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.