Colony Days Parade

Dogtoberfest 2017

For the third year, Dogtoberfest will occur at the annual Colony Days celebration in downtown Atascadero. The wiener dog (and small dog) races, and costume contest will take place in Sunken Gardens between 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21.

Heilmann Dog Park’s 10th annual Dogtoberfest will be held in the Sunken Gardens on Saturday, Oct. 21 from noon to 3 p.m.  This year group is collaborating with Atascadero’s Colony Days, and the event will be held after the Colony Days parade in Sunken Gardens closest to city hall.  Dogtoberfest 2017 includes wiener dog races and small dog races that are open to any dog 25 pounds or less. The six-lane race track is 32 feet long. Wiener dogs and small dogs race in separate heats. The two top race winners in each heat advance to the next round. Each dog needs two handlers, one to release the dog onto the track at the go signal, and a catcher at the track end.

The unpredictable behavior of the four-legged racers makes this a very entertaining event. Many of the participants are amateurs or beginners with little training. Some instinctively know to go straight to the end as fast as they can. A few of the defending champions, however, take it seriously. Some dogs train with their owners year-round to try to win.  First and second place winners in the wiener division and the small dog division will receive prizes provided by Lemos Feed & Pet Supply as well as trophies.   

The Dogtoberfest event is sponsored by Lemos Feed & Pet Supply, Fifth District SLO County Supervisor Debbie Arnold and Rocky Canyon Kennels and features other events including:

  • 10 to 12:30 p.m.  Race Registrations
  • 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Wiener Races and Small Dog Races
  • 2:30 p.m.  Pet Costume Contest (any size dog can participate)

Racer registration is $20, which includes a racer’s goodie bag provided by Lemos Feed & Pet Supply.  Entry into the pet costume contest is free. Event proceeds will benefit Heilmann Dog Park.

For the full rules and entry form, CLICK on the following link: ColonyDaysRegWaiver2017.

Dog Race Event Rules

The race track is 12 feet wide and 32 feet long with lane dividers to allow for up to six racers at a time. The track is surrounded by fencing to separate dogs and racers from spectators. Dogs may be off-leash in the track area but must be kept on-leash at all times outside the track.

The rules are presented at the beginning of each heat by the race judge. Volunteers will be available to provide any assistance that you might need.

  • Only Dachshunds may enter the Wiener Dog Race. Proof of dachshund pedigree is not required however your dog must look like a dachshund.
  • The small dog division is open to any breed of dog under 25 pounds in weight.
  • All dogs must have two handlers for the event. One handler will release the dog at the starting line and one handler will “catch” the dog at the finish line.
  • Dogs must be held at the starting line until the whistle is blown to start the race. No “throwing” of the dogs onto the track is permitted.
  • Do not release the dog before the whistle is heard as one false start will disqualify the racer.
  • Lane jumping at any point on the track will disqualify a racer.
  • Handlers at the finish line must remain behind the line & cannot reach into the track to catch their dog.
  • The number of heats will be determined by the number of racers. Typically, the top 2 racers in each heat will advance to the next round.  In case of a tie or other special circumstances such as if a racer is cut-off, more than 2 racers may advance to the next round.
  • Dog handlers at the finish line can bring a toy to entice their dog. No food is allowed in the race area. Please be considerate of the others in your choice of motivation for your dog. No object may be tossed down the track.
  • The judges’ decisions are final.

A trophy and gift basket is planned to be awarded to the first and second place finishers of the finals for each division.



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