Any dog owner will tell you that you can spend hours throwing a ball for your dog. The joy they get as they anticipate you throwing it, chase after it and then bring it back to you. That wagging tail is priceless! The iFetch automatic ball launcher is a way to keep your dog entertained for hours without spending hours throwing the ball.
The launcher allows you, or your dog, to drop the ball into the top and then as it launches your dog gets to chase after it. If you spend some time training your dog you can teach them to play fetch on their own.
Types of iFetch Automatic Ball Launcher
There are 3 types of launcher that you can purchase for your dog depending on their size – small to mid size or mid size to large.
The iFetch Frenzy doesn’t require power and when the ball is dropped into the top of the machine it rolls out one of the 3 holes at the bottom. Your dog will have hours of fun chasing the ball and dropping it back into the top.
The iFetch and iFetch too are both powered and shoot the ball out either 10ft, 20ft or 30ft. These are perfect for dogs that love to chase the ball a distance. The difference between the machines is that the iFetch too shoots out regular sized tennis balls rather than smaller balls.
Pros and Cons Of The iFetch Automatic Ball Launcher
Doggie Play Time
As I mentioned the launcher allows your dog to play fetch on their own. Instead of spending hours throwing the ball for them you can teach them to drop the ball into the top of the machine and then wait for it to shoot out and then chase it.
The downside to this is that you don’t get to spend time with your dog and see the wagging tail and happy smile while you play with them. You are also trusting them not to eat the balls when you are not looking.
Some dogs need a lot more exercise than others and the launcher can be a great way to get in additional exercise on top of their walks and playtime. You can set the launcher up in the house (if you have the space) and allow your dog to run up and down the hall playing ball. This makes it perfect for use on rainy days.
How To Train Your Dog To Use The iFetch
The iFetch website has lots of information to help you train your dog to use the launcher including lots of useful videos.
As with any training you need to spend time with your dog showing them how the machine works but not so much time that they get bored and frustrated. Regular repetition will mean they pick this up quickly.
And don’t worry if your dog doesn’t get the hang of putting it back into the machine as you can play with them and do it for them.
Cost of the iFetch Automatic Ball Launcher
The iFetch can be bought on their own website or you can also purchase on Amazon if you prefer. Prices start at around £99 for the standard iFetch.
Review of the iFetch Automatic Ball Launcher
We were delighted to get a chance to check out the iFetch and Joey, our dog, was more than happy to be chief tester. He loves chasing a ball and is full of energy all the time.
Opening the box, he could hardly contain himself. He has a habit of assuming anything that arrives in a box or package is for him and so jumps up and down enthusiastically as you try to open it.
The machine was easy to set up. You have the option of plugging it in or putting in batteries. Batteries would be a great option if you want to use it outside during the summer months.
Once set up you have the option of selecting the distance for the ball to be thrown and then you drop the ball in the top.
Joey was very excited once the first ball came out and went flying across the kitchen to fetch it. He was quick to bring it back although a bit reluctant to hand it over! Repeat the process and he had a good half hour of fun.
It was really hard to get Joey to give the ball back let alone drop it into the top of the machine. I think that part is going to take time for him to understand. He was however quick to catch on to the sound of the machine and when it was about to shoot out the ball.
Verdict: This is a fun toy for your dog. It’s great to keep them active and I love that you can play inside with on a wet and cold day. The ease of teaching them to put the ball into the top of the machine is going to vary depending on the dog. Joey is great at fetching the ball but then takes a bit of encouragement to give it back. But if your dog is great at dropping the ball at your feet then I think it would be easy to train them to drop it into the iFetch instead.
Have you tried the iFetch or are thinking of getting one? Let us know in the comments below.
Note: I received the iFetch mentioned above for free to assist in an article we were writing about the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.