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The Wicked Ball is “the world’s first automatic ball for pets.” It can roll and move all by itself — fully entertaining your dog when you’re not at home. (Or even when you are at home and you want to watch your dog playing and having fun with a toy for long periods of time.)
There are other types of interactive dog toys and dog balls that “talk” or make sounds — which encourages your dog to paw at them, push them, and roll them around on the floor. A couple of examples are the Babble Ball, and the Wobble Wag Giggle Ball (we have both.) And even though I’ve seen other dogs play excitedly with the Giggle Ball and the Babble Ball — which is what enticed me to buy them — our dogs never seem to enjoy them much.
But no other dog ball automatically rolls and moves on its own to encourage your dog to interact with it. The automatic moving and rolling features remind your dog that the Wicked Ball is there and waiting to be played with!
Here’s what we like (and don’t like) about the Wicked Ball…
How The Wicked Ball Dog Toy Works
The Wicked Ball for dogs is 100% automatic (after you turn it ON).
All of the magic happens inside the “wicked core” module at the center of the Wicked Ball.
To get to the “wicked core,” you simply:
- Unscrew the 2 parts of the outer shell on the Wicked Ball itself.
- Push the POWER button on the “wicked core” for at least 3 seconds to turn it ON (or OFF).
- Select the mode of play that you prefer by pushing that power button to shuffle through the play modes.
There are 3 different play modes to fit your dog’s personality and activity level.
The 3 play modes are:
- Gentle (green LED light)
- Normal (blue LED light)
- Active (red LED light)
The Wicked Ball has a built-in intelligent play cycle (or “intelligent companion mode”) — so after 10 minutes of play time, the LED light on the ball turns to yellow and a 30-minute rest time begins.
After that period of rest, the LED light will turn green, blue, or red again (to reflect the last play mode it was in) and the Wicked Ball will begin moving and rolling around on the floor again.
My dogs really like when the Wicked Ball “comes to life” suddenly like that! Here’s a video of my dogs noticing the Wicked Ball after it “wakes up” again:
The “intelligent companion mode” feature makes the Wicked Ball a great way to give your dog some play time and some rest time when you’re away.
Wicked Ball Pros & Cons
The outer surface of this ball has a very slight “give” to it, allowing your dog to grab onto it — and even bite it — without denting it. My dogs sometimes pick it up and carry it around the house in their mouths. (The Wicked Ball doesn’t get too active while being carried inside the dog’s mouth. Its biggest actions take place when it’s on a flat surface.)
My dogs absolutely love the unpredictability of it!
FYI… The shell of this dog toy is made of a combination of hard polycarbonate (inner shell) and thermoplastic polyurethane (outer shell). So the main structure is made of a high-impact resistant rigid plastic, with a thinner flexible plastic on the outer layer that touches the dog’s teeth and paws.
Here are the pros & cons about this interactive dog toy, as I see it…
It works on carpet as well as smooth floor surfaces like hardwood, tile, and laminate flooring.
It’s durable, bite resistant, and scratch resistant. The company has tested all aspects of biting, gnawing, and scratching with dogs. The Wicked Ball passed all of the tests. Keep in mind, if your dog is a heavy chewer, bite marks may appear — but they won’t reduce the effectiveness of the toy.
TIP… The Wicked Ball has a “customizable outer shell” that allows you to easily renew the ball if it ever becomes cracked, dented, or unsightly after constant use.
It’s waterproof and washable. As long as you tighten the 2 outer shell pieces securely together, it can be soaked directly in water or run under a stream of water. This is great for playing with the Wicked Ball in the water with your dog and for cleaning the outer shell of the ball itself. You can see both features here:
It keeps your dog busy and keeps their mind of the fact that they’re bored — whether they’re home alone or not.
It’s safe for all dogs. The size is just right — much bigger than a tennis ball that could easily get caught in the throat of a larger dog.
The safety of Wicked Ball is guaranteed by its stopping mechanism. When you open Wicked Ball’s outer shell, it will stop running immediately — making it safe and secure for both you and your pet. All the materials applied are safe for them to chew on and durable for repeated bites and scratches.–Cheerble
To get to the ON/OFF button and play mode button, you have to unscrew the 2 outer parts of the shell apart, then line everything up perfectly to get it to screw back together just right. It’s only a slight inconvenience (and it makes sense design-wise, since the dog could activate buttons if they were placed on the outside), but it’s a bit of a hassle each time before you give this toy to your dog.
The built-in collision sensor (or “obstacle avoidance system”) is supposed to prevent it from ever getting “stuck” in a corner or something. But I’ve seen it get stuck — spinning itself and going nowhere. Usually (but not always) it was stuck on my dog’s lumpy bed cushion. You can see how it works here:
It doesn’t really bounce — at least not in the same way that a typical dog toy ball bounces. It’s more hard than it is bouncy. This isn’t a big deal, but worth noting.
Not all dogs enjoy unpredictable toys.
One of my two pups was initially a little scared of the Wicked Ball — because it suddenly jumped and spun itself very quickly in front of him. Now that we’ve had this dog toy for awhile, he likes it better. When it’s on the floor near him, he never takes his eyes off it and will interact with it more times than not.
My other pup (both are a year-and-a-half old) absolutely loves playing with the Wicked Ball! She wants it all to herself and will chase it all over the house, under the footstool, and even push it from the hardwood floor onto the rug and vice versa. She gets very curious whenever it shuts off for awhile. Often she will paw at it to try and wake it up to play with her (so adorable).
This video shows my pup playing with the Wicked Ball — this is the same dog was scared of it at first:
Questions I Had About The Wicked Ball
There wasn’t any documentation that came with my Wicked Ball — so I researched the company online and then reached out to them personally to find answers to my questions…
#1 – What makes it work?
Here’s the complicated explanation:
The first of its kind, Cheerble Wicked Ball uses the ARM Cortex-M0 processor for complex algorithms — a high performance 6-axis mems motion-tracking device for touch sensing, and high torque DC motors for implementing algorithms and motion. Through the high performance 6-axis mems motion-tracking device, the processor first detects the current motion condition and then decides whether the movement is smooth. If not, it will react to make sure the ball can roll, twist, and jump normally through sophisticated algorithm. The sensor can also help the ball detect the pet’s touch. Through the control of the high-torque DC motor, the ball can rotate or jump quickly, achieving the interaction between the ball and the pet.–Cheerble
In my own simplified layman’s terms… the Wicked Ball has an internal rechargeable battery and motion sensors that “see” movement in the room (from your dog, ideally) and “comes to life” after that.
#2 – How long does the battery last?
In order to extend the battery life of this dog toy, I always turn it OFF after my dogs have played with it for a few minutes. (Usually 5 to 10 minutes — because I don’t want them to ever get “bored” with it. I’ve found that when I limit their play time with dog toys, they appreciate the limited times when they get to play with those toys. Sometimes I let them play with the Wicked Ball longer… at which point it “goes to sleep” after 10 minutes of play, turns OFF for 30 minutes, then “wakes up” for another 10 minutes of play.)
Since I work from home and have many opportunities to watch them play with this ball for lengths at a time, that’s primarily how we use it (for active play time when I’m home) — rather than to prevent boredom whenever I’m away.
My dogs stay in their crates whenever I’m gone (rather than roaming the house) — so I haven’t left it on for hours at time with them alone.
Here’s what the company says about the Wicked Ball’s battery life:
The battery lasts about 8 hours before needing to be recharged.
By the way, the battery is replaceable — so you will be able to order a new one if and when the battery on your Wicked Ball eventually runs out.
#3 – How do you recharge the Wicked Ball battery?
You’ll know that you need to recharge the Wicked Ball’s battery when the LED indicator is flashing red… or it remains off, even after pushing the ON button (after approximately 8 hours of play time).
To charge the Wicked Ball, you first take out the “wicked core” (after unscrewing the 2 outer shell pieces).
Once the “wicked core” is plugged into a USB power socket, the yellow LED indicator will light up — to show that it is charging. The green LED indicator lights up once the battery if fully charged.
The Bottom Line
I like the Wicked Ball a lot. And so do my dogs!
Dogs that roam the house freely when you’re away would benefit the most from this type of dog toy — because it will keep your dog from getting too bored when they’re left home alone.
It’s also great for dogs that have separation anxiety issues whenever you leave the house — because it takes their attention off of you and puts all of their attention onto the toy.
Even though my dogs are in crates when I’m away and I don’t use the Wicked Ball for those reasons, this toy is still a joy for them during our normal play time at home. They love to chase it and try to figure out what it’s going to do next.
I think it’s a great boredom buster for dogs of all ages. (It even peaked the interest of my senior dog who could care less about dog toys!)
Where most interactive dog toys are treat-motivated, this one is 100% motion-motivated. Its unpredictable movements are what keep your dog’s attention, instead of dog treats. I think that’s a nice change of pace — especially for dogs that are not treat-motivated or who get enough treats other ways during the day. A motion-activated dog ball like this is the perfect solution for my dogs.
It’s definitely a high-quality interactive dog toy, and I noticed that it has received a lot of good reviews. In my handful of conversations with representatives at Cheerble, it seems like the company is genuinely interested in providing unique dog toys that serve a purpose. It also seems that they’re motivated to keep improving their dog toy inventions, too. I’m keep my eye on this company and look forward to seeing the dog toys they come out with in the future.
Here’s the company’s promo video for the Wicked Ball. As you can see, they have one with a wool cover that is great for cats too:
By the way, they also have a bone-shaped automatic dog toy called Wicked Bone. It looks fun too.
It’s very similar to the Wicked Ball — but a little easier for a dog to actually grab a hold of than a perfectly round ball. The biggest difference between the two is the fact that you control the Wicked Bone with an app on your phone — which could actually be a fun way to interact with your dog and lead to more play time together. The Wicked Bone is available on Amazon — so are the replaceable tires (softer, chewable ends of the bone) that are detachable and washable.
For now, I’m sticking with the “original” Wicked Ball — because my dogs love it! (It’s worth noting that there are a few knock-offs out there, and they don’t get nearly as good ratings as the original Wicked Ball does.)
UPDATE: The folks at Cheerble recently came out with a new version of the Wicked Ball. See my review of the new Cheerble Wicked Ball for dogs!
My dogs can’t get enough of the wicked ball. They love it – and I know your dog will too!
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I like to help Dog Parents find unique ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” Dog Tips and Dog Hacks that most wouldn’t think of. I’m a lifelong dog owner — currently have 2 mixed breed Golden Aussies that we found abandoned on the side of the road as puppies. I’ve always trained my own dogs and help friends train theirs, as well. Professionally, I worked at a vet and have several friends who are veterinarians — whom I consult with regularly. (And just because I love animals so much, I also worked at a Zoo for awhile!) I’ve been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started… and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). My daily motivation is to help first-time dog owners be better prepared from the first day your new puppy enters your home. I like to help dog owners understand what’s ‘normal’ and what you can expect in terms of living with and training your dog — how to get through the ups & downs of potty training, chewing, teaching commands, getting your dog to listen, and everything else that takes place during that hectic first year! When I’m not training, walking, grooming, or making homemade treats for my dogs, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I’ve written over 600 articles for dog owners on this site! Many of them have upwards of 200K shares.