PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher Review

If you have a dog who wants nothing more than to play fetch then this might be the toy you’ve been looking for. A fetch loving dog usually wants to play no matter what, maybe you are busy, tired, injured or maybe it’s raining out or you have already played fetch for half an hour and he has showed no signs of slowing… These probably sound all too familiar if your dog is a fetch enthusiast. The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher allows your dog to play fetch whenever they feel like it, it comes with a range of safety features as well as adjustable components so you can make sure your dog plays the best game of fetch even when you don’t want to play.

The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher can be used both indoors and outdoors, is able to launch a tennis ball up to 30 feet and has a automatic rest feature so you know your dog won’t overexert.

The History Of PetSafe

This automatic ball launcher is made by PetSafe, a company who has been making pet products since 1991. They are a well known and trusted brand for pet owners. PetSafe have centered the products around three core categories; Training Systems, Containment Systems and Bark Control. Petsafe also offer a range of Play and Challenge products designed to keep your pet busy with play while also engaging and challenging them.

PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher

This automatic ball launcher is suitable for all dogs and can be used indoors and outdoors making it very versatile. The launcher includes safety features so you can be comfortable with your dog using the toy even when you are not at home. There are safety sensors that are able to detect motion up to 7 feet away meaning when people or pets are too close to the machine it will not launch any balls until everyone is at a safe distance. This is a fantastic feature because it is always a worry that the launcher will shoot out a ball straight at you/ your children/ your dog if anyone is standing in front of the machine when it launches, with the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher you don’t have to worry about that. The machine will also stop if it senses something is lodged in the ball feeder. The launcher also makes a noise before a ball is launched, this is great because it let’s you know and it will excite your dog because he will learn that the noise means a ball is about to be thrown. The Petsafe Automatic Ball Launcher has 9 distance settings as well as 6 angle settings so you can personalise the game for the amount of space you have. The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher can hold up to 3 standard sized tennis balls and features an open top so your dog can drop retrieved tennis balls back into the launcher (this may take a bit of training).

A feature we have not seen before is the 15 minute interval rest which makes sure your dog has a break from playing.

The launcher can be used with batteries and using an AC adaptor, is water resistant and has a handle to make it easy to move.

The Ball Launcher comes with 2 PetSafe standard sized tennis balls, an AC adaptor and a user guide.

The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher is available from Amazon for $149.95

PetSafe Videos & User Guides

This is a great short video that shows the launcher being used indoors. Watch this to see the safety feature in action and to hear the noise the launcher makes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tGDUS9XFvI

This video shows new users getting to grips with the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher, it’s the dogs first go with the machine so they haven’t learnt to bring the balls back yet but once they’ve mastered that they will be able to play fetch without their humans help.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY9m7A5TrQY

This video shows the features on the launcher, where you can adjust the settings and how simple it is to use https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWfXZj3_83o

PetSafe vs iFetch Automatic Ball Launchers

 

Model Specifications PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher iFetch iFetch Too
Size 12 x 13.5 x 13.5 inches 14 x 11 x 9 inches 13 x 14 x 12 inches
Batteries Used 6 D-cell batteries 6 C-cell batteries Rechargeable battery built in
Can it be used on mains power? Yes – AC Adapter included Yes – AC Adapter included Yes – it comes with a battery charger and can play while launcher is plugged in
Ball Launching Distance Adjustable 8-30 feet. 10, 20 or 30 feet 10, 25 or 40 feet
Ball Size Standard (2.5” in diameter) Miniature (1.6” in diameter) Standard (2.5” in diameter)
Price $149.95 $115 $199.99

 

These are all high quality, durable and impressive toys that allow your dog to play fetch when you are not able to play with them. We are comparing the PetSafe to the iFetch Too because the original iFetch is aimed at smaller dogs, we have however included the iFetch in the table for reference and for those of you who have smaller fetch loving dogs.

Cost

The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher is less expensive than the iFetch Too but does not launch balls as far with a maximum distance of 30 feet compared to the iFetch Too maximum distance of 40 feet.

 

Setting Differences

The PetSafe has 9 distance settings between 8 and 30 feet as well as 6 angle adjustments, whereas the iFetch has 3 distance settings and you cannot adjust the angle the ball is launched. Both launchers take standard size tennis balls and can be used on batteries (the iFetch Too battery is built in) or plugged into mains power.

Style

The launchers are almost identical in size but have different styles. The iFetch is white and blue and has a clean cut look whereas the PetSafe Launcher is grey and purple and includes a handle for transporting.

Safety Features

The two companies took different approaches in regards to safety features with the iFetch Too launching balls immediately to prevent dogs standing and waiting in front of the launcher for the ball whereas the PetSafe has sensors that prevent the ball from launching until the dog is at a safe distance, once your dog is trained there should be no confusion and your dog will learn not to stand too close to the launcher.

Noise

The iFetch Too is the quieter machine as the PetSafe makes a series of beeps to warn the ball is being launched or that the sensor has detected movement too close as well as the ball launching using a hammer mechanism compared to the iFetch Too wheel mechanism which is quieter.

Overall both products are fantastic and either way you are going to end up with a great game of fetch.

 

What We Think Of PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher

The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher has some great additional features that you don’t find on the competitive brands, it is a good size and is simple to operate. We personally like the fact that the Launcher will beep before launching the ball because it adds an audio aspect to the game and also gives your dog some interaction. We think training your dog to put balls in the Launcher and then step back to the side or to a safe distance may take some time but once your dog has mastered it the fetch games will be safe and continuous. We also like that the Launcher will automatically shut down every 15 minutes in order to give your dog a break from the game (the makers obviously realised that dogs will play until they drop if they had the choice and have taken that into account!). It does not launch balls the furthest but has great features.

GoDogGo Automatic Ball Launcher

Having an energetic, fetch obsessed dog can be tiring, sometimes it can be hard to keep up as your dog’s energy never seems to dwindle. The GoDogGo automatic ball launcher has been designed to keep a game of fetch going until your pet is satisfied. It will keep your dog busy by launching balls between 15 and 30 feet (a distance you can adjust). The launcher can hold as many as 17 tennis balls so even if your dog hasn’t quite mastered putting the balls back into the top of the machine he can still play. There is no more aching arms as the machine does all the work for you.

History of GoDogGo

This was the first fetch machine in the world and was the original award-winning launcher following its creation in 1999 (information from www.godoggoinc.com). Ron and his family were in the process of building their new home when their dog, Hershey, wanted nothing more than to play fetch constantly. The dog would demand constant human interaction in the form of playing fetch and it became increasingly difficult as they were busy with the building work. The idea of a machine that could throw balls for Hershey was something of a necessity to the family as Hershey would not only harass them but would also put herself in danger by trying to play fetch with rocks and then trying to catch anything that would bounce away from the heavy machinery.

GoDogGo Fetch Machines

GoDogGo G4

Since the original GoDogGo fetch machine was created they have upgraded and improved the machine to give the best experience. The currently available machine is the fourth generation in the GoDogGo line.

The original does not currently seem to be available but the GoDogGo G4 is available online through the GoDogGo website for $149.99 not including shipping (http://www.godoggoinc.com/products/godoggofetchmachine.html) as well as amazon for $179.99 including shipping.

The GoDogGo G4 can launch a range of size and style balls as long as they are 1.75-2.5”. This means you can personalise the game by putting your dogs favourite kind of ball into the machine to be launched. The machine allows you to adjust its time delay and distance settings to ensure the best game of fetch for your dog. The balls can be launched using a remote control if you wanted to have control over the game or it can launch them automatically. Dogs love this fetch machine and so do we! The machine has safety features to avoid your dog from being hit with a fast flying ball, it launches the ball up and away in an arc shape rather than straight. This is a great feature as dogs can get quite excited and end up standing quite close in anticipation and we certainly don’t want them to get hit. The machine is designed for use outside and can be run on AC or battery power. The ball thrower will last approximately 25 hours when not plugged in.

godoggo automatic ball launcher

The GoDogGo Automatic Ball Launcher is loved by dogs and humans alike, I personally love the safety features that comes with this ball launcher. It was always a concern that my dog would get hit by a ball as it comes out of the machine and end up getting hurt or developing fear of something that is supposed to be fun. You don’t have to be involved with the game but you have that option available to you which is great too. The bucket on the top of the machine is open so that dogs can easily drop the balls back into the launcher once they have retrieved them. The design is a little bit on the bulky side as it can hold up to 17 standard sized balls, it also makes a large amount of noise so skittish or easily frightened dogs may not feel comfortable with this ball thrower.

GoDogGo Junior Fetch Machine

This fetch machine has been designed for smaller dogs and it works with small balls (1.5 – 2.2 inches in diameter). The machine is just under 14 inches high making it easier for the smaller dog to drop retrieved balls into the bucket. This machine can also be used indoors unlike the G4 Fetch Machine, that is because when it is set on low it has a lower trajectory and shorter launching distance. It works on an AC Adaptor or battery power and has the same safety features as the G4; launching arc and sensor and safety switch and can also be controlled using a remote.

The GoDogGo junior fetch machine is available online through the GoDogGo website for $139.99 not including shipping.

Smaller dogs can finally get fully involved with this smaller fetch machine, it is less aggressive in its launching and is smaller so the dog can return the ball into the bucket. The fetch machine looks the same as the G4 with its bulky, bucket appearance but comes with a range of features to ensure your dog has the best, safest game of fetch.

GoDogGo G3 Review

godoggo g3 review

The slightly older third generation fetch machine is still available but there is limited stock. The G3 is also powered by AC and battery with the battery lasting 25 hours. It has 2 time settings and 3 distance settings. It can be controlled using a remote or using the control panel on the launcher. As this is the older version it is slightly louder than the G4. It comes with 3 tennis balls and has the large bucket on top so dogs can easily return the balls.

This has less features and is slightly louder than the newest model but still works brilliantly. It works with a variety of ball types and size and will not work unless a ball is in the ready position. The GoDogGo is easy to use and the bucket on top makes it clear and simple for dogs to drop balls back into the machine. The machine comes with 3 tennis balls so you can play as soon as it arrives!

 

GoDogGo Model Specifications GoDogGo G3 GoDogGo G4 GoDogGo Junior
Size 15 x 13 x 17.5 inches 14 x 15 x 18 inches 16 x 12 x 12
Batteries Used Yes, 6 D size batteries Yes, 6 D size batteries Yes, 6 D size batteries
Can it be used on mains power? Yes Yes Yes
Ball Launching Distance (When using a tennis ball) 30- 38 feet 30-38 feet 30 – 38 feet.
Ball Size Any ball from 1.75 – 2.5 inches. Any ball from 1.75 – 2.5 inches. Small balls 1.5 – 2.2 inches.
Dog Size Any except very small/ toy breeds Any except very small/ toy breeds Small breeds
Indoors or Outdoors Outdoors Outdoors Both
Price $134.99 $149.99 $139.99

 

Advantages of the GoDogGo Ball Launchers

The Ball Launchers can throw a range of size and type of ball which is brilliant, as long as the ball is between 1.75 and 2.5 inches you can use it. The launch results will vary depending on the weight and type of ball used but it’s a great feature and gives the owner and dog freedom and choice. If your dog is a tennis ball fiend and destroys them in seconds you can use a different, ore sturdy ball and still make great use of this machine. If you are using the Junior edition then the ball must be between 1.5 and 2.2 inches for it to work.

The GoDogGo launchers are designed for use outside and really make use of all the space with balls being launched high and far.

The machine is solid and easy to use. The ball launchers are made of sturdy plastic, to me they have a bulky appearance because of the bucket positioning but the contrasting colours makes them stand out.

The GoDogGo comes with safety features that show the company wants to ensure your dog has the best game of fetch. The features include; the ball being launched up rather than straight so your dog does not get hit with the ball and a safety sensor with an auto-stop feature.

Drawbacks to the GoDogGo Ball Launchers

The GoDogGo Launchers are bulky, they work brilliantly but could have been more aesthetically pleasing.

Due to the motor the launcher is loud and it can take dogs a while to get used to the noise, especially if you have a dog that is skittish.

The GoDogGo Launchers are more expensive than competitive brands such as the iFetch.

GoDogGo Product Review Videos

Here is a great review of the GoDogGo G4. It allows you to see the launcher being unpackaged and very clearly shows all of the features included: It also shows dog Theo having some fun!

This video compares the GoDogGo to the Hyper Fetch. You don’t see any dogs playing with the launcher but you can clearly see the differences between the two.

This video shows the GoDogGo being unwrapped, the dogs being trained how to drop the ball into the bucket and how they react to the ball launcher in action. This gives you a great idea of how the GoDogGo works and how much your dog can enjoy it.

Summaryof GoDogGo Products

Overall we really like the GoDogGo Automatic Ball Launchers, there are many positives with the ball launchers. If we could change anything about the launchers it would be the appearance and the noise but we love the additional features that you don’t find on the competitive brand ball launchers. Even though the GoDogGo and the iFetch are similar they do have advantages and disadvantages based on your individual needs. The GoDogGo might be perfect for one dog owner due to its ability to launch any balls of the right size or the iFetch might be perfect for another especially if they have a smaller dog and want to use the fetch machine indoors.

The GoDogGo launcher is perfect when you have a large amount of outdoor space, it allows you to use pretty much any type of ball and gives you the option to adjust the time delay and launching distance of the balls. It includes safety features to protect you and your dog and also has a remote control for when you want to control the launcher.

 

Gotcha Talking Automatic Ball Launcher

gotcha talking ball launcher

An automatic ball launcher is perfect for fetch loving dogs as it allows them to play ball to their heart’s content without wearing you out or keeping you busy when you have other things to do. The Gotcha Talking Launcher is designed for very small dogs and launches miniature tennis balls, it is great to give your pup exercise and play even when you’re not able to take part. The Gotcha Talking Automatic Ball Launcher even talks to your pet, saying “good dog!” and “Get the ball” the talking is optional so can be switched off.

Gotcha Talking Features & Pricing

The Gotcha Talking Automatic Ball Launcher is the smallest of the available launchers, it weighs approximately 1.8 pounds making it very light and easy to move around. The launcher is a simple design that has a white body, with a red funnel and a red launching tube, it has an on/off switch and on the underside has a noise on/off switch and a battery compartment. The Gotcha Talking Automatic Ball Launcher is available through Amazon and is 40%+ cheaper than the popular automatic ball launcher iFetch. The Gotcha is not ideal for using outside as it cannot get wet or be used in damp environments.

Cost

The Gotcha Talking Automatic Ball Launcher is the cheapest available, it is available for $59.99 on Amazon which is roughly half the price of the competitive brand automatic launchers. The launcher has been designed for small dogs in small spaces and the furthest it can launch a ball is 12 feet making it ideal for indoor use.

Interactivity

It is interactive as your dog can bring the balls and place them in the funnel on top of the machine themselves to have continuous play, the machine also talks to your dog (the Gotcha Talking Ball Launcher is the only talking launcher available). The idea behind the talking is positive reinforcement and interaction.

Ball Size & Launching Distance

The Gotcha Talking Automatic Ball Launcher uses miniature tennis balls (1.5 inches) rather than standard tennis balls (2.5 inches), unlike other automatic ball launchers this one does not have an adjustable launching distance, it will launch a ball a maximum of 12 feet.

Power Options

The Gotcha Talking Automatic Ball Launcher works on 4 C batteries or an AC adapter but this is not included.

Noise

The fetcher makes a ‘whizzing’ noise when it is preparing to launch a ball, some dogs may take a little bit of time to get used to the noise but that is completely normal

What’s Included?

  • The Automatic Ball Launcher
  • 3 x 1.5 inch Miniature Balls
  • Instruction Manual

Gotcha Talking Automatic Ball Machine available from: https://www.amazon.com/Gotcha-Talking-Automatic-Thrower-Launcher/dp/B01KG4DZB0/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

 

Model Specifications Gotcha Talking Automatic Ball Launcher
Size 9 x 8.5 x 6.5 inches
Batteries Used 4 C-cell batteries
Can it be used on mains power? Yes – AC Adapter not included
Ball Launching Distance 12 feet
Ball Size Miniature (1.5” in diameter)
Price $59.99

 

Gotcha Talking Videos & Reviews

This video shows the Gotcha Talking Automatic Ball Launcher in action, you see a dog playing fetch and she’s clearly loving the game! This video is also good because you hear the launcher voice saying “Good dog” and “Get the ball”.

Here’s a slow motion clip of the Gotcha Ball Launcher shooting a ball and a textbook jump and catch from the dog! This cool video also gives you an idea of how the ball launches in terms of height and angle.

Gotcha Talking Automatic Ball Launcher Summary

This ball launcher is a great, inexpensive toy for a small dog. It has been specifically made with small dogs in mind and therefore: uses miniature tennis balls, is perfect for indoor use and does not launch further than 12 feet. It is different from the iFetch (one of the leading competitive brands) as the Gotcha Launcher has the talking feature and is a lot cheaper, however the iFetch does have the distance adjustment feature and can launch balls up to 30 feet. If you are planning on using the ball launcher for your small dog, indoors and you don’t want to spend too much money the Gotcha Talking Automatic Ball Launcher is an awesome choice.

BazooK 9 Tennis Ball Launcher Gun Review

The BazooK 9 is a tennis ball launcher gun that makes fetch fun for you as well as your dog. The launcher is an enjoyable way for you to play fetch with your dog, it allows you to play without getting aches and pains and without having to pick up slobbery balls. The BazooK9 is made from durable plastic and is shaped like a gun, it works by pulling back the handle at the back of the gun to this desired distance, picking up a tennis ball by pushing the end of gun over the ball and then it is ready to launch. The BazooK9 comes with 2 tennis balls that actually squeak which gives a good sound factor to the game.

Our Thoughts On The BazooK9 Launcher Gun

bazook 9 review

For us, this launcher is a fun way to change up the game of fetch. It is quite big so is not something you really want to carry around for long but if you have a lot of open space to play fetch close by it is great. The launcher does come with a shoulder strap to make transporting it easier. We love the style of this launcher, it’s a nice green colour and is not over accessorised.

Using a ball launching gun is great if you mobility issues or have an arm/ shoulder injury that prevents you from throwing the ball.

There are two tennis ball holders on the underneath of the gun barrel which is a definite bonus. The tennis ball holders mean you have less chance of losing the balls and it also stops you from trying to stuff the balls in your pockets – this is great for before the game but even better after when the balls are slobbery and wet! This is perfect for keeping you, your kids and your dog entertained. It makes playing with the dog more attractive to family members too which helps to build and keep bonds with your pet. The iFetch Too is also energy efficient as it shuts down until a ball is dropped inside, ensuring the battery life is long-lasting.

The BazooK9 is a little bit on the loud side which does put some users off, it makes noise when you pull back the rear rod and you fire it so skittish dogs might not like the noise.

How far can the BazooK9 shoot balls?

You can adjust how far the balls launch by how far you pull back the rear rod, it is numbered from 1 to 9 as an indicator of distance/power. The launcher is spring loaded so the balls are shot out with force. There seems to be no launching distances in the information on amazon but using the reviews as a rough guide it appears the first few numbers are great for playing indoors or in the yard. There are a lot of mixed reviews on how far the BazooK9 can launch balls, many users say they wish it would launch balls further. The balls will only shoot to 20-30 feet. Some reviews left on amazon claim the BazooK9 shoots 50 feet at most and one user states the box claims the BazooK9 can shoot balls 75 feet.

We cannot get an exact answer for you but what we can see from other peoples reviews is that they want the balls to go a bit further than they actually do with this ball launcher.

Features we love

As we mentioned earlier the BazooK9 has ball holders on the underside of the gun. This is great because it saves you having to awkwardly hold balls while you are trying to use the launcher and it also saves you having to search everywhere for tennis balls when you want to play. The launcher can hold one ball in the muzzle and 2 in the holders so you can carry 3 in total. When there is a tennis ball on the ground you can pick it up using the launcher by pulling the rear rod back to 1 and then pushing the muzzle of the gun over the tennis ball. Once you’ve picked it up you can decide the distance and it is ready to launch. We love these features because they focus on ease of use and those smaller details really do help when you’re out playing fetch!

Specifications

bazook 9 specifications

The BazooK9 is 23.5 inches long when not in use and 35 inches long when fully extended. The muzzle diameter is 3.75 inches and uses standard sized balls (2.5”). The launcher weighs approximately 2 pounds so is lightweight to carry and hold.

Dimensions: 23.5 x 7.5 inch

The cost of the BazooK9 on amazon is $27.95

Alternatives

If you are looking specifically for a ball launching gun then popular toy gun maker Nerf has an option available and so does pet product producer Hyper.

The Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster

nerf dog blaster

This is similar to the BazooK9 in the sense that it works on a pullback system, can hold a tennis ball under the barrel and you can pick up the ball from the ground without using your hands but there are also some differences.

Nerf Dog claim the gun can shoot balls up to 50 feet but it seems that is a little generous and the balls tend to go around 35-40 feet. This is slightly more than the BazooK9. The nerf makes less noise too, but our favourite feature on the Nerf Dog gun is the way its pullback is positioned.

The BazooK9 has a moving external part which could be dangerous for the user whereas the Nerf Dog gun has the pull back handle on top and the parts move and function within the barrel so it is safe for your hands.

The Nerf Dog Tennis Blaster comes in at $24.99.

Specifications: 21 x 4.5 x 9 inches which is similar in size to the BazooK9, although the BazooK9 is nearly 15 inches longer when it is fully extended.

K9 Kannon

K9 Kannon review

The K9 Kannon is very similar to the BazooK9, they are alike in appearance, design and in size. Hyper claims the K9 Kannon can shoot balls up to 75 feet, however 50 feet seems to be more accurate. This launcher also has a holder for one tennis ball under the barrel. The K9 Kannon allows you to pick up balls using the muzzle and also has distance control through notches when you pull back the rear rod. The K9 Kannon comes in a bright yellow colour and has a very straight grip which might get a little uncomfortable if your dog likes long fetch games.

Specifications: 25.50 x 2.50 x 7.00 Inches

Cost on amazon $22.99

Video And User Reviews Of The BazooK9

This is a short and sweet review of the BazooK9, it gives you a good view of the shape, size and style of the launcher as well as a few launch clips so you can see how it shoots out the balls.

This video gives you information on the BazooK9 in terms of the size, how to get it to shoot and then shooting it. It also shows how a dog reacts to the toy!

This video shows the launcher as well as the squeaky balls and gives a few example of how it launches the balls. The video also shows how to pick up the ball from the floor using the BazooK9.

Summary of The BazooK 9 Ball Launcher Gun

Overall this is a great, fun ball launcher for everyone, you are definitely more likely to get family members out to play fetch with the dog when you have this to play with. We prefer the look of the BazooK9 to the K9 Kannon even though they are very similar, and the ball holders is also a huge plus. All three of the products are around the same price and they are all made of similar durable plastic. The BazooK9 Launcher is not the furthest shooter but it appears it is the noisiest which can put owners off. If you a looking for a fun ball launcher that will bring more smiles, laughs and interaction for the family when playing with the dog then this is it!