Dachshunds are very energetic dogs with a lot of stamina. These are remnants from the years of being used as hunting dogs. It is no surprise that people have found a way to find other applications for those qualities aside from hunting. One of such applications is racing.
First Dachshund or wiener dog as they are also known, races have been held in Australia in the 70s. These events were highly informal, and often also included other breeds. It wasn’t until 1993 that this sport became popular in North America.
The sport has met with a lot of opposition from the animal rights advocates, not only because they find it somewhat disrespectful, but mainly because Dachshund’s length makes their spines quite sensitive to injury, and the strain that racing can put on them can be quite harmful. Another reason for the objections is that a lot of people acquired Dachshunds solely for the purpose of racing them, and once the dog is proven to be unsuccessful, or too old for races the owners would just euthanize or get rid of them.
Still, races are being held despite the objections, usually on Greyhound tracks that can be 25 or 50 yards long with different types of surfaces. These races are generally not taken too seriously as most of the dogs that participate are not bred for that purpose. This can be quite obvious as the dogs will quite often completely disregard the race and either stay with their owner at the beginning of the track, or run around playing with other dogs. A percentage of dogs that actually get to finish the race is not that impressive. That is why the races are usually held as background entertainment for some other type of event.