Dogs that love to play ball, which as it turns out is most dogs, will be highly motivated to learn how to use an automatic ball launcher, as the opportunity to fetch the launched ball is its own reward. Even a nervous or skittish dog can learn how to operate the ball launcher, although an anxious, nervous, or inexperienced dog may take some more time to get used to the sights and sounds of the automatic ball launcher. Automatic launchers can be adjusted for time, speed, distance and pitch, and they do make some noise. You will need to acclimatize your dog to the machine, and then show him where he needs to stand when it launches, usually next to the machine, a few feet away, to retrieve the ball, and to release the ball into the receptacle at the top of the machine, if you want him to be able to fully operate the automatic ball launcher. An alternative to having your dog reload the machine is to have your dog release the ball to you, and you can reload the machine if you or your dog is not comfortable with him handling the job.
Louis loves the machine and stands excitedly in front (1 meter away) waiting when he hears the motor build up. When the ball launches, he barks and chases it.
I hold a treat over the intake dish, but Louis drops the ball about 6" away and goes for the treat.
I have tried to pick up the ball and place it in my hand while over the intake, with the treat trapped between my fingers under the ball. He has to nudge the ball out of my hand (causing it to fall into the intake) to get the treat.
He doesn't seem to be getting it.
Hello, I found a video on using the ball launcher with some tips for using it. As well, they mention you can make inquiries here: https://www.petsafe.net/toys. Here is the link to the video: https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+use+an+automatic+ball+launcher&rlz=1C1JZAP_enCA782CA783&oq=how+to+use+an+automaric+ball+l&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j33.12377j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=_NkMkX6tqmIPK0w-ZkZCICQ49 and a written training section here: https://intl.petsafe.net/media/manuals/400-2045_EN.pdf. You may want to work on the Fetch concept, too which will encourage Louis to bring the ball back. Take a look here at the Two of the Same Method:https://wagwalking.com/training/bring-back-a-toy. The object is to get Louis interested in the continued game of catching the ball, meaning that he is excited to drop the ball in the intake dish quickly as the second ball is thrown. This is done over the intake dish but you will throw the ball manually for now, to keep the momemtum fast. I hope the steps in the guide work for you and Louis. Have fun training!
Was this experience helpful?
My dog Lulu is now able to drop the ball in the hole on her own and fetch and return. However she waits in front of the hole and the ball hits her in the face. I can’t get her to move to the side as she knows where the ball comes out and is clearly so excited to fetch that she doesn’t mind being hit. Please help!
Hello Alicia, I would practice playing fetch with her, with you putting the ball into the dispenser, having an assistant encourage her to run away from the ball thrower to the area where the ball will go when released, then once she is away from the ball, then and only then, let the ball out - so that she is rewarded with a ball for moving away from the dispenser. You will need to practice this a lot - until she becomes convinced that the way to get the ball to come back out is to run away from it, and that it won't come out while she is close. Once she is convinced of that, then phase yourself out of the game again. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?