Donna Dolezal and Berry

Treibball FAQs

What is Treibball?

Treibball is a new, competitive dog sport for dogs of all ages and sizes. It’s great fun for any energetic dog that works well off-leash and needs a job, or those naturally “herdy” dogs that don’t have sheep! Treibball is low impact on both the dog and the handler, and is taught without corrections; the handler using only hand signals and verbal cues to give the dog direction. Treibball is, above all, a communication sport; it builds that your dogs’ attention to you, builds better off-leash reliability, and strengthens a great working relationship between you!

How is the game played?

The game is played with the dog working off-leash, to use his nose or shoulders to drive eight fitness-type balls into a goal, within 7 minutes. The handler directs the dog which balls to bring in, in what order. The game stops when 7 minutes is called or when all eight balls are in the goal and the dog lies down in front of the goal (like penning sheep!) The balls can be of differing sizes or all the same size; (just appropriate to the size of the dog) so dogs of all sizes can play!

What does my dog need to know, to play Treibball?

Dogs should have some off-leash reliability to start, and knowledge of off-leash cues will come in handy. Target training, moving the ball forward and directional (herding) cues are taught in class, using positive reinforcement methods only. Then we start playing the game!

What comes next?

There are Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced level classes to teach the game, as well as fun matches to test your skills and official ATA Sanctioned competitions where national titles can be earned. There are varying classes of competition. As the dog gets more proficient at gathering the balls and driving them to the handler, the time gets shorter, and the field gets longer. Currently, most competitors’ dogs can drive all 8 balls in a full field, in less than 4 minutes!

How do I learn to play?

We’re constantly building a national network of ATA member and certified trainers. Find a Trainer or a Certified American Treibball Trainer in your area. Contact that trainer to see when classes are scheduled.

If there’s not a trainer within a reasonable distance to you, and you have a local trainer you enjoy working with, suggest that he/she join us and start a class. If you want to work on your own, you can order the handbooks off our site, or join us as a member and get the Introduction to Treibball Handbook, as part of your membership.

How do I compete?

To compete nationally, you become a member of the American Treibball Association, and register your dog, so we can track your qualifying runs and titles. Dog registrations are one-time-only, and are good for the life of that dog, but individual memberships renew annually, on January 1.

Get Started With The American Treibball Association


Get the Ball Rolling: A Step by Step Guide to Training for Treibball, Dogwise Publishing, 2013, Available at, and