“ Brand: Pets At Home / Type: Dog Toy „
WHY I BOUGHT THIS:
In another time and/or place a bunch of tennis balls have found their way and I hope are living a contented and peaceful life.
However in this dimension my lack of tennis balls equals an annoyed feline which many of us know does not make a happy or uneventful home. It means more running around, shouting, despairing at scratched fabrics and noticing other things going missing, perhaps out of vengeance or spite? I know that the weeble that went missing years ago never turned up again even after determined hunting and a residential move. But then again I think that disappearance was the result of conspiracy between the furry and feathery members of the family and so the plan was so cunning and hiding place so clever that a mere foolish human such as myself was unable to find it ever again... not even the cold, wobbly remains of it.
So fast forwarding to the almost present, I couldn't afford to get another set of 16 tennis balls and despite my search on the local highstreet there was no sight of one. Eventually I found a Poundland and asked an assistant who in dismay said sorry we don't stock those. Damn I thought, how hard is it to find a ball! Even a bouncy ball! Then at the checkout that same assistant said she saw some of these launchers and that we (mother and I) could use the ball from that. The price of being free of the kitty equivalent of dirty looks is well worth more than a pound and oh well if it meant storage space being taken up with the unnecessary bit (the launcher).
The product photo pretty much says it all but in short it's a two piece item; the launcher is a long, smooth plastic stick with curves in all the right places to act as an extended arm, it's medium Blue in colour and lightweight for ease of use and aim without your arm shaking. It's like having the arm of a rounders pitcher without the hours of practice. One end is thicker and ridged with finger sized indentations for better grip and the other side is the ball holder which is scalloped to hold it firmly enough until launched. The side with the hand grip is almost hollow, making it really light to hold.
The ball is a simple rubber ball of slightly lighter weight than a conventional tennis ball and coloured in matching Blue and bright lime Green - not quite fluorescent but not far off. The 'fur' is very thin and close cut to the ball, so not furry... to start with anyway.
The whole toy came in a clear plastic bag with cardboard label on top.
MULTIPLE AND IMAGINATIVE USES
1. First and foremost this toy is used as a masseur. Yep, we thought we were going to give her the ball and that would be it but to our surprise, as I removed it from the bag she immediately went up to it and stroked her face against the ball, whilst it was still in the launcher. She enjoyed it so much that she lay on her back and used her paws to manoeuvre the ball around her face, on her head and under her chin. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
2. The ball is removable so it becomes the choice of the furry person as to whether they want it in the launcher or by itself. When the human holding the ball becomes a burden and unable to serve their purpose as expected the furry person can easily remove the ball from the holder, with their paws if they're classy or with their teeth if they're eager, and massage themselves. Good for them, the overworked underpaid human doesn't mind the extra break.
3. The stick itself next came under inspection and was not found wanting. It could be used as a massager too! The contours make it perfect for stroking curves all over at the same time and its smooth texture means that it can be used for stroking with and against the fur. For a more vigorous massage the head can be used as the perfect head massager. Of course it takes a human to do this, so be prepared when the person of fur gets tired of massaging themselves with the ball. We've also found that the launcher removes loose/malting hair really well and in thin filmy layers so it's all in one place and easy to clean up afterwards.
4. Safety first! An excellent advantage of using this toy for grooming is that you have reach and that it's not part of your body, that way when the furry 'bundle of joy' has had enough and rather than move away, puts up with the stroking whilst getting annoyed at you as if you're psychically/telepathically supposed to know when to stop, instead of being mauled this handy modern stick and ball will protect you and act as a chew toy.
5. Other than acting as a pampering tool for the furry menace, this toy is pretty damned good at reaching things in high and awkward places like on top of cupboards and under beds so step ladders/standing on chairs and swearing after pulling your shoulder to reach something becomes a thing of the past. Also being superior than just using something long or a regular stick, the head on this makes a substitute light grip for holding and retrieving said out of reach objects.
6. If you're a fan of Laurel and Hardy - you can do a really weird impression of Stan scratching his head by using the launcher instead...
7. You can actually scratch, well rub your own back with this for particularly difficult to reach places - you have to hold the stick backwards though so that the main arch/curve faces away from you otherwise the head won't reach your back. It's not exactly a replacement back scratcher and I've only just tried it now to see if it works but it's quite soothing (lame I know).
ITS ORIGINAL PURPOSE
OK in regards to the actual intent of this playful tool - it's really designed as a dog toy and for humans to play in harmony with their furry friends of the canine persuasion in the classic game of 'Catch'. For that purpose this is an immensely helpful toy as not only will it increase the velocity of your ball throwing, it barely takes any effort and could help the reach of those with limited mobility. Your furry friend will get good exercise from this, but it's best not to get carried away and throw it too hard and fast so that they will lose the ball before they get to the destination especially if you have the 'fortune' of living with the one with a thorough and compulsive personality where they have to complete a task no matter how long it takes or how arduous. For example, you don't want to throw the ball at the beginning of a picnic, finish eating and then wonder where the dog got to...
Also bear in mind that the increased strength, distance and speed that this launcher will give you and the ball means that more items can or will be likely to get damaged in the process; use with caution indoors or in small gardens and the best place to witness the full extent of this simple but effective tool is in a wide open space like a park or field.
I've found this stick to be very durable, even with all the scratches and rough and tumble. The curve allows it to bend a fair bit which has decreased the possibility of it breaking but then again I've never used it much with rigour or for its original purpose so I don't know how much strain it can take though it's pretty hardy.
As aforementioned the ball is removable and hence replaceable. We've been using ours for approximately 7.5 months and I've been debating replacing it for a while as the ball could really do with a professional hairdresser. When I originally bought this I actually commented "at least it's not as furry as a tennis ball, she won't be able to bite it and get bits in her mouth" - oh how wrong I was. I never would have thought that this clean shaven crew cut ball would end up looking like a troll doll on a really bad hair day. It has so much fur on it that I'm almost incredulous as to how it was so tightly packed down to the surface/rubber in the first place, it's furrier than any regular tennis ball we had. We find bits of it everywhere but the sticking point is she really likes it and likes playing with the ball of fur, likes biting bits off and playing football with it that way and it makes it easier for her to hold. So I guess for now it stays.
All in all it's give high value for money with many hours of contented play and other practical and not-so-practical purposes. It has form and function - what more could you ask?
Note of caution (mean but funny) - Be careful to put this away if there's anyone in your household of a jumpy disposition, because in the dark this really looks like a rearing snake. The similarity is visibly noticeable in the day so at night in that split second before rationalizing what the unrecognized character could possibly be the image of a snake isn't so implausible and a scream could be uttered or choked before the lights are turned on. Ahem.
As most of you who have read my reviews know by now - I have two collies. (Well one is a cross). But both are very active, so this "chuckitstick" is a gift from god!
Beau is your typical ball mad border collie, he will bring you the ball, time after time, after time, after time after time....well you get the idea. You're probably bored of the sentence whilst he's still bringing the ball. Needless to say, for a ball mad dogs owner, it can be very tiring. Not just because of the repetitive dull nature of the game, but boy does it give your arm a work out! Not with this though!
This toy has so many benefits. First of all, it can hurl the ball miles away, thus sending Beau on a longer outrun away, and then of course a longer retrieve back, therefore making him tire faster, and I don't have to move if I don't want to. This has another benefit too. Luna is Not ball orientated, but she is chase motivated, so Beau chases the ball, she chases Beau....win win. Another great thing about this toy is, it saves you picking the ball up with your hands. Now every dog owner knows, it doesn't have to be raining for your hands to get wet when playing ball with your dog. The ball ends up soaked, in spit. Yuk - I know. Slimy disgusting yuk. But this has been designed in such a way you can just scoop up the ball into the cup, with no hand contact! No more slimy hands.
Whilst this is a pet at home one, which is usually around £2.99 you will find that there are cheaper ones on the market, starting at £1, often in pound shops. Whilst these do the same job to an extent, obviously the plastic is often cheaper and I have found that the ball doesn't tend to go as far. Which brings me round to the only negative point. The ball provided usually is a very basic tennis style ball, now these are usually broken in half by the dogs jaws after the first few goes, so I use proper tennis balls. They do last much longer.
Thoroughly recommend this toy to anyone with a ball mad dog!
I have grown up with dogs all my life, at home we have two collies! Jessie and Alfie. Alfie is only a puppy and Jessie is 12. They need a lot of exercise and attention as they are always on the go. It is almost impossible to completely tire out a collie, but this thing goes a long way to getting them panting and using up all of there energy. I have seen so many dog walkers with these ball launchers and thought it looked a bit silly, but we were adviced that they were excellent so we picked one up when we went into pets at home to stock up on dog food.
I was expecting this to be more expensive than it actually was because dog toys usually seem to be heavily over priced in shops these days. To my surprise it only cost me £3! We got a red one and it was nice, there were other colour options but red seemed this best colour at the time! I know you can get ball launchers from other shops which are more expensive, so this is why I advice you get yours from pets at home.
What does it do:
You basically put a tennis ball in the end and swing it in a throwing motion, the ball will come out of its grip and will fly through the air. I can throw this extremely far with this launcher, it usually goes 4 or 5 times farther than I can actually thow! You don't need to put a lot of energy into the actual throw! It's great because you will not hurt your arm throwing the ball. People of older ages who struggling to throw will enjoy using this. It's great for my dogs as they get more exercise as they are running faster and further, they always get tired after using this and it makes them much more healthy. I like taking the dogs round the forest everyday, but if I can't do that I take them to the field next door and throw this ball launcher untill they Are tired. It's actually quite fun because you can try and throw it as far as you can. It's suitable for all ages. My only warning would be that it you should use this in a large area, I have lost a few balls and also nearly hit a few people in the park, it can go a very long way! Be warned.
These are perfect for our dogs, they get the exercise they need, you don't have to put a lot of effort into the throw and its exceptional value. The launcher is of good quality and has lasted over a year now, I would recommend you get one of these for your dog as they are excellent and I can't believe we didn't get one sooner. Our dogs go mad when they see us pick this up, they love it and it always puts a smile on my face which they get to play fetch with this, thanks for reading my review :) this gets 5 stars'
I'd never really seen much point in these ball throwers - I've got arms, I can throw a ball, so why waste money on a piece of plastic that does it for you?! However, I recently got talking to a guy while walking the dogs who had one of these plastic ball throwers with him. Half way through the random conversation about his dog's inflamed anal glands (ew!), he decided to throw the tennis ball with the plastic thrower as his dog kept jumping up at me, and I'm not kidding you, all of the dogs (including Pip who usually plods around the field at snails pace) went bonkers and legged it after the ball as fast as they could - I don't think I've ever seen them run so fast!
I was really impressed with just how far it threw the ball (at least half way across the huge field) and I decided to get one, as all of my dogs love chasing and fetching balls and I also thought that it'd be handy on the days that we only go to the park - for some reason they prefer to wonder around and sniff when we're at the park so this seemed great for getting them running about and worn out! Ball throwers are really widely available - I've seen them in Wilkinson's, Poundland, Tesco and so on. I bought this 'Ball Launcher' from Pets at Home for a reasonable £2. There is a choice of two sizes - small or medium. I opted for the small one, which is 48 cm long, as it's a little more compact than the medium and it's very lightweight, so it is easy to carry around even when I have four leads in my hand!
The ball launcher is only available in one colour - blue. It is really simple in design, it's basically a long piece of curved plastic with a decent sized handle with grips on it. The handle has a little hoop, meaning it can be hung up when not in use. On the other end is the scoop part which the ball sits in. This is the perfect size for tennis balls. The ball launcher is able to scoop the ball off of the floor which I think is brilliant as it saves me from having to touch the ball when it's been in the mud or water. I can also place the ball in the catcher once we've finished playing with it and it will sit in there snuggly while we walk home, which again is very handy!
The ball launcher throws the ball extremely far, which is great as it gets the dogs running further than they usually would. I wouldn't reccommend getting this if your dog does not like running very far or does not bring balls back, because usually the ball ends up way out in the middle of the field. Because it throws the ball so far, it's important to throw it in a secure, open area such as a field or beach. We have quite a large garden, but we can't use the ball launcher in the garden as it throws the ball over the fence. Throwing the ball with the ball launcher does not take any strength or effort so a young child or elderly person could use one without any problems. The scoop area of the launcher gets muddy quite easily from the ball, but as it is made of plastic it's easy to clean and a wet wipe does the job.
I love playing with toys with Daisy the poodle on the beach and in our local parks however most dog owners who play with a ball will know it isn't the most pleasant of experience when it gets covered in muck, slobber and so on which is why I bought her this. Well actually the first one I bought was an offering from a pound shop to start off with but I found it rather flimsy so when I spotted this in my local pets at home store costing only £2.00 for the small one and £3.00 for the larger one and as Daisy is rather a small dog I went for the smaller option and I thought that was a really good price to pay from a shop such as this.
What you get is a 'chukka', which is a slim and long piece of plastic with a hanging handle to the top of it with soft grips for ease of use for the owner is there and then there is a rounded piece of plastic to the bottom of it which acts as a scoop and the whole thing is slightly flexible. With both options you get the one tennis ball, average size and mine was a yellow and blue ball to go with the chukka being blue too so it all matched up and there were no other colour options available to me and since then I haven't seen any other colours of this from this brand available.
The smaller chukka, which we have measures H 48 x W 7 x D 7cm with the larger one being a bit bigger and for much larger dogs. The whole thing is wipe clean and waterproof and of course this means you never have to pick the dirty ball up in your hands again...hooray says I to that!
What this allows me to do is chuck the ball a fair way and when I pick the ball back up I dont have to stoop down too far which is good for me with a bad back and makes it less straining. I can chuck the ball further with this than I can manually so to speak and with the ball being brightly coloured I can always spot it and of course if you lose the ball you can just replace it with a decent tennis ball which doesn't cost the earth.
Daisy loves this and I love it to. It makes play less strenuous on me and I don't get all messed up and I've seen loads of people with these types of things and their dogs walking about and this particular one gets the thumbs up from us in a big way!
If you have read any of my recent reviews you will know that I have two Staffordshire bull terriers and our youngest has lung damage as such we are unable to take them out all the time so when we do take them out they go for a good run on the beach and we take this with us for them to play with.
I bought this from pets at home and it cost me about £3 although I have seen this sort of thing in many other places so it is easy to pick up.
The toy is basically a long curved piece of plastic with a plastic semi sphere shape on the end and then there is a ball the size of a tennis ball.
To play with the toy you place the ball inside the sphere and use it to launch the ball through the air for your dog to chase. The plastic is brightly coloured although I'm not really sure a dog is bothered about the colour and it is really strong we have had ours for a couple of years now and it's still going strong.
Both our dogs love playing with this toy as they both love the game of fetch however they are not so sure if it lands in the water at the beach but their fetching instinct does take over and they will eventually have a paddle to collect the ball. This toy gives our dogs loads of exercise since they are not far off the same age and are both as fit as each other they have a good race for which one will get the ball first.
I would recommend this dog toy if your dog likes fetch, the toy is strong and durable and provides hours of fun which for £3 I think is great value.
I have a ten year old Border collie called Jess who for the most part will still think that she is a puppy when she is out on a walk and will literally run and chase as long as you let her. She loves playing with frisbees and balls and such like and so when I was in pets at home buying hamster and dog supplies and spotted the pets at home ball launcher on sale near the counter I decided to treat her to one.
The ball catcher is a simple piece of equipment really and is basically a long blue plastic stick which has a cup almost at the bottom in which a tennis ball sits. With the launcher you are able to throw the ball for your dog but also pick it up afterwards as well when they have finished playing. Pets at home sell this product for a very reasonable three pounds and I have to say I think it is a very good price for a product which is quite convenient to use when out with my dog.
The plastic in which the launcher is made is a really thick hard plastic and so I don't ever worry that whilst I am using this product that it may break or snap which I think is obviously important when you are swinging the stick about a lot whilst out on a walk with your dog! What I like about the launcher is that it has ridged areas up at the top where you hold it and so your fingers sit nicely on it and I don't ever feel like I might lose my grip and end up throwing the plastic stick as well as the ball. The ball is to my knowledge just a normal sized tennis ball which is quite brightly coloured yellow and blue and so it is quite easy to spot in the grass if Jess gets distracted by something else and leaves her ball! The ball seems to be of a decent quality and despite being in Jess's mouth regularly is not showing signs of damage other than being a bit dirtier looking from the mud on the field we go to.
With this launcher I am able to throw the ball much further than I would if I was just throwing it by hand and so Jess is able to really get stuck in chasing it which is something that she loves. My son likes how he can get involved in playing with Jess more using this toy as well as before hand he couldn't throw the ball all that far and so Jess would soon become bored and fetch the ball to me to be thrown instead!
What is particularly handy as well with this ball launcher is the fact that I don't need to pick up the slimy ball after Jess has covered it in her saliva as she runs about as I can just use the cup part of the product to pick up the ball and throw it again for her. Picking the ball up with the launcher isn't as easy as when throwing the ball but it isn't too tricky and as I say it does save my hands from getting slimy. It would also be useful for people who have back problems and cannot be bending up and down all the time but still want to throw a ball for their dog.
I do think this has been a good buy. Jess really likes to play ball and so she is happy to chase this around and I feel secure in the fact that she is getting some good exercise whilst also having fun. This dog toy really won't break the bank at just three pounds and I would say if your dog enjoys ball play then they will be sure to benefit from this product....as will your hands!
Thank you for reading my review!
As some of you will be aware - I am a mummy to two staffies - thirteen year old Tara and eight month old Ria. The Pets At Home ball launcher is just one of the many dog toys I have bought over the months and years.
Both of my girls love going for walkies, but sometimes it can be a bit tricky making sure that they both get the amount of exercise they need, plainly because I have a very young dog and an old one. Tara is at the stage now where she gets tired out after an hour walking in the park, but Ria can run and run and run... which is why the Pets at Home ball launcher is such a good toy for us.
When my partner and I go out we often spend at least 30 minutes playing with this. It's very simple to use - you just pick up the ball up by rolling the ball into the cup at the bottom of the launcher. You can throw the ball either a short distance, or a long way - I'm guessing that I can probably throw the ball a good thirty metres with a bit of strength.
What I usually do it launch one ball a long way for Ria (the pup). Both dogs will run for it initially, but then Tara will realise she hasn't got a chance of winning the race for the ball and she'll turn around. At that point I will throw a second ball a shorter distance for my older doggie (Tara) - meaning they can both play.
Another advantage is that you can pick balls up with this stick, which means that you don't have to handle balls full of doggy slobber!
The launcher is fairly long, which can make transporting it a bit of a pain, but it doesn't weigh a lot, so typically I place it in my handbag. The other small issue I have with this toy is that my two staffies both adore sticks and they occasionally mistake this for a stick and go to bite it. This has resulted in a small crack in the end of pour launcher, but it is still being used about four months after we purchased it, which isn't bad going at all!
Unlike other toys this launcher also hold the attention of both my pets and we could literally play for hours - or until they get too tired.
I bought this for £3.00 and it's certainly been a great purchase. Both of my girls love playing with it and I would thoroughly recommend it to other dog owners - unless your pooch isn't a fan of fetch - in which case, this launcher would be null and void in your home!
The dog we have is a youngster and a hooligan, who needs a whole lot of exercise. Some of this he gets by chomping through anything he can get hold of, some by trying to pull me down the road (if I was wearing roller-skates, I reckon we could achieve light-speed) and the rest we give him with the use of this ball launcher toy and a large field.
It's a simple idea - a curved stick with a cupped end to hold a ball on one end, and a thicker handhold at the other. You place the ball in it, swing and the ball goes for absolutely miles, with dog in hot pursuit. It goes far further than I can throw normally. Another added benefit is being able to pick up the ball from the ground using it, so no doggy slobber on your hands and no bending or stooping (which is good news for anyone mobility impaired).
I think this is a brilliant idea, because if you're a rubbish thrower who does embarrassingly short throws, it gives you a bowler's arm - you can throw long and quite accurately to really give your dog a workout with very little effort. You need a wide-open space to use it (and a dog who will actually fetch!)
The ball that comes with the launcher is a nice furry multi-coloured tennis ball. Mr Chompy loved it, and popped it in two with his first bite and then skinned it, tearing off all the fur with great gusto. He enjoyed it immensely. He's a short-term thinker, he lives in the now, not thinking of a future of more games of fetch. Luckily for him, I replaced it with a solid rubber ball of about the same size that he can only mark slightly with his teeth. For dogs who don't destroy their toys, the original ball would be fine, of course.
Mr Chompy also has a short-term view of the fun the launcher itself can provide and occasionally grabs it hoping for a game of tug-of-war (or possibly an end to his regime of exercise), but it hasn't succumbed to his mighty jaws. It has a few tooth-marks in it, but still works. It's quite a long item to carry around, but fine if you're going with the purpose of using it.
I would recommend this to anyone with a dog who will fetch! It is available at Pets at Home (and other versions of it elsewhere) for the princely sum of £3. Pets at Home currently have it as part of their 3 for the price of 2 offer on dog toys.
Our little West Highland dog turned eight last week and the momentous occasion was marked with plenty of balloons (which he goes wild at, tries to eat and then looks surprised when they burst), a special dog cake (which my dad thought was normal cake and took a big bite of, obviously no one had the heart to tell him the truth), four leg warmers (very useful for the cold winter weather I thought) and a ball launcher toy (a slightly more suitable present from my parents)! Now Harry, our dog, is absolutely useless when it comes to catching and chasing balls - he runs after them, reaches them and then looks all confused about what he's meant to do! We're all sick of bending down and scooping the ball up so felt this toy would be a good investment.
The ball launcher dog toy is available from Pets at Home and it's advertised as the "hands free pick up way to play fetch with your dog." The basic idea behind it is that you can scoop up a ball without bending down to pick it up or exerting yourself in any way. It's blue in colour and basically looks like a slightly curved plastic stick which is approximately 65cm in length, with a cup style holder at the bottom which holds the ball. The ball launcher also comes with a standard tennis ball which fits perfectly into the holder; if you lose the ball you can replace it with any other tennis ball sized ball. The upper end of the ball launcher has an easy grip handle which is quite comfortable to hold and means it won't just slip out of your hand at all when in use.
We've used this on several occasions now and it's incredibly easy to use, simply scoop the holder in the direction of the ball and the ball will sit snugly inside it until you then "chuck" the ball when the holder releases it. When you throw the ball using the holder it travels much further than it would if I was simply throwing it - not always a good idea as Harry sometimes gets bored on his way to retrieve it and gives up if it's too far! You do need quite a lot of space to use this, we tried in the back garden and sent a ball soaring over the fence - it'd be ideal on a beach or in a field. The main advantage of this product is obviously that you don't have to bend down and you never have to touch a chewed, dirty and wet ball again - it was definitely a great investment!
The only downside I've found with this product is that the tennis ball that comes with it is rather poor quality - it only lasted about three days before it had a hole in it! I've since replaced it with a standard tennis ball and it's absolutely fine now. This is currently priced at £3.00 at Pets at Home which I think is extremely cheap as it seems very strong and, having read the reviews on the site prior to buying it, I have no doubt that it'll last for ages as well. I would thoroughly recommend this toy and it'll be sure to become a firm favourite accompaniment whenever I take Harry for a walk from on. It gets four shiny stars from me today, it just looses the one star due to the poor quality ball that comes with it and needs replacing almost instantly!
Thanks for reading.