Sheepballs Registered Trademark

Resource for the SheepBalls® courses: 


Our pdf of SheepBalls® Right Start to be sure you give your dog the best chance to learn well.

  • Skills you will need to practice
  • How to make the balls behave
  • The Foundations to get started

With tips from starting hundreds of dogs exploring their heritage and pleasure.

All toys must be soft. You will often be aiming these directly into the dog’s space as they are learning their catch skills we do not want a missed catch to punch them in the face.

All toys only under supervision, it becomes expensive if left as chew toys. Lock and key may be needed.

Substitutes are fine as long as they fulfill the parameters and can be safely used and are washable, but beware knock-off products. 

Image Sheepballs Start right


From IKEA:

Giant soft balls, any colour any size. Your feet will also appreciate these when kicking. Larger are easier. Balls that are airfilled will last about 10 seconds, so looking for soft stuffing and fabric surface, and washable. These can be ordered online, although shipping is likely to cost more than the ball!
If you can source them locally, seek 20cm, soft balls. 
Three should be enough for any one lesson, 6 is better so you have plenty in reserve. These balls are worth all the hassle to secure them. 

Lattice balls

The IKEA are ideal but not when the grass is wet. Then we go for lattice balls which also allow the dog to breathe through. Good for hot days and wet days.
My choice of brand is JWPet “Hollee roller”. The rubber is sound and lasts for years, it also comes in many sizes and can fold down into your pocket. The larger are easier to kick, about the size of the IKEA ball, but a bit heavy, medium should be fine.
You can get these in Rugby ball shape, but they are a little unpredictable in direction, so can present a bit too much of a challenge for beginners. 
Four of these should be enough.

Discs and Flyers

Please avoid the hard plastic variety they are too dangerous. 
Find the the soft “flyers” similar to those from Tuffy. Availability is often seasonal but you may find their Tuffy Ring easier which is a good substitute.  
Soft Rubber discs are also a good choice: 
These have been tested and are good flyers: Rosewood Flying Saucer 
3 is adequate, 4 is better

Mouses – Indoor Balls

These soft balls are ideal for the confined indoor games. Mouse begin with food but for collie will graduate to balls quite quickly.
They are lightweight and about the size of a tennis ball. (We do not recommend tennis balls)
There is a squeak inside, but graded as “mild” in my opinion, and does not last long. Washable and can also be scrunched into a pocket.
drawing person throwing ball for dog<br />

Practice YOUR Skills

We cannot expect dogs to learn good technique when our skills need brushing up. Too often we are told we are lousy at throwing or kicking but often we have been given poor or no, instruction of the right sort.

Here are some videos designed for practice sessions before you begin your Sheepballs® Teaching

Learning to kick in an arc

We rarely kick directly along the ground towards the dogs. You can choose which foot is most likely to be accurate. 

The IKEA Soft Foam balls are a joy and easy to push your toe under for this airborne launch. 


Your dog will thank you for every minute you practice.

Throwing to a target

Whether the ball (overarm) or the discs every throw needs a purpose and is designed to arrive at an exact spot to reward the dog.

Distance is not relevant, good, clean, accurate shorter distance is always preferreed.

Wild throwing is of little value. When using discs we must accept that the wind is likely to take our accuracy off course.

Left Handers Win!

Lefties are usually quite adept with either hand since life is lived in a right handed world. For SheepBalls® you will need to be competent with both hands to an equal standard.

Your dog will thank you for every minute of practising


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