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Bored with Fetch?

  • Heidi

Break Out the Herding Balls

You’ve heard of playing fetch. But did you know there are other ways your dog can get their ball game on? And you don’t need fancy equipment to do it. In fact, you can start with an old soccer or exercise ball!

The main thing is choosing a large ball for your dog to play with. Then you can put it to work in two different ways.

Herding Balls

The easiest way to get started is by tapping into a dog’s natural herding instinct. Basically, you give them a large ball to chase or push for unstructured play.

And trust us – you don’t need a herder for your dog to love this game!

Instead, play around with different ball types to see which they respond to. Some are flexible enough that a dog can mouth them and throw them around to chase. Others are hard and bite-resistant, forcing a dog to push with its nose or body.

In addition to coming in multiple materials, herding balls also come in various sizes. That means you can find the perfect herding companion, whether your dog is pint-sized or massive.

If your dog is new to herding balls, we recommend rolling it past them to see how they respond. It can take a little bit for them to figure it out, but if you have a dog who loves this game, they’ll start rolling it around themselves in no time!

Want to learn more about herding balls? This article from Whole Dog Journal can help get you started.


What to put a fun twist on training? It’s time to try Treibbal!

This sport started in Germany, but you don’t have to go pro to enjoy it. In reality, it’s the perfect sport for dogs of all breeds, ages, and abilities. It’s also great for nervous or reactive dogs – and a great training exercise to strengthen your relationship!

In Treibball, you teach your dog to “herd” large, inflatable balls – think exercise ball-size – into a goal. When competing in Treiball competitions, the dog pushes eight of these balls into a goal in a seven-minute timeframe.

But you don’t have to compete to enjoy this game! It’s actually a fun opportunity to use basic training skills. It’s also an excellent rainy day or winter activity if you want to help your dog work their wiggles out.

Curious to try Treibbal? Donna Hill has a great instructional video on her YouTube Channel, Dogs Explained, that breaks the entire game into simple steps.

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