Learn about the new sport for dogs, Treibball. Jan Nijboer, whose herding dogs seemed to often thirst for more "work" to do, introduces you to a game that is a fun mixture of soccer and herding trial in which dogs are trained to at a distance to drive a set of balls into a goal. More than just a game however, Treibball involves teaching your dog a variety of complex behaviors and builds teamwork between you and your dog. This one hour DVD is not a step-by-step how-to-train instructional DVD, but rather a great introduction on how the sport of Treibball works and the importance of developing directional control skills in the dog that are necessary to compete. For more information on where competitions are being held in the US, check out the American Treibball Association online.
First Ball Contact
Distance Control with Balls
Rules of the Game
Jan Nijober created his own training philosophy Natural Dogmanship. Today he runs the International Natural Dogmanship Center where he trains people to train their own dogs, gives seminars and teaches a new breed of dog trainers "Educational Consultant for Dog Owners".
What reviewers are saying...
THE APDT CHRONICLE OF THE DOG
Two years ago I began training my Aussie, Gibson, on foundation skills for Treibball and after his unexpected death, I lost interest. So, it was with excitement that I sat down to watch the Treibball for Dogs DVD by Ian Nijboer, thinking it could rekindle my desire to begin training again for this sport.
Nijboer is the originator of this fun and exciting canine sport. He originally created it for bored herding and droving dogs who needed a job (lest they find one on their own!). It's what I call a dog friendly sport in that there are rules and penalties, even disqualifications, for handlers who put too much pressure on their dogs or who use harsh training methods.
The DVD package certainly caught my eye, as the cover has a lovely Border Collie in action, pushing one of the large balls used in the game. While my eyes and ears eventually adjusted to it, in the Intro section and elsewhere in the DVD, the language spoken is German and there are English subtitles on the screen when Nijboer is speaking. At times, the interviewer, Petra Alef, and Jan are speaking in German while at the same time, English is dubbed over, so the DVD viewer hears both languages at once, although the German is much softer. This was a bit challenging for my ears to adjust to. The filming of all parts of the DVD is very well done, and scenes are clear, colorful and attractive.
As with most DVDs, the Main Menu screen gives you the option to Play or go to Chapter Selection. When selecting Chapter section, you have the option to select any one of the 17 individual chapters, though I was unable to return to the Chapter section without starting the DVD from the very beginning. It didn't take long, but I would have preferred a method to go back to the Chapter Selection more easily.
Throughout the various chapters, the DVD takes the viewer through early introduction to balls to watching skilled teams in action. It's readily apparent, however, that to really begin learning from this particular DVD, one's dog should already have solid foundation behaviors: a stay with duration, a stay with distractions, a retrieve and the ability to move away from the handler, both left, right and center. While Nijboer appears periodically in certain scenes, the training is demonstrated by various other trainers who are speaking German with overdub in English. It would have been nice to understand exactly what the trainers were saying, though I could understand what they were attempting to impart by their body language and the inflection in their voice not at all unlike how our dogs read us. I found it an interesting exercise in watching the trainers' body language.
Though the sport and the DVD are focused on training without force or harsh methods, one will see a few rough collar jerks by a couple of trainers. The viewer is also encouraged to only reinforce with food at the very end of a training session. Though all the trainers seemed to use a retrieve of a bumper as a reinforcer, were I training, I would have incorporated the use of a primary reinforcer (food) throughout my own training sessions versus merely reinforcing at very end of the session.
If one is a true beginner, Sandi Pennsinger's Treibball Ball Herding Handbook may be more effective in helping one learn the foundation behaviors needed in this sport (she also has a DVD, but I haven't seen it yet). This particular DVD gave me a solid understanding of the variety of behaviors a dog and handler need in order to participate effectively in this sport, as well as an excellent chapter on the rules of Treibball. I think avid dog hobbyists and trainers would receive the most benefit from the information contained within.
What I sincerely love about this DVD is that it reiterates what I already knew and liked about Treibball. It's urban herding, requires teamwork between handler and dog and is appropriate for anyone with any breed of dog who enjoys working with and training their dog. Though, and Nijboer points out, the sport must be one your dog also enjoys. It not, he suggests finding another activity or sport your dog sincerely enjoys. I can relate well to this statement. After bringing home a new Aussie puppy and itching to being working toward the ultimate goal of therapy work with her (my activity of choice with my former Aussie), I discovered Willow is much more suited to action-oriented activities, so canine sports is the direction in which we're now headed. I think I'll add Treibball to our list!
Lisa Waggoner, founder of Cold Nose College in Murphy, NC