You 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.