Treibball - What It Is & How To Play It

Treibball - What It Is & How To Play It

Author WDF Staff | Last updated: May 12 2023


Treibball is a dynamic and engaging canine sport that is gaining more and more popularity worldwide. This sport was invented in Germany by Jan Nijboer, and this game combines elements from soccer, herding, and canine obedience training.

Its design is meant to provide fun and mentally stimulating activity for both dogs and their owners or handlers.

Today you will learn all about Treibball, how to play it, what skills are required, and what equipment is necessary.

What is Treibball?

Treibball is a popular and competitive dog sport that works around teamwork, communication between dog and handler, and proper strategy. In this game, dogs and their owners/handlers work together to maneuver large inflatable balls into a designated goal area. This is all set by a time limit.

Treibball is an excellent opportunity for dogs to show their abilities, intelligence, athleticism as well as obedience skills, but also this sport will create a stronger bond between a dog and owner.

How to play Treibball?

The most common field for playing Treibball is a large enclosed area. This field consists of a goal area and eight inflatable balls that are lined into a triangle formation, approximately 10-20 meters from the goal.

The handler must direct the dog to move the balls into the goal, using only its nose and shoulders. The main goal is to complete the task within the given time limit, which is usually around 10-15 minutes.

What skills are required to play Treibball?

To excel at this dog sport, both dogs and handlers must have a variety of skills to be successful. The most common skills required to play Treibball are

1. Obedience

Dogs that enter Treibball must be well trained and know some basic commands such as "sit," "stay," "come," "down," and "leave it."

RELATED: What Will Obedience Training Teach Your Dog?

2. Know directions

Dogs should be able to understand and respond properly to commands indicating directions such as "left," "right," "forward," and "back." Only by knowing these commands will they be able to play this sport.

3. Distance control

Handlers must have the ability to control their dogs from a greater distance, using verbal cues and hand signals to guide them properly.

4. Problem-solving abilities

Dogs need to be able to analyze the field and adapt to different placements of the balls to succeed.

5. Patience

Both dogs and handlers should have enough patience since Treibball can be mentally challenging, and both you and your dog must remain calm and focused throughout the game.

What equipment is required to play Treibball?

To fully experience this dog sport, you must have the proper equipment required to play Treibball. This is what you will need to play this dog sport.

1. Inflatable balls

You will need eight large inflatable and durable balls, usually between 45-75 cm in diameter. The ball should be appropriate in size based on the participating dogs.

2. Goal area

You will need a goal area that is typically marketed with cones, but if you don't have cones, you can use other markers.

3. Whistle

The whistle will be used for starting and ending the game and for the handlers to signal commands to the dog.

4. Lots of treats

Bring enough treats for your dog to reward him after the game for a job well done.

What are the known benefits of playing Treibball?

Every dog sport has its own benefits for both dogs and owners; the same applies to Treibball. By participating in Treibball, you and your dog could experience many potential benefits, some of which include

1. Physical exercise

Treibball will provide you with a fun and engaging activity to keep your dog and yourself active as well as to burn off excess energy.

2. Mental stimulation

This sport challenges dogs to think and solve problems, and this will promote mental health and reduce boredom.

3. Obedience

Treibball requires dogs to follow commands from their handlers, which will improve their overall obedience and impulse control.

4. Bonding

Every dog sport, but Treibball especially, will create a stronger bond between you and your dog as you will work together to achieve your goals.

5. Socialization

By participating in the Treibball competitions, you will expose your dog to different environments, sounds, and other dogs, which will help him with socialization.

What dog breeds are suitable for playing Treibball?

Treibball is a versatile dog sport that many dog breeds can enjoy, regardless of size, age, or breed. However, some dog breeds might have a natural instinct toward this game due to their herding instincts and problem-solving abilities.

Those breeds are

  • Border Collies
  • Australian Shepherds
  • Belgian Malinois
  • German Shepherds
  • Shetland Sheepdogs
  • Corgis (Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis)

Even if your dog is not listed above, that doesn't mean he cannot participate in the Treibball competition. Any dog with the right temperament, enthusiasm, and athleticism can excel in this canine sport.

The most important thing you should remember is that the primary goal of a Treibball is to have fun and strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

How to get started?

Getting started with Treibball is very simple. Follow the steps listed below, and you can begin to enjoy this fun canine sport with your dog. Here is a step by step to get you started.

1. Learn the basics

You should start by learning and understanding the rules of Treibball. Watch videos and try to find out more so you can understand how to play it properly. By understanding the sport and its rules, it will be much easier to teach and guide your dog properly.

2. Check obedience

Make sure that your dog is good with basic obedience commands. If your dog isn't trained properly, firstly, you will have to teach him basic dog commands, and after that, you can continue for the Treibball.

RELATED: Dog Commands All Dogs Should Know

3. Teach him directions

The majority of dogs have learned basic commands, but only a few of them know and can understand directional commands such as "left," "right," "forward," and "back." If your dog is one of them, you should take the time to teach him these commands.

4. Introduce the ball

After your dog has learned directional commands; now it is time for your display to get close to the ball and let him play with it. Encourage your dog to push the ball using his nose and shoulders, and whenever he is able to do so, you must reward him with some delicious treats.

5. Practice ball control

After your dog has familiarized himself with the ball, it is time to teach him how to control it properly. Start by teaching your dog to move the ball toward you. Stand at a short distance and use directional clues and teats to guide your dog.

Gradually increase the distance and complexity of the given task.

6. Create a field

Set up a simple field in your backyard or a dog park. Use cons or other markers to set a goal area, and try to teach your dog to guide the ball into a goal.

7. Only short sessions

You should begin with short training sessions to keep your dog engaged and motivated. Gradually increase the duration as your dog's skills improve over time.

8. Join a club

If you are interested in participating in Treibball regularly, you can join the club or even enroll your dog in a Treibball class.

This will provide you with additional resources, guidance, and support that both you and your dog could need to progress in this dog sport.

9. Have fun

The most important thing in this journey is to have fun. This sport is meant to be fun and rewarding for you and your dog, so be patient and supportive and enjoy this journey with your dog.

World Dog Finder team

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