Inevitably training does not always go as we plan.  Below are some tips for correcting common issues in Treibball training.  If you have a technique for addressing these issues or other Treibball challenges, please share! We monitor the NATE Members Facebook account for just such ideas or send a message to

The issues addressed below are:

  • Ball Crowding
  • Impulse Control
  • Not going to the Point Ball
  • Ball Biting
  • Distractions

Ball Crowding

Many dogs will brush an edge or point ball on the initial send to the ball formation. This often results in a ball being dislodged and a possible penalty. The video shows methods to help the dog learn to stop a short distance behind the point ball

Impulse Control

Pushing the ball becomes a reward in itself for most dogs. It sometimes occurs that the dog does not wait for the PUSH command before deciding which ball to bring in. This can result in a Wrong Ball fault and penalties.

In one of the early NATE Clubhouse Chats (Feb 2017), founding NATE member the late Sandi Pensinger did a PowerPoint presentation solely on the topic of Impulse Control.  Below is a link to her presentation slides.   Be aware that some of the video links in the presentation are no longer functional.  A recording of the Clubhouse chat is available on the NATE YouTube Channel.  Look under the Clubhouse Chats playlist.

2-2-17 Impulse Control Clubhouse Chat -Sandi Pensinger.pptx

The link below opens a NATE PDF that offers a number of exercises to improve your dog's impulse control.

Impulse control for Treibball.pdf

NATE also had a Clubhouse Chat on this topic in May 2019 led by NATE Instructors where the above document was discussed.  It can be viewed below.

Initial Send to the Point Ball

As the ball formation gets larger and further away, some dogs like to stop at other balls in the formation instead of going all the way to the Point Ball. Unless they actually move one of these balls, it is just taking game time, but it is best to teach them to go all the way around on those initial sends.

In Jan 2020, NATE had a comprehensive Clubhouse Chat specifically on this topic.  The adjacent video is recommended viewing.

Ball Biting

Do you have a ball biter? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Try raising the ball up on a chair at the dog's eye level and reward only nose pushes.

2. Make sure you are using the correct ball size

3. Have your dog nose push multiple objects to help them generalize the nose only behavior for the Push cue.

4. Be sure you keep the dog below their frustration level. Frustration leads to biting!

5. Spend some time working on ball pushing control exercises. They have to learn to control the ball movement just like basketball and soccer players. It doesn't happen as soon as they learn Push. Inability to steer the ball leads to ball biting.

6. Add distance and increase overall field size slowly. 

7. Consider retraining with a different cue word if biting is too strongly associated with the current cue.


Other dogs, cars, people, and squirrels, just to name a few, can challenge even the best dog's focus on an outdoor field. Below are some strategies to keep your dog's attention on you and the game anytime the distractions become an issue.  

In essence, this is an extension of Impulse Control.  Some of the solutions for Impulse control will also help with maintaining your dog's focus on you and the task at hand.

The key to take your dog to as many new places and situations as  possible.  While there, ask for performances of solid known behaviors such as Sit, Down, Spin, etc. Use liberal amounts of reinforcers, such as food, toy, and praise, when the dog is calm and focused on you in the situation.

One of our NATE Training Resources Tip of the Week- Getting your Dog’s Focus

Getting you dog’s full attention is an important part of training. Teaching the Look or Watch Me is used when you need your dog to pay close attention to you even when there are distractions. It is especially helpful for those who participate in dog sports and work as a team. Teaching your dog to focus makes it much easier to communicate and makes it easier for them to follow your instructions.

In the video below Monica Pielage demonstrates this tip by shaping eye contact at home to teach the behavior and then practicing in a distracting environment.

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