iFetch Review: The Ultimate Dog Automatic Ball Launchers

Do you have a dog that seems to be relentless when it comes to playing fetch? If so, at some point you’ve probably wished for a machine like the iFetch.
This automatic ball launcher takes away the guilt of when you are tired of the game but your dog wants to keep on playing. There’s no more saying, “ok, one more time” as your dog gives you those puppy dog eyes he knows you can’t resist. The iFetch allows your dog to play to his heart’s content. The invention works by launching a miniature tennis ball 10, 20, or 30 feet (you decide), all you or your dog have to do is drop the ball into the top and the ball is launched again. The iFetch works on batteries or main power so can be used indoors or out.

The History Of The iFetch Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

The iFetch has been created by a family who simply had a dog that would not stop playing fetch. It was in the Hamill family home where the original idea for the iFetch was born. Grant Hamill was trying to do his homework when their dog, Prancer, kept on begging him to play fetch. He, like many of us, obliged and got dragged into a seemingly never ending game. As he grew tired he asked if they could make something to throw the ball so he could finish his homework. Grants grandfather, Denny, said the idea would make a fun family project and from there the iFetch was created. The family launched a Kickstarter campaign and in thirty days had raised four times the original goal.

The iFetch has also received several awards, they briefly mention this on their UK shop here: https://shop.goifetch.co.uk/pages/awards .In 2014 the iFetch Too won “Best Overall in Show” at Superzoo and then the same product came second at the Global Pet Expo in 2015. The iFetch won “Best in Show” and “Best Dog Product” at the 2013 Superzoo, Startups FM also covered their 2013 Superzoo awards here: http://startups.fm/2013/08/28/ifetch-receives-awards-for-innovative-product-at-superzoo-a-pet-industry-trade-show.html

iFetch Dog Toy Features, Models & Pricing

iFetch have three products currently available.

iFetch

This is an automatic ball launcher for small to medium sized dogs and launches miniature tennis balls. The product can be used inside or outside thanks to it’s two power options: AC Adaptor or batteries. This product costs $115 from the iFetch website http://shop.goifetch.com/product-p/ifetch.htm.This product is more commonly bought on the internet, namely Amazon. Most local stockist may have the product but I personally find that buying online knocks a few dollars off.

Picture sourced from the iFetch website.

Dogs seem to go crazy for this product, they love it and many owners have found their dogs have quickly learnt how to put the ball into the machine themselves. The funnel shaped top helps by making it easier for dogs to drop the ball into the machine (however, owner supervision is recommended by the company). The design is modern and clean, making the product aesthetically pleasing as well as easy to use. It is also sturdy which is great for the more excitable fetch player. The iFetch comes with miniature tennis balls and you have a choice of three launch distances. The iFetch will last more than 30 hours when powered by batteries so you can really test if fetch is a never ending game for your dog!

iFetch Too

The iFetch Too is also an automatic ball launcher but this one is for medium to large sized dogs and launches standard sized tennis balls rather than miniature sized tennis balls . Similar to the iFetch, it can be used both indoors and outdoors. The iFetch Too comes with a built-in rechargeable battery and battery charger. The cost of this product is $199.99 on the iFetch website http://shop.goifetch.com/product-p/ifetchtoo.htm.

Once again a huge success for the dogs, this machine has the option to launch the ball 10, 25 or 40 feet or you can select the variable setting which will change it up so your dog won’t find the game predictable. The design is very similar to the iFetch, it is clean, modern and with this one the funnel is included within the main bulk of the bowl rather than a part of the machine that sticks out. The iFetch Too comes with three standard sized non-abrasive tennis balls (called Tuff balls). It is advised that if your dog is more on the slobbery side that you give the Tuff balls a wipe every now and then to avoid the machine becoming clogged.

iFetch Frenzy

The final iFetch product is the iFetch Frenzy.

The iFetch Frenzy is more of a brain game for your pup. It uses gravity so does not require batteries/ power. The ball is put into the top of the machine and then will roll out of one of the three chutes. The game is random so your dog will never know where the ball is coming from – it will keep your dog occupied and keep their brain busy too! It is designed for small to medium dogs and uses miniature tennis balls. You receive three miniature tennis balls with the product.

The product costs $39.95 from the iFetch store http://shop.goifetch.com/product-p/frenzy.htm.

As this product works on gravity it is a perfect game for indoors, the launching distance is much less than the automatic ball launchers and it makes no noise at all so it can keep your dog busy in a smaller, quieter space. The iFetch Frenzy not only provides a physical workout for your dog but also a mental workout. The design is also clean and modern and comes with an extra hidden compartment for you to store the miniature balls when not in use making it easy to pack away. The iFetch Frenzy isn’t just loved by the fetch playing dogs, it’s a brain game more than a fetch game so will keep any dog occupied.

iFetch Model Specifications iFetch iFetch Too iFetch Frenzy
Size 14 x 11 x 9 inches 13 x 14 x 12 inches 9 x 9 x 11 inches
Batteries Used 6 C-cell batteries Rechargeable battery built in Not required
Can it be used on mains power? Yes – AC Adapter included Yes – it comes with a battery charger and can play while product is plugged in Not required
Ball Launching Distance 10, 20 or 30 feet 10, 25 or 40 feet Works on gravity so ball is not ‘launched’
Ball Size Miniature (1.6” in diameter) Standard (2.5” in diameter) Miniature (1.6” in diameter)
Price $115 $199.99 $39.95

iFetch Video & User Guides

In this video you see a Corgi owner teach his dog, Gatsby, to use the iFetch. The owner shows him training Gatsby to put the ball into the funnel, Gatsbys mishaps and his progression until he masters the iFetch and knows how to play by himself. The owner says the iFetch now keeps his dog busy for hours every day!

Watch Rocco’s owner teach him how to use the iFetch. At first it takes a little bit of patience but as soon as Rocco begins to get the idea of how the machine works he is dropping the ball into the funnel and the second he hears the machine working he gets excited as he knows the ball is about to be launched. So cute!

This video shows the opening and setting up of the iFetch. The dog in this video is a golden retriever and the owner does mention that standard sized tennis balls would be better for this dog which is available when you use the iFetch Too and not the standard iFetch.

During the final video a large dog is using the standard iFetch and it becomes clear that it is a product better suited to smaller dogs. The iFetch is aimed for small to medium sized dogs and uses small balls whereas the iFetch Too uses standard sized balls. The iFetch Too can also launch the ball further. The iFetch Too is bigger than the original iFetch ensuring it is sturdy enough for bigger dogs and bigger balls.

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