Imagine a half dozen Dachshunds, dashing down a racecourse at top speed, err... well, whatever that is for a Dachshund, ears flying in the wind, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat!
Dachshund Derbys are serious stuff! Well, not too serious. Sometimes the ultimate goal of Wiener dog racing is just to have your daring Dachshund cross the finish line at all. It’s not that Dachshunds are not fast, it's just that they are not necessarily that focused on the finish line. Dachshund owners have started organizing races more and more in recent years to raise money for charity, and it’s all in good fun. There is a concern that Dachshund racing can be hard on the little dogs' backs and joints if overdone. Be sure to consult with a veterinarian regarding your dog's fitness before putting your Doxie into training for racing. Remember he may not be Secretariat, but you can still have lots of fun at the Weiner Dog races!
It is important if you are running your Dachshund to keep your dog in good physical condition. Have him build up condition gradually prior to the races, so he is not liable to strain muscles or injure himself on race day. Some races employe starting boxes that dogs are contained in and then released from to run a 25 to 50-yard race course towards their owners, who are waiting at the finish line with yummy treats. Other races employ assistants to hold Dachshunds in place and release them at the “go” command to owners waiting at the finish. Races can be held over various terrains, and are usually straight, as participants are “amateurs”, however various course designs can be employed. Courses may be lined with barriers to prevent Dachshunds from going completely off course, which they usually somehow manage anyway!
These events are often held at rodeo grounds, horse or greyhound race tracks, or other special events. Most competitors are household pets not bred for racing--it is all in fun, and money is usually raised for charity from entrance fees.