Weiner Dog Winners

In Dachshund racing, the Weiner dog winners are usually the ones that cross the finish line at some point in the race. The races are based loosely on Terrier sprints, and they’re fun for the whole family. They have race meets across the country and in some foreign countries as well. There is also a National Championship race held each year, where the fastest “hot” dog is awarded the Champion title.

People who don’t race Doxies worry about the publicity, and the fact that the dogs might be injured. Dachshunds have long backs, and are prone to spinal issues. People also worry that if groups start betting on the Weiner dog races, that it will become a dog-eat-dog business like Greyhound racing. They certainly don’t want animals killed off because they are too slow, like Greyhounds are every year.

Greyhound racing has been steadily losing attendance, since people have learned about the abuse of the dogs, and the killing of dogs who aren’t fast enough. But Dachshunds who race are still family pets and companion animals, and unless it’s done secretly, betting is not allowed.


Weiner Dog winners are crowned at dog tracks and horse tracks, and pretty much anywhere you can set up a 25-50 meter course and a starting box. They draw many fans, and admission fees usually go toward charity fund-raising. At horse tracks that now feature Dachshund racing on their ticket, attendance is way up.
At Dachshund races, the dogs stay in the starting box until the referee signals the start of the race, and the “gate” is raised. Some of the dogs run out and in the general direction of the finish line. Some meander out and mingle with the crowd. It’s hard to believe this could ever turn into a more organized sport. And that’s what makes it fun, since these are just people who already had Doxies, and decided that the races looked like fun.

Dachshunds have not been bred to race, and this has helped the events to be fun and not serious competitions. Each year, the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals can be found in San Diego, California, in the month of December. Many people attend, since there are tourists in town for the Holiday Bowl. There are other racetracks who also claim to hold championship races, but the one in San Diego is generally recognized as the “official” championship.

In the 1970’s, they started racing Doxies in Australia, and they also raced other breeds, including Afghan Hounds and Whippets. They were held just for fun, too, or to raise awareness and funds for charitable projects. Dachshund racing is especially popular in California, since they can hold the meets year-round. As long as it continues to be a fun sport, owners and families alike enjoy the camaraderie and hijinks of the dogs.

Training a Weiner Dog Racer

Have you ever been to a Dachshund Derby race? If not, you really don’t know what you’re missing. They’re not fierce competitors but they are certainly fun to watch. Each trainer has his or her own tips for training a Weiner dog racer, that they hope will bring their dog to the finish line first – or even to the finish line at all.

Dachshunds can move fast, but racing is not really their thing. When the starting gate goes up on a starting box, some run, some wander and some stand around sniffing their neighbors. But it’s all in good fun. The Dachshund Club of America is opposed to the races, because of the possibility of back injuries, and because they think it will become a betting sport and then slower Dachshunds will be euthanized, like slow Greyhounds are now. But the Doxie owners just do it for fun, and the funds raised are used for charitable purposes. No one bets, but there is an admission fee.

To train a Weiner dog for racing, owners use words that their dogs will associate with treats, like “cookie” or “yummy”. Once their dogs know that word well, and are reinforced with treats, they can use the word at the finish line and hope that will be where their dog runs when the starting gate opens. It’s practiced so much that many dogs will indeed make it to the finish line – for a treat.

In training a Weiner dog racer, owners start slowly and use small distances first, working their dogs up to the 25-50 meters used in races. They will have an owner at one end of their practice track and a friend at the other end, and play with moving toys, so that their dog will know it’s a fun game. If they do run in the general direction of the finish line, they are lavishly praised and petted. Oh, and they get that treat.

If the trainer’s dog begins trotting, praise is used for that, too. They use more treats than they normally would, so that their dogs understand that this training is special. They also allow their Dachshunds to run in the fenced yard at home, and then open the door and call them. If they come right away, they get a nice treat. Some dogs will even do it just to see their favorite person, even if he doesn’t have a treat.

Most owners have treats in their pockets on race day. They head to the finish line, making sure that their dog sees where they are, and they shake treats in their pocket with their “yummy” word. Weiner dogs like to run and play, and half of them don’t cross the finish line, but it’s a fun time for dogs, owners and children alike.


Weiner Dog Derby

Weiner Dog Derby races are a lot different than the Kentucky Derby, and they are run on a much smaller course, by much smaller animals. There are no jockeys to skillfully guide their steeds to the finish line; instead, the owners of the racing Dachshunds stand at the finish line to coax their friends to finish the soonest.

To look at a Dachshund, you wouldn’t think it would make a very good racer. They are compact and very low to the ground, with short legs. But just like some people who don’t know that they are smaller, these dogs give it their all. Well, some of them do. Others stand around sniffing each other and visiting, or running off into a field.


When the race-holders use a starting box and the “gate” goes up, they don’t come flying out, like horses from a starting gate. They meander around, sometimes going in a straight line and sometimes not. They may wander to other dogs and other owners, or they might just respond by racing to the finish line, where their mom or dad stands with treats.

So why are people so intrigued by the Weiner Dog Derby races? It’s not competitive spirit. Maybe it’s just the pleasant distraction that wandering dogs with little interest in winning can give the watchers. Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt small pesky animals like badgers, and their name even means “badger dog”. So they must have been fast enough to catch badgers. But how fast are badgers? I’m thinking that they are probably not very speedy at all.

Children are especially enamored of the little racers, perhaps because they are so close to their height. Horses can be imposing, but Doxies, not so much. They do have a fierce heart for a little dog, though. In Shreveport, LA at the Louisiana Downs horse racing track, they discovered that you draw a lot of young kids in with Dachshund derbies, and that meant that the park could attract more families… and more betting. But they bet only on the “ponies”, not the Dachshunds. And there are no children betting, of course.

In typical Dachshund races, the contestants are brought out just like Thoroughbreds in a post parade, even with their own “silks” in bright colors. They usually race with eight dogs on the track at the same time. Into the starting boxes they go, and then when the referee signals, some come out running, some walking and some sniffing the dog next to them in the starting box. Thousands of spectators gather to watch these little dogs with lots of heart run pretty much anywhere they want to. In Louisiana, the admissions money goes to the local animal shelter, so it’s all for a good cause.


Running of the Weiner Dogs

And… they’re off! Races featuring the running of the Weiner Dogs are becoming more popular in the United States every year. They can be run on dirt, sand or grass, and they are often held to raise money for worthwhile causes. People flock to the fairgrounds or racetracks to watch these little dogs charge toward the finish line – or wherever else they decide to run.

Not many Dachshunds are bred to race, which is a good thing for the breed. The dogs that race are mostly pets and companion animals. Sometimes dogs will conveniently forget that they are supposed to be racing, and will visit with other dogs, instead. But if their owners are at the finish line with treats, some of them will stay on track.

The yearly championship races are the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals, and they are held in December of each year in San Diego, California. The race is part of the festivities for the Holiday Bowl game. Other venues claim to host championship races, but this is the only recognized championship. One of the fleetest Weiner dogs is “Hank McGuppy”, from Boston, Massachusetts. He has won the championship four times.

Not everyone is enthusiastic about Dachshund racing. Some people fear that it may become like Greyhound racing, where animals that don’t perform are sometimes euthanized. In addition, Doxies have very long backs, and it is thought by some to be bad for their spines to race. The Dachshund Club of America actually opposes weiner dog races, due to the chance for spinal injuries and the worry about possible mistreatment of the animals. Advocates for animal rights even dislike the name “Weiner Dog”, since they feel that it is offensive. But the dogs don’t seem to mind.

Australia held the first recognized Dachshund races in the 1970’s. Meets there might include other dog breeds as well, including Afghan Hounds and Whippets. These were just-for-fun events, held by the dog owners themselves. Doxies also race every year at the University of California, Davis in their Picnic Day celebration.

Dachshund racing is very popular in California, where they can comfortably race year-round. As a rule, more smooth-coated Dachshunds race than their long-haired friends, and the long-hairs are generally a bit more laid back. The running of the Weiner dogs in Huntington Beach takes place in Old World Village, which is appropriate, since the breed hails from Germany.

The standard length of a Dachshund race is stated at 25 – 50 meters, but some courses are 22 yards in length. The owners usually coax their dogs to cross the finish line first with treats and sometimes a little begging.

Weiner Dog Races

Weiner Dog RacesYou won’t see skittish Thoroughbreds racing in Huntington Beach, California, but you can attend the weiner dog races. The Dachshunds were originally bred as badger hunters, so they can actually cover a lot of ground, despite their short stature. Weiner dog races are popular in many other parts of the United States, and in some other countries, too.

Dachshund racing is a relatively new sport, but the phenomenon has quickly caught on. They are fan favorites, and people attend horse and Greyhound races in greater numbers if there will be weiner dogs racing on the same day.

More than 15,000 people attend Dachshund races at Los Alamitos raceway every year. The fund-raising races sometimes have so many entrants that their owners have to submit a letter that touts the reasons their dogs should be in the races. In this way, the race-holders hope to avoid Doxie betting, which the Dachshund Club of America fears will result in abuse to the dogs.

Dachshunds are not built like Greyhounds, and some people worry that racing will injure their long backs. And no one wants to see Doxies put down like Greyhounds are, if they are not good enough to win at the track.

Dachshund racing so far has enjoyed a great deal of popularity, though. The national championships have runners from all over the United States. The owners enjoy time spent together, cherishing the dogs they love. Training methods are very different from one racer to the next – everyone has their own special way to entice their Doxies to hit the finish line first.
Weiner dog races are usually run over a 25 – 50 meter course, and there is usually a starting box for the dogs. It looks like the starting gate at a horse track, only smaller. The box will be opened when the referee signals, and the race is on. Some races are held in open areas that allow dogs to change lanes, while some keep each dog in his own lane. The races without designated lanes are often more fun to watch, since the dogs sometimes stop to sniff each other and play, instead of running.
Each year in the United States, at least thirty to forty races are run for Dachshunds. They are usually fairly easy to train, and they have proven themselves captivating animals at dog shows for years. Doxies have their own unique personalities, and many of them behave as though they think they’re a lot bigger than they actually are.