The Best Automatic Dog Fetch Machines For 2022

Written by Austin S.
Updated: August 5, 2022

This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species..

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.

In our research, we noticed it can be pretty hard to find a good automatic dog fetch machine. Many are high on the promise, low on delivery. Some work for a few days (or less!) and then break. Others get jammed easily so your dog may be returning the balls correctly, but then not be able to enjoy their new activity.

We have ranked the best overall, most affordable, and portable automatic dog fetch machines on the market today.

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Automatic Dog Fetch Machines

  1. IDOGMATE Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
  2. 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
  3. iDogmate Smart Automatic Dog Ball Launcher Toy
  4. iDogmate Smart Automatic Dog Ball Launcher Toy
    • Most affordable option that actually works
    • Made for small to medium dogs
    • Great for smaller spaces
    • Have three different speed settings
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Hyper Pet GoDogGo Fetch Machine
  6. Hyper Pet GoDogGo Fetch Machine
    • Keep your dog safely entertained
    • Automatic feature for solo playtime
    • Features three distance settings
    • Comes with a remote for alternative play
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Franklin Pet Supply Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher
  8. 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

#1 The Overall Best: IDOGMATE Dog Ball Launcher

In our research, we found the Overall Best Automatic Dog Fetch Machine is IDOGMATE 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. 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.

Overall, pet owners and dogs alike love this IDOG Automatic Dog Ball Launcher, made for big and medium dogs, and helps tire out energetic dogs all around, while allowing pet owners to prepare their pet’s dinner.

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

Best For Affordability: IDOGMATE Dog Ball Launcher For Small Dogs

Automatic dog fetch machines can be expensive. Many ranges from $100 – $200, with most being on the high end of that. If you’re not willing to shell out that much, we recommend the IDOGMATE dog ball launcher for small dogs. It Can usually be found for $100, if not less with discounts on Chewy or Amazon.

Yes, you can find cheaper options out there. Technically. But 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 may cost a little more – but it’s the most affordable option that actually works.

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 because 1) It does not launch as far as full-size models 2) 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.

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 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.

This dog fetch machine is a great option for pet owners who may be on a budget but still want their dog to be able to enjoy playtime, and one of the great things about this cost-effective option is it always is a treat reward device and you can train your dog with it.

Best For Affordability
iDogmate Smart Automatic Dog Ball Launcher Toy
  • Most affordable option that actually works
  • Made for small to medium dogs
  • Great for smaller spaces
  • Have three different speed settings
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Best For Dogs of All Sizes: Hyper Pet GoDogGo Fetch Machine

We wanted to find an automatic dog fetch machine that would be good for pet owners who maybe have a variety of breed sizes, and then their pets can play together for hours on end and run out of their energy.

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 in 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 pets 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.

Best For Dogs of All Sizes
Hyper Pet GoDogGo Fetch Machine
  • Keep your dog safely entertained
  • Automatic feature for solo playtime
  • Features three distance settings
  • Comes with a remote for alternative play
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Best For Portability: Franklin Pet Supply 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 and can launch between ten and forty feet with the Franklin Pet Supply Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher Dog Toy because of the adjustable angles this allows for dogs of all sizes to be able to enjoy and play for hours on end.

The Franklin Pet Supply Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher has pretty good reviews from users. Many dogs love this toy and it also helps pet owners arms, because for those with high energy dogs, who needs hours of play. It can be hard to keep up with our energetic pets. However, this toy has saved many pet owners the soreness of their arms and shoulders whose pets love playing fetch. This toy allows owners dogs to run out energy while you may be busy.

We know being a pet owner and making sure your furry pets get all the energy they have inside is a hard job. That is why we thought this was a great pack-and-play option for pet owners with energetic dogs and busy lives.

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 Best: What to Look For

Price

In our research, spending a bit more money on an automatic dog fetch machine is probably the best choice. You want to be prepared to spend more towards two hundred dollars if you actually want the machine to throw balls for your pet.

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 sometimes are flimsy and can break apart, or do not have safe wheels and will not stay in place while playing.

The IDOGMATE brand we have 2 of them in this article does a good job at the way they made their machines with arched wheels, which they say helps produce the best shooting distance, and as well helps slobbery balls from getting stuck.

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 we want you to be aware of when purchasing your automatic dog fetch machine, and to be aware of.

Sound

In our research, we found that some of the automatic dog fetch toys can have a really loud sound, and some dogs simply won’t use that toy because it is too loud and they are scared of it. So that is something we wanted to point out when purchasing be aware that some of them have louder sounds, and there are some too that specifically are quiet.

The Different Types of Automatic Dog Fetch Machines: Pros and Cons Compared

We found that the biggest difference in automatic dog fetch machines, is in the sound. If the machine has a sensor before the ball shoots out, another type of machine is how the ball shoots out of the machine.

  • 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 Shoots Ball– Another type of automatic dog machine is having the balls shoot upwards, this way you never have to worry about your dog getting hit in the face with a ball. The biggest con is that some dogs still learn how to put their face in the way of the ball.

Verified Review: User Experience

The biggest complaint with the IDOGMATE Dog Ball Launcher is that it doesn’t stay charged for long enough. However, in our research, we believe this is because pet owners don’t charge it for 24 hours first before using it. This will help the machine keep a charge for the duration of its use.

Overall pet owners and dogs alike have had great experiences with this toy and have hours of play with it. One user raved;

“This ball launcher will become your dog’s best friend the day it arrives!

We have a VERY high-energy, aggressive chewing, puppy. We tried EVERYTHING to keep her entertained, busy and out of trouble, but couldn’t find anything that came close to matching her energy level or her ability to chew apart anything (including “non destructible” dog toys)…. Until we purchased the IDOGMATE Dog Ball Launcher! This wasn’t the first ball launcher we tried, but it’s the only one that is durable enough to continue functioning even after the balls get worn down, split open and are dripping with slobber. This launcher uses regular sized tennis balls too which we’ve found are much better than the launchers that use the smaller tennis balls because the regular size balls aren’t as easy to chew through and stop up the machine.

Our dog caught on to how reload the ball launcher almost immediately. The hopper is sized perfectly, creating a large enough “target” that any dog will be able to successfully reload the launcher on their own. We live in an apartment and the IDOGMATE ball launcher is the perfect solution for a dog that doesn’t have a backyard. We just set it at one side of the hall, turn it on and she’ll play for hours (our neighbor downstairs might not love the launcher as much as we all do 😉

This ball launcher has been our solution to entertain, exercise, motivate and challenge our pup. I’m confident in telling you it will do the same for your family. Recommended 120%.”

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

The reviews from pet owners have been great a lot of pet owners had a great experience with their pets enjoying the IDOGMATE small interactive ball launcher for training purposes. The biggest complaint was the balls that came with the machine weren’t the best quality, but you can go to the store and get more balls for less than fifteen dollars. As well, it is said to be for small dogs, so if you have a big dog this machine may not be the best for your pet. One user KC stated;

“When we got this ball launcher, I almost gave up and sent it back, because my dog would take the ball and chew it up. But I decided to teach her to bring it right back, and with supervision, that happens. Every time Lucy didn’t bring the ball back right away, I took the launcher and put it out of reach. But here was the additional step, that for Lucy, worked beautifully. Lucy is very competitive. So I would hold a second ball over the machine, and she didn’t like the idea that I would put my ball in before she could bring hers back. The combination of these two ideas produced the results I wanted. Lucy will bring the ball back right away each time. Without me sitting there, with that extra ball in my hand, I really think Lucy would just chew the ball to bits. Lucy hasn’t worn out a ball from the launcher since she has been trained. But these balls are, necessarily, made to be soft, so they will not likely hurt a dog when they launch. So they will need to be replaced over time. It does help if your dog can follow a “back up” command, like Lucy can. “Back, back, back” works well for us. UPDATE: If you have a problem, call customer service. I have found them very helpful. ALSO – we only let our dog play after pottying outside. She is now NEVER having any accidents!”

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

The GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher has a couple of concerns about it not working for long enough, or the sound being too loud. However, there were also a handful of positive reviews pet parent Marshall Balboa said;

“My Australian Shepard loves playing with her toys more than we like throwing them. Enter GoDogGo ball launcher. She can do this herself which is great. The noise scared her at first but we related the noise to positive things and after a few days of about 5min sessions, she no longer feared the machine. she was trained to drop things in a bucket BEFORE we made this purchase so, instructing her was very simple.”

Best For Dogs of All Sizes
Hyper Pet GoDogGo Fetch Machine
  • Keep your dog safely entertained
  • Automatic feature for solo playtime
  • Features three distance settings
  • Comes with a remote for alternative play
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Users have mixed reviews for the Franklin Pet Supply Tennis Ball, There are a good handful of very positive reviews one pet owner stated;

 “Our border collie loves it. In about 15 minutes he figured out how to put the ball in. Very well made compared to what we have bought before. Easy to clean out and still launches the heavy slobber mushy ball. Now our friends all own one they were so impressed with ours.”

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

The biggest concern for Franklin Pet Supply Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher is that it doesn’t shoot 40 feet as the description says, or they had to train their dog to bring it back, but that is part of these toys is training your dog to bring the ball back to launch again.

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.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.