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Quick Access To The Best Dog Ball Launchers?
|Best For Bigger Dogs (More than 30 lbs.)
|Best For Smaller Dogs (Less than 30 lbs.)
|iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher
|PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher
Do you have a dog that loves to play fetch? If so, you need a dog ball launcher!
Dog ball launchers make playing fetch with your dog easier and more fun than ever before.
There are many different choices available, so it can be tough to decide which one is right for you and your dog.
In this post, we look closely at 9+ of the best dog ball launchers you can get your hands on.
The last thing you want is to spend your hard-earned money on a crummy product. So read on to discover the pros, cons, prices, and best features of our top ball launchers for dogs.
Let’s jump right in.
Table of Contents
What Is a Dog Ball Launcher?
A dog ball launcher is a device that helps you play fetch with your dog.
There are many different types and styles of launchers, but they all have one thing in common: they make playing fetch easier and more fun.
There are two different types of ball launchers: automatic and manual.
Automatic ball launchers are battery-powered or AC-powered devices that launch the ball for you.
On the other hand, manual launchers require you to load and launch the ball yourself.
There are also many different sizes of ball launchers. Some are small enough to fit in your hand, while others are large and bulky.
The size you need will depend on the size of your dog and how much space you have to store the launcher.
With that being said, let’s first look at the best ball launchers for large dogs.
Best Automatic Dog Ball Launcher For Large Dogs
1) iFetch Too
The iFetch Too is an automatic ball launcher specifically designed for medium to large-sized dogs. iFetch is known for making the best automatic ball launchers.
It can launch balls as far as 40 feet, making it perfect for dogs who love to run and be outside.
The iFetch Too also comes with a built-in rechargeable battery, so you don’t have to worry about having to continuously replace batteries. Simply plug it in after playtime, and you’re good to go.
It uses standard-sized tennis balls, so if the 3 balls it comes with ever break or get too worn down, you can easily replace them.
- Can throw the ball 10, 25, or 40 feet.
- Has a “random” distance feature to mix things up and keep your dog always guessing.
- Comes with rechargeable batteries.
- Comes with 3 standard-size tennis balls (2.5 inches in diameter).
- Backed by a 1-year warranty.
What I Like/Dislike About The iFetch Too:
- Made by a family-run business in the USA.
- The device was built to accommodate bigger dogs.
- Don’t need to buy replacement batteries.
- Easy to set up and use.
- The balls that come with it aren’t very durable.
- Doesn’t launch as far in cold temperatures or if the ball gets dirty/wet.
2) iDogmate Automatic Ball Launcher
The iDogmate Ball Launcher is an automatic ball launcher designed for bigger dogs. However, like the iFetch brand, they also have a smaller size for more petite pups.
If you have an energetic dog and are looking for a dog ball thrower that can really launch the ball the furthest, the iDogmate is for you.
One of the more unique features of the iDogmate automatic tennis ball launcher is that it comes with a remote control.
If your dog needs a bit of a break, simply adjust the distance on the launcher from the comfort of your chair. You can also pause or completely shut off the device with the remote.
It also comes with rechargeable batteries that last for up to 500 launches when fully charged.
Interested in a detailed review of this toy? Check out our full review of the iDogmate Automatic Dog Ball Launcher here.
- Remote control for maximum convenience.
- Rechargeable batteries that last for 500 launches.
- 4 distance settings (10, 20, 30, and 40 ft.).
- Comes with a warranty.
- Designed for medium to large dogs (30 lbs and up).
What I Like/Dislike About The iDogmate Automatic Ball Launcher:
- Comes with a warranty to ensure you’re satisfied with the launcher.
- Launches balls the furthest out of all automatic ball launchers.
- Large area to drop balls in to make training easier for your dog.
- It can be used indoors and outdoors if careful.
- Priciest dog ball launcher.
- The balls it comes with are pretty low quality.
Best Automatic Dog Ball Launcher For Small Dogs
1) iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher
This version of the iFetch ball launcher is specifically designed for small dogs.
It was one of the first launchers made, and shortly after it came out, they designed the iFetch Too to better suit larger dogs.
This version of the iFetch ball launcher has 3 distances it can shoot the ball as well; 10 feet, 20 feet, and 30 feet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with rechargeable batteries but can work remotely with 6 C batteries.
All you have to do for indoor use is plug it into the wall, and it’s good to go.
I love the iFetch launcher’s design and how accurate their launcher is to their setting distances. They have over 3,000 reviews on Amazon, with over 75% being 4 and 5 stars for a reason.
- Designed for small to medium dogs.
- Simple to set up. For indoor use, simply plug it into a wall outlet, and it’s ready to launch. For outdoor use, equip it with 6 C batteries, and you can bring it anywhere with you.
- Comes with 3 mini tennis balls.
- The most positively reviewed automatic launchers available.
What I Like/Dislike About The iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher:
- Great for indoor use.
- iFetch was one of the first creators of automatic ball launchers (you can learn more about their family-based company in our full product review here)
- The mini tennis balls are great for small and medium size dogs.
- 1-year worry-free warranty.
- Hidden ball storage underneath the device.
- It’s not too loud, so allowing your dog to play with it while you watch TV won’t be disruptive.
- The small balls can be a choking hazard for bigger dogs.
- The balls that come with the device aren’t very durable.
2) GoDogGo Fetch Machine
The GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher is one of the most popular ball launchers on the market. Their first generation machine was the first automatic ball launcher ever made!
It has a few features that make it unique compared to other ball launchers.
First, it allows you to load multiple balls into its large bucket and launch them at a set interval. However, we didn’t see this feature being particularly beneficial once we taught our dog to return and drop the ball into the device.
The second unique feature is its safety arc. It shoots balls much higher in the air than other ball launchers.
This helps prevent your dog from getting hit by the ball once it’s launched.
Third, like the iDogmate launcher, it comes with a remote control. These are the only 2 launchers that have this added feature.
Like other ball launchers, the GoDogGo launcher has distance control with 3 different settings. Low, medium, and high. With the max being able to launch tennis balls 40 feet and the shortest going 20 feet.
If you’d like to look into the GoDogGo Ball Launcher a little further you can check out our full review here.
- Safety arc launches.
- Remote control.
- A large bucket to drop balls in makes it simple to train a dog to use the device independently.
- Comes with tennis balls so your dog can start playing right away.
- Comes with rechargeable batteries.
What I Like/Dislike About The GoDogGo Fetch Machine:
- One of the easier ball launchers to train a dog to use.
- Shoots the ball higher in the air to avoid injuring dogs.
- Has a 6-month limited warranty.
- The device is quite bulky.
- It can’t be used indoors.
- The bucket is made with thin plastic and is likelier to break than other launchers.
3) PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher
It’s no surprise that one of the safer ball launchers available is made by the brand PetSafe.
The PetSafe Ball Launcher has 2 distinct features that help keep your dog safe while playing with this toy. First, it has a sensor on the front and won’t launch the ball until your dog is far enough away or off to the side.
Second, it’s programmed to take breaks and pause throwing the ball every 30 minutes to ensure your dog doesn’t over-exert themselves.
Like other ball launchers, you can easily adjust its distance settings. The PetSafe launcher can shoot the ball between 8 and 30 feet.
It’s also water resistant, can be used indoors or outdoors, and comes with 2 standard-size tennis balls (check out our complete review of the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher).
- A sensor on the front protects your dog from getting hit by the ball.
- Programmed break times every 30 minutes.
- Distance control via two nobs. You can adjust the distance and the angle to launch the ball between 8 and 30 feet.
- Comes with 2 tennis balls.
What I Like/Dislike About The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher:
- Two unique safety features are built into the device.
- More durable than other machines.
- Suitable for indoor use and small dogs.
- The sensor can easily get covered in dirt.
- Sometimes the device randomly stops working and needs to be reset. Likely due to the pause interval feature.
4) AFP Automatic Ball Launcher
The All For Paws Automatic Ball Launcher is a more affordable automatic ball launcher for dogs that still has some great features.
It’s one of the smaller launchers making it a good choice for indoor use or small dogs. It also comes with a wall plug, so you don’t have to worry about batteries.
It has distance control like other launchers and can launch the ball between 10-30 feet.
The biggest downside to this device is that the balls need to be relatively clean, or else it won’t throw them nearly as far (check out our full review of the AFP Ball Launcher here).
- Small dog ball launcher.
- Comes with a wall plug.
- More affordable price.
- Comes with 3 tennis balls.
- It can be used outdoors or indoors.
What I Like/Dislike About The AFP Automatic Ball Launcher:
- It’s a more budget-friendly option.
- Has distance control settings like other launchers.
- With 6 C batteries, it can be used outdoors.
- Comes with a wall plug for indoor use as well.
- Seems like a knockoff version of the iFetch.
- The area to drop the ball is relatively small, making it a little more challenging for a dog to learn precisely where to drop the ball.
5) Playball Automatic Ball Launcher
The Felix & Fido Playball Dog Ball Launcher is our list’s cheapest automatic ball launcher.
It’s a good choice for small dogs as it comes with 3 smaller balls. It also has an adjustable distance setting so you can control how far the ball is thrown.
It can also be used indoors or outdoors, one of the more important automatic ball launcher features.
The biggest downside to this device is that it seems to be made with not-as-quality materials and isn’t as durable as other options. You can find our full review on the Playball Automatic Ball Launcher here.
- 3 distance settings: short, medium, and long.
- Comes with 3 mini tennis balls.
- One of the more affordable auto ball launchers.
- It can be used indoors as well as outdoors.
What I Like/Dislike About The Playball Automatic Ball Launcher:
- The device is small and lightweight, making it good for indoor use or travel.
- It comes with three mini balls, which are good for smaller dogs.
- It’s one of the more affordable options.
- It’s not as durable as some of the other options.
- Only meant for small dogs.
- The balls included aren’t very durable.
Best Handheld Dog Ball Throwers
1) Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster
Want to throw tennis balls for your dog using a nerf gun? One that can blast balls up to 50 feet?
The Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster is designed to hold balls for small, medium, and large dogs.
It also has adjustable power options to change the distance the ball will travel.
Easily load balls and shoot them without needing to use your hands. It’s one of the most popular manual ball throwers available, and for good reason.
This manual ball launcher is compatible with standard-size tennis balls (2.5″) or nerf sonic balls.
- Easily loads balls.
- Can shoot balls up to 50 feet.
- Option for 12″, 16″, or 20″ blaster size.
- Adjustable power options to change the distance.
- Designed to hold balls for small, medium, and large dogs.
- Pull back the handle and pull the trigger to shoot the ball out.
- Compatible with standard-size tennis balls (2.5″) or nerf sonic balls.
What I Like/Dislike About The Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster:
- It’s fun to use.
- Works with standard tennis balls.
- Easy to load and fire the balls with little effort.
- It’s not automatic.
- Only fires one ball at a time.
- Distance is not as far as other manual ball launchers.
2) Hyper Pet K-9 Kannon
The Hyper Pet Ball Launcher is a handheld ball launcher designed to pick up and hold balls for small, medium, and large dogs.
It has an adjustable power setting to control the distance the ball is thrown and can shoot balls up to 50 feet.
The device is easy to use. Simply load the ball into the cannon and pull the trigger.
It also has a built-in holder for extra tennis balls if one gets lost or damaged during playtime.
If your dog loves fetch but you don’t want to touch slobbery tennis balls anymore, the Hyper Pet Kannon is an excellent option.
- Shoots balls up to 50 feet.
- Adjustable power setting. Pull the lever all the way back to launch the ball far and vice versa if you want to throw it a shorter distance.
- Easy to use, simply load the ball and pull the trigger.
- You don’t have to touch the tennis balls to load it.
What I Like/Dislike About The Hyper Pet K-9 Kannon:
- Not expensive.
- Can launch the ball far.
- Requires minimal effort even though it’s manual.
- Comes with 1 tennis ball.
- Only works with standard-sized tennis balls.
3) ChuckIt! Classic Launcher
The ChuckIt! Classic Launcher is one of the most popular manual ball launchers available.
It’s simple to use. Just pick up the ball and put it in the front opening, then wipe the device forward to launch the ball.
It comes in a variety of sizes, so you can find one that’s compatible with how far you want to throw the ball based on your dog’s size. It’s also one of the more affordable options.
The ChuckIt! Classic Launcher is also compatible with a variety of other ChuckIt! balls.
- Comes in 12″, 14″, 18″, 25″, and 26″.
- Option to get a foldable dog ball launcher.
- Compatible with Chuckit! balls or tennis balls.
- The ball can launch further than 140 feet once the toy is mastered.
- Options for a launcher designed for 2″, 2.5″. 3″, or 3.5″ balls.
What I Like/Dislike About The ChuckIt! Classic Launcher:
- Works with most balls.
- How far you can throw the ball.
- Don’t have to bend over to pick up the ball.
- More effort is needed than with automatic dog ball launchers.
- Doesn’t work with different ball sizes.
- Sometimes balls get stuck and won’t throw.
Important Features To Look For In An Automatic Ball Launcher
When choosing an automatic ball launcher for your dog, there are a few important features to look out for:
The ability to be used indoors and outdoors: Ideally, you want to be able to use the auto ball launcher indoors as well as outdoors. This means it needs to have the ability for batteries to be plugged in and have a wall plug included.
Adjustable settings: You should be able to adjust the distance, angle, and/or power of the machine so that your dog can play safely. Launching it further when they have lots of energy and toning it down when they’ve been playing for a while is important.
Uses appropriate-sized tennis balls for your dog: You don’t want to get an automatic ball launcher that uses mini tennis balls if you have a large dog, as they could choke on them. Likewise, you don’t want to get one that uses large tennis balls if you have a small dog as they could get discouraged trying to fetch them.
Comes with a warranty: Having a warranty is always important when making a purchase, especially for something like an automatic ball launcher that could break easily.
Safety features are great but not required: If you’re worried about your dog getting injured while playing with an automatic ball launcher, look for ones that have sensors that will stop the balls from being launched if your dog is too close. However, with proper training, you can teach any dog how to stand to the side to avoid getting hit.
Pros & Cons Of Automatic Dog Ball Launchers
- They can be used indoors and outdoors.
- You can adjust the distance, angle, and power.
- Once your dog is trained on how to use it, they can play fetch on their own.
- Great for physical and mental stimulation.
- Great for busy people.
- Simple to use and take a few short minutes to set up.
- They’re more expensive than manual ball launchers.
- If you don’t get one with adjustable settings, your dog may get bored.
- They require batteries or an AC adapter.
- Some can be a little noisy.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Ball Thrower
Now that you know the key features and what to look for in an automatic ball thrower, as well as the pros and cons, here are a few more things to consider before making your purchase.
Think about whether you want an indoor or outdoor ball launcher. If you only plan on using it indoors, you don’t need to worry about getting one that can have batteries plugged in. However, if you want to use it outdoors as well, you’ll need to get one with that capability and ensure the batteries are fully charged.
Consider your dog’s size when choosing a ball thrower. If you have a small dog, you’ll want a ball thrower that uses mini tennis balls. If you have a large dog, then you’ll want to get one that uses regular-size tennis balls.
Consider your budget and how much you’re willing to spend on a ball thrower. They can range in price from around $60 to over $200 for the automatic ones.
Consider whether you want an automatic or manual ball thrower. If you have a busy lifestyle and don’t always have time to play fetch with your dog, then an automatic ball thrower is a great option for you. However, a manual ball thrower is a great option if you’re on a budget or prefer to be more hands-on with your dog’s playtime.
Choosing the best ball thrower for your dog can be tricky, but hopefully, this post has helped make the decision easier for you.
No matter which ball thrower you choose, your dog is sure to have hours of fun playing fetch with it. And, as an added bonus, you’ll get to watch them have a blast while getting some exercise too.
Training your dog to use an automatic ball launcher can be a tricky, but with a the right strategy, time, and patience, any dog can learn to use one.