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Hey there!

I am wondering how much exercise is too much for my five month Vizsla puppy, Otis.

He is very well behaved when he gets enough, and he has never showed any signs of not wanting to continue on a trail.

Lately I have upped our kilometres to 10km. As a hike sometimes with elevation gain But also as flat runs near my home. A run for me is just a fast walk for him.

I am an avid trail runner, and feel like he’s really dry to join but i want to make sure I am not overdoing it for his hips.
Any suggestions would be appreciated seeing as I can’t seem to find a solid answer from vet or internet!
 

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You're going to get all types of answers. In the end though, it you that are monitoring his performance, and physical condition. Remember, that his body works pretty much the same way our's does. Blood plasma, blood volume, electrolyte levels, hemoglobin, it's not that much different. He, like you, is an elecro-chemical bag of water and blood, that has to heat and cool. He is still young, and does not have his full adult weight and size, so all of those attributes will be a bit more critical based on weight and size. It's not just growth plates and joints, though those are important.
Can a 5 month old Vizlsa cover 10K in a day? Yes, sure they can. Finn, my 9 month old has been in the field with me since he was 5 month old. We don't have a structured pace, it's actually he that sets the pace, but I will walk probably 3-4 miles and change, and he is easily covering 3-4 times that distance, just by casting out and going in and out of cover. Our "walks" are an hour, to an hour and half. During those walks there is also training on birds. The walks were 1/2 that amount of time when he was younger.
The concessions I do make are that I always have water with me and will bring him to me every 10minutes or so, and I loop him through water so that he can walk out into it, splash around, cool off and get a drink if needed.
Lately I make sure to get him out early in the morning, or late in the evening, so that we can walk in the shadows of the trees, and he is not in direct sunlight for extended lengths of time. This morning it was 68 degrees at the start and 73 when we got back to the truck. As summer goes on, I'll switch to a lot of water work, and any field work will be at dawn, or a 1/2 hour prior to.
Right now Finn is my "rehab partner". I had knee surgery two weeks ago and got the green light to walk on flat ground with him this past Friday. We've been having a blast!
I never work Finn two days in a row. We will work birds one day, do water work the next day, and the third day would be an off day, with some light retrieval training in the back yard, or leash work.
I keep lots of water in the truck!! I probably have 5 gallons of water total, and a small concrete mixing tub. If he were to over heat, I could fill that tub and lay him down in it to cool off if I had too. So far, I have never had to do it with any of my dogs.
I personally would hold off on any structured runs for a bit longer. I think by the coolness of fall you should be okay to start. If he's allowed to set his pace, and take breaks when he needs to, I think you're okay. Just don't do it every day, even though he wants to.
It's highly doubtful he will show any "overt" signs he is tired, until it is to late! He will go until he drops, that is his nature. I'm sorry, but that is the reality of it. You really have to be his moderator, as you are with him.
It will be very subtle signs that he is tired. Less range, more single tracking, and diminished searching on his own.
I would still let him set his own pace, watch him and look for those subtle signs. Don't do two days in a row, make sure he's eating and recovering, and his weight continues to increase, and just be sensible.
As I said, he'll be 8-9 months old this Halloween to Thanksgiving. That would be a good time to start upping his mileage. one he's 12-14 months old he should be able to easily do the 10K's with you. By 2 years old he could do a 1/2 marathon to a full marathon relatively easy.
I was a former USCF Cat II cyclist, and triathlete. I spent many years, and lots of time and miles,with Vizslas in the woods during training. As swim partners, they tend to want to swim over you. They never "stay in their lane"!😄
It's worth the wait to let them grow up. You'll never have a better training partner! ;)
 

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Hey there!

I am wondering how much exercise is too much for my five month Vizsla puppy, Otis.

He is very well behaved when he gets enough, and he has never showed any signs of not wanting to continue on a trail.

Lately I have upped our kilometres to 10km. As a hike sometimes with elevation gain But also as flat runs near my home. A run for me is just a fast walk for him.

I am an avid trail runner, and feel like he’s really dry to join but i want to make sure I am not overdoing it for his hips.
Any suggestions would be appreciated seeing as I can’t seem to find a solid answer from vet or internet!
Agree w/Gunnr, My V, Cashew, wanted to go & run non-stop as a young pup. I let him finally go run his butt off w/pack of dogs at 13 months. He loved it. I was told by vet to protect their hips/legs, to wait for full-blast at least till 12 months old. He is 4 1/2, still going full-blast. Is excellent at home.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Agree w/Gunnr, My V, Cashew, wanted to go & run non-stop as a young pup. I let him finally go run his butt off w/pack of dogs at 13 months. He loved it. I was told by vet to protect their hips/legs, to wait for full-blast at least till 12 months old. He is 4 1/2, still going full-blast. Is excellent at home.
thanks for your reply! Do you mean running “full blast”?
Otis runs around the yard when he gets his “zoomies” and it’s defdinitly his Full Blast! And we do let him play with the neighbours dog that is full ground and he sort of does his “zoomies” around her too.
Not to mention throwing a stick or ball and he’ll run pretty full on to grab it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You're going to get all types of answers. In the end though, it you that are monitoring his performance, and physical condition. Remember, that his body works pretty much the same way our's does. Blood plasma, blood volume, electrolyte levels, hemoglobin, it's not that much different. He, like you, is an elecro-chemical bag of water and blood, that has to heat and cool. He is still young, and does not have his full adult weight and size, so all of those attributes will be a bit more critical based on weight and size. It's not just growth plates and joints, though those are important.
Can a 5 month old Vizlsa cover 10K in a day? Yes, sure they can. Finn, my 9 month old has been in the field with me since he was 5 month old. We don't have a structured pace, it's actually he that sets the pace, but I will walk probably 3-4 miles and change, and he is easily covering 3-4 times that distance, just by casting out and going in and out of cover. Our "walks" are an hour, to an hour and half. During those walks there is also training on birds. The walks were 1/2 that amount of time when he was younger.
The concessions I do make are that I always have water with me and will bring him to me every 10minutes or so, and I loop him through water so that he can walk out into it, splash around, cool off and get a drink if needed.
Lately I make sure to get him out early in the morning, or late in the evening, so that we can walk in the shadows of the trees, and he is not in direct sunlight for extended lengths of time. This morning it was 68 degrees at the start and 73 when we got back to the truck. As summer goes on, I'll switch to a lot of water work, and any field work will be at dawn, or a 1/2 hour prior to.
Right now Finn is my "rehab partner". I had knee surgery two weeks ago and got the green light to walk on flat ground with him this past Friday. We've been having a blast!
I never work Finn two days in a row. We will work birds one day, do water work the next day, and the third day would be an off day, with some light retrieval training in the back yard, or leash work.
I keep lots of water in the truck!! I probably have 5 gallons of water total, and a small concrete mixing tub. If he were to over heat, I could fill that tub and lay him down in it to cool off if I had too. So far, I have never had to do it with any of my dogs.
I personally would hold off on any structured runs for a bit longer. I think by the coolness of fall you should be okay to start. If he's allowed to set his pace, and take breaks when he needs to, I think you're okay. Just don't do it every day, even though he wants to.
It's highly doubtful he will show any "overt" signs he is tired, until it is to late! He will go until he drops, that is his nature. I'm sorry, but that is the reality of it. You really have to be his moderator, as you are with him.
It will be very subtle signs that he is tired. Less range, more single tracking, and diminished searching on his own.
I would still let him set his own pace, watch him and look for those subtle signs. Don't do two days in a row, make sure he's eating and recovering, and his weight continues to increase, and just be sensible.
As I said, he'll be 8-9 months old this Halloween to Thanksgiving. That would be a good time to start upping his mileage. one he's 12-14 months old he should be able to easily do the 10K's with you. By 2 years old he could do a 1/2 marathon to a full marathon relatively easy.
I was a former USCF Cat II cyclist, and triathlete. I spent many years, and lots of time and miles,with Vizslas in the woods during training. As swim partners, they tend to want to swim over you. They never "stay in their lane"!😄
It's worth the wait to let them grow up. You'll never have a better training partner! ;)
Thanks so much for your in depth reply. Lots of great knowledge here! I am sooo looking forward to having that training partner but will take it slow and look for the subtle signs, Halloween isn’t that far away after all.
🙏🏼🙌🏼
 

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They won't run "full out" unless they need to, playing, or are just feeling "froggy" for a few minutes. Full out for a Vizsla can be 40+ miles per hour.
At this point Finn will run around like a maniac, search for birds, lope around the fields, and through the woods, but there are also times when he will just "potter" around for 10 minutes in pretty much the same spot working out a scent, or splashing in the brook trying to catch frogs and small feeder fish. He sets our pace. I don't let him go to hard, or for too long. I throttle him back.
At two, to two and half years old, all of my previous V's could keep up with me in the woods on a Mtn bike for hours. Average speed for me would have been about 17 mph. Top speed for me on a flat dirt road would have been over 30mph, and they had no trouble keeping up, all while running into the woods, over rocks and fallen trees and in and out of drainage ditches. That's "full out", and they really need to be adults for it. They were covering 30+ miles easily on a nice cool morning. I restricted it to much less distance and speed when the weather got hot.
By this time next year, your boy will be able to run your work out, and two or three other peoples work out. He's a machine, lungs and legs, and he's always ready to go.He doesn't have "build", "taper", "race", mode phases. He'll have any mode you want, on any day you want. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
They won't run "full out" unless they need to, playing, or are just feeling "froggy" for a few minutes. Full out for a Vizsla can be 40+ miles per hour.
At this point Finn will run around like a maniac, search for birds, lope around the fields, and through the woods, but there are also times when he will just "potter" around for 10 minutes in pretty much the same spot working out a scent, or splashing in the brook trying to catch frogs and small feeder fish. He sets our pace. I don't let him go to hard, or for too long. I throttle him back.
At two, to two and half years old, all of my previous V's could keep up with me in the woods on a Mtn bike for hours. Average speed for me would have been about 17 mph. Top speed for me on a flat dirt road would have been over 30mph, and they had no trouble keeping up, all while running into the woods, over rocks and fallen trees and in and out of drainage ditches. That's "full out", and they really need to be adults for it. They were covering 30+ miles easily on a nice cool morning. I restricted it to much less distance and speed when the weather got hot.
By this time next year, your boy will be able to run your work out, and two or three other peoples work out. He's a machine, lungs and legs, and he's always ready to go.He doesn't have "build", "taper", "race", mode phases. He'll have any mode you want, on any day you want. ;)
So stoked for him to be full grow!! Thanks for your input!
 

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I’m taking Maui on 5 km walks in the evening, and my wife takes him on a 3 km run in the morning. He’s 13 weeks old, and seems like he could do 10 times the distance we are already doing! It’s been great in taking the edge off his energy!
 

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They won't run "full out" unless they need to, playing, or are just feeling "froggy" for a few minutes. Full out for a Vizsla can be 40+ miles per hour.
At this point Finn will run around like a maniac, search for birds, lope around the fields, and through the woods, but there are also times when he will just "potter" around for 10 minutes in pretty much the same spot working out a scent, or splashing in the brook trying to catch frogs and small feeder fish. He sets our pace. I don't let him go to hard, or for too long. I throttle him back.
At two, to two and half years old, all of my previous V's could keep up with me in the woods on a Mtn bike for hours. Average speed for me would have been about 17 mph. Top speed for me on a flat dirt road would have been over 30mph, and they had no trouble keeping up, all while running into the woods, over rocks and fallen trees and in and out of drainage ditches. That's "full out", and they really need to be adults for it. They were covering 30+ miles easily on a nice cool morning. I restricted it to much less distance and speed when the weather got hot.
By this time next year, your boy will be able to run your work out, and two or three other peoples work out. He's a machine, lungs and legs, and he's always ready to go.He doesn't have "build", "taper", "race", mode phases. He'll have any mode you want, on any day you want. ;)
When you say throttle them back are you using the long line? I’ve got a few 30 footers, my pups recall is great, but if she’s gets wound up on a scent I’ll need to be able to enforce my command hehe
 

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I have Finn on long check cords and an eCollar. He always has the eCollar on.
“Throttle him back” means that I don’t let him exhaust himself.
I’ll call him back to work on recall, move him to a different area, work something different, or just slow his pace. I also set limits on time. I don’t want to have to carry him back to the truck.
Lately we’ve been out at 0630 or so working for maybe an hour at most, and that’s about it.Finn sleeps for a couple of hours after that
I try to let Finn have the time he needs to get experience on scent, and unless I know he’s working a rabbit, or a woodchuck. I let him sort it out to the best of his ability, even if I know the bird broke cover already. He’s young, and needs the experience.
He will follow birds into some pretty dense cover that I cannot possibly follow him into, so in that case I sometimes do have to bring him back. As long as I can hear his bell, I try to let him keep working.
 

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I have Finn on long check cords and an eCollar. He always has the eCollar on.
“Throttle him back” means that I don’t let him exhaust himself.
I’ll call him back to work on recall, move him to a different area, work something different, or just slow his pace. I also set limits on time. I don’t want to have to carry him back to the truck.
Lately we’ve been out at 0630 or so working for maybe an hour at most, and that’s about it.Finn sleeps for a couple of hours after that
I try to let Finn have the time he needs to get experience on scent, and unless I know he’s working a rabbit, or a woodchuck. I let him sort it out to the best of his ability, even if I know the bird broke cover already. He’s young, and needs the experience.
He will follow birds into some pretty dense cover that I cannot possibly follow him into, so in that case I sometimes do have to bring him back. As long as I can hear his bell, I try to let him keep working.
OOHH super good advice, my current pup isnt a V but Im due for one at the end of the year. Im not hunting my current dog, but I do work in the woods 0630-1530 (ill be out there by 7am or so). I'm wondering how to give some guidence during this time. Should I not worry and just add a bit of structure here and there slowly? I know my little guy is going to want to chase scents and things on his own anyways.. I dont want to squash his drive by forcing him to stay close all day either.. However I am covering decent ground as I'm marking timber and our foresters keep it pretty clean. Ill travel in "strips" 1-2 chains wide or so. Basically I have to be in the woods anyway, and going in a certain direction usually, so it would be more me setting pace. Im wondering if/how we can start working together in the woods :p

I definitely dont intend on letting him have at it too long, especially if its hot. I think once the snow melts he'll be 5-6 months as well. He'll have a fan attached to his crate and be able to have cool naps while I work. I could probably get another round after a nap before noon. It'll be 90 max in July/Aug with some decent shade. Lots of water on me!
 

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You're a bit outside of my experience level, but I think what you ant to do is doable. It will just take time.
I think the "guidance" will have to be structured sessions until you're sure of his recall and set/stay. Train for obedience as you normally would a puppy, or young dog.
I wouldn't expect the Vizlsa to range to awfully far from where you're at, but they're going to be very active the first few years, and may be a distraction to you, until they mature a little.
If you're "walking" through the woods, it's not possible for you to walk at a pace faster than an adolescent, or adult, Vizsla can keep up. The problem is going to be for every 100 yards you walk, the dog might walk 300-500 yards. So just realize that they're working a lot more than you. A lot more!!
People have been working in the woods and on farms with dogs everyday for centuries. You just gotta watch them and make sure they get time to rest, drink and eat. If you are in the woods 8+ hours a day, you'll definitely have to figure out the feeding in the day schedule. Kind of like Marines, "Eat on the run,sleep when you can, and smoke 'em if you got 'em". ;)
 
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