German Shepherd Corner

The Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs

I’ll admit it… I throw like a girl!

Maybe you do too.  Or maybe you’re one of the best ball throwers around.

Whatever your ball throwing skills are, you’re on this page because you’re looking for the best tennis ball launcher for dogs.  And you’re in the right place.

All ball launchers are not created equal – some are great and some are downright junk.  So, German Shepherd Corner has brought you the best of the best ball launchers for dogs.

I’ve broken up the launchers into 2 categories…

  1. Manual Launchers – These are the launchers you’re doing a fair amount of launching yourself.
  2. Semi-Automatic Launchers – With these launchers you’re doing very little ball pelting.

What You’ll Learn from These Reviews

You’ll learn about each ball launcher in detail, and look individually at the following;

  1. Ease of Use
  2. Design & Durability
  3. Features
  4. Pros & Cons

I’ll also share what I think can be improved, so you can rest assured these reviews are unbiased.

By the end everything will be less confusing.  You’ll have all the information you require to shop with confidence and make the best choice for your needs.

Read more below about the best tennis ball launcher for dogs.  Then read the buyers guide.

The buyers guide will help you sort through all the important things to consider, so you can choose the best tennis ball launcher for dogs, to keep your dog entertained and you happy.

Happy dog – happy you!

Hey, if you’re in a rush check out my picks for the best tennis ball launcher for dogs on Amazon…
Chuckit! Max Glow Pro (manual launcher)
Chuckit! Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher (manual launcher)
Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster (semi-automatic launcher)
Max Dog Ball Launcher (semi-automatic launcher)

If you’ve got time and want to hang around, just use the links below and be magically transported to any section you’re interested in.

Quick Navigation Menu

  1. Why You Should Only Consider the Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs
  2. The Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs – Manual Launchers
  3. The Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs – Semi-Automatic Launchers
  4. The Best Tennis Ball Launcher For Dogs – Buyers Guide
  5. Conclusion

Why You Should Only Consider the Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs

The lives of dogs have changed considerably since we became more sophisticated.  Many, many working line dogs – are now family pets instead of working animals.

But that doesn’t change their working line instincts.

These are very powerful instincts!

So, if we want a well-balanced, healthy dog it’s important for us the find ways to exercise their prey, chewing and food drives.

Ball launcher toys are a great way to do this.

Also, we’re creatures of comfort.  So we want toys that are comfortable and less work so we can spend more time enjoying play time with our dogs.

I’m obsessed with toys for my dogs.  And I’ve made a bunch of junk buys.  So I’ve learned from my mistakes.

Buying the best tennis ball launcher for dogs big or small is an investment for a few reasons…

  • You’re spending hard earned cash so you want something that’s going to take the punch – balls and all!
  • You want something that’s really going to keep your dog interested in the game.  If your dog’s not stimulated, he or she will check out of the game quickly.
  • You need something that’s comfortable for you.  I mean, what’s the point if you’re not enjoying the game.
  • Your dog’s safety is important.  You want a toy design that keeps safety in mind.

So here it goes…

The Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs – Manual Launchers

ChuckIt!  Indoor Launcher

chuckit indoor launcher best tennis ball launcher for dogs

I really like this launcher.  I know it looks a little like a toilet brush in this picture above.  But, I wish they had them around when I was a kid.  It would have saved me from breaking a bunch of my mom’s ornaments!

Yes, I illegally played ball with our German Shepherds inside the house.

With the Chuckit indoor launcher you can bring your dog’s fitness regime inside!

Which is great for cold, rainy or snowy days.  And even those sweltering days when the heat levels outside are dangerous.

Ease of Use

The roller of the Chuckit indoor launcher is light weight and soft.  The material is easy to clean, machine washable and air dried.

The soft roller itself is easy to launch with little effort from you.  This is a particularly real benefit.  If you have too much momentum like with one of the outdoor launchers, it’s more likely that you’ll break something.

Since it’s an indoor launch toy you don’t want too much speed.

The Chuckit indoor launcher does not restrict you in terms of the launch position.  Because it’s hand held you can launch from any position at any angle.

It also boasts a hands free pick up.  This means no more bending over to get your hands on the toy.  And no more slick slobber on your hands.

See the Chuckit Indoor Launcher on Amazon.

Design & Durability

The launcher of the Chuckit Indoor is made from a hard plastic with a flexible arm for launching the included roller.

One customer reported breaking the plastic arm after accidentally hitting it against a piece of furniture.  So even although it’s designed for indoor play, you’ll still need to be cautious, just like you would with an outside launcher.

The Chuckit indoor launcher arm is shorter than the outdoor versions for obvious reasons.  The shorter length reduces the launch distance. Which is essential for playing a potentially destructive game indoors.

However, the feedback on the length of the handle differs a lot.  Some customers said the handle is too short – getting their hand in the way of the dog’s mouth.  The easy solution to this is to teach your dog to stand further away from you.

Other customer feedback said the handle is too long.  But I think this will only be a problem in smaller areas with very eager owners.

The dimensions of the Chuckit Indoor Launcher are 3 x 4 x 18 inches.

Features

The fun orange and blue textured loopy material prevents layers of slobber collecting during play.  And not only that, it stimulates your dog’s prey drive – since most small prey are pretty furry.

You can up the ante of the game by skidding the roller across the floor to keep the game unpredictable. This will make the chase so much more fun and exciting.

The soft roller is designed with a center circle making it super east for your dog to pick up.  This means it works great for any size breed or age.

The soft roller means your dog and other family members are safe from injury, which is a reality when playing fetch in an enclosed area.  So no black eyes or blood noses – thankfully!

And it means your furniture, walls, floors won’t collect scuff marks. And that vase your grandmother gave you, that’s safe too.

But don’t be gung-ho either.  Give the roller enough momentum and aim it at an ornament close to an edge and it will smash on to the floor.

See the Chuckit Indoor Launcher on Amazon.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Designed for indoor play.
  • Machine washable.
  • Great size for any sized breed.
  • Center hole offers easy grip for dogs.
  • Perfect for small and larger spaces.
  • Launch from anywhere in your home, without risking breakage or damage.

Cons

  • The launch distance is not too great.
  • You can’t leave your dog alone with it.  Unless you want the roller destroyed.
  • If you launch it hard enough it could gain enough momentum to actually break something.
  • This specific launcher can’t be used with a tennis ball.

Should You Buy The Chuckit Indoor Launcher?

I love the idea of playing fetch indoors.  I guess it’s the rebel in me!  But seriously, how many times have you and your pooch been kept indoors due to the weather?  Heck, in our rainy season it could be for days on end.

I think the Chuckit indoor launcher should be considered as a pick for the best tennis ball launcher for dogs.  And a regular feature in any decent dog toy cupboard.

See the Chuckit Indoor Launcher on Amazon.

See the Replacement Roller for Chuckit Indoor Launcher on Amazon.

Chuckit! Max Glow Pro

best tennis ball launcher for dogs CHUCKIT 31217 Max Glow Pro 18M Launcher

The Chuckit Max Glow Pro is designed for suped-up play at night.  It has a Max Glow launcher body – the white parts of the launch arm glow in the dark, pretty slick if you ask me!

One customer said you and your dog are missing out if you haven’t tried the Chuckit Max Glow Pro.

Ease of Use

The launcher body has a sleek design making it easier to pelt the ball with less effort than by hand.  This is a great benefit because it extends playtime – what a pleasure!

Although the Chuckit Max Glow Pro is not the longest launcher it does allow you to lob the ball a decent distance.

The hands free pick up makes it easy to ‘reload’ and keeps your hands free of slick slobber that can affect your throw.

Once customer noted that the launcher body was too ridged to get a good throw.

But, another customer reported her senior mom throwing the ball a good distance by dead dropping her arm.

From my research the overall opinion is that the Chuckit Max Glow Pro is effortless to use.

See the Chuckit Max Glow Pro Launcher on Amazon.

Design & Durability

The body launcher of the Chuckit Max Glow Pro has a solid design, which does make it slightly heavier than other Chuckit launchers.

The overall throwing distance achieved differs from person to person. But the heavier launcher body could impact the distance, since many customers have reported throwing much further than with other Chuckit launchers.

One customer aged 54 and “… not very strong…” (her words not mine) found the Max Glow Pro comfortable to hold.

Although the Max Glow Pro Chuckit is heaver than other Chuckit’s the launcher body is sleek.  This is a great plus for taking on walks.

The dimensions of the Chuckit Max Glow Pro is 20 x 3 x 1.5 inches.

Features

Chuckit claims the Max Glow Pro can launch a ball twice as far as a regular Chuckit launcher.

As I mentioned earlier the launcher body of the Max Glow Pro is made from photo luminescent material.   A 5 to 10 minute charge under a bright light provides 20 to 30 minutes of high visibility play.

If your dogs are like mine, 20 to 30 minutes is just a warm up.  But all you need to recharge on the go is a reasonably bright torch.  Which is something you’d probably carry with you on a night walk anyway.

The launcher body of the Max Glow Pro is designed with materials that are chemically and biologically inactive.

Of course unlike the indoor launcher this ball is much more firm and can cause injury if your dog is hit in the face.

But you run the same risk no matter what kind of toy you use.

Personally, I think the regular Chuckit ball that comes with this launcher is boring.  And I suggest and upgrade to the medium sized Chuckit Max Glow Ball.  This will ramp up your games of fetch to a new high.

See the exciting Ball Upgrade: Chuckit Max Glow Ball on Amazon.

If you want to stick to the standard issue ball that’s fine too since it’s much better quality than a regular tennis ball.

See the Chuckit Max Glow Pro Launcher on Amazon.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Designed for outdoor night time play.
  • Sleek design making it comfortable to hold and launch.
  • Easy to carry on walks.
  • Hands free pickup.
  • Quick charge – 5 to 10 minutes for 20 to 30 minutes of play.
  • Ball can be upgraded to a Max Glow Pro ball.

Cons

  • A specific color can’t be guaranteed.  You’ll get either green, blue or orange.
  • Some customers reported the Max Glow Pro is a little on the heavy side.
  • The launcher body might be too ridged for someone who has an injury or disability.
  • The regular ball that comes with the Max Glow Pro is not one of my favorites.  If you don’t like it either you’ll need to spend a few bucks on a Max Glow ball.  In all honesty though, these balls are dirt cheap.

Should you buy the Chuckit! Max Glow Pro?

This launcher is one of my favorites.  It’s a little more pricey than regular Chuckit launchers.  But I think it’s well worth it.  Considering the quality, comfort and the extra fun factor, the Max Glow Pro Chuckit is a definite contender for the best tennis ball launcher for dogs.

See the Chuckit Max Glow Pro Launcher on Amazon.

See the Exciting Ball Upgrade on Amazon: Chuckit Max Glow Ball.

Chuckit! Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher

Chuckit! Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher

In terms of style this Chuckit is just as slick looking as the Chuckit Max Glow Pro.  Only it’s designed for daytime use. Playing fetch everyday can be taxing on your joints, especially wrists, elbows, shoulders and for some of us our backs too.  But if you’re anything like me, you don’t want to compromise on distance.

The Chuckit Pro Translucent launcher deals with that toss up.  Giving comfort and performance.

Ease of Use

Like with all Chuckit launch toys this one also boasts a hands free pick up.  So you’ll never bend down to pick up a slobbery ball again.

And the hands free pick up makes it easy to ‘reload’ even with balls covered in grass, mud or water.

With a lighter overall design the Chuckit Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher gives you enough control for smaller spaces.

The distance will depend on the amount of force you use.  But this Chuckit gives enough ‘whip’ to send the ball flying at up to 200 ft. And still place the ball where you want it.

All with very little effort on your part.

From my research some owners say the ball launches most effectively using a baseball-like pitch.  There have been reports of over head throws pelting the ball right into the ground.

But that could be because the owner needs more practice.  Or that the incorrect ball size is being used.

I don’t think tennis balls are ideal. For the launcher to work correctly I suggest upgrading to the Chuckit! Ultra Ball medium.

See the Chuckit Ultra Ball on Amazon.

Chuckit Ultra Ball Medium
A slightly heavier ball gives more down force as you’re launching, making it sit snug for longer and to release at the apex – the most vertical line in the swing.

Although I suggest practicing first in a larger area – like a park – to learn what kind of throws will work in a smaller space.  Unless, you don’t mind taking out a couple of windows on your first few go’s!

See the Chuckit Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher on Amazon.

Design & Durability

All the pro models feature a sturdy construction, with an ergonomic, comfort grip handle.  And the  CHUCKIT 25m Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher is no different.

Many owners say they appreciate the flexibility of the launch body. Because, there’s much less stress on the wrist. Making games last longer and providing thorough enjoyment for you and your dog.

The over molded comfort grip handle fits snug in just about any sized adult hand.

The dimensions of the Chuckit Pro Translucent are 2.6 x 3.6 x 27 inches.

Features

  • Designed for outside use.
  • Durable plastic launch body.
  • Over molded comfort grip.
  • Light ergonomic design.
  • Great flexibility.
  • Launch both long and short distances.
  • It’s possible to upgrade the ball for better launch results.

See the Chuckit Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher on Amazon.

See the Ball Upgrade on amazon: Chuckit Ultra Ball – Medium.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Design is easy on wrists, elbows and shoulders.
  • Over molded comfort grip.
  • Flexible launch arm.  Launch comfortably in smaller and large outside areas.
  • Hands free pick up.

Cons

  • The color is selected at random – so the color will be a surprise.
  • Lack of information on which balls fit this Chuckit.
  • If you want better release, spend a little extra money and upgrade the ball.
  • Some owners complained of launcher body snapping after a few play sessions.

See the Chuckit Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher on Amazon.

Should You Buy the Chuckit! Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher?

I love the upgrades the Chuckit Translucent has compared to something like the Sport Chuckit.  It’s rated as one of the most comfortable Chuckit’s on the market.  And it’s versatility in launch distance is a plus too.

Sure, you can’t choose the color you get – but that is insignificant when it comes to game quality and comfort.  You don’t need to upgrade the ball, but I recommend you do.

The Chuckit Pro Translucent is a top contender in the manual launcher category.  And a top pick as the best tennis ball launcher for dogs.

See the Chuckit Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher on Amazon.

Hyper Pet Throw-N-Go Tennis Ball Launcher


The Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go is designed for outdoor daytime play.  Personally, I’m not a big fan of this launcher.  But it has received some good reviews and 4.5 stars on Amazon.

After reading it’s review, you might decide to go with this option.  And that’s a personal preference.

Read on if you’re interested in finding out why it’s not one of the contenders for the best tennis ball launcher for dogs.

Ease of Use

The Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go does have a sturdy design.  But it doesn’t have an over molded handle like the Chuckit Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher.  I think with everyday use, this will cause your throw to suffer.  But it does have a molded handle which fits snug into the fold of your fingers.

It’s hands free pick up like most other tennis ball launchers.

The launcher itself is much softer.  You and your dog might like this if it suits your launch style.  It can make balls fly further.

For some owners the soft launcher reduces the torque on the ball, reducing the launch distance.  I think this is due to launch style and not necessarily the design.

But if you don’t like your launcher bending too far back, this is not the toy for you.

See The Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go Launcher on Amazon.

Design & Durability

The feedback on comfort is mixed.  Good distance is a personal opinion but some owners get an 1/8th of an acre, easily.

The handle is smaller meaning you need to exert more grip to prevent the launcher from following the ball on release.

Although some owners have said they like the smaller handle.  So, if you have small hands you might find it comfortable.

The Hyper Pet Thow-n-Go is slightly shorter than other tennis ball launchers.  This could be a good or a bad thing when it comes to getting good throws.  And it’s a personal preference again.

See the Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go Launcher on Amazon.

Features

The Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go tennis ball launcher has some pretty cool features.

It has a handy carry slot designed into the handle.  It saves you having to carry an extra ball in a pocket or bag.  And you have an extra ball handy to keep your fetch game going – even if one ball is lost.

One owner said they collect abandoned balls because they have an extra carry place.  Although, I wouldn’t allow my dogs to mouth another dog’s ball.  So abandoned balls will remain abandoned.

You can be really creative too and thread a leash through the carry hole.  Making it an easy cross-body carry on walks.

From my research, quality is a big sticking point.  Some owners reported a flimsy and low quality launcher.  And some reports of the throw cup cracking after a couple of weeks.

See the Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go Launcher on Amazon.

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

  • Holder won’t hold a smaller sized ball.
  • Launch distance not as far as some might like.
  • Several complaints about poor quality.

Should You Buy The Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go tennis ball launcher?

In my opinion this tennis ball launcher is a love it or hate it toy. But I wouldn’t spend the money.  Because I don’t think the Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go is worthy of a spot as the best tennis ball launcher for dogs.

It’s too hit and miss – so to speak.  You might be thrilled with it, but you might not.

Sure you can return it if you or your dog aren’t happy.  But that leaves you without a tennis ball launcher until your new one arrives.  Not fair on your pooch when you could go for the Chuckit Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher instead.

See the Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go Launcher on Amazon.

Check out a possible ball upgrades on Amazon.

The Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs Comparison: Manual Launchers

ChuckIt! Indoor Launcher

Chuckit! Max Glow Pro

Chuckit! Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher

Hyper Pet Throw-N-Go Tennis Ball Launcher

Estimated Max Launch Distance 25 ft. 30 to 200 ft. 30 to 200 ft. 45 ft.
Price $ $$ $$ $$
Durability Good Good Excellent Fair
Safety Excellent Excellent Excellent Fair
Dimensions 3 x 4 x 18 inches 20 x 3 x 1.5 inches 2.6 x 3.6 x 27 inches 5 x 5 x 2 inches
User Conditions Indoor Night/Outdoor Day/Outdoor Day/Outdoor
Rating
View on Amazon Chuckit! Indoor Launcher Chuckit! Max Glow Pro Launcher Chuckit! Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go Launcher

Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs – Semi-Automatic Launchers

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster - Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs

Our Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster

Of all the semi-automatic ball launchers, the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Launcher is by far my favorite.

In all honesty, it’s one of the best toys I have ever bought for my dogs.

I was so excited to show the Nerf Dog blaster to our dogs.  I un-boxed it immediately and took it straight outside without even reading the instructions.  My dogs adore this thing.

And so do I.  It makes me feel a little like Tomb Raider!  LOL.

See the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster on Amazon.

When you hold the Nerf Dog Blaster in your hands, you’ll see, it’s way bigger than your average launcher.  It’s way cooler than that too. It’s a shotgun blaster.

We don’t use it everyday because we rotate toys to keep things unpredictable.  We use it 3 times a week. For 1 hour of play morning and afternoon.

It’s a pretty sturdy design.  I think the plastic used is quality.  When you hold it in your hand you will feel it’s solid.

At first I was concerned about little pieces of soil jamming up the mechanism.  Although it’s hands free pick up, you’re still putting a ball in the firing chamber that’s full of slobber and mud.

But my hubby showed me just a shake or two after play dislodges anything hiding inside.

Secondly I was concerned about the release mechanism breaking.  It’s a powerful blaster and I wasn’t sure if it could really take the punch. So far, so good.  No problems there.  Sometimes it is a little sticky but I just hold in the release button and slide it a little, this gets rid of the stickiness.

The trigger can be a little sticky too, but that might be because we don’t use it everyday.  I think if it was in everyday use it would loosen up quickly.  But really it’s no biggy.

My third concern was the sound.  It’s LOUD!  But my dogs were not phased one bit by the sound.

I love the fact that the release mechanism stays in place after launching the ball.  If it shot forward it would have been a moving part on the outside, not exactly safe.

And I think the toy’s lifespan would be greatly reduced from the constant impact.  Some other blasters have moving parts on the outside, not a very smart design.  But the Nerf Dog Blaster has no moving parts on the outside.

See the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster on Amazon.

One of my favorite features is that I can launch 2 balls at the same time.  I have 2 dogs that have to play fetch together or else they go ballistic.  Sure, if you shoot 2 balls together, they don’t have the same momentum but I use upward shots for this.

Another great feature is the fact that you have control over the launch distance.  Sliding the release mechanism all the way back will obviously give you the full range of distance.  Sliding it half way will reduce the distance by half.

Of course this isn’t an exact science since other factors like air humidity and wind play in on distance too.  But essentially controlling the point of release makes the Nerf Blaster ideal for smaller spaces.Nerf Dog Blaster - Best Tennis ball launcher for dogsI love the fact that we got 4 Nerf balls with this blaster.  We are using 2 of the 4 until they are worn before using the new ones.  I was surprised at how nicely the ball clean up too.

I always try to avoid tennis ball like toys because they hold water and start to smell after a few washes.  These Nerf balls don’t.  I give them a good wash under running water and then squeeze any excess water out.  Pop them on the windowsill and let them air dry.

The balls are softer than regular tennis balls.  And designed to be inside your dog’s mouth.  Regular tennis balls are made from dyes and glues that’s toxic to dogs.  So I recommend using only the Nerf Dog tennis balls.

Some dogs will run in front of the launched ball, if they’re still new to the game.  And kiddies might accidentally aim the ball at your dog.

So…

If you want kiddies to play with the Nerf Dog Blaster or your dog is new to this kind of game.  I recommend using soft stress balls to begin with.  A regular tennis ball is 2.7″.

Check out this pack of 6 2.7″ stress balls on Amazon.  I think they make a good substitute if you’re looking for a softer type of ball.
Lighter Balls for the Nerf Dog Blaster

See the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster on Amazon.

Ease of Use

This baby is hands free pick up just like any of the new launchers on the market.  And it’s dead easy.

Just pop the barrel over the ball and voia la!  The ball fits snug enough to give you the hands free pick up, without affecting the launch.

While the Nerf Dog Blaster is new, sliding the firing pin and squeezing the trigger can feel sticky.

But…

It’s BIG.  Well, big for a launcher.  It’s chunky and it gives more than decent distance.  So it needs a serious mechanism with a powerful elastic band.

Don’t be put off by this, the stickiness disappears with use.

The firing mechanism and safety release makes it easy to adjust the distance according to your environment.  Prime it all the way for a large area and less for an enclosed area.

The packaging of the Nerf Dog Blaster claims to launch a ball up to 50 ft.  The most distance I’ve managed is 42 ft.

But some owners have reported actually reaching the 50 ft. distance.

See the Nerf Tennis Ball Blaster on Amazon.

Design & Durability

The Nerf Dog Blaster is designed with comfort in mind.  If you’re going to play for an extended period of time, day after day, you need something comfortable.

Because the firing pin stays in place when you fire, there’s much less kick back than other semi-automatic launchers.

It’s surprisingly light which is great for a blaster of its power and size. And the handle is smooth and rounded. Making it easy on your trigger hand.

I asked my father-in-law, who’s 70, to test the blaster out.  He has no problems firing the Nerf Dog Blaster.  And finds it a comfortable toy to hold. He doesn’t have shoulder problems, but he does struggle with lower back and leg problems.  So the hands free pick up is a major plus for him.

The blaster is well constructed, and I find it durable.  It’s made with strong, hard plastic.  And where there are joins in the parts there’s no movement.

Often with launchers regular use will cause the screws to loosen.  I’ve not experienced this so far.  And it’s been in regular use for almost 6 months.

The dimensions of the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster is 29 x 4.5 x 9 inches.

Features

As I mentioned before, the Nerf Dog Blaster is a hands free pick up launcher.  So, no more slobbery balls and muddy hands for you!

It comes with a carry cup for an extra ball which is great if you happened to lose a ball.

I’d like to have 2 carry cups because I play with both my dogs together.  There is ample space for an extra carry cup, so hopefully Nerf will take this into consideration for their next model.

The firing pin is designed with a safety release, which moves the firing pin smoothly.  It gives you more control when pulling back the firing pin.  There’s no strain on your hands while setting the launch distance which adds to the comfort factor.

See the Nerf Tennis Ball Blaster on Amazon.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Hands free pick up.
  • Safety release mechanism.
  • No outside moving parts.
  • Extra ball holder.
  • Durable construction.
  • Comfortable design.
  • Adjustable launch distance.
  • Nerf sells replacement balls.
  • Comes with 4 Nerf balls designed for the Nerf Dog Blaster.

Cons

  • Some owners reported the launch distance is only 25 ft. and not 50 ft. But I’ve managed 50 ft. when the wind is right
  • Could do with an extra ball holder.
  • Some owners reported the Nerf Dog Blaster breaking after several uses.  This could be due to poor handling or a poorly manufactured batch.  But Nerf is very proud of their brand and from my research, they are happy to replace any faulty blaster.
  • Some dogs might be afraid of the noise, but that can be changed with some training.

Should You Buy the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster?

In one word yes!

I own one of these babies and I can honestly say it’s a good product compared to other brand launchers.  It’s comfortable and gives good performance.

My dogs also love the toy!  Watching them go berserk with their bright eyes when it comes out of the toy cupboard is half the fun for me.

The Nerf Dog Blaster is my top pick in the semi-automatic ball launcher category.  And by far the best tennis ball launcher for dogs.

See the Nerf Tennis Ball Blaster on Amazon.

OxGord BazooK-9 Tennis Ball Launcher

OxGord BazooK-9 Tennis Ball Launcher

Ease of Use

This Bazook – 9 Tennis Ball Launcher Gun is the newly improved 2017 model and can be used with regular tennis balls.  To fire simply grab the handle and pull back the rear rod.

The rear rod can also be used for launch distance adjustment.  Making it easy to use in large and small areas.

This launcher also boasts hands free pick up, like other launchers.  Just place the barrel over the ball to pick up.

The first thing that I don’t like about the Bazook – 9 Tennis Ball launcher is the rear rod.  It’s an external moving part.  I think this makes the launcher unsafe.

Why?

If your finger or worse, your child’s finger is in the wrong place when the trigger is squeezed, you’re looking at potential injury.  A launcher with no external moving parts like the Nerf Dog Blaster is a much better option if safety is important to you.

The manufacturer claims the Bazook – 9 can launch a ball from 35 ft. up to 75 ft. But from owner feedback the distance is anywhere from 22 ft. to 40 ft.

See Bazook – 9 Tennis Ball Launcher on Amazon.

Design & Durability

From my research, the opinions on the comfort of the BazooK-9 Tennis Ball Launcher vary.

One owner said they found it easy to operate even with their limited arm motion due to an injury.  And one owner with permanent shoulder and elbow problems had no problems operating the launcher.

Other owners reported stickiness of the rear rod which makes it hard to pull back.  Like with other launchers, I think this will improve with use.

The BazooK-9 Tennis Ball Launcher is light weight and easy to operate.  And several reviews say it’s especially fun for kids playing fetch with their dogs.

The durability of the Bazook – 9 is questionable.  Many owners complained about the launcher arriving with rusted screws.

There are also several reviews complaining about poor quality balls. Some owners experienced balls bursting open after the first or second launch.  And the balls have no durability if your dog is a chewer.

I recommend getting your hands on a higher quality, more durable ball like the TennisWools.  These are all natural tennis balls for dogs. They have no harsh dyes or toxic chemicals and made from 100% Marino wool.

See Tennis Wools All Natural Tennis Balls on Amazon.
wools all natural tennis balls

The dimensions of the Bazook – 9 Tennis Ball Launcher are; 23.5 x 7.5 inches.  The muzzle Diameter is; 3.75″.  And fully extended the launcher is 35″ Long.

Features

The Bazook – 9 comes with a  handy strap for carrying.  Like a guitar strap just pop it over your head and carry the launcher cross body. This is great for taking on walks.  And when your pooch has decided sniffing around is more fun than fetch.

All the latest launchers now have the hands free pick up feature.  And the Bazook – 9 is no different.  It’s a great feature if you have back problems.  And of course to keep your hands free from muddy slobber.

The Bazook – 9 comes with 2 balls squeaky balls.  These balls squeak as they are launched and when they land.  Which helps to stimulate your dog’s sense of hearing.

With the Bazook – 9 you’ll have 2 ball holders which is something I’d like to see on a higher quality product like the Nerf Dog Blaster too.

The Bazook – 9 launcher takes regular sized tennis balls.  Which makes it convenient to find replacements.

See the Bazook – 9 Tennis Ball Launcher on Amazon.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Handy strap for carrying on walks.
  • Hands free pick up.
  • Takes regular sized tennis balls.
  • Has 2 ball holders.
  • 2 cool squeaky balls included.
  • Adjustable launch distance.
  • Outstanding customer sevice.

Cons

  • Complaints of poor quality.
  • Firing distance is not 75″ like manufacturer claims.
  • Looks and feels cheap.
  • Complaints of poor quality materials and workmanship.
  • Too loud for many dogs but this can be changed with desensitizing training.

See The Bazook – 9 Tennis Ball Launcher on Amazon.

Should You Buy the Bazook – 9 Tennis Ball Launcher?

Personally, I’m not a fan of the Bazook – 9 Tennis Ball Launcher.  The feedback from owners is so varied, it’s difficult to make a call, which puts me off.

But if you’re after a launcher that can launch balls and you’re not bothered about it’s quality or durability, then maybe the Bazook – 9 is for you.

I think it’s one redeeming feature would be the price.  The Bazook – 9 will cost you about half of what the Nerf Dog Blaster or the Max Ball Launcher costs.

If I was after a launcher that’s cheap, to use short term and the chuck it in the bin – I’d buy the Bazook – 9.

But I don’t think the Bazook – 9 Tennis Ball Launcher has what it takes to be considered the best tennis ball launcher for dogs.

See the Bazook – 9 Tennis Ball Launcher on Amazon.

Max Dog Ball Launcher

max dog ball launcher - best tennis ball launcher for dogs

Ease of Use

The Max Dog Ball Launcher is a neat unit that gives convenient hand free pick up.  So you don’t have to deal with slobbery balls and muddy hands.

It’s an odd shape in comparison to other tennis ball launchers.  But I think the shape is what gives it the power to boost balls further than most other launchers.

The Max Dog Ball Launcher is spring loaded. Simply pop the ball inside and pull the firing pin into lock position. Aim and squeeze the trigger.

The brown firing pin can be used to adjust the launch distance from 45 ft. up to 90 ft.  But some owners have reported launching a ball up to 130 ft.  So this is definitely NOT a launcher you want to try using indoors.

From my research, this launcher is more consistent in launch distance than other’s in it’s category.

The design also allows you to ‘take aim’ safely, without getting your face in the way!  I think this is a fantastic feature for kids.

Although the firing pin is an external moving part, and the firing mechanism which pelts the ball is also exposed.  Both of these factors are drawbacks in my opinion.

You are able to launch the Max Dog Ball Launcher straight up into the air, which is my preferred way of launching. But unfortunately you can only launch one ball at a time.  If you only have one dog, this should not be a problem.

See The Max Ball Launcher on Amazon.

Design & Durability

The Max Dog Ball Launcher is durable and well constructed.  The body is essentially 2 identical plastic molds held in place by stainless steel screws.  The less parts the more durable.  And the stainless steel screws are rust proof.

From my research the Max Dog Ball Launcher is one of the most durable launchers in it’s class.  I came across only one customer who had an issue with his launcher breaking.  But the damage was due to poor packaging and not a defective unit.

The owner praised their customer support and the speed with which his new launcher was dispatched to him.

This launcher is light weight and easy on the shoulders and arms.  From my research several owners who have joint problems are successfully using the Max Dog Ball Launcher for extended play sessions without any pain.

Because of it’s safety features it’s a good toy for kids.  But, I recommend not leaving kids to play unsupervised.  One owner even uses the launcher to practice outfielder and ball handling skills with their grand children.

The dimensions of the Max Dog Ball Launcher are 16 x 3.8 x 16 inches.

See The Max Ball Launcher on Amazon.

Features

Unfortunately the Max Dog Ball Launcher only comes with one ball.  I think this is a little stingy on the companies part.  Considering how cheap balls are and also because other launchers come with at least 2 balls.

It launches balls that are the same size as tennis balls which are 2.7″.  So buying a few extra balls is easy.  I recommend keeping with the Max Dog balls and avoiding regular tennis balls.  The Max Dog balls are designed to be in your dogs mouth.  Where a regular tennis ball is designed with toxic glue and materials.

See The Max Dog Balls on Amazon.

Max Dog Balls

You can up the ante of a game of fetch by launching The Max Launcher Flying Disk.  Keep the game unpredictable, and give your dog hours of fun.  And launch it as far as you and and then beat your best.  Sounds like fun!

See The Max Launcher Flying Disk on Amazon.
Max Launcher Flying Disk

I like the design which allows you to aim before squeezing the trigger, making it easier to hit your distance target and avoiding your dog.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Hands free pick up.
  • Light weight and durable.
  • Comfortable, even for who are older or have joint problems.
  • Use the Max Launcher Flying Disc to make the game unpredictable.
  • You can use regular sized tennis balls.  Although I recommend sticking with the Max Dog Balls which are free from toxic materials and glue.
  • Adjustable launch distance.
  • Does reach distances claimed by manufacturer.
  • Outstanding customer service.

Cons

  • Only comes with 1 ball.  So you need to invest in a few more.
  • Can’t launch more than one ball.
  • Poor packaging my cause damage.  But customer service is willing to assist.
  • Firing pin and launch mechanism is exposed.  I’d like to see a better design here, with no external moving parts.
  • Too loud for skittish dogs.

Should You Buy The Max Dog Ball Launcher?

I like the Max Dog Ball Launcher.  I think it’s a solid unit.  Although I still love my Nerf, when it’s life is over I’m definitely going to give this one a try.

It’s durable.  It’s more accurate, launches consistently and you can mix things up by using a ball or a flying disc.  I think that’s good value for money.  The price reflects this so it’s more pricey than other launchers.  But I see it as an investment.  And it’s a toy that deserves a place in any decent dog toy cupboard.

Although I’d like to see a better design for the

The Max Dog Ball Launcher is my second contender for the best tennis ball launcher for dogs.

See The Max Dog Ball Launcher on Amazon.

The Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs Comparison: Semi-Automatic Launchers

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster

BazooK-9 Tennis Ball Launcher

Max Dog Ball Launcher

Estimated Max Launch Distance 25 to 50 ft. 35 to 75 ft. 45 to 90 ft.
Price $$ $ $$
Durability Excellent Fair Excellent
Safety Excellent Poor Excellent
Dimensions 29 x 4.5 x 9 inches 23.5 x 7.5 inches 16 x 3.8 x 16 inches
User Conditions Outdoor Outdoor Outdoor
Rating
View on Amazon Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Bazook - 9 Tennis Ball Launcher Max Dog Ball Launcher

The Best Tennis Ball Launcher For Dogs – Buyers Guide

You need to know what to look for and what to avoid.  And which launcher suits your needs the best.  So, before you spend a dime on a launcher, there are 4 factors you should consider…

Your Dog’s Size – If you choose a toy too large for your dog, you risk injury, like bleeding gums from trying to grip the ball.  There’s also a danger the ball could get stuck, making it impossible for your dog to let go of the ball.  If the ball is too small it could get stuck in your dog’s throat and you want to avoid this at all costs.

Safety – You’re looking for a launcher designed with safety in mind.  With a poor safety design faces, hands and fingers are at risk of injury if the launch mechanism ever snaps.

I recommend using either the standard issue balls that come with each launcher or opting for a softer ball of the same size.  Avoid going with harder balls unless the manufacturer confirms it’s safe

Space – You need a launcher that can accommodate any space; large, small and in between.  Depending on what you’re looking for, you want something with an adjustable launch distance.  Or the specified manufacturer’s distance claim.

With the manual launchers take note of materials and  design.  Flexible does not necessarily equal safer or further.  You also need to consider throw types.

Under hand is safer for enclosed small or medium spaces.  Where as large, open areas are perfect for over hand throwing.

Cost – As I mentioned before, not all launchers are designed and made equal.   I’ve reviewed these products not on price range but on quality.  You can get your hands on a more than decent launcher for a fair price, and it’s still pricey.

Because of the nature of the toy, safety is the most important factor.  So choosing the best tennis ball launcher for dogs is an investment in you, your family and your dog.

Conclusion

There are so many choices when it comes to tennis ball launchers.  It can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first buy.  After reading this review you have all the information you need to shop with confidence.  And choose the right tennis ball launcher for your needs.  One you and your dog will love until the cows come home.

Check out my picks for the best tennis ball launcher for dogs on Amazon…
Chuckit! Max Glow Pro (manual launcher)
Chuckit! Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher (manual launcher)
Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster (semi-automatic launcher)
Max Dog Ball Launcher (semi-automatic launcher)

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