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PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher Dog Toy, Tennis Ball Throwing Machine for Dogs In Easy-Open Packaging
- SAFETY: Multiple sensors keep you and your pets safe; a FRONT MOTION SENSOR protects dogs and people standing up to 7 feet in front of the launch area and reinforces safely loading balls from the side
- PERFORMANCE: Launcher throws between 8-30 feet; has 9 distance settings and 6 angle settings; pull out and twist angle knob and distance knob to adjust the launcher’s range; 1 year warranty included
- OPTIONS: The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher can be used both indoors and outside to entertain and exercise your dogs; use the included power cord or 6 D cell batteries (not included)
- FLEXIBILITY: The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher works best with standard size tennis balls 2 5/8” in diameter but can be used with smaller tennis-type balls; up to 3 balls can be loaded at a time
- TRAINING: Audible tones alert you and your dog so you know when the ball is detected and will launch, when 2 second motion detection delay is activated and when 15 minute rest time begins and ends
- SUPPORT: Created by PetSafe Brand, an industry leader in pet electronics since 1991; expert US-based customer care specialists are available by telephone, email or chat Monday through Saturday
- TROUBLESHOOTING: Having trouble with your PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher? Call, email or chat with PetSafe’s expert US-based customer care six days a week; Free support is available at 1-800-845-3274
- WARRANTY: The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher is backed by a 1 year warranty which helps protect against defects in materials or workmanship; for warranty assistance, contact PetSafe Customer Care
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From the manufacturer
Automatic Ball Launcher comes with power cord and 2 standard size tennis balls.
At PetSafe brand, we are passionate about creating innovative behavioral, containment and lifestyle product solutions to give you more great moments with your pets.
PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher
Make games of fetch more fun with the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher! As the premium choice in automatic fetch games, this tennis ball throwing machine comes equipped with multiple safety features and motion sensors which allow dogs to play with or without their human. Use the included power cord for a fun, indoor play session or use with six D Cell batteries to take the game outside. The Automatic Ball Launcher comes with two standard size PetSafe Tennis Balls. Adjust the six angle settings and nine distance settings to set the perfect ball launch distance for your pet. The Automatic Ball Launcher will project balls between 8-30 feet away. The built-in rest feature provides your dog with needed downtime and ensures pets aren’t over-working themselves while playing. Best of all, the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher is backed by a one year warranty which guards against defects in workmanship or manufacture. The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher is sure to be your furry friend's new favorite toy.
Introducing Your Dog to the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher
Getting Your Dog Started
Many dogs will love their Automatic Ball Launcher from the start while others need a little convincing. Try the first play session outside with your dog standing nearby. Once the ball launches, give your dog a treat. When your dog seems comfortable around the Automatic Ball Launcher, you’re ready to move to the next step.
Train Your Dog
Dropping the ball into the hopper is a key step to using the Automatic Ball Launcher. If your dog doesn’t already know a ‘drop it’ command, spend a little time teaching them to drop the ball in your hand. Reward each successful drop. Once they’ve learned this, practice doing this over the hopper from the back or side. The launched ball will be the new reward.
Tones Help WIth Training
The Automatic Ball Launcher features several tones and sounds to help your dog understand what will happen next. Dogs learn what the tones mean, making it easier to play on their own. Some dogs may be a bit hesitant of the ball launcher the first time they hear a tone or sound. Reward your dog each time they approach and interact with the Automatic Ball Launcher. Once they associate the sounds with fun games of fetch, most shy dogs quickly warm up to the Automatic Ball Launcher.
Hitting The Road
Once your dog has mastered playing with the Automatic Ball Launcher at home, you’re ready to play anywhere! The convenient carry handle and options of AC or battery power make the Automatic Ball Launcher a perfect choice for playtime at the park or visits with friends and family. With a quick adjustment of the angle and distance settings, the Automatic Ball Launcher can also be used indoors for rainy days or when the weather is just too hot or cold for your pet to be outside.
Motion Sensor on front of launcher.
Safety Sensor in launch pocket.
Ball Detection Sensor in launch pocket.
15 minute rest feature to prevent over-working.
Launches between 8-30 feet.
Pull and turn the knob to adjust distance. Great for indoor and outdoor use.
Launches higher or lower based on your dog's preferences.
Pull and turn to adjust the angle.
The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher is the premium choice in automatic fetch games. As a PetSafe Brand product, safety and fun are top priority. Dogs can play with the Automatic Ball Launcher with or without their human thanks to multiple safety features and motion sensors. The Automatic Ball Launcher is easily transported by the carry handle on top, and can be taken nearly anywhere. Use the included power cord for indoor fun or with six D batteries when on the go. The Automatic Ball Launcher comes with two standard sized PetSafe tennis balls, perfect for a game of fetch. To really mix it up, adjust one of the six angle settings or one of the nine distance settings to launch the balls anywhere between 8-30 feet! Don’t worry about your pup over-working while playing. The Ball Launcher has a 15 minute interval rest feature to ensure your pet gets needed down time in between each play session. Your furry friend has never had this much fun!
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Top customer reviews
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The first negative is that there is a strong jolt when the ball launches. There have been three of the four screws holding the motor come loose. I had to disassemble the whole thing to get at them and because they are threaded in plastic, one was stripped. Otherwise, it has stood up to lots of use.
The second negative is the 15-minute timer. Had I to do it over again, I would not have bought this just because of the timer. As I said, I have a Border Collie. 15 minutes isn't even warm up time. I use this thing to keep her occupied while I try to get some yard work done. After a time, she will either be barking at it to work or patiently be waiting for it to resume launching. The control board needs to have a timer bypass or an adjustable timer. Really, a Border Collie is good for over an hour of fetch.
The third is a minor negative, but excusable. The proximity sensor prevents a ball from launching into the dog's face or anyone too close to the device. that's nice. However, Casey knows enough now to back away when she drops the ball into it and knows the sounds it makes as it's about to let one fly. Putting some duct tape over the sensor disables it and allows for more frequent launches. However, Casey also likes to chew the tape off.
So, while it works rather well, for the price, I think screws should not come loose and the timer should be adjustable.
Now we're just working on getting Willow to drop it in herself. We've been putting a small treat on the rim of the launcher when she's running off to catch a ball. Then when she comes back with the ball, she notices the treat and drops it in!
The safety sensor has worked every time and I'm glad I don't have to worry about her getting socked in the eye.
For future models, we would like to see an adjustable timer. For example, instread of the 15 minutes on/15 minutes off, we would like to be able to adjust it in 10 minute increments or have the option to override it completely.
Lux is highly intelligent, but also (like many other her breed) has moderate anxiety. Considering how quickly she learns, I knew she would understand how to use it almost immediately, but may be anxious about it, so I wanted to introduce it slowly and carefully. I watched videos, read all the instructions and introduced it to both my dogs in phases, as recommended. Bay (my older spaniel) doesn't care for fetch, so she was disinterested (as expected). Lux loves that it launches balls for her, but absolutely HATES the noises it makes. She knows she needs to drop the balls in the top, but she wants me to do it, because she doesn't like the sounds. She actually runs off momentarily, then comes back to watch it launch. She retrieves the ball and brings it to me, wanting me to drop it in. I read other reviews, so I knew it made noise, but I honestly never considered it would be as noisy as it is. It's not just the loud POP when it's launching -- the thing does a series of other beeps, boops and whistles when you drop the balls into it. It's over-the-top if you ask me. I think (HOPE) she can get past it with regular use, but we'll just have to see.
The 15-minute timer with no override is so frustrating when you're trying to train your dog to use it. I read the reviews, so I knew there was no override and that it frustrated some, but I did not think it would be too much of an issue. That is, until I spent a good chunk of the day training my dog to use the machine, only to witness that the *ONE* time she worked up the courage to drop the ball in by herself, the thing was on a damn break, so it didn't even work! I had to go over and unplug it, then turn it back on -- thus, solidifying in her mind that I needed to load it for it to work ... needless to say, I was very frustrated with it.
Lastly, the launcher that supposedly throws between "8-30 feet; has 9 distance settings and 6 angle settings" does NOT work AT ALL! It's completely random; I experimented with all settings outside and found virtually no difference in performance. It's inconsistent with angle (but not by a huge margin, luckily) and I have yet to see it launch more than 15 feet (sometimes launching as little as only 5 feet).
I am going to keep at it this next week with more training and familiarity exercises, and if my dog can get past the noise and decide she likes it, I may decide to keep it. But, I really just want to return it. I am just so disappointed and don't feel it's worth even close to what I paid. After seeing it in action, I'd consider a more reasonable cost being around $50.
1. When the unit fires it creates a torque that turns it a tiny bit each time. It eventually fires into the pond. It needs to be weighted to prevent turning, but then the motor would probably break free from the low quality plastic frame.
2. Who is the fool who designed the "safety timeout"? It supposedly makes your dog rest so they don't overheat, with a musical note that lets them know. This is the dumbest idea I have seen in a long time. For one thing, what if it is cool outside? The dog does not need a rest. For another, how many dogs will think "Oh, it's not working now. I must rest and come back later when it will start working again". Yeah, right! The average human would have trouble figuring that out! At least put a bypass switch on it so people who are smarter than the designer (which is most people) can disengage the timer.