March 11, 2022

How to Train a Dog to Use Automatic Ball Throwers

If you have a dog that’s a fan of a ball, sure you will get tired of playing fetch before him. So, the effective solution for this is using an automatic ball thrower. These products allow you to adjust to for a lot of distance and speeds. Furthermore, you can also train your dog to operate the automatic ball thrower himself. This is a good choice for those who can’t throw the ball for their dogs because of a physical impairment. By using an automatic ball thrower, you can relax while your dog still can get a lot of exercises. Keep reading this article to learn how to train a dog to use automatic ball throwers.

Product: ifetch

Defining Tasks

A crazy ball dog will actually be highly motivated to learn how to use automatic ball throwers. For a nervous, anxious, and inexperienced dogs, they have to take more time to learn how to use automatic ball throwers. You can adjust automatic ball throwers for speed, time, pitch, as well as distances you want. In fact, these machines can make some noise. You have to make your dog get used to the machine. Next, it’s time to show him where he should stand when the thrower launches. It’s best to keep your dog a few feet away to pick up the ball. If you want your dog to operate the launcher himself, you should release the ball into the receptacle of the machine.

Getting Started

Look for a commercially automatic ball thrower for your dog. It has to offer the features you need. Nowadays, there are many options that allow you to adjust for the number of balls. You can throw the balls before timing, reloading, height, speed, and distance as well. Make sure you choose a thrower with the right setting for your space. The first important step to do is to read all instructions so that you and your dog are ensured to be safe when playing fetch. Most throwers come with safety features. If you want to use the launcher, prioritize to train your pet to play fetch as well as to release the ball to you. It’s important to find a safe space in order to operate the launcher. To acclimatize your dog to the automatic machine, it’s a good idea to use treats and a clicker.

The Reinforce Launcher Method

Set up

For this step, you need to prepare the automatic ball thrower. Also, don’t forget to prepare treats and a clicker.

Reinforce approach launcher

You need to set up the automatic ball thrower for the next step. However, it must be ensured to be turned off. Once your dog can bring the object you toss, praise him with treats. This way is to create a positive association.

Reinforce noise of launcher

It’s essential to place the machine farther away from your furry friend. Then, turn it on. Once the ball thrower makes a warning tone, it’s time to click and say “yes”.

Reinforce Operating launcher

As long as your dog feel comfortable with the sound of the automatic ball thrower, you can ask him to come next to the thrower. Then, click to reinforce. Let him go retrieve the ball when it launches.

Reinforce return ball

When he returns to you with the ball treat, he will give you the ball to get the treat. Use a click to reinforce. Also, say “drop it” as a command to ask him to drop the ball.


Remember that you need to reduce the use of the treat. The reason is that your dog can be familiar with reinforcing by the chance to fetch.

The Reverse Training Method

Start with your dog far away

It’s best to keep your dog far several feet away in front of the machine. Next, turn it on and launch a ball.

Associate a fun game

When you play fetch with your dog, it’s essential to go to him. Then, ask him to drop the ball. Repeat this many times until he can be connected the machine with a new fun game.

Require your dog to get closer to throwers

Your dog needs to sit closer to the side of the thrower. Not ask him to sit in front of where the ball can give him a hit. Launch and go on the game. Then, ask your dog to return to the machine and pick it up for you.

Require near the launcher

Move him gradually so that he’s closer the launcher for the right place. When you toss the ball, he needs to go run and drop the ball for you. Continue the game.

Drop the ball into the machine

If you want to train your dog to drop the ball for you, you need to hold your hand over the bucket. Then, remember to say “drop it” as your command. Direct him to drop the ball into the bucket. Once it reloaded, continue your fetching game.

The Associate Fetch Method

Play fetch

Turn off the ball thrower. Then, stand near the unit. Throw the ball for your furry friend to fetch.

Associate the ball with the machine

Keep the launcher turned off. Then, drop the ball in the machine. Take it out of the machine manually. Then, toss it for your dog to fetch.

Associate fetch commands

There are some verbal commands you need when training your dog to use the automatic ball launchers like “drop it”. You can say that when putting the ball in the bucket. This way is perfect to make an association with the ball replaced in the launcher.

Try Launcher

Turn on the launcher. Use one ball for the starting. Keep your dog sit next to the launcher, not in front of the machine. When you toss the ball, say “fetch” as a command for your dog.

Associate returning the ball to the launcher

Once your dog drops the ball, ask him to come back near the launcher and release to you. Then, provide him treats.

Thomas Leavy

my name is Thomas Leavy. I am a founder of I have three dog, one pit bull named Jack, two golden shepherd named Leo and Loki, they love playing with balls.

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