Inevitably training does not always go as we plan.  Below are some tips for correcting common issues in Treibball training.  We anticipate adding on to this page as we all gain more experience with training this venue and the new games that come along.  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.  Therefore 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' and game and/or time 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 and added to.  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 the corners" rather than going all the way out initially to the Point Ball.  Unless they actually dislodge one of these balls, it is just time, but it is best to teach them to go all the way out 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 from member Carolyn Bigley.

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

2. Make sure you are using the correct ball size

3. Have your dog nose pushing multiple objects so that they start generalize the nose only "push" command.

Once your dog really understands that "push" means nose only, you can have them start moving the ball short distances working your way up. You may even have have to begin with another word, such as "drive" if your dog already associates "push" with rolling the ball and biting.

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Other dogs, cars, people, and squirrels just to name a few can challenge even the best dog's focus on a Pop-Up field (& to a lesser extant on a Trial field).  Below are some strategies to keep your dog's attention on you and the game.  

In essence, this issue is an extension of Impulse Control (see above).  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.  And while there, ask for performances of solid behaviors (sit, down, spin, etc.).  Use liberal amounts
of rewards (food, toy, praise) when the dog is calm and focused on you in the situation.

From Carolyn Bigley:  NATE Training Resources Tip of the Week- Getting your Dog’s Focus ( Foundation Exercise)

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.

Monica Pielage demonstrates Carolyn's advice by shaping eye contact first at home to teach the behavior and then in the second video practices in a distracting environment.

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