For those owners eager to start running with their Vizsla, there are a few things to know in advance. This article explains what age vizslas should be before starting, ideal distances, and how to keep your Vizsla by your side and safe.
Vizslas should be at least 14 months old before running substantial distances. It’s important to wait until this age so their bones, joints, and muscles develop and gain enough strength to avoid injury.
This will be explained in full detail below, as well as answering many more FAQs.
When Can You Start Running With a Vizsla?
No matter how willing your new running partner might be, it’s crucial to wait until your Vizsla’s body is sufficiently developed before taking them on a run with you.
The best age to start running with your Vizsla is 14 months at the earliest to be safe. By 14 months, most vizslas will be strong enough to start running short distances with their owners.
You might be thinking, well, my vizsla already does a lot of running on their daily walk, so what’s the difference? That’s certainly true, but the repetitive stress implemented on their joints by a continuous run is much more significant than periodic dashing around.
How Far Can You Run With a Vizsla?
Once a Vizsla has built up sufficient stamina and physical endurance they can likely run for several miles at a time.
- Adult vizslas with running experience – 7-9 miles (11-14km)
- Young vizslas just starting out – 2 miles (3km)
Long distances take a while to build up to. In the beginning, start off with runs no longer than 2 miles. Even this could be a challenge for absolute beginners and frequent breaks are advised.
In addition to this, we must consider the running surface. This has a huge impact on how far a Vizsla can/should run. Running on concrete will eventually lead to painful paws or joint issues. Mud/grass (not super soft) is the ideal running surface for most.
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Tips For Running With a Vizsla
Let’s cover various tips to make running with your Vizsla safe for both you and them.
1. Practice using a hands-free leash FIRST
Before running with your Vizsla, you must practice using a hands-free leash while walking. A hands-free leash (belt leash) will help keep your vizsla by your side and at an appropriate distance from you. And it will discourage them from being distracted along the way.
At first, using a hands-free leash must be practiced on regular walks, before finally moving up to short jogs, and then short runs. A vizsla will NOT behave well on a hands-free leash the moment you put it on, so plenty of practice given beforehand will set you up for success when you finally try running. Be sure to use tasty treats during the practice stage to help develop good behavior.
2. Ensure the pace is okay for your vizsla
It’s crucial to find a pace that your Vizsla is comfortable at. You don’t want to make your vizsla have to run or gallop, it should be a moderate to quick trot for your vizsla. Anything quicker than this could lead to injuries or exhaustion.
3. Know the route you are running
When we run without our dogs, it’s easy to just put on our trainers and off we go without too much thought going into the route. But with our dogs, it needs to be strategic.
When planning a route, not only is it best to avoid busy roads and walkways (to reduce the chances of your Vizsla getting distracted) but it’s also important to consider the running surfaces. Are there parts of the run that are concrete? And if so, for how long?
4. Consider time and temperature
It’s best to avoid hot weather full stop. While your vizsla will still appreciate being taken out, it’s a whole different thing being made to run 5 miles in plus 20C (70F) heat.
Either run early in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures are cooler or avoid running altogether if the temperatures are creeping over 20C.
5. Take breaks and bring water
Although we might have to take periodic breaks while running, it must be done when we are with our dogs. Leave personal record-setting for times your Vizsla stays at home.
Take plenty of breaks (every 5 minutes of constant running) and be sure to bring along a handy water bottle/bowl combo, so you Vizsla can take a swig.
6. Don’t try off-leash running
I did this once, and I never tried it again… Please avoid doing this, unless you’ve been running with your Vizsla for a very long time and know 100% that they aren’t going to run off (but then again, if that was the case, you probably wouldn’t be reading this post!)
You might look like a superhero running with a dog off-leash, but the risks far exceed the reward (which isn’t really anything anyway). If your V knows they are off-leash and catch a whiff of something more interesting, your run will turn into a search and rescue mission.
Summary FAQ Section
This section will summarize most points discussed above with short concise answers to the most important questions.
What age can you run with a vizsla?
It’s recommended to wait until 14 months before running with your Vizsla. By this age, their joints, bones, and muscles should be strong enough to endure the physical stress caused by running.
Why shouldn’t you run with puppy vizslas?
Puppies (under 1 year) still have very fragile bodies that are gangly and prone to injury. Puppies are still developing and need time to gain strength and durability. Before this, the chances of injury are very high.
How far can vizslas run?
An adult vizsla with running experience can likely run for several miles in one session (with breaks). For vizslas with little to no running experience, they will likely tire out in just a few miles.
Can you run off-leash with a vizsla?
It is not advised to run off-leash with a Vizsla. Vizslas are easily distracted and unless extremely obedient and well trained, will be inclined to run off if they see or smell something more interesting than yourself.
Can a vizsla run on concrete?
Short periods of running on concrete will cause no harm and may even help build durability in their paws. But running for excessive distances on concrete will likely cause their paws to become very sore and painful.
Can I run with my vizsla in summer?
If the temperature is above 20C (70F) it’s not recommended to run with your Vizsla. General exercise is fine, but running long distances could cause dehydration or heatstroke.
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