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Best Automatic Dog Ball Launchers

Updated February 2024
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Best of the Best
Joyhound Electronic Ball Launcher Dog Toy
Electronic Ball Launcher Dog Toy
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Most Comprehensive
Bottom Line

Tops our list for its versatility and ease of use that satisfy active dogs and their owners.


Launches balls 10 to 40 feet for hours of fun for dogs of all sizes and activity levels. Offers 3 settings and easy operation. Works with the majority of standard-sized tennis balls. Set includes 3 tennis balls.


Although rare, a ball that's dirty or damaged may get stuck in the machine.

Best Bang for the Buck
All for Paws Hyper Fetch
All for Paws
Hyper Fetch
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Best for Everyday Use
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With its pair of sizes and reliable performance, the Hyper Fetch is a top pick for indoor play for all dogs.


Launches balls 10, 20, and 30 feet. Includes AC adapter and 3 tennis balls. Throws a ball every 10 seconds. Durable. Battery power option. Available in classic and mini sizes.


Best for clean areas, as wet tennis balls will negatively impact the launcher.

PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher
Automatic Ball Launcher
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Trusted Brand
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The top model for dogs who enjoy playtime a little too much, as it forces them to take frequent breaks.


Launches balls from 8 to 30 feet. Includes 2 tennis balls. Fits standard tennis balls. Motion sensor keeps dogs from getting hit. Pauses after 15 minutes to promote rest. Easy to load.


Buyers should invest in additional tennis balls.

iDogmate Smart Automatic Dog Ball Launcher Toy
Smart Automatic Dog Ball Launcher Toy
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Best for Large Spaces
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The iDogmate is worth buying for the ball-tossing distance alone.


Launches balls 10, 20, 30, and 35 feet. Runs quietly. Extra-wide ball hopper is easy to load. Features 2 carrying handles. Works well with wet toys. Includes 3 tennis balls. Available in regular and mini.


Harder balls fly much farther than soft ones.

iFetch Mini Automatic Ball Launcher Dog Toy
Mini Automatic Ball Launcher Dog Toy
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Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

If you own a Yorkshire Terrier to a cocker spaniel or prefer indoor play, this little automatic dog ball launcher is a must-have.


Optimized for small to medium breeds. Launches balls 10, 20, or 30 feet. Includes 3 tennis balls. Runs quietly. Rubberized feet. Wide hole makes it easy for dogs to load balls. Includes AC adapter.


Big dogs may not be impressed with this small launcher.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best automatic dog ball launchers

Too busy to throw around the ball with Fido? Not to worry – an automatic dog ball launcher will keep your pup entertained without giving you tennis elbow.

For the high-energy dog who loves to fetch, an automatic launcher provides endless fun, indoors or out. Train your dog to bring the ball back to the launcher’s chute, and you can let the fun play out on its own.

Dogs need mental stimulation and exercise just like their human friends, but we know it’s not always possible to head out for long walks with your furry bud. Automatic dog ball launchers prevent boredom by keeping your pup busy while facilitating vigorous exercise.

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Some canines will quickly recognize sounds the automatic dog ball launcher makes and will preemptively position themselves to catch balls as they are launched.

Key considerations

Before narrowing down your choice for an automatic dog ball launcher, consider the following.

Ball size

One size doesn’t fit all. Automatic dog ball launchers made to fit smaller balls may represent a choking hazard for your sizeable furry pal. Big dogs require a machine that can accommodate larger balls. Similarly, little dogs will have trouble trying to retrieve balls that are too big to fit in their mouths. Devices that can fit standard tennis balls are convenient since it’s easy to pick up replacements at any time.

Device size

Where do you plan on having a ball toss with Fido? If you’re heading to the park, you’ll need a portable launcher. If you plan on toting your dog’s new toy on your daily walks, choose a unit that doesn’t weigh more than five pounds.

Power source

While manual ball throwers exist, automatic options typically use battery power or require an outlet to function. Some even feature both options, so if you run out of fresh batteries, you can just plug the launcher into the wall to keep the ball-throwing action going.

Training required

An automatic dog ball launcher may seem simple enough to you. But look at it from your dog’s perspective. Is your pooch already semi-trained and sufficiently well-behaved to learn how to use this new toy?

Some dogs will catch on quickly, while others may need a bit more education on how to use a launcher. Are you prepared to put in the time to train your pup? If not, you may want to consider another toy for your dog. If you’re interested in an automatic launcher, but you’re worried about your dog getting the hang of it, consider taking a basic training course with your pup.


There are several features to consider as well when shopping for an automatic dog ball launcher.

Throw distance

Control the launch distance to maximize fun for your dog. Throw distance can range from as little as 10 feet to more than 30 feet. Having the option to adjust the distance makes it easy to play with your pup indoors and outside. A long throw distance, for instance, is not ideal for an indoor environment.

Throw angle

Add interest to games of fetch by choosing a unit that allows you to adjust the launch angle. Mix things up for your pooch, so he never knows where the ball will end up next. An adjustable angle is useful for playing in indoor environments, too.

Multiple-ball chute

Being able to load more than one ball at a time will ensure your dog can keep playing even if she hasn’t gotten the hang of returning the ball just yet.

Specialty balls

Some units come with balls that have unique qualities such as being saliva-resistant or extra soft so they won’t hurt your pup.

Motion sensors

Dogs should quickly realize that standing right in front of the launcher might not be the best idea, but some pooches may need a bit of extra help. Units with motion sensors help to protect you and your dog from accidents by preventing a ball launch if motion is detected in front of the machine.

Remote control

There’s no need to be next to the automatic dog ball launcher if you have a remote control. A launcher with a remote allows you to adjust the settings from the comfort of your deck or couch while your dog enjoys a game of fetch.


Automatic dog ball launchers under $40 are not very durable. These lower-quality units are suitable for a few throw sessions but won’t last much longer than that. A budget thrower is a solid choice for the dog owner who isn’t sure whether this toy is a good fit for his pup.

Launchers in the $40 to $100 range are quality devices, but they are usually geared toward smaller dog breeds.

High-end launchers that cost over $100 are typically designed for larger breeds and can accommodate larger ball sizes.


  • Teach your dog to fetch without the automatic ball launcher first.

  • After you introduce the ball launcher, keep training sessions short and sweet, but do them multiple times a day.

  • It will take some time for certain dogs to learn how to play with the launcher.

  • Your pet might be scared of this new machine, so don’t force it. Be gentle and patient.

  • Some manufacturers have videos to guide you in training your dog to use an automatic dog ball launcher.

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Do you have a feline in your life with a lot of energy? Some cats enjoy playing with automatic dog ball launchers. If you decide to buy one for your kitty, just be sure to select a unit with smaller balls.


Q. Are automatic dog ball launchers noisy?

A. Expect the launcher to generate some noise. If you have a dog who’s skittish or afraid of loud noises, it may take some time to get used to the sound these machines produce.

Q. How long should I let my dog play with an automatic dog ball launcher?

A. Some devices have an auto shut-off function that powers off the unit after about 15 minutes to prevent overexertion. We don’t suggest leaving your dog alone to play for hours on end. Supervision is essential, and it’s important to be aware of your dog’s body language.

Q. Do automatic dog ball launchers require any maintenance?

A. You’ll need to clean the machine and balls once in a while. Dog slobber will inevitably find its way inside the chute and a buildup of dirt and saliva may slow down the launcher.

Q. I found a deal on an automatic dog ball launcher, but it uses mini balls. Is this launcher okay for my large-breed dog to use?

A. We don’t recommend using a small launcher for a large-breed dog. Small balls are a choking hazard for dogs with big snouts. Keep playtime safe for your dog by choosing an appropriately sized unit.

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