What a Drag! 4 Must-See K-9 Keg Pull Races

Posted by Billy Francis

Winter weather can bring the curtain down on regular sports, but one fiercely contested event is far better with snow on the ground. K-9 keg pull season is here, and there’s nothing quite like watching a feisty, four-legged friend surging through the snow with a keg or beer can in tow. In case you’re worried about the strain on participating pups, note that the kegs are empty and come in a variety of sizes, so even dashing Dachshunds can have a go. To be crowned Keg Pull King, Fido will need strength, speed and stamina. Does he have what it takes?

1. Sunriver Brewing Company K-9 Keg Pull

Sunriver, OR
“This beats being mistaken for a snowman.” Photo by The Village at Sunriver

Sunriver is one of Oregon’s best-loved resorts, and one of its most popular events is the Sunriver Brewing Company K-9 Keg Pull. The race takes place on a 150-foot snow runway in the courtyard of the Village at Sunriver. Register your dog in her weight class (under 10 lbs to over 100 lbs), which determines the weight of her keg. The fastest in each class will be awarded a medal and the title of “Fast as Lightning Fido.” The 2019 keg pull attracted more than 100 participants. Between heats, visit the human and canine vendors located around the track. The event also raises awareness for a good cause; donations of dog food are encouraged on the day to benefit the Humane Society of Central Oregon.

Sunriver Brewing Company K-9 Keg Pull will be held at 12 p.m. on February 1, 2020. If Fido would like to take part, the advance entry fee is $15. After the race, relax with your pooch at the four-star, full-service Sunriver Resort. Nightly rates start at $159.

2. High Country K9 Keg Pull

Blowing Rock, NC
“I have no idea what is going on, but you go first.” Photo by High Country K9 Keg Pull

High Country K9 Keg Pull is entering its fifth year at Blowing Rock WinterFest. Taking place in the mountains of North Carolina, the keg pull is one of the highlights of a festival that celebrates winter with a polar bear plunge, chili cook-off, wine tastings and ice carving. The 2020 keg pull course has been revamped, giving contestants a larger space to run on. When the whistle blows, dogs run alongside their owners on the track, pulling the keg in a sled behind them. Unfortunately, snow isn’t guaranteed in Blowing Rock. If there’s no white stuff, they use a strip of AstroTurf instead. This fun-filled event benefits Partners! Canines. All outdoor WinterFest events are pet-friendly, including the WinterPaws Dog Show. Couch “pugtatoes” may have more chance of winning a prize in the “Cutest-Looking Dog in the World” contest than the keg pull.

Open registration for the High Country K9 Keg Pull starts at 11:30 a.m. on January 25, 2020. Between training sessions, your sleepy mutt can rest her paws by one of the fireplaces at The Homestead Inn. Nightly rates start at $77.

3. K9 Keg Pull on Deadwood Street

Deadwood, SD
“Man, I need a new partner. This lady is dead wood.” Photo by Historic Deadwood

Deadwood was established in 1876, during the Black Hills gold rush. The city’s legends of outlaws, gamblers, heroines and villains have been immortalized in the popular TV series of the same name. Bring Fido to learn about the city’s checkered past, explore the historic downtown and take part in the K9 Keg Pull on Deadwood Street. Every January, Deadwood Street is cleared of traffic for the annual event. Canine contestants are cheered on by excited crowds and owners who run beside them. Dogs are assigned a division and keg size based on their weight.

K9 Keg Pull on Deadwood Street begins at 11 a.m. on January 25, 2020. Treat your snowdog to a stay at the pet-friendly Holiday Inn Resort Deadwood Mountain Grand, where furry guests are welcomed with treats. Nightly rates start at $53.

4. Eichardt’s Annual K9 Keg Pull

Sandpoint, ID
“This thing better be full of dog beer.” Photo by Facebook.com/PASIdaho

Kicking off with a parade of lights, Sandpoint Idaho's Annual Winter Carnival celebrates all the things we love about the chilly season. Eichardt’s Annual K9 Keg Pull is one of its signature events. Held in the Granary District, named for the 75-foot grain storage building still occupying the site, this intense battle through the snow draws large crowds every year. Dogs of all sizes take turns running full-pelt down the snow-packed course, dragging a keg or can of beer in their wake.

Registration for Eichardt’s Annual K9 Keg Pull starts at 9 a.m. on February 23, 2020. The $10 entry fee goes to the Panhandle Animal Shelter. Reflect on the race in your room at La Quinta Sandpoint, where four-legged guests receive a welcome bag with two bones and two waste bags at check-in.

What unusual winter sports have you tried with your dog? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by @matt__weber__.