Finding The Perfect Ball Launcher For Your Dog
Keeping our dogs happy with a game of fetch is important, but it’s hard when we can’t throw the ball as far as we want to, don’t have time, or our arms get tired!
If only there was an easier way… and there is. Finding the perfect ball launcher for our furry friends can give them unlimited, tireless fun.
Different ball launchers are made for different dogs, and there’s a lot to choose from. We’re here to help! We will familiarize you with the product, what its capabilities are, and give you pointers on what we think are your best options.
Dog Ball Launcher Reviews
Chuckit! Sport Launcher Dog Ball Thrower
This classic launcher from Chuckit! is a brightly colored, manually operated ball launcher. The simple, easy-to-use toy uses regular tennis balls to improve both your throwing distance and speed, allowing for a tireless game of fetch.
Sizes range from 12 inches to 26 inches; the larger the size, the farther a ball can be thrown. With the 26 inch model, a ball can be thrown up to 140 feet. For the 26 inch model, tennis balls fit and work perfectly.
The handle is made out of ergonomic rubber, making the throw easier to control. Indentations in the rubber allow perfect placement for your fingers, making the grip more comfortable.
The bright colors of this toy improves the bond between human and dog by engaging the dog more in the game. Compared to dark-colored comparing products, this is more exciting for the dogs.
- Allows for slobber-free pickup.
- Very durable with flexible and lightweight plastic.
- Very simple, easy-to-understand design.
- Set comes complete with a Chuckit! ball.
- The launcher’s claw to pick up doesn’t always grasp the ball tightly right away.
- The material of the Chuckit! ball will deteriorate quickly if your dog has a strong chew.
Hyper Pet K9 Kannon K2 Ball Launcher
This ball launcher is in the form of a cannon, making for a fun, different game of fetch. Coming in two different sizes, this toy is perfect for big or small dogs.
The full size comes at 24 inches long, and uses regular-sized tennis balls, for medium-sized to bigger dogs. The mini size launcher comes at 16.25 inches long, and uses mini tennis balls, for small dogs.
Pulling on a lever with adjust the distance of your launch. The further back you pull, the further the ball will go. Compared to other products, this design is simple and easy to use.
By putting the nuzzle of the launcher over the tennis ball on the ground, you can pick up the ball without having to touch it. Pulling the lever grabs the ball.
- Comes with one K-9 Kannon and one Hyper tennis ball.
- Quick trigger design makes it easy to operate.
- Grip is grooved to improve comfort.
- Allows for slobber-free pickup.
- Designed with rubber bands instead of spring propulsion, so launching distance isn’t as great.
- Through wear and tear of the bands, this product starts to get worn down after a couple months.
Automatic Cata-Pawlt Dog Ball Launcher Toy
This automatic fetch toy comes in one size, suitable for all dog sizes. It features a reloadable slot that you can drop the ball in, or your dog can do it themselves.
A ball can be launched up to 35 feet. Adjusting the range of launch distance can be done by using the dial on the side.
Time delay can also be set on the machine. Once the ball has been loaded, the launcher can be set to a zero, four, or eight second shooting delay.
Either regular-sized tennis balls, or slightly smaller tennis balls can be used with this machine. Two smaller tennis balls are included with the rest of the launcher.
- Dogs can be trained to learn to play by themselves with the easy reloading system.
- Fits many different types and sizes of balls.
- Portable and wireless when in use.
- Can use inside by dialing to the lowest setting, which launches about 15 feet.
- The machine is loud while launching and may frighten your dog if he/she scares easily.
- Difficult for a small dog to reach over the side of the plastic to drop a ball into the reloading spot.
Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy
This ball launcher is in the form of a nerf gun. It comes in different sizes, along with an opaque or translucent gun option.
At a very light weight, 2.4 pounds, the 20 inch size can shoot a ball up to 50 feet. At just 2.2 pounds, the 16 inch size can shoot a ball up to 35 feet.
Launching distance can be adjusted with the simple design. Pull back on the handle, then load the ball, then you can shoot.
Compared to other products, this ball launcher has a shorter, thick barrel. With this, it is easier to carry and not awkward like the longer, thinner comparable brands.
- Options to get one, three, or four Nerf balls included in the package.
- All products have been tested for your dog’s safety.
- Regular tennis balls also fit into the launcher.
- Simple design and easy to shoot.
- The elastic in the guns aren’t incredibly strong and may snap after being used a lot.
- Provided balls may come apart easily if your dog is a strong chewer.
Felix & Fido Playball! Automatic Ball Launcher
This automatic ball launcher comes in one size and is best suited for small dogs. It uses small tennis balls, 1.5 inches in diameter, and can launch them up to 20 feet.
At the top of the machine, there’s a hole. Your dog can be trained to drop the ball in the hole, so that it reloads and can launch it again for them.
Three small tennis balls are included with the launcher. These tennis balls are very durable, and don’t get jammed in the machine, even if they’re wet.
This machine can run on 6 “C” batteries, which makes it easy to bring anywhere, at just 5.6 pounds. It can also run while being plugged in, indoors.
- Includes 3 different distance settings.
- Great for both indoors and outdoors.
- 3 balls included are made of special material to ensure they’re long-lasting.
- Perfect design for small dogs.
- Machine is a little loud while launching.
- Limited to only small dogs.
IDOGMATE Interactive Ball Launcher
This automatic ball launcher offers two sizes, one for bigger dogs, and one for smaller dogs. It features a very wide range of launching distances.
The launch distance can be adjusted to 10, 20, 30, 40, or even 50 feet (in the larger model). This can be set by either the remote, or by clicking the button directly on the machine.
With a big funnel of 240mm by 240mm, there is enough room for your dog to drop the ball back in for another launch. This is a bigger funnel than comparing brands, which makes it easier for your dog.
With arced, durable wheels, this launcher has excellent engineering design. This design prevents the balls from getting clogged in the machine.
- 1 lithium polymer battery required and included.
- Up to 1000 launches per full charge.
- Comes with 3 durable rubber balls.
- Can hold more than one ball at once.
- If ball is wet or dirty, machine may not perform well.
- If used frequently, quality will go down.
iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher
This automatic ball launcher features a “random” shooting distance setting, keeping your dog engaged. It comes in a model for smaller dogs and a model for bigger dogs.
This machine has a rechargeable battery, so there are never any batteries needed. Being able to charge and go makes this launcher convenient and portable.
The smaller model can be set to launch 10, 20 or 30 feet. The larger model can be set to launch 10, 25 or 40 feet. Both have a safety switch to lock it at that certain distance.
At the top of the launcher, there is a funnel-shaped hole for the ball to be reloaded into. Dogs can be trained to reload on their own.
- A full charge can last over 300 launches.
- Includes 3 balls with the launcher.
- Family-run business with great customer service.
- Includes 6 month customer warranty.
- Weighing at 15.5 pounds, this model might be a little harder to carry around.
- If your dog isn’t trained to load the ball from behind, the immediate launching feature may hit them.
Franklin Pet Supply Dog Fetch Toy
This manual ball launcher keeps the control of the game in your hands. It comes with a squeaky tennis ball to keep your dog entertained.
This toy comes in just one size, perfect for all sized dogs. At just 7.8 ounces, it is lighter than comparing brands and easy to use.
With a durable flex joint, throwing the ball with this launcher is effortless. The harder or faster you throw, the farther the ball will go.
The claw at the end of the launcher allows a hands-free pick up. Simply just press it against any tennis ball on the ground, and it slides into place.
- Being manual, this toy grows the bond between you and your dog.
- The handle is ergonomic and very comfortable.
- Gripper teeth at the end hold a variety of tennis-sized balls.
- The longer handle makes the ball easier to pick up.
- You have to throw relatively hard to get a large distance.
- Although out of comfortable material, the shape of the handle isn’t round enough.
Kole KI-OD362 Dog Toy Ball Launcher
This dog ball launcher is the simplest design out of all the options. With this simple design, this toy is the easiest to get the hang of.
It is in the shape of a scoop and is 14.5 inches long. Picking up the ball is easy, with just one simple sweeping motion.
This is the lightest ball launcher of all the products. It weighs just 2.4 ounces, which makes it very easy and light to carry around.
It comes in a variety of different colors to keep your dog interested and engaged. It’s made out of a sturdy plastic, so this ball launcher is very durable.
- Can use differently sized balls.
- Can throw up to 100 feet.
- Made of high quality plastic.
- Very portable and can be used anywhere.
- Handle isn’t quite long enough, so you have to bend over a bit to pick up the ball.
- Arm may get tired if used a lot.
PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher Dog Toy
This automatic ball launcher features multiple sensors to keep your dog safe. In the front, a motion sensor keeps your pet safe from up to seven feet away.
It can be used either inside or outside. Outside, you can use it powered by 6 D batteries. Inside, you can simply use the power cord.
The launching distance has nine different settings between 8 and 30 feet. Knobs can be turned left for maximum shooting distance. Unlike comparing brands, this launcher has six different angle settings.
Different from comparing products, this one has a rest interval. After 15 minutes of play, this launcher features a 15 minute resting window. This prevents your dog from playing to exhaustion.
- Can be used indoors or outdoors and is water resistant.
- Dogs can reload balls themselves.
- Can use regular-sized tennis balls or smaller sized balls.
- 2 standard tennis balls included.
- The 15 minute rest interval is not convenient for all dogs.
- Is a bit loud while launching the ball, might startle your dog if they scare easy.
Types of Dog Ball Launchers
Different types of ball launchers are better for different kinds of dogs.
Manual Ball Launchers
- Hands-free, slobber-free ball pickup.
- Can throw balls the farthest, with fast and quick throwing motions.
- Puts the most control of the game in the owner’s hands.
- Easiest ball launcher to use.
- Can throw or bounce the ball, engaging your dog.
- The lightest in weight, most portable and easiest to carry.
- Can be used with small, medium or large dogs.
- Grows the bond between owner and pet through interactive play.
- Bright colors keep dogs entertained.
Gun/Cannon-Shaped Ball Launchers
- Come in many different styles.
- Fun for owner to use as well as your dog.
- Can shoot the ball up to 50 feet.
- Allows for interactive play with your dog.
- Portable and great for the outdoors.
- Can be used with any sized dog.
- Easy operation for user – pulling handle back, loading ball, and shooting.
- Great for children.
- Can be used to teach dog new tricks.
Automatic Ball Launchers
- Dogs can be trained to use them by themselves with the reloading tray.
- Doesn’t involve any user interaction.
- Can be used indoors or outdoors.
- Distance can be set on the machine.
- Comes in different models for small or bigger dogs.
- Some models have sensors to ensure dog safety.
- Compatible with regular sized tennis balls.
- Can keep dogs entertained for hours.
How To Select A Dog Ball Launcher?
Keep these in thought while looking for the perfect ball launcher for your dog.
Dog Size: The size of your dog is the most important thing to consider while looking for a ball launcher. The bigger the dog, the further you want your ball to be launched. If you have a smaller dog, consider launchers than can also be used indoors.
Dog Energy Level: Depending on how much energy your dog has, you may or may not want an automatic ball launcher. If your dog typically doesn’t need much exercise, consider getting a manual, interactive ball launcher. If your dog is very energetic, consider an automatic ball launcher. This will save you time and give your dog entertainment for hours on end.
Your bond with your dog: If you’re very close with your dog, consider a manually used dog launcher. This will keep you and your pet happy. If your dog is more independent, an automatic ball launcher will be just as enjoyable.
Where you’ll be playing fetch: If you’ll be mostly outdoors with your pet, a manual or gun-shaped ball launcher will be the most convenient and portable for you. Indoors, an automatic ball launcher on a low shooting distance setting will be best.
Durability: With a manual ball launcher, you won’t have to worry about dirt or water affecting the performance. Gun-shaped and automatic launchers aren’t necessarily made for getting very dirty, but can resist some dirt.
Advantages of Having a Ball Launcher
There are many reasons why a ball launcher helps in a simple game of fetch.
Easier for you: No matter what kind of ball launcher you get, it is going to make the game of fetch easier and more enjoyable for you. Your shoulder will no longer grow tired after a few throws, and you will be able to play with your pet for a much longer time.
Hands-free pickup: All kinds of ball launchers offer hands-free pickup. This way, you don’t have to get slobber all over your hands from picking up the ball. You also wont strain your back from bending over as far to reach the ball on the ground.
Your dog can play alone: If using an automatic ball launcher, your dog can be trained to reload the machine on their own. This saves you both time and energy.
You can throw the ball farther: If you’re using a manual ball launcher, you can throw the ball 2-3 times farther than without one. Especially great for bigger dogs, this can keep them entertained and get them the amount of exercise they need.
Fetch can be played anywhere: Ball launchers can be used either indoors or outdoors. Automatic ball launchers can be set to shoot the ball as little as just 8 feet, which is perfect for small dogs in a living room. Even with a manual ball launcher, it can be used gently indoors.
Keeps your dog happy: No matter what kind of ball launcher you purchase, it provides a fun game for your dog. Adding color keeps your pet engaged in the game. Launching the ball various distances also keeps your dog entertained.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Ball Launchers
There are a lot of different aspects of ball launchers to consider.
How long will the charge of this machine last? In an automatic ball launcher, the last of the charge depends on the model. On average, with a rechargeable battery, the machine can last 300-1000 launches before needing another charge.
Can you use smaller balls, or only standard size tennis balls? Typically, most ball launchers use a standard sized tennis balls. However, for ball launchers made for small dogs, smaller sized balls are more common. Most ball launchers come including at least one ball.
Is dirt or mud on the ball going to clog up the launcher? Manual ball launchers will not get clogged because of dirt. Gun-shaped launchers and automatic launchers, however, can get clogged or malfunction of the ball is very dirty or wet.
Is it feasible for indoor use? Manual launchers, if used gently, can be used indoors. Gun-shaped launchers are more meant for outdoors, because their shooting distance is higher and less controllable. Automatic launchers usually have a low setting, which make them easy and safe to use indoors.
Does this come with warranty? Manual and gun-shaped ball launchers don’t typically come with a warranty. Automatic ball launchers more commonly have customer warranties on them, averaging around 6 months from purchase date. Warranties depend on the brand.
How far does the ball go? Manual ball launchers have the largest range of shooting distance, because the power is from you. With these, it’s possible to throw a ball up to 140 feet. With a gun-shaped or automatic launcher, the farthest shooting distance will be around 50 feet.
Overall, the type of ball launcher you buy depends on your dog. From three different kinds of ball launchers, each kind has different sizes and options to suit your pet.
Ball launchers are great to make your game of fetch more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend. Surprise your dog with one to enrich their playtime!
Have you ever owned a ball launcher for your dog? Please leave comments about how it worked for you, your dog, and your experience together!
Hi, I am Andrew. I am the editor at FamilyWithPets. I am enjoy learning and sharing information about pets that helps enrich the lives of pets and pet parents.