Some dogs absolutely love a game of fetch. Indeed, some dogs love it a bit too much. If your dog falls in the latter category, the chances are that you always get home with one arm aching sorely after a good day’s playtime with your canine friend. Well, you should spend quality time with your pooch, but not at the cost of your arm. In this case, what you need is a dog ball launcher. And, in this article, we will introduce you to ten of the best dog ball launcher you can find. Plus, we will take a closer look at each of them as we weigh up what makes them ideal choices for you and your canine friend. Let’s begin.
The Best Dog Ball Launcher
A good place to start from is the Chuckit! Sport Launcher Dog Ball Thrower as it is also our pick for the best choice. This dog ball thrower is sure to give your ailing arms the rest they need as it is not only very easy to use but also lightweight as it weighs only 8.8 ounces. Plus, it is also portable because of its small size. This means that you can easily carry it along when going for walks with your canine friend as it can be used almost anywhere with enough space. This Chuckit device is also very easy on any type of budget as it is very affordable. Compared to throwing a ball or piece of stick with your arm, this manual ball launcher is very effective. Plus, it can launch a ball quite a distance. This is due, in part, to the 26 inches stick length that it comes with. And to ensure that you are able to pick up the ball with relative ease (without even needing to bend down), this tennis ball launcher comes with a cupped to give you all the convenience you need. It also features an ergonomically-designed handle that makes it very easy to handle. Plus, it also comes with a tennis ball that is colored brightly enough to find with less difficulty.
Easy to use
Lightweight (weighs 8.8 ounces)
- Weight0.16 ounces
The second product on our list of best dog ball launchers is the iFetch Interactive Ball Launchers For Dogs. An iFetch ball launcher is one of the most effective and reliable ball thrower for dogs. And when we talk about ease, your arm will have a complete rest as compared to our best choice pick. iFetch Interactive Ball Launchers For Dogs is one of the most sleek-looking when it comes to fetch machines for dogs. Your dog will need some training though to be able to return the balls to the top funnel of this machine. This ball shooter for dogs also allows you to adjust the ball distance. You can choose from 10 feet to 30 feet, depending on the size and age of your dog. Talking about size, it comes in two sizes to choose from – small and large. Thus, you need to pick out the right size for your canine buddy. This automatic dog ball launchers also comes with three additional balls. The smaller size comes with smaller-sized balls, while the larger machine comes with bigger balls for bigger mouths. The only caution with the balls is to make sure that they do not become too dirty as this can affect the ball machine. Thus, it is best to use it in your backyard or indoors. The iFetch Interactive Ball Launchers For Dogs can be charged either by an in-built battery or by a power cord that it comes with.
Automatic ball launcher
Comes with additional balls
Available in two sizes
Features adjustable throwing distances
- Weight3 pounds
From an automatic ball thrower for dogs to a much stronger machine, we have the Franklin Sports MLB Electronic Baseball Pitching Machine. This inclusion has probably raised an eyebrow or two on your face. And that is perfectly understandable as this machine was not originally designed to be a dog ball throwing machine. But if you have a family with more than one dog, then this machine will prove a very good acquisition when it comes to keeping both the kids and canines happy. Franklin Sports MLB Electronic Baseball Pitching Machine, as its name suggests, is an electronic pitching machine that comes at a very good price. Plus, it comes in a very robust and sturdy construction that makes it very well suited to the rigors of a large family life with kids and canines. It is designed to hold six balls and comes with a pitching interval of 10 seconds per ball. It is easy to set up and is ideal for any backyard fun time. The only downside about this ball pitching machine is the fact that the balls are made of plastic as compared to the normal tennis ball. Thus, it may not last as long as the former. Another tiny downside is that it requires someone to reload it. However, this tennis ball launcher can easily be the perfect family and canine ball launcher.
Comes with height adjustment features for the pitches
Comes with a 10-second pitching interval
Light indicator for pitching moment
Comes with six plastic baseballs
- BrandFranklin Sports
- Weight2.9 pounds
Moving on, the fourth entry onto our list is the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher. If our previous entry sounds too ‘aggressive’ for you, then you may need a tennis ball machine for dogs that will put the safety of your dog into consideration. If that is the case, then the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher is an excellent option. PetSafe has manufactured this ball throwing machine to be ‘smart’ by using in-built sensors to ensure that your dog does not get too close to the device when it is about to launch a ball. This smart shooting machine is also equipped with a self-timing device that allows it to pause after every 15 minutes. This is very important as it allows your canine friend to get some needed rest before resuming for another fun session. Another important feature of this device is the fact that it also comes with adjustable shooting distance settings. This ranges from 8 feet to 30 feet. This automatic dog ball launcher also features audible alert tones that indicate when a ball is about to be launched. A part of these audible alert tones is another tone that alerts your dog when it draws too close to the machine. The only downside about this device is that it comes with balls that are the same size as a normal tennis ball. Thus, if your pooch is not a large size or medium size breed, it will have problems trying to retrieve the ball. However, this tennis ball launcher, can be used both indoors and outside.
Comes with in-built alert tones
Features motion sensors
Comes with a 15 minutes pause feature
Runs either on battery or from a direct power outlet
- Weight8 pounds
Hyper Dog 4 Ball Launcher is for the very athletic dogs. If you know your canine buddy loves to run and can cover quite a distance, then this dog ball launcher is for you…or, better still, for your dog. The Hyper Dog 4 Ball Launcher can shoot balls up to a distance of 220 feet. This is very impressive, considering the fact that this ball launcher comes in a very simple design. Just like our pick for the best choice, this dog ball launcher is manually operated. This simple looking launcher comes with a frame constructed from steel that is both chew-resistant as well as resistant to rust. Because of the way it is constructed, it operates just like a slingshot. However, it does not require too much effort from your arm. Also, just like our top pick, this ball launcher has been designed to feature an end part that is shaped in the form of a cup. This makes it possible to pick a ball in a single movement without needing to bend down. However, unlike our top pick, this ball launcher has a bulkier construction, which makes it just a little bit heavier. Yet, it is still very easy to operate. Hyper Dog 4 Ball Launcher has a frame that can be collapsed to make it more portable and easy to carry around. Plus, this dog ball launcher comes with four pet-size tennis balls.
Constructed from high-quality steel
Has shooting distance of up to 220 feet
Frame is collapsible
Comes with four pet-size tennis balls
- BrandHyper Dog
- Weight2 pounds
One look at the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy, and you know you are in for loads of fun with this device. Nerf Dog has opted for a design that takes the form of its popular toy gun. The Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy is a semi-automatic dog ball launcher. But this is one of the best parts as it allows you to join in the fun by shooting the balls for your dog to retrieve. Another great thing about this ball shooter is the fact that it has been designed to be compatible with any standard-size tennis ball. The bad news is that if your dog does not have a big enough mouth, it might struggle to retrieve it – at least, by mouth. The automatic ball launcher is very easy to operate. All you need to do is pull a provided back handle to load the ball into the barrel, aim in the direction you want your dog to go, and press the trigger to shoot – that simple. It comes with a distance settings features that allows you to choose any distance up to 50 feet maximum. It also comes with a hands-free feature that allows you to pick a ball without using your hands. All you need to do is to roll the barrel of the gun back over the ball. Plus, this semi automatic dog ball launchers comes in different sizes to choose from.
Adjustable distance settings features
Comes with a pack of four tennis-size balls
Does not require any power to operate
Hands-free pick-up feature
- BrandNerf Dog
- Weight2.9 pounds
Our seventh entry is the Franklin Pet supply Dog Fetch Toy. It is also our pick for the best price. This dog ball launcher comes in a very simple design. A quick look at it should tell you it is manually operated. However, it has been designed not to require the use of too much power. So you have nothing to worry about shoulder or arm strain. Its simple construction features a handle that has been ergonomically designed to make for comfortable handling. The handle comes with a section that is designed to be flexible in order to take a lot of the launching effort off your arm and shoulder. The construction also features an end cup that is designed to be able to pick up the ball and secure it form for another launch. The end cup also allows you to pick up the ball without using your hand or even bending down. Franklin Pet supply Dog Fetch Toy comes in a construction that makes for very efficient storage. Plus, it can be carried along when taking your dog out for a walk to the park. You can also use it in your backyard. But indoor use is highly not recommended. And oh, this dog ball launcher comes with a normal size tennis ball. However, you can also use any ball of your choice so long as it is the same size as a tennis ball.
Manual ball launcher
Very easy to use
Simple and durable construction
Weighs 8 ounces
- BrandFranklin Pet Supply
- Weight6.6 ounces
From one gun-shaped ball launcher to another, we have the Hyper Pet K9 Kannon K2 Ball Launcher. Just as its name suggests, the Hyper Pet K9 Kannon K2 Ball Launcher is designed to operate cannon-style. Unlike our previous entry, this ball launcher can shoot up to 75 feet. This distance can, however, be adjusted in the distance settings to suit your dog. Thus, if you have an energetic dog that loves to run, then this ball launcher is a great option to have. Plus, its design makes it very compact and portable. As a result, you can easily carry it along with you to the park and enjoy your time out with your dog. Also, this cannon-like ball launcher has been designed to be very durable and withstand the rigors of everyday usage. Aside from taking it to the park, you can just enjoy some time in the backyard with your dog. It is very easy to operate. All you need to do is to load the ball in the barrel, then pull back the trigger cannon-style and watch the ball launched as your canine friend dashes off to retrieve. This launcher also comes with a ball that is made from dog-grade rubber. It is very safe for your dog as it does not contain any toxic material coating.
Extra ball storage
Adjustable distance feature launches up to 75 feet
Comes with one Hyper Pet tennis ball
- BrandHyper Pet
- Weight4 ounces
It is time to talk about our premium pick with the iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher For Dogs. Do you remember our previous iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher For Dogs? Good. This is the bigger version designed for large dog breeds. The only difference from the previous version is the size and design, as this is much bigger. Plus, it uses bigger balls as compared to the smaller size. However, both launchers come in the same sturdy and robust construction and share the same features. Again, your dog will need some training though to be able to return the balls to the top funnel of this machine. This fetch machine for dogs also allows you to adjust the ball distance. You can choose from 10 feet to 30 feet, depending on the age and energy levels of your canine friend. Another caution that still applies is that you need to make sure that balls do not become too dirty as this can affect the ball machine. Thus, it is best to use it in your backyard or indoors. The iFetch Interactive Ball Launchers For Dogs comes with a rechargeable battery that is built. Thus, it requires no external battery. All you need to do is to plug in into a power supply with a chord that it comes with, and you are set to go.
Automatic ball launcher
Comes with additional balls
Easy to use
Features adjustable throwing distances
- Weight12.35 pounds
Our final entry onto our list of best dog ball launchers is the All For Paws Interactive Automatic Dog Ball Launcher. Don’t make a mistake; this launcher is in no inferior to the ones already reviewed. All For Paws Interactive Automatic Dog Ball Launcher, just as its name suggests, is an interactive automatic dog ball launcher. It comes in a very simple design called the Hyper Fetch Max Ball Launcher, which allows you to launch tennis size balls over adjustable preset launching distances that range from 10 feet to 30 feet. This ball launcher comes with three premium-quality, regulation tennis balls that are perfect for hours of fetching game with your canine buddy. Just like the launcher, the balls are made of a non-abrasive material that is safe for your dog as they will not wear out its teeth. Plus, this device is guaranteed to take the strain from throwing balls manually from your arm and shoulder. It runs on an A/C adapter or 6 C-type batteries. Plus, it comes with a very easy operation, which features a simple on/off button. This interactive ball launcher is ideal for small size as well as medium size dogs. Plus, it can be used both indoors and in the backyard. Just be sure to reduce the launching distance to the minimum when using indoors. The product is also backed by a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Interactive automatic ball launcher
Features adjustable preset launching distances
Suitable for small and medium-sized dogs
Comes with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty
- BrandAll for Paws
- Weight4 pounds
Best Dog Ball Launchers Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Consider When Buying a Dog Ball Launcher
There are a few things to consider when picking out a dog ball launcher for your canine friend.
- Manual or automation operation: You will have to decide whether you want manual ball throwers, an automatic ball launcher, or a semi-automatic shooter. This should depend on your physical condition and your budget.
- Dog size and breed: The breed, size, and even age of your dog should determine what kind of launcher to go in for. Most of the balls come in standard tennis size, which is ideal for large and medium-sized dogs. However, if you have a smaller size dog, then you should opt for a launcher that comes with smaller balls. Be careful, though, as the smaller the ball size, the higher the risk of your dog choking on it.
- Indoor or outdoor: Where will you be using these ball throwers most times? If you prefer to play indoors, then an automatic ball launcher with adjustable preset distance features will be the safest option.
- Design: Based on how you will be using your dog ball launcher, make sure it is durable, robust, or portable.
Benefits of Using Dog Fetch Machines
The benefits of using dog fetch machines are solely for fun and fitness. These devices give you and your dog a chance to bond either outdoors or in your home. They are also ideal when it comes to giving your dog all the exercise as well as playtime that it needs. Playing fetch helps to keep it fit while it stimulates its mind and keeps its vision and mind sharp. It also helps to help dogs shed extra pounds of unhealthy weight. The devices have been designed to make them easy to carry anywhere. So you can take them along on a vacation or any other trip.
How to Teach a Dog to Use an Automatic Dog Ball Thrower
If you opted for an automatic dog ball thrower, then you should train your dog to be able to use it on its own. Here are a few easy steps to follow when training your dog. Remember, patience is key.
- One: Introduce your dog to the device by turning it on and leaving your dog with it to get used to the noise
- and any movement the device makes. You can place some treats next to the device to encourage your dog.
- Two: Spend a lot of time playing with the device as you allow your dog to retrieve the balls and observe you
- reload it.
- Three: When your dog retrieves the ball, guide it to place the ball into the device instead of handing it to
- you. Do this as often as necessary.
- Four: Keep encouraging and guiding your dog with treats and a lot of praise.
Types of Dog Ball Launchers
There are basically three types of dog ball launchers - automatic, semi-automatic, and manual launchers.
- Automatic launchers require the use of electric power to launch the ball over preset adjustable distances.
- Semi-automatic launchers require manually triggering the release feature to launch the ball by either blasting
- or shooting it.
- Manual launchers require the total manpower to launch or release the ball.
Best Dog Ball Launchers FAQ:
Q: What are dog ball launchers?
A: As the term suggests, dog ball launchers, whether manually-operated or automatic, throw dog balls over some distances for dogs to chase and retrieve.
Q: How do they work?
A: The manual launchers work basically by swinging your arm to release the ball. The automatic and semi-automatic launchers release the ball with the help of a small motorized device over a preset distance. They come with openings in the form of either funnel or bucket into which the ball is dropped and loaded.
Q: Are automatic ball throwers safe for dogs?
A: Automatic ball throwers are very safe for dogs. But you need to properly train your dog to know how to use them. Those that come with extra warning features that alert the dog when it is too close prior to launching a ball are the safest. But you also have to consider the material the ball is made with. It should not have any coating that contains any toxic material. Also, be careful with smaller sized balls as they could end up choking your dog.
Q: Why do dogs love playing fetch?
A: Dogs have a natural instinct to chase prey-like objects. That is why they love playing fetch. Plus, a lot of dog breeds are natural retrievers. Thus, chasing and retrieving ‘game’ comes instinctively to them.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick for best dog ball launcher remains the Chuckit! Sport Launcher Dog Ball Thrower. Here is a quick recap of its features. It is easy to use and lightweight (weighs 8.8 ounces). It is portable, as well as very affordable. If you fancy a game of fetch, the handle comes with an ergonomic design with a cupped end at the opposite end for picking and holding the ball for launch. This manual launcher also comes with a brightly-colored tennis ball.