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Hi there,

I am considering a new Vizsla and I have read how they need 3 walks per day, or 2 hours of exercise/running etc. to be content. I have several questions on running with a Vizsla:

Would 3x per week running 3-5 miles per run be OK combined with walking and playing fetch? I guess what I am asking is do they really need to be run daily?

How about long runs like 7-8 miles? I do those sometimes in the summer. Is that OK?

What is the right age to start running a Vizsla for a short run of 2-3 miles?

Also, does it matter what surface I run on? I tend to run on dirt/stone trails in the woods, and asphalt in the neighborhood?

Finally, I see deer a lot on my runs, how will a Vizsla react if on leash?



Thanks,
Nick
 

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Re: Running vs Walking

A combination of different types of exercise is good. Vs need to be stimulated mentally as well as physically. So varied games, training, exposure to different terrain, and environments is important. You should not run your V before the age of 15-18m. They need to mature to avoid damage to the joints/growth plates; however, off-leash running is vital, IMO. They control the pace, and if you are in a field or on a trail, you avoid the pounding on concrete. Vs can handle some trail running at an earlier age, but you need to pay attention to what their body language is telling you. As you know, off-leash running/playing should always take place in a safe environment. If you get an older V, you gradually introduce the mileage. On long runs in the summer, you need to be careful. Vs can overheat much more quickly than you. In fact, I have been somewhat surprised by how much/how quickly the heat effects our Pumpkin (10m). Walking is good for the mind & body, but it takes more time/a lot more ground to tire them out. I could walk P 3m on a leash, and it will not touch her energy level--unless it's very hot of course :) Time has always been a better gauge for me than actual distance. Like people, when you engage a V/dog in distance running, they will need day(s) off to recover and avoid stress injuries.
 

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Re: Running vs Walking

By 5 months they will outrun you.
On long runs they need some water.
Your regular runing schedule is fine if you allow the dog to do some doggy things in between.
All dogs need fresh air daily and this breed is no exception. We let our 5 month old V. off leash (but highly supervised) daily 1 hour. He spends most of the time sniffing around the grass and not running aimless like a mad dog.
 

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I agree, they do need different forms of exercise. We use a combination of off and on the lead running, daycare and dog parks. I too have noticed that he will overheat much more quickly than I do so anytime we leave the house I always bring water, even if it is just for a quick mile run (which all we usually do at a time since he is only 5 month). The important thing is just to watch and read them. They typically tell you know when they have had enough and especially during the first 15 months it is important not to push them too hard. On several occasions we get to about half a mile and he just stops and lies down for 5-10 minutes with his water then is ready to go again.
 

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http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2010/08/when-can-you-start-running-your-vizsla.html

The above post on my blog is visited quite a bit. Being that the Vizsla was THE hunting dogs of Hungary, they ran all day next to horses hunting. Some of the most athletic hunting dogs in the world.

In the summer the asphalt and concrete get HOT! The air close to the ground is hotter than where we breathe. Don't push a dog. They are smarter than we are about what their bodies can do.

Off-leash walk or runs are the best for dogs in my opinion.

Rod aka redbirddog
 

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I have a 6.5 mo female V. I started to run with her a couple of months ago - 1-2 miles at first. I took some advice to try to mimic what they do off leash - sprint for 30s to 90s then stop and walk a bit. We do this for about 15-20 min and we're both tired out. Every once in a while we run longer, up to 5 miles, with a couple of breaks for water and walking. Her all time favorite is the dog park where she can run off leash, though sometimes other dogs don't like it when she runs and try to stop her by mouthing her face or pinning her to the fence. Then, we go for our own run. I've heard concerns about problems running them too much too soon, but we are trying to find a good balance. It's hard because she has so much energy. Some things we are trying to teach her with less success are: playing fetch, swimming in our pool (she was curious when we first opened it and jumped in to check it out and that seems to have made her fearful - we've had other water loving dogs over and that seems to get her interested but not into the pool yet), and teaching her "stay- come" so we can let her offleash in a large wooded area near our house. Any suggestions?
 

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1. Your activity schedule is fine. V's are capable of doing more, but this is about the level of activity our V gets and he is doing just fine.

2. If you condition your V, then 7-8 miles is nothing. I'd be careful in the summer time, as frequent water breaks will be necessary (every 2 miles or so depending on the heat). If the dog slows down...then you need to slow down. They will do anything to please you, including running to extreme exhaustion.

3. We have a 14 month old V. At 9 months or so, we started jogging about 1 mile a couple times a week. Currently we run 2-3 miles a couple times a week. I'm trying to avoid running him significantly until 18 months, but that is a generic number. Each dog develops differently, so when he/she is full grown, growth plates essentially closed, your pretty safe.

4. Trails are better for anyone to run on (humans included). Just less impact, better joint health...

5. My V loves birds and squirrels and we have a lot of those on our runs. If you train him properly on a leash, you'll be fine. Our V has been stubborn on the leash despite our constant efforts to train him. We use the "easy-walk harness" that completely eliminates pulling and if he attempts to chase another animal, it easily holds him back without much effort.
 

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Our V gets a lot of running in off-leash, and some of that is traversing across pavement; however, It is the running of a V on pavement, on a leash, for 'X' amount of miles before they are 15-18m that concerns me. Of course they can do it quite well, but that does not mean they should do it. I've been quite surprised at just how much the heat effects our V, Pumpkin (almost 11m), and have been slightly alarmed at times. She gives a couple of sprints (off-leash) in 90+ temps, with high humidity in Dixie, and she can slump quite quickly :eek:
Definitely be very careful in the summer! I know P needs as much water in the winter, but the stamina/rest ratio is very different in the summer thus far. We always let her dictate the pace. I can't wait until she can accompany me on more runs in the neighborhood though :)
 
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