When it comes to having dogs try to outrun each other, there is quite a bit of variety. The one that is probably most familiar to people is the greyhound racing, which originated in 1876 in England. There are two types when racing the greyhound. Track racing which involves going around an oval shaped track, and coursing. Coursing is pretty brutal, as it involves the greyhounds chasing after a lure, which is a rabbit that could potentially be killed by the dog.
Track racing uses an artificial lure that sits on the rail of the track and remains ahead of the dogs for the entire race. It simulates the chase of a real lure all the same. An American named Owen Patrick Smith was the first to have the idea of using the artificial lure and put a stop to killing innocent rabbits. He opened the first dog racing track in America in 1919 in Emeryville, California.
Although there is much less money to be made, in the USA, you are allowed to bet on these races. Macau, Spain, Ireland, Australia, Mexico, and the UK also feature gambling on the races, but most countries that race dogs do so only for fun.
Used as a winter sport, a team of sled dogs pull a sled with the driver (the musher) guiding them along. The course travels through cold temperatures over snow and ice. Unlike the greyhounds that are done racing after a quick sprint around a track, sled dog racing is about endurance. Even the shorter races fall into ranges of 4-100 miles. The mid length races get up to 300 miles, and the long distance runs can stretch on for 1,000 miles. The races are also categorized by how many dogs are in each race team. Common team sizes are 4, 6, 8, or 10.
A person on skis being pulled by a dog, or a team of dogs is called skijoring. You can also see this style of racing with the person being pulled by a horse or vehicle. The skier has poles to power themselves and steer, while the dogs assist the rest of the work by pulling you along. Serving as a winter sport, like with sled dog racing, the races can stretch on for extensive distances, or they can just be a sprint. The typical skijoring race length is at least 3 miles. This type of racing is for a larger sized dog.
Similar to skijoring and sled racing, scootering is not reserved only for the winter. It is done more on a dirt or concrete surface. The dog is harnessed to the scooter the same way they are for the sled, and are pulling the driver who sits atop the scooter.
A more scrutinized race, these races go on only for about 25-50 yards. Dachshunds are the little wiener dogs. They are often held at fundraising events, and in many cases, the dogs are not even bred for racing. The criticism comes from the fact that racing these dogs can be hard on their spine, as this specific breed of dogs are already more susceptible to back injuries than the average dog.
Going to the dog track to bet the greyhounds is going to be a similar experience as going to bet on the horses. The lingo is basically the same as you are picking your wager from the same menu of outcomes. The greyhound races are the only style organized for gambling. You can do them at various Internet gambling sites as well.