Automatic Dog Ball Thrower: Why, How, and Which Ones to Buy?


Dogs should be jumpy, playful, and friendly.

Yup, that’s all good!

But take it from an expert, calming a jumpy and playful dog is a tough ask. Even for pros. I mean, they always want to play no matter what the game is!

If it is the familiar game of “Fetch,” then trust me, your pooch, pug, or bulldog won’t give you time to rest! Even the grumpiest fur-balls can’t resist the temptations of sprinting out in the wild.

While playing for half an hour to one is great, you wouldn’t want to continue playing for two hours, right? At the same time, running out in the open develops physical features of your friend. So, there’s that. Automatic Dog Ball Throwers are a saving grace in this case!

These things are great when you don’t have the time to spend with your pets. Just go a few rounds with your dogs and train them to use these machines. The dogs will play “Fetch” with themselves while you attend family weekends or business meetings.

Why and how to pick these ball launchers? I’ll answer these questions in my article for today. I’ll also drop a few gems along the way as part of my product shortlist. Let us get on with it then!

Automatic Dog Ball Thrower – Comparison

ImageProduct NameOur RatingPrice
iFetch-Interactive-Ball-LauncheriFetch Interactive Ball Launcher4.8/5Check Price
IFetch-Too-Interactive-Ball-LauncherIFetch Too Interactive Ball Launcher4.8/5Check Price
PetSafe-Automatic-Ball-LauncherPetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher4.7/5Check Price
Playball-Automatic-Ball-LauncherPlayball Automatic Ball Launcher4.6/5Check Price
Smartpult-Ball-LauncherSmartpult Ball Launcher4.6/5Check Price
iDogmate-Dog-Ball-LauncheriDogmate Dog Ball Launcher4.6/5Check Price

Why Get an Automatic Ball Thrower for Dogs?

“What’s the point exactly?” “What will spending few bucks bring me?” – These are just a few question people ask around when I tell them about these machines.

So, I thought I should go ahead and explain to you, my readers, why I am so much in favor of these machines instead of you running around with your dog all day.

  • Firstly, they are automatic. I mean, running around with your dog for two hours or even one our sounds entertaining. But it is not. Playing “Fetch” for an hour or two can be tiring. Very often dogs are tough to handle and constant jostling with them results in muscle pain. “Automatic Ball Throwing Machine” means you won’t have to move a muscle. It takes care of the job on its own.
  • Playing fetch with your dogs boosts their brains. The focus on the ball and getting it back despite the possible obstacles. People train their dogs to run fast, seek, and find the balls. As a result, the motor neurons remain sharp well into the senior years of these four-legged beasts.
  • Running will boost the metabolism and blood flow in your pet’s body making him active. Regularly playing fetch increases the muscle mass of your dog as well.
  • Automatic ball launchers train your dog to be independent. You won’t have to stay by the side of your dog every minute of the day.

Automatic Dog Ball Thrower – Brands and Models I Favor

Choosing an ideal ball thrower for dogs is a risky business. Often, people get it wrong and buy a product which stops breathing after three to five months.

I figured you’d end up doing the same without proper guidelines. That is why I’ve come up with my own set of recommendations that you’ll find useful. Let me review them in brief for your convenience.

1. iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher for Dogs

iFetch-Interactive-Ball-Launcher-for-DogsEvery dog owner knows how much dogs like to play fetch. But, sadly you might not always have the energy to keep your dog happy. That’s where this handy dandy tool comes in! The iFtech Interactive Ball Launcher for Dogs can really make your life a lot easier.

This automatic ball launcher for dogs is not that big and it’s easy to carry as well. With a dimension of 14.8 X 10.1 X 11.4 inches, this baby weighs only 3 pounds. To make the deal even sweeter, it comes with a three 1.5-inch mini tennis balls.

Make a stronger bond with your four-legged friend without putting much strain on your arms. This device launches miniature tennis balls to a distance of 10, 20 or 30 feet. And it keeps on doing it till your dog has fetched to his heart’s content.

Your dog will never be bored again and all you need to ensure that is to replace 6 C batteries when necessary. Thinking about technical dysfunctions? Well this awesome little device has already a backup of one-year warranty. So no need to think about security while you and your buddy are having fun.

This Gadget is built to keep your dog entertained and to keep its mind stimulated for keeping in both good mental and physical health. But you should be aware of choking hazards and other safety issues that are described in the manual.

If you want a bigger version of this wonderful gizmo, move on to the next product on my list of automatic ball thrower for dogs.

What I Liked about this Automatic Ball Launcher
  • This thing has a small footprint and is lightweight to make sure you can carry or move it anywhere.
  • This model of iFetch launches balls at a distance of up to 30 feet distance to keep the dog happy.
  • The ball launcher runs on 6 C-Cell batteries that are very easy to replace with new ones.
  • One-year warranty is nice when you consider damage protection.
What I didn’t Like about this Automatic Ball Launcher
  • Works well with “Mini” tennis balls only not the standard ones.
  • Balls wear out relatively quickly compared to most products on the market.

2. IFetch Too Interactive Ball Launcher for Dogs

IFetch-Too-Interactive-Ball-Launcher-for-DogsIs your pooch the big dog in town? Well then, this is the thing for you. The iFetch too doesn’t meddle with small stuff, it throws regular size tennis balls at selectable distances of 10,25 or 45 feet. And this saves your arm from stress “Big time!’’

Don’t have time to play with your fuzzy friend although he deserves your time and attention? This device will bring a new turning point in your bond with your dog. With the requirement of only 1A batteries, this machine will provide endless fun for your dog and give you time for other work as well.

Bid boredom goodbye for your dog because this launcher is ready to serve you wherever you are. Outdoors or indoors, you can carry this around with you with ease as this has the dimension of 14x 13 x 12 inches and weighs only about 15.4 pounds. Nothing a properly functional human arm can’t handle eh?

To make that smile on your face even brighter, this baby comes with three non-abrasive, pet safe tennis balls. Take note that this machine doesn’t work too well with wet or dirty balls. Feeling a bit unsafe? Have no fear because this cool gadget has got your back with a solid one-year warranty.

This automatic dog ball thrower targets to please both the pet and the owner and is built to gain 100% customer satisfaction. Direct human and pet interaction can’t be replaced, but this is indeed the second-best thing.

What I Liked about this Automatic Ball Launcher
  • The iFetch guys have an awesome customer support to help users with issues of many kind.
  • You get three “Standard” size balls to play with this wonderful machine.
  • One-Year Warranty comes handy when you consider damage protection.
  • There are multiple “Gears” to help you throw the balls at different speeds.
  • Works well with wet or dry balls unlike many of its competitions.
What I didn’t Like about this Automatic Ball Launcher
  • Wet balls may travel slower when thrown with this machine; performance may spiral downward.
  • Rubber gears don’t hold up all that well and tend to malfunction in the long run.

3. PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher, Tennis Ball Throwing Machine for Dogs

PetSafe-Automatic-Ball-LauncherPetSafe is an awesome brand when it comes to automatic ball launcher for dogs. The model on my list is safe, easy to operate, and fun to play with. It loads standard tennis balls. But hey, you can throw smaller balls as well! Feel free to load three balls at a time.

Why is this one of the best automatic dog ball throwers? Well, this thing can be used indoors and outdoors. You have the option to use it with a Power Cord or 6 D Cell batteries. FYI, You’ll have to buy these batteries separately.

You and your dog will hear tones when the balls are loaded for throwing. There is a tone that indicates 15-minute break time after an entertaining session with the balls. The “2-Second” Motion Sensor Alarm is included just to get your dogs ready for the action.

I am super satisfied with this product. It comes with as many as 9 different distance configurations. Not to mention, you can throw balls at six different angles. Adjusting distance and angle is easy. Just pull and turn corresponding knobs. Talk about entertaining your dog!

This ball thrower from PetSafe is “Safe.” The motion sensor beeps when someone is standing less than seven feet away from the front of the machine. You won’t be able to load balls in when the “Safety Protocol” is in play.

Worried about the performance? Don’t be! It is one of the best products in its price range. To back up the claims, manufacturers even provide 1-year warranty on all the parts. Although I must mention, wet and dry balls will have an impact on performance, but that’s natural.

What I Liked about this Automatic Ball Launcher
  • You get as many as 9 directional and six angular settings to play with as a part of this machine.
  • This automatic ball launcher for dogs has awesome customer support to help users.
  • This thing comes with a “Motion Sensor” to protect people and dogs from getting hurt.
  • This product is a “Winner” when it comes to performance plus you have 1-year warranty.
  • Your dog can take a break of 15 minutes in between the “Fetch” game. The device is set in that manner.
What I didn’t Like about this Automatic Ball Launcher
  • Performance downgrades a tad bit when you use this launcher in combo with wet balls.

4. Playball Automatic Ball Launcher and Thrower for Dogs

Playball-Automatic-Ball-Launcher-and-Thrower-for-DogsWondering why this is on my list of Automatic Dog Ball Thrower List? Well, this ball launcher might just be the easiest one to use so far. There is even a manual for you on how to train your dog to use the device alone. This little gizmo is perfectly suited for both outdoor and indoor usage.

This device is as light as it can get, with a weight of 5.6 pounds. And the dimensions are even a lot small as it is specially made for small dogs. This toy might be small but it most certainly is not a small fry because for the price it’s a great bang for your buck.

It doesn’t throw the ball as far as the competition on the market, but it gets the job done. There are three blue LED indicators to let you know about how far it’s going to throw the ball.

Customer satisfaction is the top priority for the manufacturers and that’s why they also included a troubleshooting manual with the package.

For the accessories that come with it outside the instruction manual are three mini anti saliva balls of 1.5-inch diameter. These balls are actually better for both your dog and the machine itself as there are less chances of getting stuck in unwanted places. Plus, you also get a wall plug for indoor use.

As this machine is not suitable for large dogs, the device itself is built for targeted customers. So, if you have a dog like a poodle or a Chihuahua, this little machine is perfect for your furry little friend.

Also, your dog will be able to operate the machine by himself/herself. Fetching the ball and dropping it down the hole is easy. The machine prepares itself to launch the ball again in a few seconds.

What I Liked about this Automatic Ball Launcher
  • After a few tries, the dogs learn to operate the machine themselves freeing you to do other gigs.
  • Feel free to use this wonder machine both indoors and outdoors to play the game of Fetch.
  • The balls belong to the “Anti-Saliva” category. Meaning, they won’t get wet by any chance.
  • This thing comes with a troubleshooting manual. Most of your problems have solutions by default.
  • There are three LED lights set to give you an idea about how far this machine throws the balls.
What I didn’t Like about this Automatic Ball Launcher
  • The limitation is, it works well only for small-size dogs and not larger breeds.

5. Smartpult, the World’s first App Enabled Remote and Programmable Ball Launcher

Smartpult-Programmable-Ball-LauncherIf you are looking for an even more convenient and high-tech solution than my previous recommendation to play “Fetch,” the Smartpult ball launcher is the thing for you.  This mean green machine is designed for small and medium sized dogs.

The best part about this machine is that, you have the added option to control it through an app from your phone. Plus, it works in confined places as well as out in the open where it is more fun.

The device uses a Wi-Fi  feature that allows you to connect it directly to your phone. The LED indicator helps you to see if it is connected to your phone or home Wi-Fi. Yes, my friend this means you can use the app and surf the internet at the same time! Isn’t that super convenient?

Through your phone, you can play with your dog from a distance of 3,6 and 8 meters! Or you can just turn on auto mode for hours of continuous fun.

With the dimensions of 9.8x 7.1 x 11.8 inches this cool looking machine only weighs about 4.6 pounds. Which makes it easy to carry and easy to use. Even the ball catchment is capable of carrying around 5 balls at once.

The balls that are used for this machine are mini sized which are of two inches in diameter. Be cautious for choking hazards if your dog is of a larger breed.

Want to make your dog even more happy? Well this baby has got your back with a retractable case for treats. With AC power or 6C cell batteries your dog will never get bored again and will remain both physically and mentally sound.

What I Liked about this Automatic Ball Launcher
  • People can control this ball throwing machine with the help of an app from your phones.
  • There is an LED system that lets you know if the machine is properly connected to phone or not.
  • This machine is super lightweight. It is very easy to carry and move it around from place to place.
  • It works extremely well in case of “Mini Sized” balls that you might have wet or dry.
  • This thing comes with an “Auto” mode too! It keeps your furry friend busy for hours when you are not around.
What I didn’t Like about this Automatic Ball Launcher
  • Reviewers have complained about the balls getting stuck inside after a few uses.

6. iDogmate Dog Ball Launcher

iDogmate-Dog-Ball-LauncheriDogmate understands the vital nature of your relationship with the furry beasts. At the center of it all, there is love. And this little device is built to enhance your love for your pet buddy and keep it fun and interactive.

Now you can keep playing fetch with your dog for longer periods of time. The iDogmate ball launcher is really easy to control with a remote controller. Whether it be 10, 20, 40 or 50 feet, this little gadget lets you choose the distance you need to throw your ball at.

Rechargeable batteries that will support you up to 1000 launches should make your playtime a lot more fun. There is even an AC adapter just in case you need it. The L-ion batteries are kept safe with the factory-built protection management system.

Can this automatic ball thrower for dogs get any more effective? Yes, it can!

The 240mm funnel makes it all the easier for your dog to put the ball in it and keep on playing. The three free midi balls that you get with this baby are 2,5 inches in diameter, so it’s even more convenient for your dog to put the ball in and keep playing by itself.

This machine is very much suitable for outdoor play as it is neither that large nor heavy. The dimensions are 35cm by 34m by 24cm and it weighs only 4.25 kg.  Setting up, moving it around or carrying it while in vacation is never a problem for the dog owners.

What I Liked about this Automatic Ball Launcher
  • This is a small and lightweight automatic ball thrower for dogs in your house.
  • The funnel size is perfect. Your furry friends can fetch the ball and put in the funnel themselves.
  • It runs on AC Power as well as on batteries through a remote control system.
  • You can control the distance of these balls as well as the speed at which they’ll travel with remote.
  • Play indoors or switch to outdoor environment; this machine works both ways if you choose it to.
What I didn’t Like about this Automatic Ball Launcher
  • If anything, I consider this product to be a bit noisy as it makes sound on the level of 55 dB.

How Did I Select These Models?

I didn’t pick my favorite Automatic dog ball thrower out of thin air. Obviously I researched, compared, and shortlisted a few products until I came across the one that’s good enough. So, how did I do it? Which things did I prioritize? This is what I’ll discuss in the following points.

I Took the Size of My Dog into Account

Please be weary of your dog’s breed and size. Most of the brands have models that suit either “Standard Size Tennis Balls” or “Mini Tennis Balls.”

The “Mini Tennis Balls” are best suited for dogs of small breeds. These balls are a good fit for small mouths. The standard ones are great for larger breeds and for larger mouths.

Don’t act wise and switch the balls for dogs of different sizes. Small balls for larger dogs can trigger choking hazards. Same thing can happen with larger balls and small-size dogs.

You’ll find a mix of products that support standard and mini-size balls. Some models support both but will cost you more than normal ones. Make a wise choice.

Do You Want a Ball Launcher for Indoors or for Outdoors Like Me?

This is a vital decision to make. There are two types of dog ball launchers. Ones that are good for indoor playing, others that are great for outdoor recreation. Now you need to choose.

I’ve gone for ones that support both the types. There’s a reason for that. Dogs like it in the open. Playing “Fetch” out in the open brings them closer to nature as opposed to a confined space.

Your furry friends will be able to run around and chase after the ball freely. You too won’t have to fear dropping or breaking anything. Thanks to the running, seeking, and finding, the hunting skills of your dog will receive a boost. If you want your dog to be well-trained and nimble, this could be a way.

Another thing is, Indoor ball throwers have power cords and power cords ONLY. So be wary of your bills while you entertain your dog. But the outdoor automatic machines run on batteries as well.

They are portable and you can recharge or change the batteries when they die out. So, there’s the flexibility you are looking for.

How Far Can the Machine Throw the Ball?

In case you didn’t know, you can choose how far or close you want to throw the ball with automatic ball thrower for dogs. The distance calibration depends on the device type. If you are purchasing something for indoors, chances are, it will throw balls to shorter distances.

The outdoor automatic dog ball throwers on my list come with greater range and speed levels at which they throw the ball. Then there are the ones that go well with both indoor and outdoor environment. These have options to calibrate speed and distance and the ability to set different values.

The Launcher Should be able to Self-Train your Dog

That’s the whole point of buying these automatic ball launchers for dogs. After a while, your furry friends should be able to operate the “Fetching” machines on their own.

That’s why I went with “Easy-to-Operate” machines. Best automatic ball launchers come with a big chute. This lends our canine friends a hand in loading the ball back in the machine because, big chute means a wider area to drop the ball inside.

Don’t forget about the noise. Noise IS necessary. A beep tells your friend when loading the balls is complete and when they should prepare themselves for running right after the ball is thrown. All that is good. But there’s a catch.

High pitched noise can irritate or in cases, frighten dogs. They might never go near the machine if the sound level is “Too” high. I picked machines that have sound levels of 40 – 60 dB when compiling my list.

The Price Range that Worked for Me

I picked machines that had a minimum price of a 100 dollars and a maximum of 200 dollars. That’s the “Sweet” range if you ask me. I don’t believe one can trust cheap automatic dog ball launchers. Manufacturers have to make compromises to accommodate such machines within a double-digit price.

Similarly, a “Steep Priced” product isn’t what I was looking for. Reputed brands often price products too high than the rest on the market. Compare a few and you’ll know that the features are almost identical. The price is just a “Gimmick” most of the time.

People don’t need to pay 50 bucks more just so they can have a difference in sound levels by a few decibels. The performance level is roughly different. That is why a middle point of 100 to 200 dollars can get you deal winners here.

Final Remarks on this Topic

Automatic Dog Ball Throwers might sound complicated, but they aren’t. With a minimal amount of money, you can bring the familiar entertainment of “Fetch” to your dog. The precious pet of yours will get the same love and pleasure from this wonder machine as it gets from you.

Teach him how to use this machine himself and you won’t have to be around most of the time. Training him to use the machine is easy as well. It is like one, two, and three.

It’s not like these things are “Super Pricy.” They aren’t! In fact, on my list, you’ll find simple machines as well as moderately complex ones. So, you have the options if you ever need some.

Picking a ball thrower is not all that difficult if you know what you are looking for. If you are up for solo brainstorming, my little buying guide will prove great aide of yours.

So, what did I miss? Did I forget to add in some key details? Weigh in in the comment section and let me know.

John Howes

Pet lover & passionate blogger. I love to write about pet. I started this blog to provide advance materials for choosing the right products for your dog.

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