The Best Automatic Dog Fetch Machines

Written by Austin S.
Updated: February 6, 2023
© Julia Zavalishina/Shutterstock.com

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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall automatic dog fetch machine is the IDOGMATE Automatic Dog Ball Launcher.
  • A dog fetch machine, also known as an automatic ball launcher, allows your dog to exercise without taking up your time. These machines are a great way to keep your pet active, which is great if you happen to have an incredibly hyperactive breed. 
  • In the process of researching the top-rated picks and reviews on the market, we have compiled a list of the best automatic dog fetch machines available today. With our guide to finding the best automatic fetch machine for your pup, you will be able to determine which one is the best fit for them.

Do you have a high-energy dog who needs hours of play? Is it hard for you as a pet parent to keep up? Have you thought about an automatic dog fetch machine? Automatic dog fetch machines, also known as automatic ball launchers, are an excellent way for your dog to get as much exercise as they need without taking away your afternoon.

The machine will launch tennis balls for the dog to chase, return, and relaunch. A good machine will be reliable and allow for endless hours of entertainment. The best also have adjustable settings to make them motion-activated, operate on a timer, or adjust the launch distance so they can be used indoors, or out.

Researching automatic dog fetch machines, we noticed it can be pretty difficult to find one that is good. There are many that promise a lot, but don’t deliver. Some work for a few days (or less) and then break. It’s possible that your dog is returning the balls correctly, but is unable to enjoy their new activity because they get jammed easily. There are many automatic dog fetch machines on the market today, but we’ve ranked the best overall, the most affordable, and the most portable so you can get the best one for you and your pooch!

  1. IDOGMATE Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
    • Can be used both in and outdoors
    • Very durable 
    • Specifically angled wheel launch balls further
    • Features three different modes of speed
    Check Amazon
  2. IDOGMATE Small Interactive Ball Launcher
    • Most affordable option that actually works
    • Made for small to medium dogs
    • Great for smaller spaces
    • Have three different speed settings
    Check Amazon
  3. GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher
    • Keep your dog safely entertained
    • Automatic feature for solo playtime
    • Features three distance settings
    • Comes with a remote for alternative play
    Check Amazon
  4. Franklin Pet Supply Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher
    • Portable - work with batteries
    • Suitable for all dogs
    • Features a safety alert buzzer
    • Use standard size tennis balls
    Check Amazon

Top Picks: The Best Automatic Dog Fetch Machines for Dogs Today

#1. Best Overall: IDOGMATE Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

Based on our research, the IDOGMATE Dog Ball Launcher is the best overall automatic dog ball launcher. This device wins top marks because it can be used both indoors and outside. It’s also suitable for all sizes of dogs.

The makers of IDOGMATE Dog Ball Launcher made sure that the design of this dog fetch machine is durable to keep up with your energetic pets. They use a specific angled wheel that helps make the balls launch further and smoother distances, and as well, that the wet slobbery balls your dog may put back into the machine will not damage the launching mechanism or cause issues with the electronics

Your dog will love playing with this automatic dog fetch machine for hours on end. You can train your dog to bring back the balls to IDOGMATE Dog Ball Launcher into the machine, so they can play by themselves, or you can play with them by dropping the ball into the hole and the machine.

There are three different modes of speed on this machine. In addition, there is also an automatic rest after an hour of play for fifteen minutes. There is a sensor that will beep before the ball launches so your dog gets warned and does not get hit in the face. Some reviewers, however, complained about the complexity and lack of intuitiveness of the remote control.

Pros and Cons of the IDOGMATE Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

ProsCons
The ball launcher can be used both indoors and outdoors.Users have mentioned that the remote control is not intuitive and can be difficult to master.
The launching mechanism won’t be damaged by your dog’s slobber.
There are three different programmable speed settings.
Overall Best
IDOGMATE Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
  • Can be used both in and outdoors
  • Very durable 
  • Specifically angled wheel launch balls further
  • Features three different modes of speed
Check Amazon

2. Best For Affordability: IDOGMATE Smart Automatic Dog Ball Launcher Toy

If you’re on the lookout for an affordable dog fetch machine, then look no further than the IDOGMATE Smart Automatic Dog Ball Launcher.

Automatic dog fetch machines can be expensive. Many ranges from $100 – $200, with most being on the high end of that. If, however, you don’t have that kind of money to throw away, then we recommend the IDOGMATE dog ball launcher. It can usually be found for $100, if not less with discounts on Chewy or Amazon.

Yes, you can find cheaper options out there. However, buyer beware! Most of the launchers we found for $60-$100 were extremely negatively reviewed and don’t have the same features as the IDOGMATE. Not only does IDOGMATE specialize in launchers and has a lot of experience producing them, but it also comes with added features you won’t find on other lesser products, like portability due to being rechargeable.

This fetch machine is made for small to medium dogs and uses mini balls. This is great for portability and smaller spaces, like apartments. However, it is probably not a good choice for full-size or large dogs or usage outside. This is because it does not launch as far as full-size models and smaller balls can be more easily chewed (and even eaten!) by larger, more powerful dog breeds. If you have a German shepherd, Lab, or similar, we recommend going with a full-size option.

The IDOGMATE dog fetch machine does have a fifteen-minute break timer after your dog plays with the machine for an hour. This is to help make sure your dog doesn’t get too tired. Some owners may find that annoying, but it is a worthwhile safety precaution because this is made for smaller breeds or puppies, who may not know when to take a break.

There are three different speed settings on this dog fetch machine, so you are able to adjust how far you want the ball to be thrown that is best for your pet’s enjoyment. However, there were some users that found that the rechargeable batteries on the launcher don’t last as long as advertised. 

Pros and Cons of the IDOGMATE Smart Automatic Dog Ball Launcher Toy

ProsCons
This dog ball launcher is made specifically for smaller dog breeds.Some users found that the rechargeable batteries did not last for as long as they would like them to.
The machine has a fifteen-minute break timer that goes off after your pup has played for an extended period of time.
There are three different speeds that you can choose from.
This is an affordable option for most pet owners.
Best For Affordability
IDOGMATE Small Interactive Ball Launcher
  • Most affordable option that actually works
  • Made for small to medium dogs
  • Great for smaller spaces
  • Have three different speed settings
Check Amazon

3. Best For Dogs of All Sizes: GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher

No matter if you have a large or small dog, the GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher will be tons of fun for them!

We wanted to find an automatic dog fetch machine that would be great for pet owners who may have a variety of different dog breed sizes. This way, all of their pets can play together for hours on end. This automatic ball thrower comes equipped with a wide-mouth bucket that allows for your dog to easily return the ball to the machine. This basically just means, that no matter what size dog you have it is easy for them to drop the ball back into the opening to return the tennis balls.

This machine is powered by remote control. It also has three different adjustable speeds at which the ball will be thrown from the machine. The variety of speeds and sizes shows us more that this one is great for dogs of all breeds and sizes.

GoDogGo has a unique safety feature design where the machine launches all balls upward so you do not ever have to worry about balls possibly being launched at your pet’s face. This automatic ball launcher for dogs is a great option for pet owners trying to tire out their energetic dogs of all sizes and breeds. The only downside we found was that some customers complained that the machine came with pretty cheaply made balls. Owners found that their dogs could easily rip them apart after a few plays.

Pros and Cons of the GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher

ProsCons
This is a great ball launcher option for dogs of any size.The balls that are included with the ball launcher are said to be cheaply made.
The wide-mouth bucket makes it easy for your dog to return the balls to the machine.
There is a unique safety feature where the balls are launched upward so they won’t hurt your pet in the process.
Best For Dogs of All Sizes
GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher
  • Keep your dog safely entertained
  • Automatic feature for solo playtime
  • Features three distance settings
  • Comes with a remote for alternative play
Check Amazon

4. Best For Portability: Franklin Pet Supply Automatic Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher

If you want to be able to bring your dog fetch machine wherever you and your pup go, then test out the Franklin Pet Supply Automatic Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher. 

This automatic dog fetch machine gives pet owners the option of using batteries so you can bring them with you and play anywhere you want. You just need (8) D batteries. However, you also can plug it into any outlet, and set it up in your home or outside for your dog to play for hours.

There are three different adjustable angles that can launch between ten and forty feet. Thanks to the adjustable angles this allows for dogs of all sizes are able to enjoy and play for hours on end.

The Franklin Pet Supply ball launcher also has pretty good reviews from users. Many dogs love this toy and it also helps save pet owners’ arms from dogs with high energy who need hours of play. After all, it can be hard to keep up with our energetic pets. However, this toy has saved many pet owners from sore arms and shoulders. This toy allows owners’ dogs to run out of energy while you may be busy. The downside that we did see mentioned time and time again is that if the ball gets overly wet from your dog’s saliva it jams up the machine.

Pros and Cons of the Franklin Pet Supply Automatic Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher

ProsCons
This is a great ball launcher that you can take on the go.Your dog’s saliva on the balls can cause the machine to jam up.
Dogs of all sizes can enjoy this ball launcher because it has adjustable launch angles.
You can also use the ball launcher indoors by plugging it into the wall.
Best For Portability
Franklin Pet Supply Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher
  • Portable - work with batteries
  • Suitable for all dogs
  • Features a safety alert buzzer
  • Use standard size tennis balls
Check Amazon

Choosing The How to Choose the Best Automatic Dog Fetch Machine

There are a lot of different automatic dog fetch machines available on the market. There are lots of different price points to choose from and different specific features that each one has. In addition, the size of your dog will also determine which dog fetch machine is best for both of you. 

However, when it comes to choosing the best automatic dog fetch machine for your pup, it requires consideration of four main factors:

  • Price
  • Durability 
  • Safety 
  • Sound 

Let’s explore each of these factors in more detail below:

Price

In our research, spending a bit more money on an automatic dog fetch machine is probably the best choice. The higher-priced dog machines often equate to a machine that is better suited to long-term play. The cheaper options out there that we found, simply do not work. They say they launch the ball for your pet, but really the ball barely drops out of the machine. In the case of automatic dog fetch machines, you will want to spend more money to get a better quality toy that will actually work for your pet.

Durability

Quite a few of the automatic dog fetch machines out there do not have the best durability. The dog fetch machines are sometimes flimsy and can break apart easily. Or they simply do not have safe wheels and will not stay in place while playing. The two IDOGMATE brands we have provided above do a good job of being sustainable and durable. The arches and wheels of the machines also help produce the best shooting distance. This also prevents slobbery balls from jamming in the machine.

Safety

A few of the machines that we have here have the safety function of turning off the machine for a ‘rest’ period after an hour of play. Some pet owners find this annoying for their bigger breeds. So that is something to be aware of when purchasing your automatic dog fetch machine.

Sound

In our research, we found that some of the automatic dog fetch toys can have a really loud sound. Due to this, some dogs simply won’t use that toy because it is too loud and it scares them. This is another important factor to keep in mind, as loud machines can be off-putting to your pet.

The 2 Different Types of Automatic Dog Fetch Machines

As we mentioned above, there are many different factors that are important to consider when choosing an automatic dog fetch machine. This also results in there being different types of fetch machines available on the market. One of the biggest differences in machines is the sound as well as whether there is a sensor or not. Of course, both of these types have their own pros and cons. 

Let’s take a look at the most common pros and cons between them: 

  • Sensor — The positive of having a sensor beep sound is that it beeps before the ball shoots out to warn your dog. However, some dogs actually end up being afraid of the sound and simply become afraid of the machine. So it depends on your pet.
  • Angle machine — Another type of automatic dog machine is having the balls shoot upwards. This way you won’t have to worry about your dog getting hit in the face with a ball. The biggest con is that some dogs still manage to somehow put their face in the way of the ball.

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About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.

The Best Automatic Dog Fetch Machines FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are fetch machines good for dogs?

Yes, fetch machines are an excellent way for dogs to get some exercise on their own. With the right machine, your dog can play fetch on their own without needing to take up your time. Some dogs can get carried away and play for too long, however, many of the best automatic fetch machines will come with a timer to shut off after a certain period of time.

Are ball launchers worth purchasing?

Yes, there are actually two main benefits to purchasing an automatic ball launcher for your dog. For starters, it’s great as a form of mental stimulation for them. The habit of fetching the ball and keeps your dog’s mind sharp and alert. Dogs that receive more mental stimulation tend to be much happier dogs. In addition, it’s a fantastic way for them to get their exercise in. Dogs love to run and play around, so an automatic ball launcher allows them to do just that!

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