Dogs are like small children; they both have inexplicably endless sources of energy.
Grown-up humans are exhausted by the end of the day, and can barely reach for the remote, whereas your little pup is jumping around all over the place.
We get even more tired (and more than a bit jealous) just looking at them.
You already know that as a dog owner, you need to exercise your beloved and confusingly energetic friend. Walking is usually not enough, but if you have a dog park or a beach nearby you might you be able to get him to run. And the further the better.
You need a dog ball launcher
If your dog could talk, he would say, ‘You throw like a human.’ He might also say, ‘Dude, stop blaming those smells on me,’ but that’s an article for another day. Today’s good-natured doggy criticism of you is that you can’t throw the ball far enough, fast enough or often enough.
Paraphrasing Scotty from Star Trek, ‘We’ve got to have more power!’ Fortunately, the inventors are way ahead of you on this one. That curved piece of plastic you tuck the ball on to launch it further in the park is a handy item, but it doesn’t really compare to the ingenious devices below.
When you are looking for a good automatic fetch device for your dog, there is probably not much criteria. One that throws stuff and doesn’t break down a lot is probably about it.
They get more advanced from there including ones that can throw multiple balls and the distance and speed that they can launch at, but you basically probably just want something that throws (and doesn’t suck).
There are about a billion devices on the market, so we have narrowed your selection down a bit to the ones that are the best quality, most popular and best value for money.
Comparing the best dog ball launchers to exercise your dog
This is the most famous and popular ball launcher, and for good reason; it is excellent. Very good looking and compact and easy for both dogs and their people to use, it comes with three mini tennis balls.
This works indoors and out, running on both batteries and AC. It has three different throwing power settings.
This is designed more for small dogs, as the power of the launch and the sturdiness of the balls probably won’t stand up to medium to bigger dogs, but the product below is better for them.
- 3 power settings, can throw up to 30 feet (9 metres)
- 14 x 11 x 9 inches (36 x 28 x 23 cm)
- Battery lasts up to 30 hours
- Indoor and outdoor use
- Dog can reload by himself
- 3 mini balls included
This product has won awards and been featured everywhere, and we are here to say that the hype is worth it. It is a great product, faultless really for smaller dogs. It is tough and durable and should last forever.
The only detractors would be if you had a bigger breed (in which case we say get a bigger iFetch) and the price isn’t the cheapest on the market. But if you prefer the best rather than the cheapest, this product is for you.
There more fancy products on the market, including ones that feed your dog treats as well, that are motion sensored, or that have more launching options, so you should know this is not the most advanced ball launcher out there.
The product is a tiny bit noisy and may put off the most skittish pups, but most will just get used to it.
This is the iFetch for bigger dogs, and we love it as much as its predecessor. It is the most popular device for bigger dogs and happy owners everywhere claim that it is the best.
It has all the features of the smaller model; so, it is good-looking and sturdy, and works well inside and outside. This one works on full-size tennis balls, so these are easy to replace if they get lost or chewed up, but these balls are generally better for bigger dogs.
The power life is good, and the distance does what it claims it will. You can get at least 250 launches from recharge (or as my dog calls it, ‘Tuesday afternoon’). If you have a bigger dog, this product is so handy; heaps of fun and entertainment and just wonderful value for money.
- 14 x 13 x 12 inches in dimension
- Automatically control speed, launch length and trajectory
- 3 distance settings (10 feet, 25 feet, 40 feet)
- Rechargeable, so no battery required.
- Includes 3 full size tennis balls
- 6 month warranty
Quieter than the smaller model, and as good in every other way. Awesome for bigger dogs. Worth the investment and should last a puppy lifetime.
Essentially it makes both dogs and owners very happy, and teaches pups to be self-sufficient while beautifully running their energy out.
Again, this is not the lowest priced device, so it may be out of some owner’s budgets. Very wet or dirty balls should not be put into the machine as may stop it from working well. As the built-in battery reduces the balls will not launch as far.
This is one of the newest automatic ball launchers on the market, and a lot of thought has gone into the design and features of this product. Dogs absolutely love it and can very easily use it by themselves.
This is one of the best devices if you are looking for something high end with all of the features. It has more settings than the above models, including 5 distance settings, range up to 50 feet (15 metres), and a random setting which is a very clever feature to keep your dog guessing.
It comes with non-abrasive balls that are regular sized and don’t get stuck in the machine. They are brightly coloured and easy to find. This machine is wonderful for any except the smallest dogs.
It comes with a Li-ion battery and a remote control, which is fantastic. For indoor and outdoor use.
- 5 distance settings, including random option, as well as high-launching angle
- Remote control
- AC/DC, with rechargeable batteries
- Large ‘feeder’ area for the dog to insert the ball
- 3 non-abrasive balls, regular tennis-ball sized
- Compact and comes with handles for easy transportation
- Battery life allows up to 1000 launches
This really is a fantastic product, with very little faults. The people who have already bought this item seem to be overwhelmingly happy with it. Can be used inside and out, but it is outdoors that the extra features of this product really shine.
This is a high-end machine, so it is not cheap. It is well worth it for bigger or more energetic dogs however. A little bigger than the other items reviewed, so not for the more frail owners.
BazooK-9 Tennis Ball Launcher
Just for fun, we have reviewed this item as well. It is in a different category really, because the owner needs to hold and work the launcher, (much like an actual bazooka I assume, which dogs can’t operate either).
Lightweight, running with regular tennis balls, and great interactive fun between owners and their more active dogs. Kids love playing with it too (I mean as the launcher; I don’t play fetch with my kids).
- 70 feet launching distance
- Light, sturdy and easy to use
- Carry strap and holder for two balls
- 2 tennis balls included
A great, fun product. It is very well priced, well made and sturdy, and everybody loves it. Because of the price it would make a great gift.
It does require an owner to participate in the game as well as the dog. It is also sort of loud, but that is really part of the fun too.
Read more about dog ball launchers
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