Best Automatic Dog Ball Launcher – Reviews & Buying Guide
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Best Automatic Dog Ball Launcher – Reviews & Buying Guide (October 2019)

Updated: October 9, 2019

iDogmate Standard Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

After 58 hours spent researching the best automatic dog ball launchers, we think iDogmate Standard Automatic Dog Ball Launcher is the best for most people.

This choice is based on several criteria: brand, dog size, color, material, launches, launch distance, distance settings, ball size, ball count, power, controls, water resistant, easy to clean, dimensions, and warranty, among other things.

 ProductPriceOverall RatingQualityEfficiencyDurabilityMaintenanceValue for Moneybranddog sizecolormateriallauncheslaunch distancedistance settingsball sizeball countpowercontrolswater resistanteasy to cleandimensionswarranty
iDogmate Standard Automatic Dog Ball LauncheriDogmate Standard Automatic Dog Ball LauncherCheck Price4.85.05.04.54.55.0iDogmateLarge breedsWhite, greenPlastic1000+ launches10, 20, 40, 50 ft4 distances2.5 in3 ballsRechargeable batteryRemote controlYesYes13.4 x 13.4 x 9.8 in1 year
iFetch Too Standard Automatic Dog Ball LauncheriFetch Too Standard Automatic Dog Ball LauncherCheck Price4.95.05.05.04.55.0iFetchLarge breedsWhite, bluePlastic300+ launches10, 25, 30 ft3 distances2.5 in3 ballsRechargeable batteryPress buttonYesYes14 x 13 x 12 in1 year
PetSafe Standard Automatic Dog Ball LauncherPetSafe Standard Automatic Dog Ball LauncherCheck Price4.65.04.54.54.54.5PetSafeLarge breedsPurple, greyPlasticNot specified8 to 30 ft9 distances, 6 angles2.6 in3 balls6 D-cell batteriesKnobsYesYes12 x 12 x 12 in1 year
iFetch Mini Automatic Dog Ball LauncheriFetch Mini Automatic Dog Ball LauncherCheck Price4.34.54.04.04.54.5iFetchSmall & medium breedsWhite, bluePlasticNot specified10, 25, 30 ft3 distances1.6 in3 balls6 C-cell batteriesPress buttonYesYes10.5 x 8 x 7 in1 year
iDogmate Mini Automatic Dog Ball LauncheriDogmate Mini Automatic Dog Ball LauncherCheck Price4.14.04.54.04.04.0iDogmateSmall & medium breedsWhite, greenPlastic500+ launches10, 20, 25, 35 ft4 distances1.65 in3 ballsRechargeable batteryRemote controlYesYes7.9 x 7.5 x 6.3 in1 year
Best Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

With new technology, it’s easier than ever to get the best automatic dog ball launcher for a reasonable price.

These great inventions make it easy for you to entertain your non-stop dog with hours of ball tossing fun, without ever leaving your chair.

Active dogs are a lot of fun, but they have a lot of energy. These are the dogs you see chewing up their dog toothbrush or dancing around their automatic dog feeder while waiting for it to serve dinner.

Obviously, toys are essential for your energetic pup. Having every type of dog chew toy and dog plush toy readily available is a great idea. A dog interactive toy will stimulate their brain and keep them active, but real exercise is good for both of you, so put on their dog collar, dog boots, and dog retractable leash and go for a run, and no need for a dog stroller.

Maybe you’ll do some agility training with a dog whistle, dog training collar, and a dog agility tunnel. Swimming and splashing in a dog pool can help with their energy, as well. You may also want to invest in a dog playpen or exercise run.

At the end of the day, you want to be sure that they calm down some. Brushing them with a dog dematting tool can relax them. Maybe you can use a dog anxiety jacket, or some calming dog treats. Even wearing a dog recovery suit or riding in the car in their dog car seat can help to shed some of that last energy of the day.

Another awesome way to get your active dog worn out is spending time throwing a dog fetch toy, but not all owners have time to play. The best automatic dog ball launcher is a solution that’s convenient for dogs and owners alike.

Selection Of The Best Automatic Dog Ball Launchers

Here are the best automatic dog ball launchers for most people according to Outlinist:

iDogmate Standard Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

iDogmate Standard Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
(rated 4.8 / 5)
Quality
Efficiency
Durability
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

iFetch Too Standard Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

iFetch Too Standard Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
(rated 4.9 / 5)
Quality
Efficiency
Durability
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

PetSafe Standard Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

PetSafe Standard Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
(rated 4.6 / 5)
Quality
Efficiency
Durability
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

iFetch Mini Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

iFetch Mini Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
(rated 4.3 / 5)
Quality
Efficiency
Durability
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

iDogmate Mini Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

iDogmate Mini Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
(rated 4.1 / 5)
Quality
Efficiency
Durability
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Best Automatic Dog Ball Launcher Buying Guide

Free-Standing

These launchers sit on the ground, floor, or whatever flat surface that you put them on. You don’t have to do anything more than make sure that the ball gets back into the launcher so it gets shot out again.

Free-standing launchers are handy because you can just leave them in one spot and your dog will be able to chase ball after ball without much, if any, of your interference or assistance. There are a lot of different free-standing models available, with various options so that you can customize it to what your dog needs.

Handheld

If you prefer to be more interactive, you can use a dog ball launcher gun instead. These look like little Nerf guns that you would get your kids.

You put the tennis ball in the back of the gun, and then it shoots out the front. The best part about these is that you can angle the gun how you want it, so your dog could get a straight shot or a nice big arc.

Ball Speed

The best tennis ball launcher is going to allow you to adjust the speed of the ball when it comes out of the launcher. Not all launchers have this option, so be aware of approximate speeds while you’re searching.

For puppies and older dogs, you want the ball to go a little bit slower. Dogs in the 2 to 7 year range (and sometimes older, depending on the breed) will want it to go fast so that they can go zooming after it as quickly as they can.

Distance

As you explore the best automatic tennis ball launcher for dogs, you definitely want to be sure that you find something that allows you to adjust the distance that the ball is launched as well as speed.

This will allow your ball launcher to be a lot more versatile. If you’re indoors, you can make the distance a lot shorter. Outdoors, you can adjust to the size of the play area. That sort of versatility makes your new investment a great toy to use anytime, anywhere.

Size and Weight

You’re likely not going to leave your freestanding launcher outdoors, so you want it to be light enough that you can move it between the indoors and outdoors as you wish. Between 5 and 8 pounds is a pretty solid size for a freestanding launcher.

And, if you get the best tennis ball gun, be sure that it’s light enough and small enough that you can hold it in your hands without any trouble. Keep the weight for hand-held models at less than 3 pounds and you won’t have any difficulty keeping control of it.

Power Source

One reason that you’re getting an automatic ball launcher for a dog is convenience, right? And for some people, certain power sources aren’t convenient.

There are three main power sources you’ll find – batteries, AC power cords, and rechargeable options. Rechargeable options are definitely the most convenient, but if you have access to AC power in your yard, then that’ll work just as well.

Safety Sensors

If you have a dog ball launcher that your pup is using themselves, you want to be sure that you find one that has some way to protect your dog from getting nailed by the ball before they’re ready.

That’s why many models have some sort of sensor on the front and/or sides. This lets the launcher know that there’s not a dog, cat, human, or other creature that could possibly get injured and it’s safe to launch a ball.

How Large of Ball?

There are usually two sizes to choose from, launchers that work with standard sized tennis balls, and those designed for mini tennis balls. A few models work with balls of different sizes. As you may expect, different balls work for different sized dogs.

For example, if you’re looking for an automatic dog ball launcher for large dogs, you don’t want to get one that only tosses mini balls. These balls are too small for their mouths and, if they bit down on it too hard, it could get stuck in the back of their throat.

Arc vs. Straight Line

How much of an arc do you want the ball to have? Many owners prefer their launchers to have some sort of arc. Not only does it encourage the dog to jump a little bit, but it also prevents injuries that the dog could sustain if they got hit by a quick-moving ball going in a straight line.

Launchers with multiple angle settings will give you the most flexibility. Handheld options are easy to adjust as you wish, so this really only applies to the free-standing options.

Reload Speed

Dogs can be really impatient during play, and if the reload speed takes too long, you could find your dog walking away from it because they’re bored and want to do something.

Look for models that have a reload speed that is no less than a few seconds. This will keep your dog engaged with the activity and it’ll be a lot easier to teach them that putting the ball into a particular hole will allow them to chase it again.

Can the Dog Use It?

This sounds like a strange question, but for many people, they get tired of placing the ball in the device again and again, and so they want the automatic ball launcher to be a way for the dog to play on their own.

Not every free-standing model of launcher is easy for a dog to use. In some of them, the reloading area is in an inconvenient spot or it’s so small that your dog can’t easily place the ball in there. Models with large hoppers that hold multiple balls work best.

Cleaning and Disassembly

When you’re playing fetch, the ball(s) that you use are going to get dirty. Because of that, the dirt and leaves and such are going to end up in the machine, and you have to clean it sometimes to prevent damage.

Look for options that boast that they are “easy to disassemble”. Many of the simplest models just have a lid that you can take off, so you can wipe down the inside, put the lid back on and be ready to go.

Does it Come with Balls?

Does your tennis ball launcher come with balls? A handful of manufacturers have made the choice to make them a “free gift” that’s included with their launcher, but not all balls are made equal and some devices only work with the balls made by the manufacturer.

Be sure that you inspect these balls carefully. Some of them are inferior quality to other types of dog balls and toys, and may fall apart with only a little bit of use. Look for high quality, durable rubber balls.

Power Controls

If your launcher isn’t automatic enough, you also have some power controls that you can utilize in order to make things even easier for you and your dog. You can use different types of tech to make throwing the ball simple.

Some devices come with remotes, others come with Bluetooth connectivity and/or Wi-Fi capability, allowing you to connect the launcher to an app. Then, you can be in control of when the ball is launched.

Multi-Ball Storage

Can your automatic tennis ball launcher for dogs only hold one ball, or can they hold multiple balls? Is your dog just going to continually bring one ball back and forth all day long?

The best automatic dog ball launcher should have enough space for at least 2 balls, if not more, so that there’s always a ball waiting in the queue.

iDogmate Standard Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
Our pick for the best automatic dog ball launcher is: iDogmate Standard Automatic Dog Ball Launcher. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching automatic dog ball launchers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will a typical ball launcher last?

Nowadays, an automatic ball launcher for a dog is going to last a lot longer than they used to. The best models out there are typically going to last a few years.

Models that are easily cleaned and maintained often last a lot longer than ones that are not. In some instances, a solid ball launcher could end up working really well for your dog’s entire lifespan. And that’s well worth the investment!

Are tennis balls safe for dogs?

Tennis balls are built with two rubber halves, glued together and fabric glued over top of it. The problem is, if your dog chews too hard on it, the ball is very likely to break in their mouth. This, in turn, could end up choking them, or, if they swallow it, it could mess up their intestines.

Not that you should avoid tennis balls entirely, however. If you only allow your dog to play with them while you’re supervising them, they will be relatively safe.

Do I necessarily need an automatic launcher?

Automatic launchers are incredibly convenient. And, for people who don’t have a lot of energy or endurance, they can be a real life-saver. It allows them to play with their dog without hurting themselves.

You can find quite a few manual tennis ball launchers for dogs as well. These look kind of like a lacrosse stick, where you put the ball in a basket-type area on one end and flick your wrist to send the ball flying by using the leverage of the stick.

How do I teach my dog to use the launcher themselves?

Some dogs will learn just by watching you do it. They’ll see you put the ball into the hopper or chute and recognize that it comes out of the hole. Eventually, they will mimic you.

In other instances, you can show them a few times, giving them a treat when they come back and giving them another when they drop the ball into the hopper. After a little bit, they’ll get the hang of it and take care of it themselves.

Can I safely use a launcher indoors?

There are actually options for an indoor automatic dog ball launcher that you can use safely in the house. These usually throw at lower speeds and have shorter throwing distances.

Of course, you could also get one that allows you to adjust both the speed and distance, allowing you to use it both indoors and out and providing your dog with the best, most exciting experience that they can have with it.

iDogmate Standard Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
Our pick for the best automatic dog ball launcher is: iDogmate Standard Automatic Dog Ball Launcher. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching automatic dog ball launchers.

Sources

  1. How to Teach a Dog to Fetch, WebMD Pets
  2. Best Dog Fetch Toys: Ball, Disc, Stick & More, Chewy
  3. Dog toy, Wikipedia
  4. CIA's Top 10 Dog Training Tips, Central Intelligence Agency, Aug 26, 2015
  5. Dog Fetch Toys, eBay
  6. Her Dogs Find Drugs, Washington State Department of Corrections, Dec 2, 2016
  7. See Spot Fetch, Western Oregon University
  8. Dog Fetch Toys: Balls, Launchers & Rings for Dogs, Petco
  9. 6 steps to teaching your dog to fetch, Cesar's Way
  10. How two word-trained dogs integrate pointing and naming, National Institutes of Health, Apr 24, 2012

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