Automatic dog ball launchers are a fantastic invention that can keep your dog entertained for hours, and save you from any potential arm pain. Not only that, but they’re also a great way to keep your dog active and engaged, without you having to constantly throw the ball.
But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to decide which one to choose. I reviewed, tested, and compiled the list of the best automatic ball launchers for dogs out and available in the market in 2023. I have four dogs and each wants my undivided attention, so I really have tried almost ALL available options on the market!
If you’re in a hurry, check out my top picks in the table below.
FYI, this post includes affiliate links. If you decide to purchase anything through these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Best Reviewed Dog Ball Launchers in 2023
When it comes to our furry friends, few things bring them more joy than chasing a ball. The thrill of the chase, the excitement of catching the ball mid-air, and the pure delight of running back to their beloved humans—it’s a simple pleasure that never fails to ignite their spirits. However, as much as we love playing fetch with our dogs, our hectic lifestyles can sometimes limit the time we have to dedicate to their favorite game.
Enter automatic ball launchers, a revolutionary solution that keeps the fun rolling even when we’re not available to participate. These incredible devices have taken the pet market by storm, providing our canine companions with endless hours of entertainment and exercise. But with so many options available, how do you choose the perfect automatic ball launcher for your furry friend?
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of automatic ball launchers for dogs and explore the top contenders that offer exceptional features, durability, and safety. Whether you have an energetic Jack Russell or a laid-back Labrador, I’ve done the research to help you make an informed decision and find the perfect dog fetch machine that will keep your pup entertained and tail-waggingly happy.
First things first, which types of automatic ball throwers for dogs are available in the market today? There are many types of them:
- Fetch machines
Before we start with the details, remember that all of the items included here were reviewed and we have had first-hand experience with the best dog ball launchers included here. So if you have a particular favorite automatic dog ball thrower that is not included here, chances are I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, which is why I can’t include it in my list.
When determining which of the dog ball throwing machines that I tried are worthy of being called “the best,” I looked at its overall value (not just the price, but whether the price was justified), the basic features, the recommended size for dogs that would use it (for example, is it safe for small breeds AND large dogs, or just the big pups?) and what type of machine it is (fetch machine, blaster, etc). I also looked into the comments and reviews of other users out there as their experiences might be different from ours, especially from a safety and interaction perspective.
Enough chit-chat! Let’s begin…
Table of Contents
iFetch: Automatic Fetch Machine for Dogs
We start our list of automatic dog ball throwers with the iFetch Interactive Dog Ball Launcher. This fetch machine is the most popular choice among dog owners with amazing reviews on Amazon and a fair price (check here).
Since it is interactive your dogs can be trained to operate the iFetch auto dog ball thrower all on their own! You just need to set up the adjustable settings for distances like 10 feet, 20 feet, or if you are outdoors, even as far as 30 feet.
This is perfect for small dogs or medium size dogs if you want to improve their dexterity. If you have a bigger dog, then you can get the larger version of the iFetch. It is basically an automatic ball thrower for big dogs.
They both come with three mini balls, you can also use slightly larger or regular balls but they can cause performance issues. It is very easy to use just teach your dogs to drop the mini balls on the receiver end of the iFetch Interactive Dog Ball Launcher and watch them drop, fetch, and repeat all day. Some owners even resort to hiding the iFetch because their dogs just will not stop playing fetch. Just check this video to see how a Husky is playing with iFetch.
Those mini tennis balls are awesome, but they’re also the only real drawback to the iFetch interactive ball launcher for dogs since you can’t just replace them with any old tennis ball when they wear out. Instead, you’ll need to buy a refill pack. They’re not terribly pricey, though, and you can probably find knock-offs for cheaper on Amazon. I do recommend sticking with the iFetch brand, though, just to make sure that you don’t run into any issues. Sometimes those knock-offs are slightly too big.
Also, I want to mention one more thing. While it’s not technically a feature of the ball launcher, one of the things I really love about the iFetch is that it’s a family-operated company owned and managed by the Hamill family out of Austin, Texas.
I just love supporting startups and family-owned businesses selling family-invented products because it gives a healthier sense of competition and ownership all around. Read my full review of iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher.
PetSafe Automatic Ball Shooter For Dogs
This automatic ball thrower for dogs is also from a company that we dog lovers and pet lovers have come to trust. This is also an electric tennis ball launcher for dogs and just like the iFetch Machine, dogs can also be trained to use this fetch machine by themselves which makes PetSafe one of the best auto dog ball throwers on the market.
The throwing distance is not that far compared to others in here but indoors and doors the 8 feet to 30 feet distance is quite big. What the PetSafe device lacks in throwing strength it more than makes up for in versatility by having nine different distance settings combined with six different angle settings making more than 50 possible different combinations.
Another cool feature of the PetSafe automatic fetch machine is its rest feature. Typically, owners of automatic tennis ball throwers for dogs would usually hide the machine to give their dogs time to rest in between plays. But with PetSafe’s rest feature, you can factor in the rest periods in between playtime for pets. It has amazing reviews on Amazon as well.
The device is made from high-quality materials, making it durable and able to withstand regular use. It runs on both AC power and batteries. I recommend using the corded option, though, as the batteries wear out very quickly.
The only major drawback is how loud it is. It’s honestly one of the loudest dog ball throwing machines I’ve tried. The noise may startle some dogs and make them hesitant to use it. It’s also one of the pricier options. Overall, though, the PetSafe Automatic Ball Shooter is a great option for pet owners who want to provide their dogs with exercise and entertainment.
GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher
If you are looking for a dog ball launcher that is ideal for dogs of all sizes, you can try the GoDogGo Fetch Machine! The GoDogGo is one of the best automatic best dog launchers on the market today.
We tested this tennis ball launcher as soon as we unboxed it. Speaking of unboxing, the package includes five GoDogGo dog tennis balls, rechargeable lithium batteries, remote control, and an AC adapter.
The GoDogGo fetch machine offers a time-setting option that allows you to select launch intervals of four, seven, or fifteen seconds. A distance setting is also available, which varies based on the size and kind of ball used. It also comes with a remote control that works up to 50 feet away from the device.
The device also includes multiple safety features, such as a sensor that prevents balls from launching if the dog is too close to the device, ensuring the dog’s safety during playtime. It also has a safety arc that permits the balls to fly higher and further.
It may also be powered by an AC adaptor or rechargeable batteries. Taking the GoDogGo is also easy since it is compact and lightweight weighing 8.6 pounds. You can definitely bring this when you are traveling with your dog.
My labrador loves this automatic ball launcher as it is easier for him to drop the balls in the launcher’s wide-mouth ergonomic bucket. The bucket can hold up to 17 tennis balls (25-inch size). Based on my experience, though, you should use lighter balls if you want the ball to go far. Using a heavy ball will not launch it as far.
I did not experience problems with wet and slobbery balls. The launcher still worked even when the balls are already wet with our dog’s saliva. I am hoping the machine will meet my longevity expectations. Especially since the GoDogGo Fetch Machine is relatively expensive compared to other dog ball launchers on the market!
PetPrime Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
This automatic dog ball launcher is an ideal dog companion for small to average sized-breeds.
The design of the PetPrime Dog Ball Launcher is simple and minimalist. It can be operated using only one key. It is compact and lightweight. The device only weighs five pounds.
The ball launcher’s distance may be changed in three gears: 10ft, 20ft, and 30ft. You need to use an adapter to launch the maximum distance. The actual launch distance is affected by the battery power, ball humidity, and other factors.
What I love about the PetPrime automatic ball thrower for dogs is that it can be used both indoors and outdoors. It is the perfect choice for an automatic fetch game when you’re playing and training with your dog.
The package includes the dog ball launcher, an AC adapter, three tennis balls, and an instruction manual. The device is easy to set up and operate. You can recharge it or use it with batteries.
We tested the machine and used the three balls included in the package. It is highly advised in the advertisements to use these balls that came with the machine. However, if your dog is a heavy chewer like mine, these balls will not last that long so you have to get replacements. It is tough to find alternative balls though. I have tried several types but they usually get stuck. The balls included are not the standard-sized tennis balls that you can usually buy in stores.
The machine gets inconsistent with its throw if the balls are wet. Wet balls also have the tendency to get stuck. I’d say this dog ball launcher is totally awesome if it weren’t for those two issues I had.
Paws and Pals Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
Next on our list is the Paws and Pals which is an electric tennis ball launcher for dogs. This one is particularly popular with dog owners making its stock life in stores very, very short. It is very interactive and is an electric-powered & automated dog ball shooter for dogs that can throw mini-tennis balls to a distance of 30 feet. It is great for indoor use because you can also adjust the throwing distance from 30 feet down to 20 feet, and even 10 feet.
The Paws and Pals Automatic comes with three non-abrasive and pet-friendly mini tennis balls which are two inches smaller than regular tennis balls, and is battery operated or can use with the charging cord that comes with it.
You have to be careful though, because of the mini tennis balls that the Paws and Pals device uses, it is now recommended for bigger dogs because they might swallow the smaller balls during too much play. The makers and owners of the system recommend that it shall only be used with small to medium size dogs.
The Paws and Pals Machine also comes with a treat compartment and is compatible with dog balls that can hold treats inside of them for even better playtime. Make sure to check more reviews, before buying it.
Gotcha Talking Dog Fetch Toy
The Gotcha Talking Dog Fetch Toy can easily be one of the best automatic dog ball launchers in the market today or it can just as easily be the most annoying one here because of its talking feature. Some humans, my niece, in particular, hates the talking feature but my dog seems to love it.
What I and my dogs love about the Gotcha Talking Dog Fetch Toy is dogs can spend hours on the thing by themselves because it is so interactive you can train your dogs to operate it by themselves. It is an electronic fetch machine that they can use without your supervision. This is especially great if you have small, hyperactive, play-motivated dogs that can drain the energy out of you with their playfulness.
Keep in mind though that the Gotcha Talking electric ball thrower for dogs is much like the Paws and Pals ones. They are both automated dog ball launchers, and they both come with three mini tennis balls, people love them that they do not last long on the shelf and have the tendency to run out of stock and they are both recommended only for small dogs to medium size dogs. The Gotcha Talking Dog Fetch Toy puts emphasis on small dogs to very small dogs only. Based on these reviews, many small dog owners really love this automatic dog ball thrower.
Playball AutoFetching Dog Toy for Small Dogs
The Playball Automatic Ball Launcher and Thrower is designed specifically for small dogs and is not recommended by the manufacturers for bigger and even medium size dogs. This is mainly because its smooth, saliva-resistant fetch balls are small at just about 1.5 inches in diameter might present a problem to bigger dogs.
This automatic ball thrower for dogs has three distance settings and can be operated outdoors using batteries.
Generally, the Playball machine is a great device but it is built for almost the perfect world.
There have been issues of balls getting stuck inside the machine if the Playball is loaded meaning you have an over-eager dog, or when a ball is loaded when it is not turned on. This automatic dog ball launcher has mixed reviews though.
iDogmate Small Dog Ball Launcher
We’re going slightly techier now with the iDogmate because not only is it an automatic ball launcher for small & large dogs is also comes with its own remote. People who bought it from Amazon are really loving it and it’s my personal choice too.
The iDogmate also comes in a rectangular, boxy design to deter over-excited dogs from turning it over and it comes with three custom size balls.
The iDogmate automatic tennis ball thrower for dogs is made specifically for small dogs, the makers do not recommend it for medium and big dogs. As you can see from the name its clear that it is a ball thrower for small dogs. The makers, however, would like to recommend “iDogmate Big” automatic ball launcher for large dogs that might want in on the fetching fun.
Its auto-cycling can load multiple balls and throw them one at a time and also a great feature is that it does not get stuck very easily.
It is a cheap automated electric ball thrower for dogs compared to other automatic tennis ball thrower for dogs out in the market today and its iDogmate Big is one for the better options for an electric ball thrower for large dogs. Read our review for iDogmate Ball Launcher.
|Amazon Reviews||3.5 out of 5
|Technobark Review||9.2 out of 10|
|Main Features||Designed specifically for small dogs|
|Price||CHECK AT AMAZON|
All for Paws Interactive Automatic Ball Launcher
This is definitely one of the cutest and most interactive dog toys in the world. The product is very handy but can do wonders to make your dogs active. Around only 10×8 inches, the distance of this ball launcher can be adjusted depending on the size of your space and the distance your dogs want to play. It has 3 adjustable distances, which are 3 meters, 6 meters, and 9 meters, which is why this automatic ball launcher is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.
While the distance can be controlled manually through a handy switch on the back part of the device, you could adjust it by using a remote control even if you are far away from the ball thrower. With this toy using about a 5-centimeter ball in diameter, the size is perfect for you not to worry that your dog might swallow the ball, but small enough for a dog’s bite.
All your dog has to do is put the ball back into the ball hopper of the launcher and the device will automatically throw the ball once again for another throw, with an option to reward your dog with some treats in the dog food packet from the device that automatically dispenses whenever the ball is brought back. Its battery is also rechargeable so this electronic thrower is a no-hassle to be brought even in parks or other places with no source of electric power.
Franklin Pet Supply “Ready Set Fetch” Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher
Need a bigger automatic dog launcher for your aggressive dogs? Then this ball thrower might be the right one for your best pal. Around 12 by 14 inches in size, this interactive ball launcher can be adjusted in three different angles from low, medium, and high with its adjustable front leg, for added flexibility for more active dog training that would require a lot of jumping and running while its distance can also be adjusted in feet through its adjustable motor dial from 10 to up to 40 feet afar.
It boasts a large ball hopper of about 6.5cm in diameter. While its 8 D alkaline batteries are not included in the purchase, this rechargeable device has a charger adaptor that could also be useful for parks and places with no power outlets.
An optional safety sound feature when the ball is preparing to fire that alerts your dog when the ball is about to be launched can also be turned on or off so you do not need to worry about your furry friend.
While this matching already includes a fetching ball, any kind of standard non-abrasive tennis ball in the market could perfectly be used in this ball thrower. It must be noted that wet balls may affect the launcher’s performance.
The M.E.R.A. Tennis Ball Toy Launcher is basically the newer version of the Hyper Pet k9 Kannon. It looks the same and more or less operates the same way. Cock, load, shoot, wait for the dog to fetch the ball, when the ball is at your feet, cock, load, and repeat.The difference is it has a more robust design. It feels a more weighty and heavy-duty in the hands and has a cool sling that comes along with it. The M.E.R.A. tennis ball shooter for dogs has an adjustable distance base on how far you cock back the charging rod at the back, it is unspecified though in terms of distance and strength.It is fairly new and we have had limited interactions with it, basically, it made it this list because it operates exactly like a Hyper Pet K9 Kannon and it’s much more solid and better built.This auto ball thrower is great for all types and size of dogs, but it would really be great for medium to bigger size dogs because of the ball size.
|Amazon Reviews||4.8 out of 5
|Technobark Review||9.9 out of 10|
|Main Features||Robust design|
|Price||CHECK AT AMAZON|
Nerf Dog vp6880 Dog Tennis Ball Blaster
If it is not the best automati dog ball launcher in this list, then the Nerf Dog vp6880 definitely has the coolest name. Just like the other two that came before it on this list, the Nerf Dog vp6880 is obviously a blaster type ball launcher and when it says it can blast, boy can it blast.It can launch a tennis ball a solid 50 feet away and comes in two different sizes. If you have a smaller dog, get the 16 inches Nerf Dog vp6880 Tennis Ball Blaster for $23.93 and for medium to bigger size dogs, you can get the full-size inches Nerf Dog vp6880 Blaster for $34.99.You can use regular size tennis balls for this, but it comes with its own ball, plus it is compatible with other Nerf squeaky balls out in the market today. I suggest you get the regular tennis balls because there has been a lot of online complains that the Nerf balls and the balls that come with the Nerf Dog vp6880 Blaster is not durable and comes apart easily especially if you have an aggressive dog.
Hyper Dog 1
This one is for the old heads. The Hyper Pet 1 is a no-nonsense auto ball shooter for big dogs. It is the sling type launcher in this list, but it is also the only one with a five out of a five-star review on Amazon that is included here.No nonsense because it is easy to operate, highly effective, and launch a tennis ball fairly long. It operates just like a sling and is made of high-quality steel materials.We came across the Hyper Pet 1 during one of our park jaunts with our dog. It was being used by an army veteran who has nerve problems with his throwing arm. He uses his Hyper Pet 1 to play with his emotional support dog who he says is a ball of bound energy waiting to be released. He said that before the Hyper Pet 1 came along, he would usually struggle to play fetch with his emotional support dog and he would have a hard time because they both come out frustrated after their playtime.Aside from the great and easy to use the feature, and aside from being the only five star ranked item in this list, the Hyper Pet 1 is also the cheapest and most reliable here.
|Amazon Reviews||3.8 out of 5
|Technobark Review||9.4 out of 10|
|Main Features||No-nonsense ball launcher for big dogs|
|Price||CHECK AT AMAZON|
READ ALSO: Best-Reviewed Dog Fitness Trackers
Hyper Dog K9 Kannon K2 Dog Ball ThrowerNext is another item from Hyper Pet, the same maker of the Hyper Pet 1. Presenting his classier and more updated and hip brother, the Hyper Pet K9 Kannon K2 Ball Thrower.Unlike the Hyper Pet 1 which is a sling-type dog ball launcher, the Hyper Pet K9 Kannon K2 is made out of high impact plastic and is a blaster type of automatic ball throwers for dogs. Meaning that it kinda looks like one of those space blasters that you see in cartoons.It is recommended for small, medium and large size dogs. It comes in two sizes, the full-size Hyper Pet K9 Kannon K2 dog ball thrower, and the mini K9 Kannon. Just buy the bigger one if you have big dogs and the mini for smaller dogs.Works fairly easy you just pull back on the handle, load the ball, and pull the trigger. One of the best parts of the Hyper Pet K9 Kannon K2 is you can load the ball directly on the muzzle of the blaster by just pressing on the ball while it is on the ground. You do not have to deal with all the slobber and dirt that comes playing fetch with a slobbering dog.
|Amazon Reviews||4.0 out of 5
|Technobark Review||9.5 out of 10|
|Main Features||Blaster type|
|Price||CHECK AT AMAZON|
My Personal Pick
We can’t really call a grand winner of the best tennis dog ball launcher for dogs on this list. There’s just too much going on and the diversity is too great.
But here’s a takeaway when picking your choice of dog ball launchers, identify your needs first and go from there. Do you have a big dog, a medium dog, or a small dog? You can start from there and eliminate it from this list.
Second, ask yourself do you want a sling? An arm type? Blaster type or an automated one?
But if push comes to shove and I was forced to pick a favorite? I chose the iFetch Machine to represent the interactive ball shooters here because it is the safe choice, it had the option for the bigger model if you have bigger dogs and it caters to the smaller dogs as well. Plus, as I mentioned I just love the idea of supporting small family-owned startups that have great and effective products that can truly produce great results. Their customer service is great, and the guarantee they offer is amazing. What else can I say?
But, if you don’t want to spend that much money and don’t really care about having an automatic launcher, I’d have to go with the Hyper Pet 1. Its no-nonsense design, classic sleek metal look and just the sheer simplicity of the operation did it for me. It reminded me of my slingshot, and that plus the ability to enjoy the game with my dog using simple physics was an easy sell. The price point was also a big help.
To boil it all down, all the items on this list are just enhancers to the age-old game between man and his four-legged best friend which is fetch. At the end of the day what’s important is you and your dog enjoyed your time together. Check out more amazing dog devices and reviews on our website.
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. 2023-09-27