The Best Toy Ball Launchers For Dogs
There was once a time when playing fetch with your dog involved a a person, a ball and a dog. Not anymore if you look at all the different products there are on the market to play fetch with your furry family member. So what exactly do these ball launchers do that we can’t? Are they worth it?
Manual dog ball launchers are designed for those who still physically want to play fetch with their dog (unlike automatic ball launchers) but want to throw it further than you normally can. They are also designed for those who either don’t like the constant ‘bending over’ to pick up a slobbery ball or those who can’t physically manage this and perhaps have physical ailments that prevent being able to throw a ball.
The Pros – Benafim Shelter Dogs – Review 5 Toy Ball Launchers
We bought these 5 toy ball launchers: The Nerf Dog Stomp Launcher, the ChuckIt! Ultra Grip Dog Ball Launcher, the Hyper Pet K9 Kannon Dog Ball Launcher, the PSM Dog ball launcher and the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Toy.
Our chief testers for these toys are Black Nero and Maya who are the absolute experts at Benafim Dogs when it comes to fetching balls and generally having fun chasing them. Puppy Max and Mely made guest appearances too to give some added input and feedback and generally bring some mischief to the whole testing process.
Our doggies have no idea of price and no idea of brand, the feedback they give us humans is based purely on whether the ball launcher works, whether they got to run a good distance and whether they had fun.
The team at Benafim Dogs are adding a little input on the 5 toy ball launchers too. You didn’t think we would miss out on all the fun did you? We may have got ourselves just a teeny tiny bit excited about trying all of these toys. We did however decide that full on camouflage gear and face paints were a little bit over the top. From our point of view we want to provide feedback on the quality of the toy, the ease of use and durability.
Nerf Dog Stomp Launcher
The Nerf Dog Storm Launcher arrives ready to use, the ball already inserted into the cannon part so all you need to do is put the launcher onto the ground and stomp on it with your foot. Sounds easy? In theory absolutely! In practice, well it works….but our faces must have been a picture, a rather disappointed one sadly.
The Nerf Dog Stomp Launcher claims to have up to a 23 meter range. All of the team tried this launcher and you really have to have a very strong stomp to get the ball to reach anywhere near that distance.
But this is not about us is it? It is about the dogs and whether this was fun for them. Black Nero and Maya as you can see had big smiles on their faces and weren’t put off by the lack of distance the ball reaches.
Black Nero’s absolutely favourite game is to play fetch and dive (well belly flop) into the water. The Nerf Dog Stomp Launcher worked perfectly for this as you can see from the photos, the small distance meant we weren’t having to use every ounce of strength in our leg to launch the ball.
Maya too really had fun chasing the ball and the smile on her face was delightful! We still need to spend time with her to teach her to bring the ball back to us. It was however wonderful to see her playful side as when she was initially rescued she was terrified of everyone and everything.
Unlike some of the other ball launchers in this review, with the Nerf Dog Stomp Launcher you still have a lot of bending down and physical activity to use the toy.
Word of warning from the humans here – if your dog has never seen this type of toy before, we would highly recommend you let you dog have a sniff first before going in for the first ‘stomp’. If they are like Mely, they may even pick it up and take it off to a quiet area and try and get the ball out themselves. We quickly explained to her that was not what this toy was intended for, but 5 stars for initiative Mely!
Foot operated canon ball
Measures 3.1 x 12 x 12 cm;
Weighs 500 Grams
Comes with one tennis ball
We so so wanted our doggies to love Nerf Dog Stomp Launcher and we so wanted to love it too. The good news is Maya, Mely and Black Nero loved it. No it doesn’t launch the ball very far and you really do have to press down hard with your foot for the ball to travel any worthwhile distance, but, it is fun.
We wouldn’t recommend this for dogs who have a lot of energy and like to run a distance but if you are looking for a fun, different way of playing fetch the Nerf Dog Stomp Launcher does just that.Check Price on Amazon
ChuckIt! Ultra Grip Dog Ball Launcher
We bought the 64 cm launcher to play fetch with the dogs at Benafim Shelter. Now we have seen this type of ball launcher before but have never used one. Opening this, it definitely doesn’t have the ‘ooooh this looks fun’ factor like some of the other toys, but do not let appearances put you off.
There is definitely something to be said for ‘sometimes simplicity is best’. At the very first ‘launch’, with absolute minimum effort we were shocked in a really good way at how far the ball went. Confession time – it actually went so far we had to go looking for it. Dogs hey? Where are they when you need them? haha!
So once we got to grips with our strength and a feel for how little effort you need to put into using the ChuckIt! Ultra Grip Dog Ball Launcher – we, erm we mean the dogs Maya and Black Nero, had a whale of a time.
Designed for hands-free pickup, so you don’t have have to bend down as far or pick up a slimy ball again, the rubber grip handle also provides comfort and has a really nice feel to it. The ChuckIt Ball Launcher does exactly what it says it does, it reaches incredible distances and to pick up a ball all you have to do is put the end over the ball – that’s it.
Available in many sizes : 30, 36, 46, 64 and 66 cm
Ergonomic rubber handle
Less is definitely more with the ChuckIt! Ultra Grip Dog Ball Launcher. The doggies and us loved this. So easy to use, no fuss, sturdy and practical. And yes fun!Check Price on Amazon
Hyper Pet K9 Kannon Dog Ball Launcher
When we opened the Hyper Pet K9 Kannon Dog Ball Launcher, our immediate thoughts were “would we really want to be taking this with us to the park?” It is quite encumbersome! Are we being far too adult like here? Let’s put that thought to one side and have some fun.
The Hyper Pet dog ball launcher is designed to launch tennis balls without straining your arms. How?
Well the further back you pull the ‘trigger’ which draws the ball further into the barrel, the further the ball is supposed to go.
Well it works and launches the ball, but we did expect it to go further. At best this launches a ball at 6 to 7 metres, but then the ball does bounce or continue to roll adding some distance.
The build up to the launch and the dog’s anticipation is adorable to watch, Black Nero especially was so intrigued and fascinated by what was about to happen.
So what’s good about it? It is a lot of fun! Does it do a better job than us throwing a ball? Unless you are a shockingly terrible thrower then most probably not. But look at it, it’s cool, fun, you will draw attention in the park and you will be every child’s favourite person!
It is also great for anyone with mobility problems as you don’t have to bend down to pick up the ball. All you have to do is place the barrel over the ball and gently push down to pick up the ball.
Measures 57.79 x 6.35 x 19.05 cm
Weighs 748.43 Grams
Comes with one tennis ball
Unleash the inner child in you – go on – you know you want to. This will have you and your dog smiling a lot. Think about all those times you wanted to appear in ‘The Transformer’, well now is your chance and your dogs will love you in your starring role.Check Price on Amazon
PSM Dog ball launcher
The PSM Dog ball launcher is a straight forward, easy to use ball launcher. The size is also practical to take with you to the park and will fit in a bag or not be too bulky to hold. Yes, we have our adult, sensible heads back on temporarily!
The doggies really, really enjoyed playing fetch as this launcher does launch a good distance! Maya had never ever seen this kind of toy before and was so enthusiastic and smiley. As were we seeing her run with her long legs in her Bambi manner. Adorable.
The handle is not as long as the ChuckIt! Launcher meaning you do have to bend over further to pick up the ball. But it still works in the same way and you can pick up the ball with the launcher without physically having to touch the ball. Perfect for those who hate dog slobber all over a ball.
Measures 57.79 x 6.35 x 19.05 cm
Weighs 480 Grams
Comes with four tennis balls
Wonderfully simple, wonderfully easy, wonderfully practical and wonderfully fun.Check Price on Amazon
Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Toy
The Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster was secretly one of the launchers we were most excited about testing with the dogs. Well look at it, you would be too wouldn’t you?
First impressions from us is that it is easy very easy to load the ball and ‘fire’ it. You have to get the angle right at approximately 45 degrees to benefit from any worthwhile ball launch distance. The Nerf Ball Blaster Toy claims to reach up to 50 feet in distance, approximately 15 metres. Black Nero and Maya on several occasions got to run that distance but it was rather hit and miss.
The launcher is fun and is much better suited to children – they will love this and we feel is a great toy to get them off the sofa and interacting with doggies.
You know how in the introduction we mentioned guest appearances from Max and Mely? Well Mely got her five minutes of fame when she snuck in, ‘borrowed’ a ball and got her teeth into it. Her face says it all really – eeeek! The balls are not the best quality so we would recommend stocking up.
Measures 45.69 x 9.4 x 9.4 cm
Weighs 680.39 Grams
Comes with one Nerf Tennis Ball
A fun toy ball launcher that children will love as will your doggies. Perhaps not highly suitable for dogs who really want to run a good distance when playing fetch.Check Price on Amazon
Conclusion – Our Dog’s Verdict
Some serious discussions took place between Black Nero and Maya (Mely and Max meanwhile were up to mischief somewhere). After much deliberation, head nodding and tail wagging, they confirmed with us their final verdict on these five dog toy ball launchers.
Less is definitely more according to Black Nero and Maya and we really agree with them on their conclusion. The ‘gun’ style launchers are great fun and children with love playing with these but you really can’t beat (for us adults to play serious games of fetch) the handle style launchers.