Do you have a high energy, ball crazy dog? A dog that is “too smart for her own good?” A dog that you find difficult to tire even after long walks? Do you have an urban or suburban herding dog that needs a healthy, fun, and affordable outlet for his natural doggy drives? If so, you and your dog may love Treibball!
Treibball is a relatively new sport in the United States and was originally developed in Germany. Treibball involves teaching dogs to herd a number of large exercise balls into a pen at the direction of a handler. Treibball also allows you to take foundation behaviors (targeting, send out, “stay,” “wait,” directionals, settling on a mat) and proof them in a fun new way.
While herding breeds obviously tend to excel at this game, it is a fun sport for dogs of all breeds and nearly any age. Whether you have a Pug, Papillon, Pomeranian, Puli, or Portuguese Water Dog, you can participate in Treibball! We’re getting ready to launch our first Treibball class at Rewarding Behaviors Dog Training. I just announced the launch of our new class last week (coming in March) and the first class is already nearly full, my students are so excited to get started! My first class will not have any herding dogs – so far it looks like we have a Standard Poodle, a West Highland White Terrier, a Boxer, a Shepherd/Jack Russell mix (odd combo, I know!), and probably my own Chow mix.
Because Treibball is a very new sport, few instructors are offering classes at this time. While your favorite trainer may not yet be offering Treibball classes, the equipment required to do some basic Treibball work at home is inexpensive (probably less than 30 dollars) and you can do some of the exercises at home on your own with your dog. This fantastic video from one of my favorite youtubers (is that a word?) illustrates well some very basic Treibball exercises you can use to start building a foundation with your dog.
How many of my dogster friends have tried Treibball? What were your impressions?