Beenie Von Weenie Crowned Fastest Wiener Dog in the West

by Britt
Photo credit: Gregory Johnston /

Hold your horses (or your dogs); there’s a new legend racing its way across the finish line. The 26th Annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals were held July 15th at the Los Alamitos Race Course. This event brings together Dachshunds from all over to race for the title of the “Fastest Wiener Dog in the West.”

When picturing the horizontally gifted Dachshund, most people aren’t picturing race dogs like they do with Greyhounds. But Dachshund racing isn’t a new sport. Records show that it started in the 1970s in Australia. The sport didn’t take off in North America until it was featured in a 1993 Miller Lite commercial.

Today, the United States is the most prevalent location for wiener dog racing (although it still happens in other countries around the world). It is often seen as a publicity event or fundraiser, drawing in record attendance numbers and offering entertainment for dog lovers of all ages.

But what was the Dachshund initially bred for? The breed can trace its roots to Germany, where they were first bred to track and hunt badgers. This explains their unique size and stature. Their short legs allow them to burrow into the dens of their prey, while their long body gives them the ability to move through the underground burrows with ease. The breed’s original creators would never have pictured their little hunting machine tearing down the racetracks.

The race held in California involved smaller groups of Dachshunds racing in short 50-yard trial heats. From approximately 100 competitors, a winner was crowned, and that winner was a 2-year-old chocolate-colored doxie named Beenie Von Weenie!

“Racing from post number two, Beenie Von Weenie flew to a big lead early on, drifted outside to bump Cannonball Charlie and Rowdy, then barked at Penny G in mid-run before focusing on the finish line to win the title by a long ear and tail,” stated race organizers in a press release about the event.

Beenie Von Weenie and his proud owner Nicolee Leonard took home the title of “Fastest Wiener Dog in the West,” along with a new doghouse, $1000, and a trophy to proudly display at home.

Why are over 100 competitors and approximately 7000 fans gathering for the event? The Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals are held yearly to raise much-needed funding for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center. This non-profit organization works to find homes for stray animals and those in need in Orange County. According to the Los Alamitos Race Course website, this event has raised around $300,000 through ticket and t-shirt sales.

If you live in the California area and are interested in participating in next year’s event, now is the time to get your entry in! It’s free to enter, with the possibility of winning $100 for winning your trial heat and an additional $900 for the grand champion. Just email and share why your doxie should be considered for the limited participant spots.

The event organizers encourage those interested to get creative to make their entry stand out, including a photo of your Dachshund and a story, poem, drawing, essay, video, or link to your social media page. The more creative, the better!

Remember, it’s for a good cause…


Britt Kascjak is a proud pet mom, sharing her heart (and her home) with her “pack” which includes her husband John, their 2 dogs – Indiana and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx. She has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the country camping, hiking, and canoeing with her pets.

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