We've all experienced that moment of panic when we open the back door to let the dog inside only to find that he's not there. Technology has provided a solution to this dilemma with GPS tracking devices designed specifically for our four-legged friends entering the market in recent years, but this offering from GEODOG claims to improve on those that have gone before with a new slimline design that's shockproof, easily-adjustable, user-friendly and unobtrusive.

Having owned one of the more primitive models myself, I can tell you without hesitation that it's not something I felt comfortable leaving on my dogs. The collar itself was fine, but there was a large black box and a small antenna that left me feeling that it could get stuck in brush or thickets and become a possible safety risk for the animal. The GEODOG collar is much slimmer in profile, and doesn't require the bulky control center or the exposed antenna. The collar itself isn't much thicker than a standard dog collar and the weight is an extremely manageable 150-grams (5.3-ounces).

The GEODOG system comes with the collar, and a proprietary software which works with Windows-based PCs (XP/Vista/7) as well as Android or Windows Mobile-equipped smartphones.

When you notice your dog is missing, you ring the number for GEODOG and you'll receive a text message with the GPS coordinates of the missing dog. The message contains a link to the coordinates on a map, which you can open on your smartphone and use to coordinate your search efforts.

The software itself also has a couple of intuitive modes that make monitoring simple. The "Zones" feature acts as a virtual fence, and sends you an SMS message when your dog leaves the predefined zone. The text message includes the direction and the distance your dog traveled from the home. While tracking him, you'll get updated messages every time he moves from his last position by a certain distance (e.g. 100 meters or 328 feet).

You can also define reference points - such as property boundaries or roadways - and "No-Go-Zones" to alert you when your dog reaches a defined point. For example, if you have a dog that likes to swim, you can set an alert when he reaches a pond or creek close to your home which gives you a pretty good idea of what he's up to. No worries though, the system is completely waterproof.

There are two sizes available - GEODOG L for large dogs with a neck size between 46cm and 52cm, and GEODOG S is for neck sizes between 41cm and 47cm. The company says that the battery will last for a whole week in Stand-by-mode and 24 hours in normal operating mode.

The GEODOG system is available for EUR299 (US$378). The mobile version of the software will set you back an additional EUR99 (US$125) for the multi-dog license or EUR69 (US$87) for the single license.