Dachshund Derby Registration
ONLY 160 Dogs can compete in the Derby

Sunday, October 13, 3pm

Small Dogs, Big Impact

Held each year, the Oktoberfest Dachshund Derby is a crowd favorite and a fundraising event for Crossroads Campus, a non-profit located in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood. Crossroads provides job training and mentoring to at-risk teens and animal adoptions ([email protected]). Who knew such small dogs could run so fast – or sometimes — not?

Date & Time:  Sunday, October 13th at 3 pm
Race Location: North End of Bicentennial Mall
Online Registration Deadline: Saturday, October 12th at 10 pm
Fee per Racer: $25 until October 12th at 10 pm

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


Note: All Dachshunds/Dachshund mixes must be less than 12″ tall to fit in the start gate.

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: Dachshunds 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 noon and 2 pm on at the Derby registration tent on the Bicentennial Mall by the race track. 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.

Race Rules

  • All racers shall be a dachshund or dachshund mix to enter.
  • No dog shall be forced to race. Any dog that is injured shall not be eligible to race.
  • All owners shall sign a liability waiver for each dog entering the race. Waivers include a statement that each dog entered is up to date on rabies vaccinations.
  • When not racing, all dogs must be on a leash.
  • Each dog shall be accompanied by 2 humans—one at the start gate and one at the finish line.
  • Dogs must be in the starting gate until the race announcer has called GO.
  • Dogs must completely cross the finish line. Any reaching across the finish line to pull the dog over by the human is unsportsmanlike behavior and will result in disqualification.
  • Humans may have a favorite toy or treat behind the finish line to help motivate their racers.
  • No laser lights. No balls or other toys may be thrown on the track. This will result in disqualification.
  • Any dog that bites another dog, person, or handler will not be permitted to race.
  • Judging Officials’ rulings are final. Attempts to argue with Judging Official or Event Coordinators will result in removal from the event.

Have a great time! Live Long & Run Strong!


The Dachshund Derby will be held on the north end of the Bicentennial Mall.
There will be a registration/check in tent by the Dachshund Derby race track and a large banner that says Dachshund Derby. We will also post updates to the Nashville Oktoberfest Dachshund Derby Facebook Page.

Check in and day of registrations will start at noon on race day, Sunday, October 14th. 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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.)

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.

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.

You will be given your shirt at check in.

Please visit our Rules & Regulations section on this page.

It takes a team of two people to race, one to hold the dog at the start gate and one to call the dog to the finish line.

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.

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.

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, your 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!

Sorry, no refunds.


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

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 CrossroadsCampus.org

Registration Form