Automated or Human Launch – What Do Dogs Prefer? Review of GoDogGo

Phoebe (L) and Bailey (r) go after the tennis ball

Phoebe (L) and Bailey (r) go after the tennis ball

My dogs are absolutely ball crazy. I don’t leave loose tennis balls around the house because Bailey will walk around crying like she is in intense pain until she puts it in my lap and backs away anxiously waiting for a toss…even a small toss that she can pick off mid-air and then the crying cycle begins again. Phoebe only gets excited when I have the ball in hand when I step out onto our back deck.  She’s more practical than Bailey.



We have a lot of products designed to get the ball moving.  We have slingshots, chuck-its, golf clubs, canons and my latest purchase, the GoDogGo Fetch and Ball Launcher System,  T

oday, Phoebe and Bailey would like to tell you about their experiences with this automated ball launcher.  As usual, they don’t agree on the overall satisfaction — Phoebe gives it a resounding paws up but Bailey gives it a tails down.  First, we’ll hear from Phoebe.

Phoebe:  I really like this machine…alot!  First, it was really easy for Mom to set up.  She didn’t have any D batteries so she used the big orange extension cord to plug it into the wall socket on the deck.  It was nice we could use it right away and not wait for her to go to the store to buy the batteries…that might have taken a long time!  So once she plugged it in and put the balls into the basket, we were ready to go.  Mom pressed the button on the remote control and we could hear something sort of winding up.  I’m so used to watching Mom throw the ball that I didn’t associate the noise with the ball being thrown the first couple of times.  I kept watching her and missing when the ball popped!  So Mom finally made pretend she was throwing the ball so I would run down the stairs.

The GoDogGo ball launching system

The GoDogGo ball launching system

Mom was not looking at the remote control when she mashed the button and evidently she set it on auto 7 seconds.  This meant a new ball was launched every seven seconds.  I’m fast, but I’m not that fast.  Bailey was freaked out but I’ll let her tell you about that.  The only thing I’m not crazy about is that the ball pops up high but not very far.  Mom’s a terrible thrower and I think she throws further than the machine.

I haven’t learned 100% yet to bring the ball back and put it in the bucket.  I usually drop it at Mom’s feet  so I’m sure I’ll be able to figure out putting it in bucket.  Overall, I give it a 4 paws out of 5!  I like it very much and will fetch and fetch and fetch until Mom decides I’ve had enough.

Bailey: I don’t like this machine at all!  The noise scares me and I take the ball and run away.  Usually when we play ball, it is one ball at a time.  I will admit, I’m a little on the OCD side…ok I’m very OCD!  Ball playing should only have one ball at a time and if I do not get it, then my sister Phoebe will get it, and bring it back to Mom.  When we first played with this, Mommy made the mistake of pushing the button on the remote that auto launched balls and they were all over the yard.  I went to each one and tried to fit it in my mouth but I have a delicate mouth and could only fit one at a time.  It freaked me out that there were so many balls in the yard at once so I just got one and ran away back into the house.  The other terrible thing is that it made a large whackadoodle noise every time it sent a ball flying.  It was too scary for me and I missed out playing ball which is my favorite thing in the world.  So for how much it cost, how loud and scary it is and the lack of distance, I can only give it one paw out of five.  The good thing I will say about it is that it holds a lot of balls.

Kritter Keepers:  I love the concept of this but at around $150 it is a pretty expensive dog toy especially when one of my dogs is afraid of it.  I have taken it with to different clients’ homes and have had some good results with it.  No one else seems to be as afraid of the noise as Bailey.  I think the sound cues would be great especially for a puppy just starting to play ball but for dogs like my Phoebe who are very sight oriented, she hasn’t got the sound cue and looks at me to “throw” the ball.  All of us do wish the ball went further.  As a safety precaution (the machine can whip the ball out pretty fast — think pitching machine) the projection of the ball goes up rather than out.  Since I usually hit tennis balls off my deck with my tennis racquet, my dogs are used to trying to cover a great distance in a short period of time.  The almost always overshoot the distance when using GoDogGo.  Overall, love the concept, not crazy about price point and think there could be some improvements in design.  I give it a 3 paws out of five. 

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