How Much Do You Love Playing Fetch with the ChuckIt?

Ace can't get enough of her favorite toy -- the durable, versatile, and reliable ball launcher.


They are ubiquitous in urban dog parks, like strollers at playgrounds or headphones on public transit. They poke their colorful stems from purses and tote bags, flying a flag to mark an afternoon of excitement. Arching across the space between a dog and her owner, it is a fishing pole with an invisible line that casts forth and then tows back a joyful, panting dog. The mere sight of the bag in which it slumbers is enough to run Ace in circles, her eyes fixed upon the object of her desire.

I’m talking about the ChuckIt.

If you don’t own one, you’ve probably seen it: a plastic ball launcher with a long handle that allows even the most clumsy of dog owners (me) to send a ball soaring effortlessly across the grass or sand. All hail its sublime power!

Because Ace loves nothing –- indeed, nothing -– more than to fetch, the ChuckIt is a regular part of my weekend routine, as much as my favorite pair of broken-in sneakers. For the uninitiated, the skeptical, and even for other devoted ChuckIt groupies, I will expound upon my love of this simple, reliable tool of doggie fun.

A variety of sizes

So many of the dog products I review are limited to use by dogs of a certain size. The ChuckIt covers dogs from the Chihuahua to the Great Dane and every size in between. For the smaller-mouthed of our canine friends, which includes Ace, the ChuckIt Sport 14, which holds the size-small balls, is perfect. These balls are smaller than a tennis ball, and the ChuckIt is molded to perfectly scoop and throw this miniature size. The Sport 14 is designed and made of the same quality hard plastic as even the largest ChuckIt, the Sport 26. ChuckIt also offers launchers with a “control grip” handle for the medium- and large-sized balls. Ace is able to cram a medium into her mouth if she’s playing with her larger friends; it is the same size as a tennis ball.

A variety of balls

I keep Ace away from tennis balls, which can grind down a dog’s teeth if they play fetch as obsessively as she does. ChuckIt offers a vast array of balls that fit into their launchers. Ace prefers the Ultra balls, which are made from durable rubber. They are easy to clean and are highly visible; the bright orange contrasts strongly with green grass. It also bounces well on packed dirt and even on grass, though perhaps next we will try the Fetch balls, which are described as designed for high bounce. I haven’t tried the other types of balls yet, but they look like fun. If you dog likes to play fetch in a lake or pool, they have several options that float!

Clean hands, dirty maw

Fetch is gross. Ace slobbers on the ball; the ball bounces in soil, dirt, or sand; Ace picks up the ball, runs, slobbers, and lays at my feet a sticky, muddy mess. Multiply that by 50 or more throws, and all the hand sanitizer in the world won’t make me feel clean. The ChuckIt eliminates the ick factor by allowing you to pick up the ball with the launcher itself, directly off the ground. The ball easily clicks into place and launches without difficulty.

I have found it is helpful to knock off any large chunks of debris after picking up the ball but before throwing it. This prevents the ball from getting stuck in the launcher or showering you with whatever horror was stuck to the ball as it is launched. I just pick up the ball with the launcher and then gently knock the ball against my shoe, a fence, or the hard ground to dislodge the accumulation of pebbles or mud. I never have to touch it.

The perfect throw

Fetch is an athletic game for humans as well as dogs, and I love how the ChuckIt makes it so much easier for me to keep up with Ace when we play. I can vary the kind of throw I give her: bouncy, high in the air, long, rolling. The stamina of my throwing arm increases exponentially.

While the ChuckIt makes me a more worthy opponent for my dog, I’ve never played a game of fetch where Ace didn’t outlast me -– this little dog is a tank.

Dogster Scorecard for the ChuckIt Ball Launcher

  • Quality: Made of hard plastic, my launcher is still going strong after almost two years of regular use.
  • Style: ChuckIt sports a simple design in bright colors.
  • Function: ChuckIt throws balls exponentially better than I do –- and I get to avoid picking up a dirty ball.
  • Creativity: Shake up your typical fetch routine with a variety of ball choices, including balls that whistle, float, and glow.
  • Value: For less than $15, you get a durable, reliable source of fun.

Bottom line

Do yourself and your ball-loving dog a favor and go get yourselves a ChuckIt! Already have one? Maybe it’s time to mix up your routine with a different kind of ball.

Dogster readers, what is the one dog toy or accessory you find simply indispensable? Let us know in the comments!

Read more reviews by Ace’s Mama:

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