Monday, August 31, 2009

When Wiener Races Go Bad

We try to avoid controversy around these parts, but sometimes we just can't help ourselves in the interest of Dachshund welfare. Above, crowds braved the thick drizzle to watch mini Daschunds jump over hurdles during the Hot Dog Pig races at the 61st Terryville Country Fair Saturday afternoon in Plymouth, Connecticut. Excerpt from the Republican American:

With a job description combining coach, animal keeper and entertainer, Brian Cromer, 24, a New Jersey college student, will return to the Terryville Country Fair today for a final round of five sets of pig and dachshund races.
Cromer, a seven-year veteran of David Feimster's New Jersey-based F & F Productions, is nearing the end of a career that began drag racing pet skunks at fairs.

Now, a few weeks ago, we featured a video where Dachshunds raced at a county fair in a circled pen, and then quickly ran back inside some sort of camper. The video was since removed from youtube, and we also removed the posting. We were curious how the dogs knew to race in a circle like that, unless they were trained to do so. We don't know for sure that these are the same Dachshunds in the above photo, but we think that they are.
These sort of public exhibitions - where Dachshund owners are not directly involved with the racing has us a bit concerned. Any agility or flyball fan will tell you that the hurdles these Dachshunds are jumping in the above photo are way too high for a Dachshund; they will injure their backs. Does that Dachshund look happy to you? Not to us. We see a painful "help me" look on his face.
It's a thin line to such public demonstrations as this and greyhound racing - something that Dachshund Lovers need to keep their eye on in the best interest of the Dachshund breed. This is also a thin line to Dachshunds performing in the Ringling Bros Circus, and Dachshunds racing on ice where they could be injured. Of course, it's easy to sit at your computer and judge things that happen on the other side of the country. But beware, Dachshund Lovers are watching. One wrong move, and we'll be all over you. Here's a link to F&F productions. We don't support them.
The fairs that support such activities should be boycotted and protested.


Clancy said...

Thanks for taking a stand. Races are fun; this isn't.

Anonymous said...

This is why DCA will not sanction any kind of dachshund races.

AmyM said...

Amen Carson, this is awful and those poor little dogs are not having fun.

Meg said...

what is the best way to protest this activity?

Joey and Maggie said...

Hi Meg,
We're not sure. We did contact PETA (love 'em or hate 'em), who has had some dealings with F&F productions and their pig racing in the past:
We also contacted our friend, the President of DRNA, who thinks that these folks were at an event she was at before, but wasn't aware of the Dachshunds.
If we lived near a fair where this organization was set to show, we would organize a rally.
But maybe the simplest thing to do is, hoping that the company takes good care of its animals based on how the owner spoke in the above link against PETA, if several people were to contact him and politely explain how the jumps are too high for Dachshunds. Maybe he'll listen. That's probably the best we could hope for.

Meg said...

Thanks, I'll send him a "polite" email about the jump height. Interesting article.

Joey and Maggie said...

That link didn't post for some reason, here it is formatted:

It's interesting that PETA made some headway with the racing of pigs back in 2002 in some counties. Let's hope something can be done with this Dachshund racer in other counties.
We understand the DCA's stance to not support wiener racing of any type as it could lead to something far worse like greyhound racing. But when it's just for fun, the dogs can't get hurt, and the dog's humans are involved, we don't personally don't see the harm.
Thanks for sending a note to him!

kalyxcorn said...

i agree. one thing to be havin fun with your wiener dog for the pet owner bonding, quite another to be doing it as it seems to be here. good job keeping us aware.

Kim, Sampson & T-Lee said...

not only are the jumps to high, they are to close together for the dog to get the proper stride needed for the jump. another note- the dogs should never run with anything attached to them! the costumes while cute, could get caught and impedes a proper jump form. how do we know? we LIVE for the properly built agility course! a *polite* email was sent, with the offer to help design a safer, while entertaining course for the dachshunds.

Kyla Duffy said...

Thank you for pointing out how dangerous it is to have Doxies jump "high" hurdles. I've just been introduced to the breed recently, as I'm compiling a book called "Lost Souls: Found!" full of stories from people who have adopted Dachshunds. After reading over 100 stories, I'm amazed about how many involved a Dachshund with some sort of back injury! These dogs clearly have very delicate backs and should not be doing things like jumping high hurdles. Many can't even safely jump on and off furniture. It was so sweet to read about the lengths Doxie lovers to go to ensure their dog's safety - many build ramps around the house so their dog may roam freely... safely.

As you suggested, I will boycott any fairgrounds that host these types of events.

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