal. You’ll know you have GPS once the letters on the top of the screen have changed from red to green… but be patient, this can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
Now, press the left button to “create a fence,” then the right button to select “custom.” Pick a flag as your starting point (it helps if it’s by a memorable landmark) and – with the collar’s antenna still facing the sky – begin walking the border you’ve created with your flags.
When you’ve walked the border for most of your containment area and you’re a few feet from arriving back at your starting point, hit “end” on the collar. The system will automatically snap a line to close the gap, and your map is complete!
• When walking your fence, don’t cross over the boundary you are creating – since GPS needs a closed loop, this will result in an invalid fence.
• If you are under dense tree coverage and you notice that the GPS indicator is changing from green to red, you may need to enable Forest Mode to increase GPS sensitivity. Learn more about Forest Mode.
• With the SpotOn Fence, you aren’t limited to dry land or flat terrain! You can create maps through water, rocky areas, or thick brush using the Pause feature – it’s also useful if you have a large area to fence. “Pause” allows you to pause map creation and then start again, snapping a line between both points.Learn more about the pause feature.
• SpotOn comes pre-programmed with circular fences, too! Once your dog is trained, these temporary fences are a quick way to activate a circle around you and are great when you’re on-the-go or in a time crunch. Circle maps come in several pre-set sizes, starting at 20 meters. To create a circular fence, select “create map” then “circle map” and select the size. Since these maps are only temporary, they do not take one of the spaces reserved for custom fences.
Congratulations! You have created your first fence. Now it’s time to test it and start training your pup.
Enabling Bluetooth is necessary to test and set static correction as well as for training your pup. To pair your SpotOn collar to your phone:
- Ensure Bluetooth and location services are enabled on your phone
- Power on your collar and exit any notifications
- In your app, select "Training" and then select the Bluetooth button
- Select ‘SO-SPOTON’ or ‘SO-[your dog’s name]’
- Once you’re connected, the icons will be in color
Always deactivate maps before connecting to Bluetooth. Learn more here.
8. SET YOUR STATIC CORRECTION LEVEL
First, install the static contact points by screwing them into the back of the collar. These contact points are two different sizes – short for short-haired dogs, and long for long-haired dogs. Then, select the training portal in the app, tap the Correction Level icon and use the slider to adjust the static correction level. Always start at level 1 and work your way up. Don’t forget to save by tapping the check mark!
After a few minutes, if you are not actively using the training portal, Bluetooth will automatically disconnect.
On the Collar:
- Use the right button to "Select Map.”
- Toggle to the fence of your choice
- Use the center button to select your fence
Through the App:
- If cell service is activated, select "Manage My Maps,” select your fence and hit "Activate“
- You will only be able to activate through the app if you have cell connectivity
Testing your fence is important—especially when training your dog. Since GPS has a natural shift of three to ten feet, before training you’ll want to make sure you know where your dog will be hearing the tones and receiving the (optional) static correction. Like we mentioned before, the flags are more of a visual guide for you than your pup. Training your pup to the tones means any GPS shift will go practically unnoticed by your dog, which also makes traveling with SpotOn a breeze! Testing your fence before you begin training your pup guarantees you’ll know where the tones are sounding in relation to the flags.
To test your fence, hold the collar and walk towards the flags. (If you are using static correction, snap the contact point tester onto the static contact points.)
About 10 feet away from the flags, you should hear the alert tone, and at five feet you should hear the warning tone. When you reach the boundary line, if using static correction, the contact point tester should glow orange. This means the static correction is working!
Helpful Hint: The tones are set for dogs to hear but may not be audible to you while you our pup is wearing the collar – especially if your pup is long-haired or particularly fluffy!
Now it’s time to bring out your pup and let him join in on the fun! Training your dog is key to using the SpotOn Fence; like learning to ride a bike, training takes a little commitment but it can last a lifetime!
We recommend training your pup for about 15 minutes a day for two weeks – that’s how long it takes a dog, on average, to get accustomed to the tones. Of course, all dogs are different, so don’t worry if it takes your pup a little longer to learn! Keep your training sessions quick and fun to avoid stressing out your pooch – or yourself!
Get started here or schedule a complimentary remote training session with one of our SpotOn expert trainers at Training@SpotOnFence.com. We’re happy to help guide you and your pooch so you can get out there and experience the freedom of living life unleashed!