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  • Writer's pictureDoggie Etiquette

No Trouble with Treibball

Pronounced “try ball,” this fun dog sport was born in Germany in the mid-2000s when a Dutch hunting and herding dog trainer, Jan Nijboer, wondered if he could teach high-energy dogs to play soccer. The game boils down to getting your dog (or a team of dogs) to push large exercise balls across a field into a goal. While herding-type dogs and dogs who love chase games are natural treibball contenders, dogs of any age and breed can take part. As with all dog sports, some foundational skills are important. For treibball, it’s an advantage if your dog knows sit, down, left, right, and object targeting.

Playing the game is simple. Using cues like “center” and “drive” you guide your dog to push exercise balls into a goal with her nose (no teeth allowed). Treibball Associations have sprung up in many countries, bringing with them formal competitions. But treibball can just as easily be played recreationally at home in your backyard. It provides terrific physical and mental stimulation for your dog—and a fun time for you. In-person and online classes, YouTube videos, and books like Get the Ball Rolling by Dianna L. Stearns ( are great resources to, well, get the treibball ball rolling with your dog!

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