Sit back and watch your dog in action with an automatic ball throwing machine

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  • Playing fetch with a ball can bring great joy to a dog. It can even be a useful training tool, as a reward for recall and to encourage the dog to stay near you while off the lead. It can also be a handy way to exercise your dog, if you can’t get out, as some launchers can be used indoors. If for any reason you are not able to walk with your pup, or you want to encourage interaction both in the home and the garden, then you might want to invest in one of these ball throwing machines for dogs. Any kind of launcher helps you throw the ball further than your own arm can, but an automatic one will let you sit back and enjoy the machine doing all the hard work – and the dog have all the fun.

    The simple manual launcher is a cheap option, but there are plenty of benefits of the automatic ball throwing machines for dogs. It can really enhance the family’s relationship with your pooch, as kids love to get involved. The game of fetch stimulates your dog mentally and physically, keeps him active, helps with training – and is great entertainment!

    However, not all trainers would encourage dogs to fetch balls, as it can encourage ball obsession. A dog is showing signs of addiction if he constantly demands you throw the ball for him, and does not show any sign of fatigue at chasing the ball even when he’s done plenty of exercise. He may whimper or yap at you to throw the ball, show hyperactive tendencies and have an elevated heart rate or pant excessively. Ball obsession should not be ignored, as it can damage your dog’s physical and mental health. Consult a dog trainer or behaviourist and your vet to find out how to treat the problem.

    Best ball throwers for dogs: what are the options?

    Ball throwers for dogs: PetSafe automatic launcher

    PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher

    Power: Battery or AC adapter | Balls: Regular tennis balls | Size: For dogs over 4.5kg | Launching distance: 2.5–9m | RRP: £180.99 |

    This water-resistant launcher is great for indoor and outdoor interactive play. It has nine distance settings and six ball angle settings. Holds three standard sized tennis balls – two are included in the purchase.

    Safety features include motion sensors to detect and protect people and pets. It has an automatic rest mode of 15 minutes after 15 minutes of playtime to ensure your pet does not over-exert himself. And it plays a tone before launching a ball.

    It can be used indoors or outdoors.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or petsathome.com
    In the US? View now at amazon.com or chewy.com

    Dog with automatic ball throwing machine

    Grezea Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

    Power: Rechargeable Li-ion battery | Balls: 2in Grezea tennis balls | Size: Small to medium dogs | Launching distance: 10ft–30ft (3–9m) | RRP: £79 |

    This automatic thrower has three different distances to launch the ball. It comes with six tennis balls (2in).

    It features a motion sensor to protect people from inadvertent ball launches and a red light will flash to warn you.

    The battery should last 5–6hr when fully charged.

    It can be used indoors or outdoors.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    All For Paws Interactive Hyper Fetch Automatic Ball Launcher

    Power: Battery, rechargeable battery or AC adapter  | Sizes: Mini (for puppies/small dogs) or max (for medium/large dogs) | Balls: Only compatible with All For Paws balls (2in or 2½in) | Launching distance: 10–45ft (3–13.5m) | RRP: From £119.99 |

    An automatic fetching machine that can be used by dog and owner or just the dog. You simply plug it in, choose your launching distance and drop an All for Paws ball (three included) into the ball basket. It will throw the ball within 5sec.

    There are mini and max versions to suit the size of dog, and both range of launching distance and the ball size varies with each machine.

    Can be used indoors or outdoors.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Small dog chasing call from automatic ball launcher

    Pet Prime Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

    Power: Battery or AC adapter | Balls: Only compatible with PetPrime 2in balls | Launching distance: 3–9m | RRP: £98.99 |

    This has a pitching hole on the top of the launcher, so that either a human or dog can drop the ball into the feeder. The distance of the launch is affected by battery power and humidity of the ball. The maximum launch requires the AC adapter, rather than battery power.

    Three compatible balls included with the purchase.

    Can be used indoors or outdoors.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    idogmate automatic ball thrower with three tennis balls

    iDogmate Big Dog Ball Launcher

    Power: Rechargeable Li-ion battery or AC adapter | Balls: iDog Midi 2.5in balls or regular tennis balls | Launching distance: 10–40ft (3–12m) | RRP: £185.13 |

    This is a luxury item with smart remote control, so that you do not have to squat to operate it. You can switch between 10, 20, 30 and 40ft to keep your pup guessing. It features patented wheel technology to avoid the frustration of a ball getting stuck.

    Three balls come with the launcher, which are iDog Midi balls, felted like tennis balls but made for dogs and less abrasive on their teeth. However, standard tennis balls work fine.

    iDogmate also market a small dog ball launcher designed for dogs under 14kg, with customised mini pet tennis balls.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.co.uk

    NERF Dog Tennis Ball Ultra Blaster

    Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Ultra Blaster

    Power: Manual | Balls: Regular tennis balls | Launching distance: Up to 50ft (15m) | RRP: £35.99 |

    It’s not exactly an automatic, but it’s a step up from the manual thrower. It doesn’t require a skilled throwing action or strong shoulder muscles, just pull back the handle, load and shoot. This Nerf ball blaster is also lots of fun, and kids (and grown-ups) love it.

    Includes three tennis balls.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or viovet.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com or chewy.com

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