Gotcha Dog Fetcher
The Gotcha dog fetch toy is affordable, interactive, automatic, and it talks. This dog ball thrower launches miniature tennis balls in an entertaining fashion. It is one of the most expensive automatic dog bowl throwers or launchers on the market. In fact it is roughly half the size of the other options on the market today. Designed for small to medium-sized dogs it launches miniature tennis balls that are 1.5 inches in diameter. Balls are launched up to 12 feet. Smaller dogs are able to get all of their exercise in while having a great deal of fun.
- Train Dogs
You can train your dog to play fetch and after retrieving the ball, return it to the opening. By training your dog to return the balls they can learn to play fetch on their own. They will enjoy hours of play by simply bringing the ball back, dropping in the final, and chasing it down again.
The interactive features stimulate your dog and the dog curiosity by offering a new challenge. Dogs get to learn how to master playing with this unit all on their own.
The unit talks so each time the dog drops the ball back into the funnel it will say things such as "good dog". When the ball is about to be launched, it will say "get the ball". This offers positive reinforcement and mimics the same things that an owner would more than likely stay in the same situations. Should you desire to say that yourself or not want to sound on for volume purposes, you can simply turn it off.
- Only 12 Feet
This unit only launches the balls up to 12 feet. While it is ideally suited for indoor space or for small dogs, it is obviously not well-suited for medium to large sized dogs who really need a great deal of exercise. Other options on the market are more expensive to be sure but they also launch the balls between 10 and 40 feet not a mere 12 feet.
- Avoid Outside
You should not use it outdoors because it needs to remain dry and away from any wet environments. Even if you can put it outside because you have a dry exterior environment avoid using an AC adapter power method when it is outside.
You only get three of the miniature tennis balls with each order. Due to the fact that the tennis balls provided our miniature, you cannot simply use any tennis balls you already have. Should you need to purchase more because you lost them or they got destroyed, you would have to buy miniature balls of the same size either through the company or through a similar company.
- Launch Distance
While the balls are launched up to 12 feet the distance they are launched actually changes. This changes depending on the type of ball, the size of the ball, the weight of the ball, how many times it has been used, and how wet the ball is. Certain dogs might have excess saliva which causes the ball to be weighed down by the spittle.
How to Use (Step by Step)
To get started you either need 4C batteries or you need an AC adapter. Neither of these are included so you will have to purchase them separately.
- Turn on
Plug it in or put in the batteries and then turn it on. When you flip the power switch the machine will not make any noise.
- Put in Balls
Place the miniature tennis balls into the ball final or teacher dog to drop in. You will hear the sound "good dog". The ball will launch out. A sound will come out of the machine that says "get the ball".
- Turn Off
You can leave the unit on and each time the ball is dropped back into the funnel the subsequent steps will repeat. When you're done playing simply turn it off.
How it's Different from Competitors
This model is roughly 40% cheaper than the competing models on the market. Competing models also have three different distance settings while this model only has the one distance setting. What's more, this is the only model that talks.
Tips & Tricks
- Limited Time
Only work with your dog for roughly 5 to 10 minutes at a time, sporadically about 2 to 3 times per day. The last thing you want is for your dog to get frustrated. Instead you want your going to have fun. The more frustrating your dog is the less likely they are to learn the independent retrieval method quickly.
Your dog might be scared of the machine at first especially because of the sound so start off by rewarding your dog for going near it or just touching it. While you are training be sure to avoid rewarding your dog for any behaviors other than those which are positively associated toward the gotcha dog toy.
- Stay Behind
Teach your dog to stand behind or off to the side of the unit. The unit will launch the balls only 12 feet but you still do not want your dog to be directly in front of it and accidentally get hurt or become scared.
Make sure that you do not place the unit so as to face any walls or furniture where is your ball might bounce back and hit either you or the dog. It is recommended that you be nearby for supervision until you are confident that your dog has been trained to safely play with the unit independently.
Training Dogs to Use it
- Rolling the Balls
Some dogs can take to the basics of the retrieval for this unit straightaway but other dogs do require training. If you're going to train your dog to drop the ball you should do the following. Start by rolling or tossing the ball and having your dog bring it back and drop it based on your command. Use a command of your choosing, something such as "drop" or "out".
You can reward your dog with either a treat or simple affection. Consider a combination of both. If you are using a treat, once your dog is consistently dropping on command, try giving them the treat every couple of times rather than every time. Using pure affection means that you should tell your dog "good dog" each time since that is one of the sayings that the product plays.
It is recommended that you keep your dog on a leash when you are teaching them this beginning steps so that they do not get distracted or run off. Once your dog has mastered the command of dropping the ball then you can break out the toy.
- Use Gotcha
Switch the gotcha dog fetch toy to its opposition and begin rolling or tossing the ball as you were doing before. When you do this point to the final on the product and tell your dog to drop the ball in the funnel.
It might behoove you to have a treat in hand for this or use verbal affection each time the dog successfully drops the ball into the funnel. After your dog has mastered dropping the ball into the funnel you can turn the unit on and continue to guide them until they are confident enough to do it independently.
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