How to Train for the Weiner Dog Races

By Jane Meggitt

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In some sports, to finish is to win. That's generally true of tough competitions that require extensive training. It's also true in the world of weiner dog racing, although in this case the winner might be the only dog crossing the finish line. The others decided to chase a squirrel, visit with onlookers or attend to nature's call. Training for weiner dog racing isn't a strenuous activity. It's primarily about fun for a dachshund and his person.

Weiner Dog Racing

No one will ever mistake weiner dog racing for the greyhound version. There's no betting, and the race is generally run as a fundraiser for animal shelters or other charities. For example, the annual Weinerschnitzel Weiner Nationals, run at Los Alamitos Race Course in California, has raised more than $220,000 for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center since its inception in 1996. Weiner dog races are run at between 25 and 50 meters. The owner waits for his doxie at the finish line. That's both an incentive for the dog to finish the race and to receive a treat.

Will Run for Food

Most owners train their weiner dog competitors with treats. The three-time winner of the Savannah, Georgia Weiner Dog Races told the Savannah Morning News that she starts training her day for the annual event about two weeks beforehand, rewarding him with hotdog bits if he would run to anyone from a distance. For best results, keep your doxie in good condition all year, taking him on walks and not letting him become overweight. As the competition date draws near, begin specific weiner dog race training.

Racing Equipment

Training for weiner dog racing requires just basic equipment. You'll need to measure out the distance, perhaps using lime to delineate the "track." Devise a starting box, with a door that can be raised for the dog's release. Have a friend act as referee to start the practice race, opening the door.

Start Slowly

Don't start running your weiner dog at 25 or 50 meters initially. Begin training your dog to run shorter distances, with you standing at the finish line and a friend releasing your pet. Your friend can throw your dog's favorite toy in the direction of the finish line, so your doxie gets the drift. When he arrives at the finish line, he gets lots of praise and a treat. Even if he runs in the right direction but doesn't quite get to the finish line, he gets praise for effort.

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Author

Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

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