My husband and I spent the weekend camping in Frankenmuth celebrating Oktoberfest. This was the first year for me, but I had been hearing for years how fun it was. We started planning this a year ago, made the reservations 6 months ago, and it met all of our expectations. When we got to the campground, we were given a brochure of events for the weekend. I was very excited to see that there was going to be a Weiner Dog Race Saturday at noon. We got there right on time, and picked the best seats possible. It didn't take long before I realized that we were going to have to move closer. So I grabbed my son and we sat down on the floor at the end of the catchers. We got to watch all the warm ups, practice runs, the 10 different heats, and the Final Race. The crowd cheered on with such enthusiasm whenever the Master of Events shouted 3,2,1 RELEASE YOUR WEINER!! The dogs would take off and make as mad of a dash for the other end of the track as possible. I loved it!!
The track doubled as a dance floor for the Polka Bands later in the afternoon and evening as the day continued on. I'm not sure exactly how far the dogs had to run, but my best guess would be about 100ft. They had two colored lines on the track. The first one was the blue one. The second was the green line. The dogs had to be behind the green line, and had to run to the other end to the "catcher", who was behind the other green line. The first dog across the blue finish line was the winner. As I was watching the dogs warm up and practice one thing struck me over and over....some people were WAY more prepared for this than others. The family that won certainly had the right recipe for making their dog successful. First, they used a whistle to keep the dogs attention on them. The catcher continuously blew the whistle so her dog could find her and keep his attention on her. Then, the catcher used a favorite toy to build the dogs' intensity and drive. She wanted to make that dog want the toy so bad he would run as fast as possible for the toy. Finally, she had an irresistible treat for the dog when he made it to her. He actually got to get the ball and play with it. The biggest mistake I saw other catchers make with their dogs, was NOT making themselves more interesting than the others dogs. There was a lot of dogs running to other dogs or catchers because they wanted what the other dog was going to get. Several of the catchers were depriving their dogs of the reward. They didn't give their dog the treat or toy when the dog would get to them.
It was all a great example of how much a dog was willing to do for their owner, a toy, or some food. The dog that won has won for the last 3 years in a row!! All in all, I will be back next year!