iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher for Dogs – Launches Mini Tennis Balls, Small
- Stimulates dogs minds by challenging them to learn something new
- Comes with three 1.5-inch mini-tennis balls these are not full size tennis balls
- Interactive on demand ball launcher that lets small dogs play fetch to their hearts' content
- Strengthens the bond between dogs and their humans
- This is the small iFetch. The iFetch Too is the bigger version that launches standard size tennis balls.
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It's playtime whether you're at work, at home or on vacation, the iFetch makes everyone happy by bringing a fun, new twist to the familiar game of fetch. Perfect for indoor and outdoor play, the award-winning iFetch launches miniature tennis balls 10, 20, or 30 feet, saving the day (and your arm) when you're too tired (or too busy) to keep playing. Invented by the Hamill family in Austin, Texas, the idea for the iFetch was born when their toy poodle, prance, turned out to be a fetching fanatic. After a few prototypes and an incredibly successful kick starter campaign, the iFetch is now a global phenomenon, giving dogs around the world the opportunity to play fetch to their hearts' content. With the iFetch by your side, your fetch-loving dog will never be bored again. And don't forget - all of our iFetch products are backed by a one-year warranty. We know your dog’s tail will wag. We want yours to wag too.
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Shipping was fast and it comes nicely packed. I ordered batteries that arrived with it. I already had a few packages of the Kong extra-small squeak balls that also work in the machine, also available on Amazon Prime for $2.99 a pack.
The iFetch runs on either 6 C batteries, or it comes with an adapter that can be plugged into the wall. The batteries lasted a couple weeks that included a solid 1-2 hours of play each day. The electric cord works great and fits the plug well. This is where one of my two complaints come in, and that is the cord is four or five feet long which would seem generous, but I have found it difficult to find a place to plug it in and have it sit in the middle of the floor as is necessary in both my house and two friends homes. We had to use an extension cord, but it’s not a major issue.
Since we have only played with this in a small apartment we only use the lowest setting which shoots it about ten feet. The machine is a little more powerful when running on electricity, so keep that in mind when choosing a setting. Sometimes Archie likes to stand in front of it and try and catch it (bless his heart, he never does) and it has hit him in the chest, nose, head, and has never caused more than a shake of the head and a sneeze when it hit him directly on the nose. Each next higher setting shoots it about another ten feet, which increases the force the ball comes out with.
My only other issue, which really isn't a product problem, is Archie usually drops the ball into the toy from a few inches above it. Because of the bowl design, the ball will frequently swirl around the edge and pop out. A deeper design wouldn't allow that to happen.
I highly recommend this toy for those little dawgies that love to fetch. It’s easy to train, but you have to know your dog and what it will like as well as how it needs to be trained to use it. To see video of Archie learning how to play with the iFetch
To answer some of the critics whose poor ratings made me hesitate to purchase the product.:
Too noisy: My dog wasn’t in the least bit phased by the noise, and now the increasing pitch and click of the ball release indicates to him that the ball is about to be launched. I don’t think it’s noisy at all. I’ve posted a video, so you can check it out yourself.
Ball shoots out too hard: I’d say it depends on the setting. I would recommend that you make sure your dog isn’t struck by the ball until he/she has been fully trained and understands getting hit with the ball isn’t part of the game. Then, if she does happen to be struck by a ball and it hurts, she will quickly learn to stay out of the way.
Balls get stuck in the machine: The tennis ball type covering can get a bit frayed after a lot of play. I just grab a scissors and trim off around the balls and we’re good to go for a few more hours of play. Archie doesn’t drool a lot so the balls don’t get that wet.
Balls are too small: This product was designed for small dogs and even so, a large dog is not going to choke on the balls. Dogs are not like toddlers and although they might eat a ball, they won’t choke on it. My toy poodle likes to play with marbles and grapes…..has never choked. However, it looks like there is now a toy for large dogs called the iFetch Too.
My only real feedback for the manufacturer is that the high-pitched sound it makes when you drop the ball in would work better if it went off right before the ball shoots out. My dogs would hear the noise, turn to the machine (expecting the ball to fly out), nothing would happen until a few seconds later but at the point they were off sniffing something else. Not all dogs have an exceptional attention span so it would be great if the machine got their attention right before the ball flew out - not a few seconds before.