Weiner Dog Racing
Article: Dog Sports » Weiner Dog Racing
Dachshund racing, or wiener dog racing, is a popular, yet controversial sporting event, primarily found in North America. Typical Dachshund races are either 25 or 50 yards in length, and are run on various surfaces. Many race tracks across America host these events as fundraising or publicity events, and routinely draw the venues’ largest attendance numbers of the year.
In the less formal events, most entrants are not career racers, nor bred for racing. Often, dogs will choose not to run the length of the course and instead visit with other dogs or the owner that released them. Otherwise, dogs will run swiftly to their owner at the finish line, coaxed by food or toys.
The de facto national championship of wiener dog racing is the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals, held in San Diego, California every December as part of the Holiday Bowl, however there are many other venues that claim title to the true “national champion”.
While some compare the sport to English and later American Greyhound racing, others see it having the possibility of harming the breed from strain placed on its spinal column. Others also see the possibility for abuse of racing Dachshunds, as evidenced by the large number of Greyhounds euthanized every year once they have proven unsuitable for racing, and by those given up for adoption.
The Dachshund Club of America opposes dachshund races, not only on the grounds that the breed has a genetic predisposition to back injuries, but also because they are afraid that greyhound or horse tracks will use the events to attract potential customers to see a sport that many animal rights advocates condemn.
Dachshund racing was first held in Australia in the 1970s. Often the meet would have Whippet, Afghan Hound, and Dachshund racing. These events were held by dog owners for fun. Dachshunds have been raced at the University of California, Davis since 1972 as part of the annual Picnic Day event.
This sport began in North America after a 1993 Miller Lite television commercial that listed odd possibilities for sports, and has grown in popularity since in part due to Wiener Takes All a documentary film that chronicles two years of the Wiener Nationals circuit. In 2009, the Wiener Dog Nationals in Fort Wayne, Indiana, held its 16th annual dachshund race. Germantown, Tennessee, a suburb of Memphis, also hosts its own ‘Running of the Wienies’ for charity.
- Dogs in a hurry, The Economist, May 2 2009, p. 45
- Wiener dogs rule day at Germanfest contest
- Website for “Wiener Takes All”, a documentary on dachshund racing
- Wiener Takes All: A Dogumentary at the Internet Movie Database
- Old World Article
- National Dachshund Championships (Ohio)
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