Treibball_photoAlso referred to as urban herding, Treibball is a fun sport that almost any dog can do. While many events are held outdoors in the warmer months, it is a great indoor sport during the off-season.

Treibball got its start in Germany and became a sanctioned sport in 2008. It involves herding inflatable exercise balls and driving them into a soccer goal. Eight balls are put into a triangle formation at the furthest point away from the goal. From a small space close to the goal, the handler must use whistles, hand, or verbal signals to direct the dog to bring one ball at a time to the goal using only their nose or shoulders. There is a time limit of 10 minutes to get all eight balls into the goal.

One of the greatest aspects of Treibball is that it is all positive and there are no corrections used, which is good for the dog’s self-esteem. Some of the benefits are building a stronger bond and communication between the dog/human team and creating greater off-leash reliability.

Diana Stearns of Waggin’s West Dog Training & Behavior Consulting in Northglenn, Colorado is the president of the American Treibball Association (ATA) and has written two books on the sport (one soon to be published). According to Diana, while herding breeds may have an advantage, any dog with some off-leash skills that wants to have fun with his owner can play.

This article reprinted with permission from Mile High Dog Magazine, Greenwood Village, CO