photo by CountrysidePet

Best Dog Ball Launcher


Throw-and-fetch is the most familiar and popular activity for you and your dogs. But when was the last time you played with your dog?  Do you spend time to play with them? Are you facing these kinds of problems? If so, auto tennis ball throwers machines are most recommended as it can work without your involvement in the games. If you want to get involved in playing with your furry best friend, manual ball launcher will be your best choice among the ball launchers.

The dog ball launcher provides an excellent workout for your dogs to deplete their excess energy. It is also a fun way to interact with your beloved furry friend and it will strengthen the bond between owner and dogs. The manual and automatic dog ball launchers are the best effortless way to enjoy playing with your dogs, and it helps your dog to achieve their daily exercise needs. A right dog ball launcher is worth your money because, without a doubt, it brings a lot of benefits to all dog owners.

In this article, we will guide you to select the best ball thrower that suits you and your buddy the most. Kindly read through the buyer’s guide in selecting the best dog ball launcher. There are a few important key points that I hope you will take into consideration.

It is quite challenging to pick the best ball thrower that suits your beloved dog among the various and available products in the market. We have rounded up our 10 top best manual and automatic dog ball launchers with their unique key features to assist you to choose the best ball thrower that is suited to your conditions.

Important Feature to consider – Buyer’s guide for dog ball launcher

Every dog ball thrower has its own unique feature which makes it different from each other. Here, we will guide you on how to select the best-suited dog ball thrower for you.

Type of dog ball thrower and launcher in the market

In the market, there are 3 categories of ball throwers, auto dog ball launcher machine, semi-automatic dog ball shooter and manual dog ball thrower. You may select the dog ball launcher based on your preference, budget and physical condition.

The auto ball toss machine is designed to work on your behalf to provide hours of fetching fun for your buddy. Your dog can easily achieve its daily exercise needs without your direct control and involvement. This auto ball thrower machine is best and suitable for those dog owners who have no time to play or who has physical restrictions.

The semi-automatic ball thrower is designed like a gun-like toy, which also known as ball blaster gun. It is created in 2 types, with or without recoil lever. This type of dog ball thrower only needs the least effort from the dog owner to work well in fetching balls. The design of semi-automatic dog ball launcher and its features have made it become the child’s favourite.

photo by Franklin Sports

Among these three ball throwers, manual ball launcher is the cheapest. It is suitable for those dog owners who have budget constraints. It could work extremely work well for both indoor fetching games and outdoor play because you have full control over this ball launcher. This can promote bonding with your furry best friend due to the physical interaction while playing the games.

Indoor and Outdoor Play

The location of fetching games is important in selecting the best manual dog ball launcher, ball shooter or auto ball thrower machine because it reflects your current condition and needs. The throw distance, weather, surrounding conditions are the main factors in choosing the suitable dog ball launcher for a different location.

Manual ball launcher is suitable to play at outdoor especially during raining day. This is because it does not consist of any electrical parts that will be broken in moist and wet condition. But this does not mean that these ball launchers cannot play well indoor. You could set the suitable throw distance for indoor play as long as you have full control over the ball thrower.

photo by costco

The semi-auto ball thrower and automatic launcher would beadvisable to play on the dry soil condition if you wanted to play outdoor. These ball throwers are only designed to be exposed in low moisture condition, therefore, it is not suitable for wet condition and rainy days. The perfect control by the ball launcher machine towards the throw distancehas made them suitable to play indoor. Moreover, these ball throwers are more suitable and recommended to use when you have multiple dogs due to their high ability to toss multiple balls in the shortest possible time.

Throw distance and angle

How much space do you have? This is one of the major considerations for selecting a suitable dog ball launcher. In the market, there is a variety of ball throwers and shooters that can launch balls up to 10ft, 20ft, 30ft even way up to 50ft.

For outdoor play, you should look forward for the furthest launching distance setting that is available in ball throwers. On the flip side, if you are playing fetch in indoor or within a small boundary, then the lower range distance setting is most suitable for you. Please be aware of the throwing distance that your dog is comfortable with so that your adorable buddy will not lose interest with the game.

The ability of automated ball thrower to change the throwing distance and angle is so useful in playing fetch with multiple dogs. Higher launching angle allows the dog to play a floating fetch, whereas lower angle will make your dog chase around the balls. The different launching angle can make the fetching game more challenging and exhaust their excess energy.

Ball size

Most of the ball launcher works well with standard size tennis balls, but it does not mean that all ball sizes are suitable for all type of dogs. You should take this consideration seriously because it may affect your dog’s health.

Standard size tennis ball is suitable for medium and large dog because they may easily choke on small balls. While small dogs are encouraged to use a smaller tennis ball in fetching game. These small dogs will easily get hurt if you are using the wrong ball size. 

Power sources

All automated dog ball launchers require electric power to operate. The power sources may be generated from the battery or power plug. Most of the automated ball throwers are battery-operated, which makes them convenient for outdoor play. 

A manual dog thrower requires you to be involved in the fetching game with your dogs. You have to make an effort to play fetch with this type of ball launcher. A deepened relationship and bond between you and your dog is the reward after the effort.


The safety issue is important in selecting the best dog ball launching machine. Poor safety design has a higher risk of injury especially every time the ball is launched. Shoulder, hands, and faces are the easiest part to get hurt when the ball thrower is operating. You must read the instruction carefully on howto operate the dog ball launcher machine to avoid any accident from happening.  

A softer ball is most recommended to play fetch. It can avoid the dog’s teeth from getting hurt when your dog is holding it in its mouth. A harder ball shall be avoided unless it is stated safe to use by the manufacturer. You also need to ensure that the ball sizes are suitable and safe for your dogs.

Dog breed, size and age

The size of your dog will determine the types and model of the ball launcher that is suitable for them. Small-sized dog and puppy are recommended to use dog tennis ball thrower designed for the smaller and softer ball. However, medium-sized and large-sized dogs are suggested to use standard ball size. Wrong ball size may hurt your dogs and have a higher risk of choking.

Additional bonus features and other accessories 

The bonus feature that attracts the buyers is after sales and queries answering service support and warranty which is provided by the manufacturer. According to our research, most of the brands are offering warranty between six months to one-year for their ball thrower. We recommend you choose the ball launcher that offers a longer warranty period and has better customer service support.

Most of ball launcher sets contain only one ball. Some companies do provide more than one ball which is a bonus for you as a buyer. Moreover, major ball throwers are available in variable colours to attract buyers. 

List of best dog ball launcher and thrower in 2019

We have rounded the top 10 best dog ball launchers for your reference. Included here are information and our reviews for the top best dog ball thrower.

Automatic dog ball launcher machine

The top picks for dog ball throwing machine

iFetch Too Interactive Ball Launcher

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iFetch Too is the best rated automatic ball launcher for large dogs in the market. iFetch Too ball launcher set includes 3 standard sizes non-abrasive tennis ball (2.5-inch diameter). You can use them as replacement ball or play all 3 balls together. 

This automatic ball thrower has 3 distance setting, 10ft, 25ft and 40ft. Due to the safety concern, it has a setting which allows you to lock the distance at 10ft. This setting is for dog training and suitable for indoor play. If your dog is bored with fixed distance setting, iFetch Too ball launcher has a special random distance setting to keep your dog guessing and be interested in ball fetching games.

iFetch Too ball thrower is designed with a rechargeable built-in battery that is long-lasting. It can last up to 300 launches which is suitable for outdoor use. You don’t have to worry on battery depletion during playing fetch. However, the device will take some time before it is fully charged. Regular cleaning is needed for the device. Fur and grass may gather inside the device which can cause clogging that will affect the ball thrower’s performance.

Key features: –

  • Provided with three standard sizes non-abrasive tennis ball (2.5-inch diameter)
  • 3 distance settings (10ft, 25ft and 40ft)
  • Button for locked distance at 10ft
  • Random distance setting
  • Rechargeable, built-in battery 

Imperfections: –

  • Will need some time to fully charge

The best ball thrower for small breeds 

Paws & Pals Automatic Throw and Fetch Mini Tennis Balls Machine

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Paws & Pals has offered a suitable ball machine for small breeds and mid-size dogs. They even received favourable feedback from the dog parents. It has a modem appearance with black and white colours, which makes it look like a professional and high-class machinery. Thick plastic is used for the body of the device to ensure its durability. Being quiet and noiseless makes it suitable for noise-sensitive dogs. 

This Paws & Pals automatic ball toss machine has 3 accessories tennis balls. As mentioned above, it is specifically made for small-sized and medium-size dogs, so the tennis ball is designed to be smaller. It only has a total of 2-inch in diameter, but it is not suitable for large dogs as the small tennis ball may become a choking hazard to them.

There are 3 distance settings, which is 10ft, 20ft and 30ft for your selection during the fetch games. This device is operated with a simple press of a button to switch on and off and change the distance setting. The inconvenient part is you need to adjust the distance setting manually to prevent your dog getting bored. This is because it can only be set to one distance setting at a time.

One of the amazing part is it has a built-in treat compartment for praises of doing a great job. It gives the rewards to your dog whenever your dog drops the ball back to the ball chute.

Key features: –

  • Modern appearance with black and white colours
  • The body of the devices is made of thick plastic
  • 3 tennis balls are included with the device
  • Small tennis ball size (2-inch diameter)
  • 3 distance settings (10ft, 20ft and 30ft)
  • Built-in treat compartment

Imperfections: –

  • Not suitable for large dogs
  • Only one distance setting at one time

Lazy to move? The top remote-control pick dog ball launcher

iDogmate Tennis Ball Launcher Remote Controlled Machine

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iDogmate is one of the leading companies that offers automatic dog tennis ball thrower machine in the market. This device is designed to suit big dogs especially dogs weighing more than 30 lbs. The iDogmate devices has provided 3 pieces tennis balls with standard-size (2.5-inch diameter). The tennis balls are made from food-grade safety materials with their advanced technology to ensure it is safe for all dogs.

This automatic ball launcher has 4 distance settings, 10ft, 20ft, 40ft and 50ft. These distance settings are suited for both indoor and outdoor plays. It can also be played with a random setting for more excitement. This will make them more focused and attracted to fetching games.

The best thing in this device is it has a remote controller which allows you to switch the distance setting easier. You do not even need to move away from your current position. It is also designed with a rechargeable Li-ion battery that enables the device to throw up to 1000 times. If your dog is noise-sensitive, we regret to inform you that this device will produce noisy noise when it is operating. 

Key features: –

  • 3 pieces standard-sized tennis balls (2.5-inch diameter) for every device
  • Food-grade safety material
  • 4 distance settings (10ft, 20ft, 40ft and 50ft)
  • Random distance setting available
  • Remote controller provided
  • High-volume rechargeable Li-ion battery (can support up to 1000 times throws)

Imperfections: –

  • Noisy noise when operating

Safety consideration? Pick a motion sensor dog ball thrower machine 

PetSafe Auto Ball Launcher

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PetSafe has been one of the leading dog supplier companies and manufacturers in the US since 1991. This PetSafe automated ball launcher can work with D batteries or direct-electrical supply. But you may need to replace batteries often if you just relied on the battery as it is not rechargeable. This device comes with a handle design on top of it for the ease of transportation. It also provides 2 standard-sized tennis balls for every unit.

PetSafe company has designed the automated ball toss machine that concerns much about the safety issue. This device is designed with multiple safety features and motion sensors to keeps us safe. We need to be at least 7ft away from the launch pocket to ensure the ball could be launched successfully. But this safety feature also brings inconvenience to the user as it will cause a prolonged delay between each reloads.

This automated dog ball thrower has a flexible distance and angle settings. It has 9 distance settings which allow you to launch from 8ft and up to 30ft. It also has 6 angle settings up to 45 degrees which suits both indoor play and outdoor play. Its system is designed with a 15-minute interval rest to make sure your doggie won’t get too tired.

Key features: –

  • Can operate with D batteries or direct-electrical supply
  • Built-in handle design
  • 2 standard-sized tennis balls 
  • Multiple safety and motion sensors
  • Flexible distance and angle settings
  • Can launch from 8ft to 30ft
  • Rest time for every 15 minutes un-monitored play

Imperfections: –

  • Long delay between each ball reload
  • Non-rechargeable batteries

The Talking automated dog tennis ball thrower

Gotcha Talking Dog Fetch Toy with Small Tennis Balls

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In the dog ball launcher market, Gotcha created one of the most special dog ball launchers. The ball thrower is designed with a sound mechanism to talk, interact and communicate with your dog. It is installed with a voice recorder to assure your dog and guide them to play. It is able to speak in two situations. Firstly, your voice can be recorded to give command every time the ball is ready to be thrown. Secondly, you can praise your beloved dogs for doing a good job whenever it drops the ball into the ball.

This Gotcha device can be operated by direct electrical supply from a separate AC adapter or C batteries. You do not have to worry about power outage or if you run out of batteries. Gotcha has designed the device to be operated with the smaller size tennis ball, 2-inch diameter ball. This feature is designed for small breed dog, but not for large breed dosg. The throwing distance for this model is only up to 12ft away.

Key features: –

  • Able to talk and interact with the dogs
  • Designed with voice recorder for praising and giving command 
  • Can use with direct electrical supply and battery power support
  • 3 small tennis balls included

Imperfections: –

  • Not suitable for big dogs
  • Short throwing distance, only up to 12ft

The best semi-auto dog ball thrower

The top picks ball shooter for large dogs

Nerf dog tennis ball blaster gift set

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Nerf dog ball launcher has received positive reviews and feedback as the best tennis ball shooter among the semi-auto dog ball throwers in the market. Nerf dog ball launcher is designed bigger than other dog ball shooter in the market, it is 3.7-inch height, 7.87-inch width and 17.99-inch length.

This gun shooter is designed in bigger size to fit in a pump-section lever without exposing any moving mechanism part. This lever is created to enhance a greater shooting distance. It can shoot up to 50ft away. But this feature has caused an issue, a loud launching sound is produced when the launcher is being used. Due to the safety concern, the full-length trigger is designed to avoid fingers being stuck and hurt. 

Another great feature of this semi-auto ball launcher is it supports hands-free pick-up. With this simple and nice feature, you no longer need to pick up the slobbery balls with your bare hands. Nerf has provided 4 standard-size tennis balls ,2.5-inch diameter each. 

Key features: –

  • Bigger than typical ball shooter (3.7 x 7.87 x 17.99 inch)
  • Install with a pump-section lever
  • Able to shoot up to 50ft
  • Full-length injury-free trigger 
  • Support hands-free pickup
  • 4 standard-size tennis ball provided (2.5-inch diameter)

Imperfections: –

  • Loud launching sound
  • The best semi-auto tennis ball launcher for small breeds

Innovative Ball Launcher

Hyper Pet K9 Kannon ball launcher dog toys

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Hyper Pet K-9 Kannon Dog Toy shooter has 2 different sizes, K-9 Kannon (regular size) and K-9 Kannon mini (mini size). K-9 Kannon mini is designed for small breed dogs because the launching mechanism is designed to launch a smaller size tennis ball. But the launching mechanism only allows shooting one ball at a time. There 2 extra ball storage nearby the trigger which is made for user convenience to allow you to reload the balls immediately after a shoot.

This Kannon shooter can approximately launch up to 50ft. But this figure is just for your reference because there is still no available data about its launching distance. This ball launcher allows hands-free pickup, that allows us not to touch slobbery balls. Kannon only provides one ball for every buyer. The ball is made of high-quality rubber, free from the harmful chemicals.

Key features: –

  • 2 different sizes – K-9 Kannon and K-9 Kannon mini
  • 2 extra ball storages on the shooter
  • Able to shoot up to 50ft
  • Made of high-quality rubber, free from the harmful chemicals

Imperfections: –

  • Only one ball per shooting
  • Only provide one ball

The Max distance dog ball launcher – Best for outdoor play

Max Launcher dog ball launcher

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Max Launcher dog ball launcher is the most recommended if you are looking for maximum launching distance for outdoor plays. It can launch from 40 ft up to 90ft, which is far better than other dog ball launcher in the market. It can even shoot up to 135ft away if the weather conditions allow. Due to this feature, it is only suitable for outdoor and bigger space.

This Max Launcher ball shooter only provides one standard-size tennis ball. Besides fetching ball, this shooter can launch mini frisbee discs, invented by Max Launcher for your second fetch game. Unfortunately, this launcher only allows  one ball or frisbee disc at a time

This ball launcher is so outstanding in the market, due to its odd shape. It is designed in a form of quarter-circle shape, which is the best for the furthest launching distance, according to Max Launcher. This design allows to aim the target safety because you could put the launcher slightly away from your face. It is also designed to be lighter weight, so it is easier on the arm and shoulders.

Key features: –

  • Launching distance from 40ft to 90ft
  • Able to launch with balls and mini frisbee discs
  • Outstanding shape (a form of quarter-circle)
  • Allow taking aim safety
  • Lightweight

Imperfections: –

  • Only provided one standard-size tennis ball
  • Only allow shooting one ball or frisbee discs at a time

The best handheld dog ball thrower

Chuckit! dog ball launcher 

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If you insist to join in the fetching games, we recommend Chuckit! dog tennis ball thrower to you. Chuckit! is available in multiple sizes, from 12-inch up to 26-inch length. It has a total of 7 different sizes of ball launcher, which gives the buyer an option to choose the best fit ball launcher. It also has 3 colours, but unfortunately the choice of colour is beyond the buyer’s control as it is sent randomly to the buyer.

This tennis ball thrower is made with flexible and lightweight material. It is designed with an ergonomic rubberized grip for the buyer’s comfort. Chuckit! includes 4-sizes of tennis balls to suit for different sizes of dogs, 2.0-inch balls for small breeds, 2.5-inch for medium breeds, 3-inch for large breeds and 3.5-inch for extra-large breeds.

Chuckit! ball thrower allows you to enjoy the fetching games by enhancing the throwing distance and speed with lesser effort. You may launch the balls as far as 140ft away. It also features hands-free pickup by simply placing the claw over the ball and press on it.

Key features: –

  • Available in multiple sizes (various from 12-inch length to 26-inch length)
  • 3 colours for option
  • Made of flexible and lightweight material
  • Designed with an ergonomic rubberized grip
  • Available in 4-sizes tennis balls
  • Can be launched up to 140ft 
  • Support for hands-free pickup

Imperfections: –

  • Buyers can’t choose colours

The best foot “stomp” design dog ball launcher 

Nerf Dog 1560 Dog Ball Thrower Stomper Style

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Nerf has offered a special foot stomp design ball launcher which is quite different compared to typical manual dog ball launcher. This ball launcher is operated by stomping air through the air chamber and launching ball through a 3.0-inch diameter launch tube. It is a foot activated ball launcher which is suitable for those dog parents with shoulder and hand injuries. But you have to pickup the balls and put it into the launch tube by hands.

This Nerf tennis ball thrower can be launched up to 75ft, which is what makes it so impressive. It is designed to accept standard-sizes tennis ball (2.5-inch diameter). It does not require electricity to function. 

Key features: –

  • Foot activated ball launcher
  • Able to launch up to 75ft
  • Use of standard-sizes tennis ball
  • Does not require electricity to function

Imperfections: –

  • The ball needs to be picked up by hands

The user guides and tips for dog ball launcher

Inappropriate usage of the ball launcher will cause injuries. We have listed out a few important tips that we hope you will take note of to prevent any accident from happening. 

Before operating the ball launcher

  • Pick a suitable ball size according to your dog size. The small-size ball may cause large dogs to choke easily. On the other hand, the small breed might easily hurt their teeth and mouth if the ball is too big. 
  • Ensure the ball is soft and using food-grade healthy material to prevent health hazard.
  • Train your dog before using ball launcher machine. The balls might hit the dog if it is in improper position. Your dog might be injured seriously that may lead to death.
  • Be patient while teaching your dog to use the ball launcher. Instruct them in sequence to ensure they understand and remember the procedure of playing with the machine.
photo by Daily Dog Stuff

While playing

  • Automatic and semi-auto ball launchers encourage playing in wide spaces especially for beginners who have no idea how to use it. This may prevent any damages on the interior. If you are going for indoor play, manual dog ball launcher is most recommended as you have full control on the throwing distance.
  • Don’t let your dog stand too near or in front of the launching mechanism when the ball launcher is operating. It may hit their head and cause trauma
  • 10 minutes is the best training and gaming time which is sufficient for them to play yet, not over-working while playing

After play

  • Clean the ball and launcher after use to ensure all grass and dirt is removed. This can prolong its service life and your dogs will be free from infection. 
  • Damaged balls should be discarded to avoid any infection from happening.
  • Manual ball launcher can be washed, but not the semi-auto and automated ball launcher because the water might damage their internal parts especially those electrical mechanisms. You are only allowed to use wet cloth to wipe out the dirt.

FAQs about dog ball launchers

Do ball launchers need a special ball?

photo by The House Design

It is unnecessary to use special balls, but the size of the ball does matter. You need to make sure that the ball size fits to the launcher. You might be disappointed if you will use the wrong ball sizes. The worst case scenario will be, inappropriate ball sizes will only damage the unit.

Why you should consider ball thrower for dogs?

Dog ball launcher undoubtedly brings a lot of benefits to the dog and dog parents. One of the primary advantages is it could help to achieve the daily exercise needed. This exercise may not require the involvement of the dog owner and it is suitable for those dog parents who have no time to play with their dog. It can also de-stress the dogs through the exercise of fetching, and control their bad and destructive behaviour at the same time. The most important thing is you can deepen the bond between you and your dog.

How to teach the right position while playing? 

For all first-time users, you are required to teach and train your dog before using the ball launcher. This is because the wrong position of the dog might cause injuries. You can teach them to wait behind the launcher or stand beside the thrower to let them know the importance of not standing in front of the launching mechanism. Once they get in the right position after they drop the balls, praise them with treats. This could let them know that this is a crucial step for the ball to launch. 

Final thoughts

Picking a suitable ball launcher depends on how well you know your dog. In this article, we have rounded 8 factors that you need to take into consideration while selecting the best ball launcher. This could help to evaluate the ball launcher in the market for your selection. 

We have concluded our top picks of ball launcher into 3 categories – manual dog ball launcher, tennis ball shooter and dog ball thrower machine. I hope this article is useful for your reference in choosing the best ball launcher.