Treibball in a nutshell: A picture is worth a thousand words so be sure to check out the video page here, and youtube- just search “treibball” and a plethora of videos will appear. The basis for treibball is a combination of agility, obedience and driving skills. A low impact sport, treibball is a great sport for any breed and age of dog, while providing great exercise and confidence. Your dog is trained to go out and away from you and the goal and push large pilates-type exercise balls back to you, pushing with nose and/or chest and shoulders. The handler remains within the goal area and directs the dog at a distance to select and drive the balls back in. Challenges at the different levels of competition include greater distances, directed ball selection and even obstacles. Targeting and distance skills with obedience plus ball skills, make up the foundations for training this unique sport. Cross training is an added benefit of learning this sport. Many of the skills are taught independently as fun tricks which are useful for any type of dog sport or activity.
Basic list of skills here.
Treibball Facts: This sport is on the move worldwide, and rules vary between organizations. Here in the U.S. there are currently 3 treibball specific organizations, plus an online treibball league and at least 2 other dog sport venues that offer their own variations of treibball.
NATE, National Association of Treibball Enthusiasts: Still in the final stages of development, but stay tuned to see the exciting sport of Treibball revealed in the face of this dynamic organization. Inspired and led by professional trainers and dog sport enthusiasts from coast to coast, NATE promises to be versatile, accessible, challenging, and FUN for all participants.
Meanwhile, the virtual World Treibball League is a great way to hone your skills and stay engaged in the sport. Participation is by video, and you get a nice certificate for each season. Also, you can also earn titles by video! Trainer Nancy Tanner of Bozeman Montana offers creative training challenges and fun to keep you on your toes. I wrote a post about the league here.
Wag It! Games offers a scaled down version of Treibball called “Dog Ball”. This is ideal for smaller spaces and offers great foundation training and skills for the sport of Treibball. Dog Ball is also a great stand alone activity and it only requires one ball. Wag It! will be offering titling by video beginning in 2014.
Other options at the present time are Dog Scouts of America and American Treibball Association who each have their own versions and rules of the game.
Treibball is a unique sport, appropriate and fun for ANY breed, and equally as fun to train:
- No herding required! It is NOT herding as it is often compared, but more like cutting and driving, (as in “cutting horse” behavior). Any dog with play/prey drive can learn treibball! Herding breeds may excel in Treibball, but herding instincts are certainly not necessary.
- It is a low impact, user friendly activity for any handler and any dog that can learn to push a ball with their nose.
- Requires positive training and skills including shaping, targeting, directionals and distance work that keep it challenging and fun.
- Allows for a wide range of abilities to participate-from basic to complex directional/distance work.
- Minimal equipment is needed– depending upon the venue and level of competition you will use 3 to 8 fitness balls appropriately sized to your dog, (but you only need one ball to start training with). A level playing surface of as little as 15 feet up to 75 feet in length for advanced levels. But in your backyard or basement you and your dog can still have fun training and playing with just one or 2 balls in a small space!
Interested? Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org (We have workshops and classes scheduled in the Harrisonburg, VA area, let us know if you would like to be notified in advance by email.)
Want to learn more? Read the posts here for news and updates, check out the links in the side bar, and search youtube for treibball and you’ll find lots of action video from all over the world.