7 Best Dog Ball Launchers : Automatic & Manual

best dog ball Launcher
Whether you have a huge Great Dane or a tiny teacup Poodle, they all love to play fetch with a ball. So we decided that a dog ball launcher would be a great thing to test for your pups. We reviewed seven dog ball launchers from Amazon to find the best dog ball launcher in our opinion working with customer reviews and product features.

Our Top Picks

Top 7 best dog ball launchers reviews

Best Warrantied

Our Rating:

3.5/5

Price Range: $$$

This automatic dog ball launcher from iFetch is sure to give your pooch some serious hours of fun with or without you. Not only does it work great, it looks cool too. We really liked the pawesome design and how compact and light the device is. The top is designed at a tilt so your doggo can drop the ball in with ease and is placed in the back rather than on top to encourage them to stand behind the machine, so they do not get hit by the ball when it launches.
This machine shoots balls that are small enough for your little pupster to handle but if you have a bigger dog, you will have to get the larger size. From 10 to 30 feet, the iFetch Dog Ball Launcher is adjustable so you can set it how you want it. This is great if you want it to just throw a short way if it is inside. You can also choose to have it plugged into the wall or it works on six C batteries as well. The iFetch comes with three balls and has a six-month warranty.

What We Like About It

  • It makes a noise before launching the ball so your dog can get out of the way.
  • It is lightweight and really cool looking.
  • It comes with a six-month warranty

What We Don't Like

  • The balls are not very good material.
  • Regular sized tennis balls do not fit.

Our Rating:

3.5/5

Price Range: $$$

This PetSafe automatic ball launcher is a safer version of the other automatic ball launchers because it will not launch the ball if your dog (or anyone else) is in front of it. There is a motion sensor inside the machine that can sense someone within seven feet of the front of the machine. It also has a knob that lets you decide the length you want the ball to go as well as the angle. There are nine distance settings from eight to 30 feet and six different angles. Another interesting idea is that this one has a rest feature so that your pooch can take a 15-minute break every 15 minutes, so they do not get overworked or exhausted.
The PetSafe automatic dog ball launcher uses regular sized tennis balls so you do not have to use a certain sized ball like the others. But if you do want to use a smaller ball, you can do that as well. It comes with two tennis balls and a power cord so you can use it plugged in or with six D batteries too. It also has a carrying handle and an extra-large hopper to put more than one ball in at a time.

What We Like About It

  • It won’t launch the ball if your dog or someone else is within seven feet of the ball launch hole.
  • Your pooch will not get overworked because there is a 15-minute rest period.
  • It comes with a six-month warranty

What We Don't Like

  • Batteries wear out fast.
  • It is expensive.

Caution Alert : Play responsibly

It is best not to let your pooch play with the automatic dog ball launchers without supervision. You never know what may happen so you should at least be able to see your pup as they play.

Best Ball Launcher for Small Dogs

Our Rating:

3.5/5

Price Range: $$

The IDOGMATE is a square automatic dog ball launcher that comes in small and large sizes, but the other size is called the iDog Midi Launcher. This small one is made for small pooches and puppies and has smaller balls that are about 1.75 inches in diameter. They are felt like a tennis ball but are made for dogs, so they are not abrasive. It can be adjusted to throw the balls from 10 to 35 feet or set it to random and it will randomly throw the ball one of the four distances. The hopper is larger than most and can hold about four balls at a time.
This ball launcher can be plugged in or you can use the rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. According to the manufacturer, the battery supports up to 250 launches per charge. This one also has a carrying handle and it is pretty light so you can carry it outside or inside easily. The IDOGMATE has patented arching wheels inside that form to the size of the ball to prevent it from getting stuck. It even has a remote control so you can adjust the settings from your spot on the couch or chair.

What We Like About It

  • Large hopper holds several balls at a time.
  • It has a rechargeable battery rather than having to use regular batteries.
  • There is a variable setting to change up the distance randomly.

What We Don't Like

  • There is no warranty.
  • Regular sized tennis balls do not fit.

Our Rating:

4.7/5

Price Range: $

The Chuckit! Sport Launcher dog ball thrower is a manual thrower that kind of lengthens your throw by lengthening your arm, so to speak. At a very reasonable price, for cheaper than a gallon of gas in some states, you can get this pawesome dog ball launcher that will let you throw the ball up to 140 feet or more. No matter how tall you are or how strong you may be, this launcher will go quite a long distance. Unlike automatic launchers, you cannot use this one indoors. Not unless you want to break some windows or furniture.
Another bonus with this type of launcher is that you do not have to bend over to pick up the ball. When you get to be a certain age, bending over can be painful so using the Chuckit! to pick up the ball is furfect for that. Also, you do not have to worry about getting that slobber all over your hands since the Chuckit! picks up the ball for you. All you have to do is put the claw over the ball and press down and it fits snugly in the claw until you throw it.

What We Like About It

  • Very affordable
  • You don’t have to lean over.
  • No picking up slobbery balls anymore.
  • Uses standard tennis balls.

What We Don't Like

  • It is not automatic.
  • The claw can wear out after a month or two.

Our Rating:

3.7/5

Price Range: $$

This Nerf Dog Compact tennis ball blaster is a fun toy for both you and your fur buddy. In fact, it is so much fun, you are going to want to play with it without your dog. Just like a Nerf blaster for kids, this dog ball launcher is a gun that shoots Nerf balls, but you can use it for your dog. Also, with this blaster you can pick up the ball without touching it. No more picking up slobbery balls! Just place the barrel above the ball and it goes in. Then you pull back on the handle and shoot.
They say you can shoot it up to 50 feet in the air and you can change the distance you shoot depending on where you are. It also has a spot to hold an extra ball in case you need one. These come in two different sizes, the compact 16-inch size and the regular 20-inch size. You can use the balls that come with it or regular tennis balls and it is way cheaper than an automatic dog ball launcher.

What We Like About It

  • You can use regular tennis balls.
  • It is fun to use.
  • It shoots really far
  • The price is reasonable.

What We Don't Like

  • The rubber bands break easily.
  • It is not automatic.

Did You Know?

Playing with your dog brings the two of you closer and adds a bond that nobody can break. Get out and play with your pup every day for at least an hour. Also, getting enough exercise for your canine kid is essential to their physical and mental health. It is also good for you.

Best Ball Launcher for Big Dogs

Our Rating:

3/5

Price Range: $$

The Hyper Dog 4 Ball Launcher is a giant sling shot that shoots tennis balls. What is really cool about this is that at just over $20 you can get the launcher and four tennis balls. Considering that tennis balls cost about $5 or more, that means you are getting this launcher for about $15! That is a fantastic deal. And this launcher has the ability to shoot balls up to 220 feet. That should wear your pooch out sufficiently. However, it is heavier than the average dog ball launcher and can take quite a bit of strength to pull the band.
But if you are in good shape and enjoy the workout as much as your pup does, this is a great toy for both of you. It is not a great idea to let the kids play with this, though, as it can shoot just about anything a long way and with enough force to put out an eye or break a window. And many people have complained that the rubber tubing breaks as well as the rubber band that you use to shoot the ball.

What We Like About It

  • Shoots the ball extremely far.
  • A great workout for both of you.
  • Very affordable.
  • You can use any type or size of ball.

What We Don't Like

  • The rubber tubing breaks after about a dozen uses.
  • The rubber band can break.

Our Rating:

3.8/5

Price Range: $$

With Hyper Pet K9 Kannon K2 Ball Launcher this dog ball launcher, you and your pooch will be playing for hours. Actually, your canine kid may get worn out way before you do with this one. Similar to the Nerf dog ball launcher, the Hyper Pet K9 K2 Ball Launcher is like a big toy for dogs and their humans. The good thing about this one is that it is longer than the others, so you do not have to lean over to get it to pick up the ball. Unless you are really tall. Just place the barrel over the ball and push down and it will grab onto the ball.
According to users, this one is easier to use than the other one and is made really well. It shoots regular sized tennis balls with ease. The heavier the better. Unlike the Nerf shooter. When you use heavy balls in that one it does not shoot as far. It is also a bit lighter than the other ones, so your arm does not get worn out from holding it up. The price seems fishy though. The lowest price on Amazon is just over $33, which is more than twice the price of the Nerf gun.

What We Like About It

  • You don’t have to lean over at all to pick up the ball.
  • Easier to use than most.
  • Shoots any kind of tennis ball.

What We Don't Like

  • The price

Dog ball launcher types

Automatic Dog Ball Launchers

The automatic dog ball launchers are completely automatic and just depends on your pooch to put the ball into the hopper for it to be thrown. Once your little buddy learns that trick, they can go all day. However, these typically use batteries, which means you will have to change batteries once in a while.

Semi-automatic Dog Ball Launchers

The semi-automatic dog ball launchers are those that you can control with a remote control, but your pup can also drop the ball in to get it to launch.

Manual Dog Ball Launchers

Manual dog ball launchers are so much more affordable but there is a big difference in how much work you have to do. If you don’t mind getting out there with your pup and throwing the ball but you want to throw it further than you usually can, the manual dog ball launchers are fine.
They are also great for those of us who do not like to keep leaning over to pick up a slobbery ball or trying to pry it from their mouth. But the automatic ones are just pawesome because you really don’t have to do anything, and your dog can learn some new tricks.

Why a dog ball launcher is a great toy?

Any dog ball launcher can be a fun toy for both you and your pooch. However, it is up to you and your dog which one would fit your lifestyle better.
  • Constant Cardio: With the manual dog ball launchers, both you and your furbaby get a good workout although it is considerably less of a workout for you than if you had to throw the ball without the launcher. You don’t have to lean over and pick up the ball… ever… again.
  • Anxiety Reduction: Your pupster has anxiety just like a human does. In fact, many dogs have more anxiety than we do. What could your dog pawsibly be anxious about? Well, maybe they are worried you won’t come home, or that you will forget to feed them. Or they could be worried that someone will steal their bone. Whatever the worry, it is easily released by chasing a ball for a couple of hours. And if you don’t want to tear your rotator cuff pitching that ball, you may want to look into getting one of these dog ball launchers.
  • Relieves Boredom: Just like anxiety, dogs get bored like humans do as well. In fact, it probably affects them even more than us because they are unable to tell you they are bored and cannot take themselves to the dog park or turn on the television. With one of these dog ball launchers, whether you use it inside or outside, your pooch will never be bored again.
  • Logical Thinking: Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Or a new dog old tricks. In other words, using these automatic dog ball launchers are pawesome for teaching. They will learn that when they drop the ball into the right spot that it will get thrown for them. So instead of just bugging you to throw the ball or taking it and chewing on it somewhere, they eventually will learn what to do if they want to play ball.

5 features to consider before buying a dog ball launcher:

  • Automatic vs Manual: This is a personal choice. If you want to be in on the fun with your dog or if you want the personal one on one playtime with your pooch, then the manual dog ball launcher is best for you. If you would rather your dog play with the ball by himself while you do something else, then the automatic dog ball launcher is for you.
  • Ease of Use: Some of the manual dog ball launchers can be a bit difficult to use. The slingshot launcher is a bit tough for some people to use but they can all be learned after a few tries. The automatic dog ball launchers are easy for you to use but some can be more confusing for your pooch. It all depends on your dog and the design of the launcher. The ones with the larger space in the top to hold the balls is easier to use than the one that just has a small cup for the dog to drop the ball into. Some say that the ball tends to fall out of that one and the dog gets frustrated. We don’t want a frustrated dog.
  • Power source: The manual dog ball launchers do not need a power source except for you. You are the power source. But the automatic dog ball launchers use both batteries and they can be plugged in as well. Some have rechargeable batteries while others use regular alkaline batteries.
  • Ball size: Small dogs like Chihuahuas and Pekingese are not very comfortable playing with a full-sized tennis ball and big dogs like Great Danes and Alaskan Malamutes may swallow those smaller balls. So ball size is very impawtant. The good news is that most of them you can get in either small or large dog size. The bad news is that getting a larger size always means more money.
  • Adjustable Distances: The automatic dog ball launchers all have adjustable distances that you can choose from but the manual ball launchers are pretty much up to you how far the ball goes.

Safety Tips

There are some safety tips to know about these automatic and manual dog ball launchers. For example:
  • Your pooch can get hit in the face with the ball if they stand right in front of the machine when it throws the ball. It is best to supervise your dog with the machine until they learn not to stand in front of it. There is one machine on our list that has an alarm sound to let your dog know when it is going to throw the ball. And it will not throw the ball if your pooch is right in front of it because it has a sensor.
  • Your pup can get overheated if they are outside playing with the machine. Some of these machines have an automatic 15-minute rest period to keep your pup from getting overheated or exhausted but most of them do not. However, if your pooch is outside with this machine, you should be in the vicinity and can tell when your furbaby has had enough.
  • The manual dog ball launchers such as the slingshot and Nerf gun type are dangerous in the hands of a child, so you need to make sure to supervise children with them. These things shoot out pretty hard and can hurt your pup or other children if they get hit.

F.A.Qs

How easy is it to train your dog to put the ball back in?

Depending on your dog, training them to put the ball back into the machine will usually only take a short time. Maybe 15 or 20 minutes the first time and then maybe a quick refresher course the next few times.

Can I leave my dog to play with this unsupervised?

Although your pup can learn to play with the dog ball launcher alone, it is best to supervise them, especially if they are outside.

Do dog ball launchers require special balls?

Many of the dog ball launchers for small dogs only use small balls that are about 1.5” to 1.75” in size. However, those for larger dogs use standard sized tennis balls.

How far do automatic dog ball launchers throw the balls?

It depends on the machine. In the seven that we reviewed; they range from 8 to 30 feet. The manual launchers can throw up to 220 feet or more, depending on your strength and the type of launcher.

Our Verdict On…

After carefully reviewing these seven dog ball launchers, in our opinion, the best one is the Nerf Dog Compact Tennis Ball Blaster because it is really fun to use for both you and your pooch and it is really affordable. Not only that but you save money because you can use regular tennis balls, which are much cheaper than the special ones they sell for some of the other launchers.
This ball launcher not only gives your dog exercise, but it also works to give you and your canine kid a bond by spending that time together every day. It is lightweight and small so you can take it to the dog park, beach, or wherever else you are going with your pup. Yet, the automatic dog ball launchers are great and can teach your dog logic, but the Nerf gives you and your furbaby some time together that you both need.

A recap of our results…

Top 3 best dog ball launchers we reviewed

The Woof On The Street
the woof on the street
Share your experience with the products mentioned throughout this review in the comments below or Feel free to share your own product recommendations as well.
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