Treibball? What’s that?  Think of playing billiards. 

Instead of billiard balls, eight fitness or Swiss balls, of varying sizes, are arranged in a triangle, point away from the goal.  The dog, working off leash and at the direction of the handler, pushes the balls one by one into a goal, using his shoulders or his nose. 

Treibball is a new way to play with your dog!  It’s also a competitive sport for dogs (and handlers) of all ages.  It requires little equipment, and your dog does most of the running!  However, the game fosters thinking, communication, and teamwork between dog and handler as they work together to get all those balls in the goal. 

Playing Treibball uses a combination of classic obedience skills as well as herding cues.  At the sound of a whistle to start the timing, the handler directs the dog to the point ball, and the dog drives that ball into the net.  Then the handler chooses which balls the dog brings in next, and in what order.  The dog can be directed to bring in all the blue balls first or all the large balls or any combination of size and color of balls, but the dog should only bring the ball to which directed.  The game ends when all eight balls are in the goal, and the dog lies down in front of the goal.

Treibball began in Germany as a way to give energetic dogs much needed mental and physical stimulation. The American Treibball Association was formed to establish the sport in the United States.  Check out their web-site, and see the game in action.

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