Get Your Herding On With Treibball

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Many owners of high-energy breeds such as Jack Russell Terriers, German Shepherd Dogs, Australian Shepherds and Border Collies often struggle to find an activity or dog sport in order to meet their pet’s mental and physical exercise requirements.

If you’re looking for a fun sport that you can perform with your pet and which uses only positive reinforcement training, why not look into treibball? The Whole Dog Journal noted that the sport, which is pronounced “tribe-ball” was created in Germany by January Nijboer as a way to keep herding dogs occupied by rounding up and moving exercise balls into a goal. Some treibball videos went viral on YouTube, and the sport took off here in America because it was a great way to exercise your dog without having to purchase expensive equipment (like agility). You can even practice it in the comfort of your own backyard or dog-friendly park.

During a treibball competition, eight exercise balls are placed in a triangle on a field 100 to 164 feet long and 50 to 82 feet wide. The dog has to herd the exercise balls into a soccer pen or similar goal net within the confines of the playing field, and they have fifteen minutes to do so. The clock starts ticking down from the moment their owner signals for them to go around and behind the exercise balls, and ends when they’re all in the goal and the dog is lying down in front of their owner. The fastest team who has the least amount of error points wins.

Enrolling your dog into a treibball class is a great way to improve their impulse control. In treibball, the dogs are not allowed to bite the exercise balls and they have to wait for their handler’s cue before being allowed to herd the balls into the goal. Since they can’t just run around and move the exercise balls whenever they want, treibball can teach your pet how to curb their impatience and wait for your signal before they move a muscle.

Plus, unlike some other dog sports, canines of all shapes and sizes can participate in treibball. It doesn’t matter if your pooch is a potcake from the streets of the Bahamas or a hard-working Border Collie—this is a sport suitable for any energetic dog, regardless of breed or size.

Treibball is also an excellent way to enhance your pet’s coordination, as they have to learn how to maneuver around an object. Many trainers start with a mat before eventually working the dogs up to moving around an actual exercise ball.

Participating in treibball has the added benefit of increasing your dog’s confidence, which makes it the perfect choice for owners who have fearful, sensitive or anxious dogs. After all, dogs have to learn how to move exercise balls, which could be pretty off-putting at first for some. But with some patience, training and lots of treats, dogs that are a bit more cautious will learn that moving the exercise balls into the goal is actually a ton of fun.

Finally, enrolling in a treibball class is great way to make sure your dog gets a good workout too. Due to busy schedules, many owners may not always have the opportunity to take their dog jogging or to the dog run before they head to work in the early mornings.

Participating in treibball either in a group class or with a private trainer is a wonderful way to make sure that your pooch keeps busy. Plus, it also gives owners something to practice for a bit when they come home from work or on a rainy weekend.

If your high-energy dog needs a good outlet and you’d like to dip your feet into the wonderful world of dog sports, why not give a treibball class a try?

About the Author:

Amanda Ferris is an accomplished writer who has written for sites such as TheThings, IndieReader, Fashion&Style, and New York Family. For the past five years, she has volunteered for Bay Ridge, Brooklyn’s very own Love Wanted Pet Adoptions. She currently owns a laid-back 12-year old Bichon Frise named Esme, and a 3-year-old fearful mystery mutt named Zoe whose noise phobia and anxiety sparked her foray into the world of positive reinforcement dog training.

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