About Treibball

  • Invented: 2008
  • Founded By: Jan Nijboer
  • Highest Governing Body: American Treibball Association

Treibball, also known as drive-ball, is a competitive dog sport that keeps dogs happy, healthy, and entertained. This sport is a great way for herding dogs to showcase their natural instincts- not on sheep, but on balls! 

This dog sport was invented in Germany by Dutch dog trainer Jan Nijboer as a way to relieve his Australian cattle dog’s extra energy after their herding lessons. It was introduced as a professional dog sport in 2008. It emphasizes a stronger bond between handler and dog without corrections or punishment.

Dog trainers, referred to as handlers, must use vocal commands, whistles, or hand signals to guide their dog to push large balls through a goal post. This is seen as a problem-solving game and helps dogs think more creatively while also making trainers develop more effective teaching mechanisms. 

List of Dog Breeds For Treibball

Primarily, herding breeds are used to play the sport of treibball. See a full list of breeds below:

  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Bearded Collie
  • Beauceron
  • Belgian Laekenois
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Belgian Sheepdog
  • Belgian Tervuren
  • Bergamasco Sheepdog
  • Berger Picard
  • Border Collie
  • Bouvier des Flandres
  • Briard
  • Canaan Dog
  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi
  • Collie
  • Entlebucher Mountain Dog
  • Finnish Lapphund
  • German Shepherd Dog
  • Icelandic Sheepdog
  • Miniature American Shepherd
  • Norwegian Buhund
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Polish Lowland Sheepdog
  • Puli
  • Pumi
  • Pyrenean Shepherd
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Spanish Water Dog
  • Swedish Vallhund

Ball Sizes

Each dog is different and may require a different ball size to play treibball. See below the ball diameter and dog height.

Dogs HeightIdeal Ball Diameter
9”-14” 7”-11.5”
Over 26”27.5”-31.5”


What is treibball?

The playing field in treibball is 100 to 164 feet long by 50 to 82 feet wide. Eight balls are placed in a triangle and must all be pushed into a soccer goal within 15 minutes. The dogs must only use their noses to push the ball. If a dog bites the ball or uses any other body part, they are eliminated. The handler is required to stay within an 18-foot radius from the middle of the goal and is not allowed to punish or force the dog to perform in any way. The game ends when all balls are in the goal, and the dog is lying in front of the handler.

What equipment do I need to play treibball?

The equipment that you need to play treibball includes eight exercise balls, two goal posts, and a timer. It is important to use the correct-sized balls for your dog’s height. If desired, you can also bring treats to reward the dog.