Last Updated: March 8, 2022 by Lisa Melillo
The G4 has some good features such as a launching remote, variable timing, and loading many balls at once but also some bad including tough to adjust power settings, an arc too high for indoors, and no rechargeable battery. Read on to make sure this automatic dog ball thrower is right for you.
GoDogGo Fetch Machine – A Different Kind of Fetching
As you’ve likely seen, we’ve been reviewing just about every automatic dog ball launcher on the market. One great thing we have noticed is just how unique the options are, and the GoDogGo Fetch Machine certainly has a its own unique features that could make it an ideal choice for some dog owners.
Launching full-sized tennis balls, the GoDogGo G4 caters to larger dogs and those with ample outdoor space. We’ll get more into why later, but this isn’t a good option if you plan to use your ball thrower indoors at all and it doesn’t have the best range on the market, but it does have the best height.
GoDogGo G4 Unboxing and Design
The GoDogGo ball launchers are currently only available from their website and ship directly to buyers. The G4 is priced at $149.99, and they also have a “Jr” model which fires smaller tennis balls for $139.99. This seems like a great price compared to other products in the space, however there are shipping fees you need to pay which vary based on where you live. Out here on the East Coast, we had to pay over $30 for shipping, bringing the total to around $185!
The G4 has a bit of a more narrow footprint than other full-sized ball launchers, but its bucket-design is considerably taller than the rest.
The GoDogGo G4 comes with the following components –
- 3 standard sized tennis balls
- 1 similar sized ball that is a hard rubber, not fuzzy
- Remote control
- AC adapter
- G4 launcher unit
Something you’ll immediately notice with the G4 is the spiraling green bucket on the top of the unit. The bucket is fully attached to the rest of the unit, and you can use the edges of the bucket as a sort of handle to carry it around by.
The biggest advantages of the G4 is the ability to load a ton of balls at once into this thing! As you can see, the balls will queue up and roll down into the launching area one at a time. This makes it the only automatic dog ball thrower that can handle more than one ball being loaded at a time.
Another great feature of the bucket is that it’s an extremely wide area to train a dog to drop a ball into. Certainly the biggest of any thrower we have tested.
We will say that a few times we had issues where having extra balls queued up to be fired seemed to interfere with the launching a ball, affecting its trajectory and distance.
GoDogGo Features and Operation
To help you fully take advantage of the ability to load multiple dog balls is the remote control.
With the remote you can change the launching intervals between 4, 7, or 15 seconds. You can press the launch button to launch a ball, or put it into auto launch mode, which will keep launching balls at your set interval.
You can also set these settings directly from the back of the launcher, as you can see from the control panel below.
You’ll also see the plug jack for the AC adapter. The G4 requires the AC adapter, or the use of 6 D batteries in order to operate. Other dog ball launchers for big dogs such as the iDogmate feature rechargeable batteries, so having to use D batteries for wireless capabilities is a bit disappointing. You can read more about these launchers in our iDogmate review or iFetch Too review.
Another feature that is unique to the GoDogGo – the power adjustment must be done manually on the bottom of the device.
There’s a “D” shaped ring that you must pull on and slide into a slot in order to change between the low, medium, and high settings. It seems the power is adjusted by some sort of stiff spring that is connected to the other end of this ring, and adjusting it isn’t the easiest of tasks.
This means in order to make an adjustment, you must unload the balls and flip the device over. Most other ball launchers that rely on spinning wheels inside the unit can change the power settings without any downtime.
GoDogGo G4 Ball Size
As we stated before, the G4 is the GoDogGo model that accepts a range of balls sized from 1.75″ to 2.5″ – the size of a standard tennis ball.
GoDogGo sells a variety of different kinds of compatible balls on their website, though any similarly sized ball should work fine.
If you wanted something for a smaller dog, the GoDogGo Jr works with dog balls size 1.5-2.2″, but not standard tennis balls.
GoDogGo G4 Performance
The performance of the G4 is the was quite variable in our testing. We didn’t see any real difference in the distance the balls went between the Low, Med, or High settings. On average, we found the balls to launch ~33 feet, with some as short as 22 feet and some as long as 44 feet, counting the roll!
Another thing you’ll notice about this dog ball thrower if you watch our video of it in action – it launches the balls really high into the air! We’re talking 10-15 feet high, so using this unit inside is not a good idea.
The “Safety Arc” does deliver a safer fetching experience for your dog, as it doesn’t launch a ball directly at your dog or into their mouth. As a result of this extreme arc, our dogs had a bit of a learning curve with it – it was hard for them to track the ball being shot from the G4 since it went so high in the air, so quickly.
It should also be noted that the instruction manual stated that the G4 might not perform great in cold temperatures below 45 degrees. We were testing around 40 degrees, so this may not be an all-year option depending where you live.
GoDogGo G4 Review Conclusion
Overall, the GoDogGo G4 delivers a unique “Fetch Machine” experience, but it’s not right for everyone.
If you want to user a ball launcher indoors or in colder months, likely isn’t the best option for you. Also if you have a shorter dog, they might not be able to return balls into the top of the tall bucket.
However, if you like the ability to load many balls at once, the high-arced launching, and the big return bucket for easy training, the G4 might be the perfect match for you and your pooch.