by KYW’s John Ostapkovich

GPS is going to the dogs, with a new tracking system meant for hunters and hikers.

Let’s say you’re out in the wide open spaces, hunting quail or just a little peace and quiet, and your canine buddy takes off like a shot.

Now what? Turn on your GPS (global positioning system) receiver and track him.

Garmin, the big GPS firm, announced the “Astro” dog tracker at the first of the year, says company spokesman Ted Gartner, but it’s been in wide distribution only a few weeks.

The basic Astro unit has two parts — one clipped to the pooch and another you hang onto:

“Once you activate both of those, you’re literally off an running. Your dog can run around, up to five miles away. If you have more than one dog, you can purchase additional trackers and track up to 10 dogs.”

Gartner says hunters, particularily, invest time, money, and emotion in their dogs, and the Astro is a way to protect that investment.