If you’ve ever played fetch with a dog you’ll know they never give in. You’re tired, your arm aches and yet your dog is ready and waiting for you to throw the ball again, it is relentless. Thankfully, dog ball launchers are here to help. The automatic dog ball launchers can even play fetch with your dog whenever your dog wants to and for however long they want to play! an amazing gift for your dog
Ball launchers are great for every fetch-loving-dog owner, if you are struggling with playing fetch due to health, injury or even if you just don’t have the time a ball launcher will become your new best friend. These launchers vary from fully automatic, remote controlled to hand held, with so many options we know it can get confusing.
Some launchers use smaller balls, some can launch the ball a lot further than others and some can be a little on the pricey side. In this review, we are going to help you find the best dog ball launcher for you and your playful pooch.
Review of The Best Automatic Dog Ball Thrower
In the dog ball launcher reviews we will take a look at fully automatic, remote controlled and manual launchers, starting with the Playball Automatic Ball Launcher.
1. Playball Automatic Ball Launcher
This is a fully automatic ball launcher that has been specially made for small dogs. The launcher can be used inside or outside and comes with 3 (mini sized) balls. There is a power button and simple lights that indicate the distance setting chosen giving the launcher a simplistic feel.
- 3 distance settings.
- Launches mini balls (1.5 inches).
- Easy to set up.
You can teach your dog how to use the Playball Automatic Ball Launcher so that they can fetch the ball and place it back into the machine so it can be thrown again.
This is a great option for busy owners whose dogs love to play.
The launcher offers a well-priced, reliable and effective solution to nonstop play time. There is a plug option for indoor use and a battery option for outdoor use giving this launcher added versatility that many other automatic launchers do not offer.
- Adjustable launch distance.
- Designed for small dogs.
- Runs Quietly.
- 3 included balls reported to be not as durable as needed.
- Mini sized balls only suitable for very small dogs.
2. iFetch Interactive Ball Launchers for Dogs
The iFetch is a smart looking automatic ball launcher for small dogs. It launches mini tennis balls of 1.6 inches and has 3 distance settings. The funnel shape of the iFetch makes it easier for dogs to replace the tennis balls after fetching them, although, you can join in during fetch and place the balls into the machine too.
- Set the ball to launch 10, 20 or 30 feet.
- Beeps before launch to warn dogs.
- Works with batteries and can be plugged in.
The iFetch comes with 3 mini-sized balls but many users say the balls are not durable, so it may be worth finding a more durable ball of the same size to use if your dog is renowned for chewing up their toys.
This could be the best automatic dog ball launcher on the market for quality, price and durability.
- Sleek appearance that would suit any home.
- 3 distance settings.
- Simple to use.
- Replacement balls are expensive.
3. iDogmate Midi Ball Launcher
The iDogmate launcher is a remote controlled automatic ball launcher designed for medium sized dogs. There are 4 distance settings from 10 feet up to 50 feet and an automatic shut down feature for power saving.
- Handles 2.5” balls
- Can be used indoor and outdoor
- Easy to use and move around.
The funnel design of the launcher makes placing the ball into the machine easier for your dog helping to simplify training and playtime.
This dog tennis ball launcher has more options in terms of distance settings and ball compatibility but it is one of the more expensive launchers on the market.
- Works with a variety of balls of 2.5”.
- Beeps before launching.
- Does not launch if balls become slimy from saliva.
4. Hyper Dog Ball Launcher
The Hyper Dog Ball Launcher is a handheld slingshot style launcher that allows you to pick up the ball and fire it up to 200 feet with very little effort. This launcher has a collapsible design meaning it can be easily carried to the field or park to play.
- Easy to use.
- Impressive launching distance.
This launcher comes with 4 tennis balls and is a great solution for dogs who have lots of energy and love to run far. You simply load the ball, pull back the slingshot and fire! It’s lots of fun and can launch the balls a considerable distance.
- Well priced.
- Impressive launching distance.
- Manual meaning you can use it anywhere.
- Quite bulky in size.
5. Max Launcher Dog Ball Launcher
This launcher is a handheld bazooka style launcher, the tension can be adjusted to launch the ball between 40 and 90 feet. This launcher is designed to be able to launch tennis balls and mini Frisbees which is a great bonus for Frisbee loving dogs!
- Hands free ball pickup.
- Easy to use.
The launcher works by adjusting the tension, cocking the ‘bazooka’ and pulling the trigger.
Some users say it is bulky to carry and makes a loud noise but many users are thrilled with the results.
This launcher is a great, more affordable alternative that makes fetch fun for you and your dog.
- Fun Design.
- Adjustable tension for different launching distances.
- Can launch mini Frisbees too.
- Bulky to carry.
6. Chuckit! Sport Launcher
The Chuckit! Launchers are well known by the majority of the dog walking community, they are the long handheld stick-like launchers that allow you to pick the ball up and launch it without having to bend down or get slobber on your hands. As you push the end of the launcher over a ball the flexible plastic will grasp the ball and hold it in place ready for it to be thrown.
- Great Price.
- Little effort for great results.
The launchers are available in different sizes to suit the needs of your dog (longer launchers allow you to throw the ball further, smaller launchers are great for convenience).
You will be able to launch the ball 2-3 times farther when using the launcher than throwing a ball unassisted. Using a ball launcher like this takes a lot less effort meaning you won’t tire but your dog certainly will.
- Works perfectly with regular tennis balls.
- The Ball comes with does not tend to last long.
7. Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster
Nerf have created a ball launcher that the whole family will love, the design is simple to use. You pull back on the handle, load the ball and then pull the trigger and the ball launches. The Nerf blaster comes with 4 balls and is very reasonably priced.
- Allows hands-free ball pickup.
- Encourages family fun.
- Launch balls up to 50 feet.
The dog ball launcher gun is in keeping with Nerfs style and is a fun way to play fetch although, it’s reported to be not very powerful so could be a launcher perfectly suited to families with children and small dogs.
- Well Priced.
- Great for kids.
- Adjustable launch power.
- Loud when shooting the ball.
8. Hyper Pet K-9 Kannon Mini
The K-9 Kannon Mini is an easy to use, shoot-style manual ball launcher. You pull back the handle as far as you like, load the ball by placing the nozzle over the ball that’s on the floor and pushing down over it, aim and shoot. The ‘cannon’ can launch the ball up to 75 feet with little effort from you.
- Value for money.
- Launches miniature tennis balls.
- Has ball storage on the launcher that holds one ball.
This launcher is great for smaller dogs as it launches miniature tennis balls which are a choking hazard for larger breeds. The K-9 Kannon is durable and lasts a long time even if your dog wants to play fetch several times a day.
- Perfect for smaller dogs
- Long lasting
- Simple and fun design
- Not as powerful in practice compared to as advertised
Things You Should Know Before Buying a Dog Ball Launcher
Why Use a Dog Ball Launcher?
Dog Ball Launchers are an excellent product for owners who have dogs who simply refuse to stop playing fetch. The launchers offer a solution to the arm and shoulder pain that can be caused by excessive fetch playing.
- Perfect for owners who are disabled or injured.
- Allows ball to go further with less effort.
- Makes your dog tired without wearing you out.
Advantages of an Automatic Dog Ball Thrower
Dog ball launchers add a fun element to playtime and can help the whole family enjoy fetch without aches or pains. They are also;
- Easy to use.
- Stimulate your dog’s mind.
- Exercise your dog even when you’re busy.
What to Consider When Choosing a Launcher for You & Your Dog
- Size of your dog: some launchers are better suited to smaller dogs because of ball size and launching distance.
- Size of the ball the launcher uses: some use a specific sized ball that you can only purchase from manufacturers, some use standard tennis balls, some use miniature tennis balls. Miniature balls are a choking hazard for larger dogs.
- Cost of the launcher: Automatic ball launchers can vary greatly in price but have excellent features, hand held launchers are generally very inexpensive.
- Distance you want the ball to launch: automatic ball launchers tend have several distance settings so you can set the specific launching distance, this is great if you are wanting to play inside your home or a small garden. The handheld launchers tend to get a very impressive throw with little effort from you.
- Function: do you want the launcher to be; fully automatic, remote controlled or manual?
Training Your Dog to Use an Automatic Launcher
Automatic ball launchers require that you train your dog to learn how the launcher works in order to optimize the fun and minimize the risk of injury.
- Training is essential.
- Several designs allow your dog to drop the ball directly into the launcher themselves.
- Teach your dog to drop the ball into the funnel and stand back ready for the next launch.
- Be aware – the dog can be hit with launching tennis balls if standing in the wrong place.
After reviewing several types of ball launcher available on the market, we have decided the best dog ball launcher is a tie between the iFetch and the Chuckit! Sport Launcher. We have decided to call this one a draw because the two launchers offer very different features to suit the situation they were created for.
The iFetch is our choice of automatic ball launcher, it’s perfect for indoor fetch with smaller dogs. You can select the distance setting, teach your dog to drop the ball into the funnel and your pup can play whenever they feel like it which is amazing when you think about it! The iFetch has a sleek, impressive design and is well priced.
We also chose the Chuckit! because it is a simple, affordable solution that enhances the existing game of fetch allowing for bonding and play between you and your dog to continue without you tiring. The Chuckit! can help you to throw balls 3 times further and is praised for its durability.
Catherine Bono is a blogger, who is passionate about dogs and cats. She created Crittersitca.com to shares her experience as she studies to become a qualified vet.