Dachshund Derby Registration Page

Proudly Presented by Von Elrod’s


OCTOBER 11th-14th, 2018

Admission is FREE


OCTOBER 11th-14th, 2018

Admission is FREE


Small Dogs, Big Impact

Held each October, the Oktoberfest Dachshund Derby is our largest fundraising event of the year. Proceeds benefit Crossroads Campus located in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood.

Date & Time: SUNDAY AT 3PM

Race Location: Festival Grounds of the Nashville Oktoberfest

Online Registration Deadline: Saturday at 11pm

Fee per Racer:  $20 until Saturday at 11 pm

Day of Race Late Registration:  From 10am-1pm at Red Rover Tent
Late Registration Fee:

*Day of race entries will be put on a waiting list for an open heat.

All race entry fees benefit Crossroads Campus in the Historic Germantown Neighborhood.


Puppy Races: Dachshunds 3-10 months old (25 ft track)

Mini Races: Dachshunds up to 15 pounds (50 ft track)

Standard (Tweenie) Races: Dachshunds over 15 pounds (50 ft track)

Senior Races: Dachshunds 9 years or older (25 ft track)

Doxie Mix Races: Dachshund mixes 1 year or older (50 ft track)

Heats for each category will be assigned at random by event coordinators.


All racers must be checked in between 10 am and 2 pm on race day. CHECK-IN LOCATION: Our tent will be at the corner of 6th Ave North & Jefferson Street. After check-in, racers will be placed in heats for each of the 5 race categories.

Races begin at 3 pm.


There will be no refunds of Dachshund Derby registrations for any reason.


Want to “test run” the track?

Not a dachshund? If the track is set up, all breeds are welcome to “test run” the full race track the Friday and Saturday of Oktoberfest. Dogs must be supervised at all times. We ask everyone to please be courteous; do not overcrowd the race track or touch the race gates. No dogs will be permitted on race track prior to race time on Sunday.


(Last updated July 2017)

  • All racers shall be a dachshund or dachshund mix to enter.
  • All humans shall sign a liability waiver for each dog entering the race. Waiver will include a sworn statement that each dog entered is up to date on Rabies Vaccinations. Owners are encouraged to bring proof of vaccinations or letter from their vet.
  • Each dog shall be accompanied by 2 humans, one human to release dog from start gate and one human to catch dog at the finish line. *Helpful Hint: The dogs favorite human should be at the finish line!*
  • There shall be no false starts and dogs must cross finish line completely.
  • Humans shall stay behind the finish line and may not reach across the finish line to pull dogs across.
  • Owners may have dog’s favorite TOY or TREAT behind the finish line to help motivate them during the race. NO Laser lights allowed. NO throwing balls down the track.
  • All dogs shall be registered by 2:00 pm CT day of race. Names for each heat will only be called twice.
  • All Judges’ rulings are final. Race Rules shall NOT tolerate arguing with the judges, officials, or event coordinators in any way! You will be removed from the event should any such argument occur.
  • Any dog that is injured before a race starts shall not be eligible to race.
  • No weenie shall be forced to race. This is meant to be a fun bonding event with humans and their dogs. Should judges or coordinators suspect animal mistreatment (ex. over-training), dogs and owners may be disqualified for health purposes.
  • All dogs must be on a leash while not racing.
  • Any dog of any breed shall be permitted to view the events and participate in the rest of Oktoberfest so long as they are well socialized and up-to-date on vaccinations.
  • We encourage you to test run our race track on Friday/Saturday and participate in the Red Rover Pup Parade on Saturday!
  • Any dog that bites another dog, person or handler shall not be permitted at the races.
  • So long as the track is ready, any dog of any breed shall be permitted to “test run” the race track on Friday and Saturday of Oktoberfest. Dogs must be supervised at all times and humans must pick up any mess left by their dogs. No “test runs” on Sunday as track will need to be ready to race!

Have a great time! Live Long & Run Strong!


Dachshund Derby FAQs

Where Are the Races?

The Dachshund Derby is held at the Nashville Oktoberfest adjacent to Historic Germantown in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. We will keep entrants posted as we have an exact location for this year’s race.

Where Do I Check In?

There will be a large sign for the Dachshund Derby near the race track. Online entrants will receive an email with where to check in. We will also post updates to the Nashville Oktoberfest Dachshund Derby Facebook Page.

What Time is Check In?

Check in and day of registrations will start at 12:30 pm on race day, Sunday, October 8th. All participants must be registered by 2:00 pm on race day and checked in by 2:30 pm. We cannot guarantee a spot if you are not checked in by 2:30 pm but we will do our best to accommodate late check ins.

When Does Registration/Check In Close?

Registration closes at 2:00 pm. All pre-registered dogs must check in by 2:30 pm.

How Do I Know Which Heat I’m In?

You will be told and given a piece of paper with your heat group/number written down at check in.

How Do I Know When It’s My Turn?

An announcer will call two heats: the one about the race and the one that is “on-deck” by owner/dog name. Please listen attentively! Each heat will only be called twice and races move quickly! We will also write the current heat on a white board held by a volunteer.

How Do Judge’s Identify the Winner?

Judge’s stand near the finish line and call the dogs that cross the finish line first, second, and third. All judge’s rulings are final. There are no finish line photographers so there is not footage to review, unless… Are you a photographer who wants to volunteer to capture a “photo finish?” Send us an email.

Where Do We Wait?

You are welcome to cool down in the registration tent where water will be provided for dogs or hang out in the general spectator area. While we encourage you to watch and cheer on other races, you may roam as much as you wish before and after your race but please keep in mind each heat will only be called twice. Remember, races move quickly! It’s not an exact science but we approximate each run to take about 7 minutes (includes rounding people up and clearing the track.)

Where is there Water? Shade?

Water (for dogs) and shade will be in the registration tent available to participants. Spectators may wish to bring an umbrella for cover if it is hot as there will not likely be much shade.

What if I Qualify for the Semi-Final or Final Race?

Most groups will have more than one race. If your dog wins, he/she will be assigned to a semi-final race and race again once all of the qualifying (first) races in that group are complete. The procedure for final races is the same.

Where Do I Get My T-Shirt and Swag Bag?

You will either be given these items at check-in/registration or directed to where to get them after the race. If you have any questions, you can always ask a volunteer in the registration tent.

What Are the Rules?

Please visit our Rules lower on this page.

How Many People Does it Take to Race a Dachshund?

LoL, right? Well, we’re serious. It takes two, baby! Two people to race a dachshund. One to hold them at the start. Another to call them to the finish line.

How Do I Race My Dog?

1. It takes two people to race a dachshund. One person will hold the dog behind the starting gate. Another will call the dog to the finish line.*Helpful Hint* The person at the finish line should be the dog’s favorite human or their human “pack leader.”

2. When your heat is called as “on-deck,” please proceed with your team (remember, you’re 2 people + a dachshund) to the starting area. There will be a holding area for the on-deck heat. This is where you will hang out while the race before you runs.

3. If bandanna’s or other race ID is provided, please take the time to secure the bandanna to your dog if you haven’t already. If using a safety pin, be careful not to poke your pup 🙂

4. Once the previous race has cleared the track and your names are re-called, a volunteer will tell you which race gate to go to. Generally, we are trying to fill in the gates from the farthest to nearest on the track.

5. Person one will remove the leash and hold your dog behind the starting gate. Person two will then show the dog their hand, favorite toy, or treat and walk backwards slowly down the track so your dog knows where to run. **It’s important your dog see where you are going so they know where to find you!**

6. The announcer will call “On your mark – get set – go!” and the dachshunds are off!

7. Wait for the dogs to cross the finish line completely before grabbing your dog. There is a gate and we will make sure everyone has their dog before opening it.

8. Winners will be called. If your dog won, you will move on and race again in a semi-final or final heat.

9. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners may be asked to pose for a photo after the final race. We may ask all heats to pose for a photo if there are enough volunteers.

What Do We Win?

Exactly like the Olympics (sort of,) 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will receive a shiny, official Nashville Oktoberfest Dachshund Derby medal in gold, silver, or bronze colors.

How Do I Know If My Dog Is A Good Racer?

Full disclosure: you really don’t. With large crowds and unfamiliar environment, even the most prepared racers can get cold feet. There is a fairly large chance your dog will do one of three things 1) refuse to run and possibly roll over at the starting person’s feet 2) get wildly side-tracked by another dog or the racetrack, itself 3) run, but not at all in a straight line. Of course, you dog could also end up being world’s best runner and head straight to the finish line! Regardless whether or not your pup is destined for the Steeplechase, you will have a lasting (probably humorous) memory with your pup in support of a great cause that you’ll want to share for years to come!

What Is Your Refund Policy?

Sorry, no refunds.


1) Proceeds from this race benefit Crossroads Campus, a wonderful non-profit located in Germantown neighborhood.
2) See above.

What If My Dog Gets Hurt?

While these races are meant to be fun, exciting, and low key, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. We have asked for a volunteer vet to be on-site during the races as a precaution. Please also remember to keep you pup cool and well hydrated. We encourage you to bring water (though water and shade will be available in the registration tent.) All dogs must be on a leash when not racing. Remember, all participants must sign a waiver of liability at the time of registration.

What is Crossroads Campus?

Proceeds from Nashville Oktoberfest Dachshund Derby benefit Crossroads Campus in Historic Germantown. Originally Crossroads Shop & Adopt, here’s an excerpt from their website: “We believe that we can stop the cycle of animal cruelty by providing humane education and a safe environment that builds and fosters caring human-animal connections. We bring together rescued shelter animals and young people facing adversity to create hope and a sense of connection. We also equip young adults with the job and life skills they need to break negative cycles and live a life of empowerment.” Learn more at


pup parade winners


What Do We Win?!

Just like the Olympics (sort of)! 1st , 2nd, and 3rd place winners will receive a shiny, Official Nashville Oktoberfest Dachshund Derby medal in gold, silver, or bronze colors.

The races are meant to be fun and exciting. A Veterinarian will be on-site during the races as a precaution in case your racers need medical attention.


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Thank You to the Nashville Oktoberfest Dachshund Derby Sponsors!

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