Treibball (pronounced TRYball) is the newest dog sport here in the States, recently imported from Europe. Not long ago, I launched the first Treibball classes in New York State and classes are quickly popping up across the country. (And, if these classes are anything like my own Treibball classes, are filling rapidly!)
What is Treibball? Treibball is a sport which involves teaching dogs to herd large, inflatable balls into a pen at the direction of the handler. While herding breeds tend to have a penchant for the work, nearly all dogs can enjoy Treibball – my first class consisted of a Long-Haired Whippet, a Westie, a Jack Russell/German Shepherd mix (crazy mix, right?), and my own Chow mix. I’ve been doing some Treibball in private lessons as well, and here the participants become even more diverse – a Pug, a Boxer, a Kooikerhondje, Brittanies, an Irish Setter, etc. Oddly enough, I’ve yet to have a herding breed come into Treibball at my facility through classes or private lessons.
Treibball builds on basic foundation skills including heeling, handler focus, targeting, place or matwork, “stay,” develop body confidence, etc. It also helps pet owners develop their training skills including but not limited to: thoughtful criteria management and adjustment, learning how to fade targets and/or lures, and build distance and duration.
Recently, The American Treibball Association has formed, they also have a Facebook page where you can look to see if classes are being offered in your area. If there are no classes in your area, there is a fairly nice ebook available for purchase from Living with Dogs, but at nearly $40 for under 60 pages of text, it’s a bit of a pricey purchase.
There are also some great videos on YouTube if you search “Treibball.” My favorite video comes, not surprisingly, from one of my all-time favorite YouTubers, supernaturalbc2009. Check it out!
Treibball is a great sport for dogs of nearly any age or breed and handlers who are looking to have fun with their dogs while improving their relationship, training skills, and their dog’s reliability for basic foundation behaviors. This is definitely the most fun I’ve ever had teaching a class and I anticipate that once the sport catches on, it will spread as quickly as other fantastic dog sports like agility, rally obedience, and canine nosework!