The Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs

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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, I’ve brought you the best of the best ball launchers for dogs.

At A Glance: Our Top 6 Picks For Tennis Ball Launchers for Dogs

I’ve broken up the launchers into 2 categories…

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

Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Tennis Ball Launchers

Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Tennis Ball Launchers

ChuckIt! Indoor Launcher Our Top Pick: Manual Launchers

ChuckIt! Indoor Launcher

  • Estimated Max Launch Distance: 25 ft.
  • Dimensions: 3 x 4 x 18 inches
  • User Conditions: Indoor
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Chuckit! Max Glow Pro

Chuckit! Max Glow Pro

  • Estimated Max Launch Distance: 30 to 200 ft.
  • Dimensions: 20 x 3 x 1.5 inches
  • User Conditions: Night/Outdoor
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Chuckit! Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher

Chuckit! Pro Translucent Daytime Launcher

  • Estimated Max Launch Distance: 30 to 200 ft.
  • Dimensions: 2.6 x 3.6 x 27 inches
  • User Conditions: Day/Outdoor
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Hyper Pet Throw-N-Go Tennis Ball Launcher

Hyper Pet Throw-N-Go Tennis Ball Launcher

  • Estimated Max Launch Distance: 45 ft.
  • Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 2 inches
  • User Conditions: Day/Outdoor
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Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Tennis Ball Launchers

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Our Top Pick: Semi-Automatic Launchers

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster

  • Estimated Max Launch Distance: 25 to 50 ft.
  • Dimensions: 29 x 4.5 x 9 inches
  • User Conditions: Outdoor
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BazooK-9 Tennis Ball Launcher

BazooK-9 Tennis Ball Launcher

  • Estimated Max Launch Distance: 35 to 75 ft.
  • Dimensions: 23.5 x 7.5 inches
  • User Conditions: Outdoor
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Max Dog Ball Launcher

Max Dog Ball Launcher

  • Estimated Max Launch Distance: 45 to 90 ft.
  • Dimensions: 16 x 3.8 x 16 inches
  • User Conditions: Outdoor
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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 buyer’s 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)
Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster (semi-automatic launcher)

If you’ve got the 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 Launchers for Dogs
  2. The Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs – Manual Ball Launchers
  3. The Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs – Semi-Automatic Ball 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 playtime 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

Editor’s Choice for Manual LauncherThe Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs - For Indoor Play

ChuckIt! Indoor Ball Launcher

This ball launcher is perfect for indoor games when the weather is not playing nice. It’s soft, lightweight and easy to launch. It boasts an easy-pick up design for both humans and dogs.

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Quick Summary

  • The ChuckIt indoor launcher is perfect for those days when playing outside is not an option due to the weather.
  • It’s lightweight and soft, so it’s safe to play indoors without risking a broken window or ornaments.
  • The soft roller part is machine washable, and quickly air dries.
  • Chuckit Indoor ball launchers are easy to launch from any angle.
  • It boasts a hands-free pick up which means no slobber on your hands.

Detailed Review

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 lightweight 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 ball 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 handheld 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.

Design & Durability

The launcher of the Chuckit Indoor is made from 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 say 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.


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 is 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 easy 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 bloody 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.

Pros & Cons


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


  • 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 for High-Visibility PlayBall Launchers for High-Visibility Play

ChuckIt! Max Glow Pro

The Max glow Pro and the upgraded Glow Pro ball is the perfect combo for high-visibility play. Whether it’s low-light or a dark winter’s night – the Max Glow Pro will keep the games going!

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Quick Summary

  • This ball launcher from ChuckIt! is for those late evenings and winter nights when it’s time for fetch but it’s already dark.
  • The Glow Pro can launch twice as far as a regular ChuckIt due to its firm body!
  • The body is a little more rigid than the regular launcher on account of the glow-in-the-dark material used in the design.
  • The Glow Pro offers roughly 30 minutes of high-visibility play before it needs recharging. this is easy with a small flashlight.
  • Upgrade to the Max Glow Pro ball to help your dog find their ball in low-light.

Detailed Review

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!

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.

Although, some dog owners note that the launcher body is too ridged to get a good throw.

But, other dog owners in their golden years are throwing the ball a good distance by dead dropping their arm to compensate for the slight rigidity.

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

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 heavier 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.


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 photoluminescent 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 an 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.

Pros & Cons


  • 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.
  • The ball can be upgraded to a Max Glow Pro ball.


  • 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.

Chuckit! Pro Launcher

Best for Daytime PlayBall Launchers for High-Visibility Play

ChuckIt! Pro Launcher

The ChuckIt! Pro Launcher is perfect for regular daytime play. Its flexible body places less strain on your wrists and elbows. And with the various handle lengths, you choose the one perfect for your specific spatial needs.

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Quick Summary

  • The ChuckIt! Pro Launcher offers a range of different handle lengths to suit dog owners of all heights and ages.
  • The lightweight design and various handle lengths give you the ability to play in big or small spaces.
  • Its flexible body places less strain on wrists and elbows.
  • Never bend or reach for a slobber covered ball again with the hand-free pick-up design.
  • You can upgrade the tennis balls to improve throwing distance.

Detailed Review

In terms of style, this Chuckit is just as slick looking as the Chuckit Max Glow Pro.  Only it’s designed for regular daytime use.

Playing fetch and pelting tennis balls daily 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 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 ball launchers give you enough control for smaller spaces. And you have a choice in handle length too, the longer one for distance and the shorter one is ideal for travel.

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 dog owners say the ball launches most effectively using a baseball-like pitch.  There are reports of overhead 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, not to mention they are unhealthy for your dog. For this 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 downforce 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!

Design & Durability

All the pro models feature sturdy construction, with an ergonomic, comfort grip handle.  And the ChuckIt Pro ball 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 are 2.6 x 3.6 x 27 inches. And it comes in different handle lengths as I mentioned – you get to choose from 18M, 25M, 26L, and 26XL.


  • 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.

Pros & Cons


  • 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.


  • 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.

Should You Buy the Chuckit! Pro Launcher?

I love the upgrades the Chuckit Pro 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.

Although, I do recommend upgrading those awful tennis balls. But you don’t need to upgrade the balls… But I recommend you do.

The Chuckit Pro Launcher is a top contender in the manual ball 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

Best for Small HandsBest Launcher for Tennis Balls if You Have Small Hands

Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go

If you like to throw far and have small, delicate hands that require a soft, easy-to-grip handle, the Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go might be exactly what you need.

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Quick Summary

  • The Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go is ideal for dog owners with small, delicate hands like children, silver surfers or smaller-framed ladies.
  • It offers hands-free pick up so no more slobbery balls that slip out of you hand and affect your throwing skills.
  • Although it has a sturdy design it is far more flexible than the ChuckIt! so chances are you’ll lob the ball much further!
  • The Throw-n-Go features a carrying slot so you can easily bring along an extra ball.
  • The throwing cup is smaller than a regular ball, so you could potentially use smaller balls for playing fetch.

Detailed Review

The Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go is designed for outdoor daytime play.  Personally, I’m not a big fan of this launcher.

In the past I didn’t rate this launcher for tennis balls very highly, but either the company upped their game, or I was wrong.

I never mind admitting I’m wrong, and the ball launcher has got some good reviews from dog owners online.

After reading its review here, you might decide to go with this option. Read on if you’re interested in finding out whether it should be on your list of 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 ball launchers do.  I think with everyday use, this will cause your throw to suffer.  But it does have a molded handle that 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 the 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.

Design & Durability

The feedback on comfort is mixed.  A good distance is a personal opinion but some owners get a 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.


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 carrying 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.

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 if you have small hands or you need a super flexible launcher due to joint issues, the Throw-n-Go might be the one.

And you should consider the Hyper Pet Throw-n-Go as worthy of a spot as the best tennis ball launcher for dogs.

But if you’re strong and a good ball thrower, as a rule, this one might not be for you – rather get the ChuckIt! Pro Launcher instead.

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

Check out possible ball upgrades on Amazon.

Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs – Semi-Automatic Launchers

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster

Editor’s Choice for Semi-Automatic LauncherNerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster - Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster

This shotgun blaster is sturdy, super fun and comes with 4 tennis balls specially designed to be safe for your dog.

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Quick Summary

  • The Nerf Dog Ball Blaster is sturdy and its design can handle some serious punch!
  • There are no moving parts on the outside, so it’s safe for humans and dogs alike.
  • The sliding mechanism gives you control over the launch distance making it easy to play in large or small areas.
  • Launch balls as far as 50 feet!
  • It comes with 4 tennis balls specially designed to be safe and toxin-free for dogs.
  • Offers easy, hands-free pick-up and no more bending over either!

Detailed Review

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 unboxed 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.

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 every day 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 every day.  I think if it was in everyday use it would loosen up quickly.  But really it’s no biggy.

My third concern was 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.

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 halfway 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 Tennis Ball Blaster - Best Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs

This is our very own Nerf Dog Ball Blaster!

I 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 balls 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 are 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.


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

Ease of Use

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

Just pop the barrel over the ball and voila!  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.


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 make 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.

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 kickback than other semi-automatic ball 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 ball 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.


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.

Pros & Cons


  • 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.
  • It comes with 4 Nerf balls designed for the Nerf Dog Blaster.


  • 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 Dog Tennis Ball Blaster on Amazon.

See the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster on Chewy.

BazooK-9 Tennis Ball Launcher

The Frugal PickPaws and Pals - Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs - The Frugal Pick

Paws and Pals Bazook-9 Tennis Ball Launcher

This ball launcher is the cheaper option if you’re looking to save money. It includes a handy shoulder strap for comfortable carrying.

Check Price on Chewy

Check Price on Amazon

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 ball 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.


If your finger or worse, your child’s finger is in the wrong place when the trigger is squeezed, you’re looking at a 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.

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 lightweight 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.


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

All the latest ball 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.

Pros & Cons


  • 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 service.


  • 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.

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 its 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 then 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

The Versatile PickMax Dog Ball Launcher

Max Dog Ball Launcher

Although it’s an odd shape, the Max Dog Ball Launcher offers versatile games of fetch with either a flying disc or a ball.

Check Price on Amazon

Quick Summary

  • It offers convenient, hands-free pick up.
  • Boasts a consistent launch distance – launch anywhere from 45 feet to 90 feet.
  • With excellent safety features, it’s safe for children to play too.
  • Perfect for folks with joint issues and back pain to enjoy extended fetch sessions with their dog.
  • It offers versatile play using either a flying disc or a ball.

Detailed Review

Ease of Use

The Max Dog Ball Launcher is a neat unit that gives convenient hands-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 the 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 others in its 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.

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 fewer parts the more durable.  And the stainless steel screws are rustproof.

From my research, the Max Dog Ball Launcher is one of the most durable ball launchers in its 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 lightweight 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 its 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 grandchildren.

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


Unfortunately, the Max Dog Ball Launcher only comes with one ball.  I think this is a little stingy on the company’s 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 dog’s 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 then beat your best.  It 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


  • Hands-free pick up.
  • Lightweight and durable.
  • Comfortable, even for those 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.
  • It does reach distances claimed by the manufacturer.
  • Outstanding customer service.


  • It only comes with 1 ball.  So you need to invest in a few more.
  • Can’t launch more than one ball.
  • Poor packaging may cause damage.  But customer service is willing to assist.
  • The 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 firing pin and launch mechanism, the Max Dog Ball Launcher is a contender for the best tennis ball launcher for dogs.

See The Max Dog Ball Launcher on Amazon.

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

Underhand is safer for enclosed small or medium spaces.  Whereas large, open areas are perfect for overhand throwing.

Cost – As I mentioned before, not all ball 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.


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)
Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster (semi-automatic launcher)

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About the author: Gabriella is a certified professional dog trainer with the Victoria Stilwell Academy. She has a special passion for teaching GSD guardians to train their dogs with kindness and clarity using positive reinforcement methods without force, pain, or fear. Join “Dog Speak” for free dog training tips and advice from a professional dog trainer.

  • jerry

    Thank you so much we liked this post so much and we have gone through so much to research and know the ball launchers so well.

    After going through all the best sites, finally, we came here and got these thorough reviews.

    Can you tell me if there are any customisable tennis machines for dogs?

    • I don’t know of any customizable tennis ball launchers.

  • howard

    Get a tennis raquet and get some exersise yourself.
    Also a brain game as you can aim the ball high or low, how far it will travel and so on

    • not everyone has the space to lob a tennis ball with a racquet. These launchers offer much more control in this regard.

  • ASH Green

    Thank you so much for such an informative piece of information 🙂

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