Herding Commands

You can use any voice or hand commands you like for treibball, but it’s common for many handlers to use traditional herding commands. Here’s a few that you may want to try out:

come bye – around the ball clockwise. Hint: remember the “c” in come by is for clockwise

away or away to me – around the ball counter or anti clockwise. Hint: remember the “a” in away is for anticlockwise.

get back or get out – sends the dog further out or to a ball further away from the handler

lie down – dog stops. Laying down is not required.

walk on – move in a straight line to the next ball

that’ll do – work is done and dog returns to handler

Here’s an example of some of these commands in action with sheep. Just note that when he talks about left and right he’s talking about the dog’s left and right.

Choosing the right ball for your dog

Fitness balls come in a range of sizes and selecting the right ball for your dog is important. NATE and ATA specify ball sizing by dog height at the shoulders/chest. If you don’t know your dog’s height check our post on how to measure.

Photo of 6 different sized fitness balls
(Photo: Lorene Voskinarian)

NATE rules provide a range of ball sizes based on heightt.

Mini 9” (22.5 cm) & under 25 cm18 cm (7 inches) up to 30cm (11.5inches)
** lighter weight balls may be used
X-SmallOver 9”(22.9 cm) up to
14” (35.5 cm)
 35 cm 30 cm (11.5 inches) up to 40cm (15.75 inches)
SmallOver 14” (35.5 cm) up to
18” (45.7cm)
 45 cm40 cm (15.75 inches) up to 50 cm (19.75 inches)
MediumOver 18” (45.7 cm) up to
22” (55.8 cm)
 55 cm 50 cm (19.75 inches) up to 60cm (23.5 inches)
 LargeOver 22” up to 26” 65 cm 60 cm (23.5 inches) up to 70cm (27.5 inches)
 X-Large Over 26” (66 cm) 75 cm 70 cm (27.5 inches) up to 80cm (31.5 inches)

American Treibball Association says the ball should be at the dog’s shoulder/chest level and recommends the following ball sizing

21.5″ = 75 cm (Giant Breeds)

19.1″ = 65 cm (Large Breeds)

17.5″ = 55 cm (Medium Breeds)

15.5″ = 45 cm (Small Breeds)

13″ and under = 35 cm (Toy Breeds) use kid’s play balls from the toy section of any retailer.