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Wiener Dog Racing: Learn More & Find A Race Near You


Last Updated: June 9, 2024 | 5 min read | Leave a Comment

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Two wiener dogs racing in grass running.
Image credit: Stephaniellen, Shutterstock

You might have heard of Greyhound racing, but have you heard of wiener dog racing? That’s right, Dachshund races might sound crazy, but it’s a thing. Wiener races happen throughout the year, where Doxie lovers and the community get together to have lots of fun and raise money for charity. Don’t let their little legs fool you; these low but long pups are packed with horsepower. My little Doxie Chips gives our Whippet friend Bluebell a serious run for her money. You have to see it to believe it, so let’s dive into the world of wiener dog racing.

What Is Wiener Dog Racing?

Wiener racing is a popular sporting event across America, usually held for fundraising or publicity purposes. Dachshunds race short distances, usually 25 or 50 yards, hoping to win the Doxie trophy and sometimes a cash prize. Some Doxie owners travel far and wide to enter their lowriders into these championships.

Most events are informal races, and usually, entrants are family pups excited for a fun day out. Many of the Doxies end up running around chasing each other and never make it to the finish line. But a few larger events are serious business, and some Wieners are career racers. These fun family events take place in all kinds of places. Some occur in local playing fields set up by the community. Some take place in larger sporting venues and usually draw the largest crowds of the year.

Learn more about the German Dachshund breed in our comprehensive guide.

If you’re wondering where to attend or sign up for local wiener racing events, you’ll be pleased to know there are quite a few. Here are some of the most popular Dachshund races in the country.

Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals

America’s most famous is the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals in San Diego, California. The national championship takes place at Los Alamitos Race Course during the summer and every December for the Holiday Bowl. Sometimes, over 100 Doxies race for the title with over 7,000 spectators. This fundraising event is for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center, a non-kill shelter in Orange County. The Wiener Nationals have raised around $300,000 over the years.

Beenie Vonweenie has been the top dog in several races and crowned the fastest Wiener of the West. So, what’s the secret to getting him to cross the line? According to Vonweenie’s owner, Nicolee Leonard, Vonweenie loves her socks, so she teases him with a pair at the finish line. They also hold a race for Doxies aged one and under called the Diaper Dash. Check out this cute video showing the Doxie Derby and the crazy cute Beenie Vonweenie in action.

Starkville Dachshund Derby

The Starkville Dachshund Derby is a big family fun day held in this university town in Mississippi. Recently, over 200 Doxies took part in the races, and 60,000 Doxie lovers attended, raising over $44,000 for local dog shelters. The event became so popular that they created four categories: seniors, adults, puppies, and pretenders. Any dog breed can participate in the last category on the condition they wear a hotdog costume. Every year, there is a theme, such as “Star Weens,” a classic play on Star Wars.

Buda Wiener Dog Races

Buda is a city in Texas, and it has been named the Wiener Dog Capital of Texas. The Buda Lion’s Club hosts the event in the city’s main park, welcoming around 20,000 attendees and close to 700 long and low Wiener dogs. The Lion’s Club is a Christian charity that raises money for children and adults with vision impairments and other disabilities. The winning wiener takes a $500 cash prize and bragging rights for the year ahead.

UC Davis School Of Veterinary Medicine

As part of the Picnic Day event in April, the university holds an annual Doxie Derby to raise funds for veterinary students at one of the most prestigious veterinary schools in the country. The event first took place in 1909, and it has raised funds for over thirty years. The cute canines chase after a simulated rabbit, and with the use of instant replays, the top dog is crowned the winning wiener.

Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash

Every year, over 100 Dachshunds race to raise funds for a local dog shelter in DC. The races coincide with Oktoberfest, and families can also learn traditional German polka dancing and compete in Stein hoisting competitions. The Dachshund Dash takes place on the stunning waterfront, a mile-long promenade called “The Wharf.”

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

This race is called “Running of the Wieners,” and it’s best known for the participants who race in hotdog costumes. This annual festival, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, celebrates Cincinnati’s German heritage and is thought to be the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the US. It welcomes around 800,000 attendees each year and has been going since 1976.

History Of Wiener Racing

Doxie racing started in the 1970s in Australia, where Afghan Hounds, Whippets, and Wieners raced for fun in their local communities. In 1993, Miller Lite produced a television commercial that showed odd sports, one of which was wiener dog racing. This commercial started the nation’s love for racing. In 2007, the documentary “Wiener Takes All” followed two years of events and stories at the Wiener Nationals. Watch the comically cute Miller Lite commercial.

Is Wiener Dog Racing Safe?

There are different views on wiener dog racing, which is controversial for Doxie lovers. The Dachshund Club of America (DCA) states that racing is bad for the breed because they are not racing dogs. Dachshunds are underground hunters, specifically badger hunters. Plus, they believe that their long and low body and increased risk of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) make them unsuitable for racing.

There is little research on whether wiener dog racing is safe. However, most owners and their pups run short distances for fun. Regardless of where you stand on this Doxie debate, owners need to be aware of the risks and put the safety of their dogs before anything else. Whether you race your Dachshund or not, you should consider the best pet insurance for your pup to help offset the costs of unexpected medical care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many of our readers still have questions about Dachshunds and wiener dog racing. If you can’t find your question below, let us know in the comments, and we’ll find the answer for you.

When Is Wiener Dog Racing?

So, whether you’re looking for the fastest Wiener in the West or entering your new entrant in the East, there are Dachshund races nationwide. Wiener dog racing is usually held in the warmer summer months and around Oktoberfest and December.

How Fast Can Dachshunds Run?

There are no clear-cut answers to this, but experts estimate that Dachshunds can run between 15 and 20mph. One Dachshund, Nugget, was calculated to run just over 22mph during the “Fastest Dog USA” races.

Who Is The Fastest Dachshund Of All Time?

It’s not known who the fastest Dachshund is officially, but after some research, three pups stand out. Nugget, mentioned above, is a super quick pup. Then there’s a Doxie named Zeus, the Germanfest champ from 2006 to 2009, recognized as one of the most outstanding racing Dachshunds ever. Last but not least is Beenie Vonweenie, a multi-champion of the Wiener Nationals.

Learn More About Dachshunds

Do you love Dachshunds and want to learn more about them? We have loads of guides about Dachshunds, from their wide range of coat colors to their expected lifespan. We also have a Wiener growth chart guide and the best Doxie beds for them to relax and recharge after a day of Wiener racing.

Has your Dachshund participated in a race? Perhaps attending a yearly Wiener dog race is part of your family tradition? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Emma is a proud mom to two rescue dogs, Bonkers and a beautiful Doxie named Chips. She and her pups live on the coast and enjoy walks on the beach most days. Chips is a tweenie Wiener (between miniature and standard), and she can run super quick. Emma enjoys writing about her experiences and knowledge as a dog owner, professional dog walker, and sitter. She works with a dedicated and knowledgeable team to bring the most up-to-date information to their readers.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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