Hungarian Vizsla Exercise Needs [The Facts + Ideas]

By: Rachel



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Are you considering buying a vizsla but worried about Hungarian vizsla exercise needs? Perhaps you’re a first time owner and trying to work out how to tire out a vizsla or you need more vizsla exercise ideas!

There is plenty of misinformation around about how much exercise vizslas need. And while you don’t want to buy a dog you can’t exercise enough, you also need the facts about vizsla exercise from knowledgeable vizsla owners.

So here we share everything you need to know about how to exercise a vizsla from puppy to adult plus some great vizsla exercise ideas for you to try with your pup.

This article is based on research and personal experience as a Vizsla owner. I’m not a qualified dog trainer, Vet or dog behaviourist.

Vizsla Exercise Needs

An adult Hungarian vizsla needs on average around 60 – 90 minutes (1 – 1.5 hours) of moderate to high intensity exercise each day. This could be done in one or multiple sessions a day.

Unfortunately if they don’t get enough exercise, their unspent energy will likely be redirected into chewing, barking, whining and other unwanted destructive behaviors.

Vizsla puppy exercise needs are different as their joints and limbs are growing fast and we cover their needs in more detail below.

While we offer this as a general guideline, it is really important to note there is not a one size fits all rule when it comes to vizsla exercise.

Individual vizsla exercise needs will vary depending on the age of your dog, their unique personality and energy levels and the type of exercise you offer them.

So read on for more specific details about vizsla puppy exercise, how to fit exercise in each day and the best exercise ideas for your vizsla.

Tired hungarian vizsla laying down on grass at park with Chuckit ball.

How Much Exercise Does A Vizsla Need Daily

Hungarian vizslas need 1 to 1.5 hours of exercise daily. Ideally this is broken up into two sessions throughout the day and at least one of those sessions is off leash.

You will read a lot of different advice about the amount of daily exercise vizslas need and the amount required is often listed as one of the cons of vizslas.

But the reality is that no two dogs are alike – and nor is their home environment.

For every vizsla owner who can take their dog out for 45 minutes a day, there is another who has to run them hard for at least 2 hours or they cause trouble at home.

The reality is that physical exercise is just one part of what vizslas need to be settled and calm.

Similar to other hunting dogs like German Shorthaired Pointers and Weimaraners, mental stimulation and companionship also contribute a great deal to their wellbeing and should be factored in to each day.

It is also worth noting that different types of exercise are not of equal value.

A leashed walk around the neighborhood is an entirely different experience for a vizsla than an off leash walk in the fields or an intense game of fetch at the park.

So what is actually more important than how MUCH exercise, is what TYPE of exercise you do with your dog.

How Much Exercise Does A Vizsla Puppy Need?

Vizsla puppies need 5 minutes of active exercise for each month of age.

So a 12 week old puppy (3 months) should have 15 minutes of high energy exercise in one session.

The reason for the 5 minute rule is to prevent overuse of their growing joints so you should loosely follow this rule until your puppy is around 12 months old.

Puppy AgeExercise Time
8 weeks10 mins ( x 2 daily)
12 weeks15 mins ( x 2 daily)
16 wks (4 mths)20 mins ( x 2 daily)
20 wks (5 mths)25 mins ( x 2 daily)
6-12 months30 mins ( x 2 daily)

Formal Vs Informal Puppy Exercise

Many vizsla puppy owners worry their puppies are doing far more exercise than this recommendation.

But the 5 minute rule refers to formal exercise like long on lead walks or high energy exercise like playing fetch.

Naturally your puppy will be moving for way more time than this each day and that is fine.

Free motion play, short obedience training sessions, games like tug of war and food puzzles are all in addition to the 5 minute rule.

If you want an easy way to keep track of how much exercise they are doing (plus loads of other checklists), get our vizsla puppy training planner.

Expert Tip: It is best to avoid puppy exercise that involves jumping or sudden turns and stops. This is to minimize risk of short or long term joint injuries.

Young hungarian vizsla sitting in leaves next to mountain bike tyre.

How Much Exercise Do Senior Vizslas Need?

As your vizsla ages you will notice they start to slow down a little but daily exercise is still an important part of their life.

Not only is it good for their wellbeing but it helps them maintain a healthy weight too.

However you may need to start making modifications to accommodate health conditions, mobility and their mature age.

  • If walking is not as enjoyable, perhaps alternate it with a low impact swim
  • A 5 mile hike may no longer be suitable, but a 2 mile amble through the woods might be okay.

You will know what is too much if you observe their behavior during and after exercise.

Hungarian vizsla standing in agility course.

Off Leash Vs On Leash Exercise

We cannot overstate how important off leash exercise is for vizslas.

They are energetic and fast dogs and unlike other similar dog breeds, onlead walking will never be enough exercise for them.

Letting them off leash gives them the freedom to burn their energy at a much quicker and higher rate than you can ever do on a lead or even if they run with you.

For this reason, recall training is one of the most important things to start as soon as they come home with you.

Hungarian vizsla off leash on walking trails up on hind legs smelling scents in trees.

Vizsla Exercise Ideas

So what are the best vizsla exercise ideas to satisfy their daily exercise needs?

The most essential exercise your vizsla needs is a daily off leash walk. It could be at the local park, on a hiking trail or through woodlands or fields.

Off leash walks give your vizsla the freedom to run at their own pace, explore the world and sniff every glorious smell they can find.

It not only exercises their body, but their mind too.

In addition to a daily walk, there are loads of other ways to exercise your dog that are fun for you and them.

In the table below we list some more exercise ideas for your vizsla.

You could make any of these one long session or choose two different options and break them down in to 2 sessions, morning and night.

On lead sniff walkLow
Off leash woodlands walkMedium
Pool or lake swimMedium
Game of fetchHigh
Dog park socializingMedium
Dog play dateMedium
Hiking trail walkMedium-High
Hide and seek with treatsLow
Agility trainingHigh
Flirt StickHigh
Trail RunningMedium-High
Dog ParkourHigh
Beach run and swimHigh

Be sure to include a combination of low, medium and high intensity exercise throughout the week in addition to regular obedience and trick training.

And for rainy days or days when you just don’t have time to get out of the house for long, take a look at this list of ways to keep your vizsla busy.

Vizsla standing in shallows at beach with waves behind.

Vizsla Puppy Exercise Ideas

Vizsla puppies are busy, busy, busy. When they are not sleeping they want to play.

But it is a careful juggle with puppies to make sure you are keeping them busy and training them without overtiring them.

The types of exercise you can do are also limited to your home for a few weeks until they are fully vaccinated.

So the best exercise ideas for vizsla puppies are interactive and mentally stimulating games where they are learning and moving at the same time.

Expert Tip: While you may plan to take your vizsla running with you, you should avoid repetitive runs on hard surfaces until they are over 18 months old.

Fun puppy exercise ideas include:

  • Tug-of-war
  • Fetch
  • Play date with a vaccinated dog
  • Basic leash training
  • Playing in a tub of water
  • Puzzle toys
  • Chew toys
  • Licky mats
  • Obedience training
  • Simple tricks

Also include plenty of recall games in the early weeks and purchase a check cord (extra long lead).

By doing this training every day you can quickly have the confidence you need to let them be off leash sooner.

Hungarian vizsla puppy running through grass with tug rope toy in mouth.

How To Fit Vizsla Exercise Into Your Day

Often when future dog owners are told vizslas need 1-1.5 hours of exercise a day they hesitate and step back in panic, worried they could never fit that amount of exercise in to their day and unsure if they should get a vizsla.

But this exercise time can be made up with many different types of exercise and should include mental exercise at home too.

For example, one day you may take them for a 30 minute play with other dogs at the dog park in the morning and play fetch for 30 minutes in the afternoon when you get home.

If you work from home some days you might take them for a 1 hour trail walk off leash at lunch time followed by 30 minutes of scent work at home in the evening.

Another day might include a 30 minute run on lead with you in the morning followed by a 30 minute off leash field walk in the evening.

On the weekend you might take them to the beach or lake for a swim and a walk.

You will be surprised how easy it is to fit exercise in with your dog, especially if you lead an active lifestyle.

Hungarian vizsla and Weimaraner playing with ball at dog park.

How To Exercise A Vizsla FAQS

How Often Do Vizslas Need To Be Walked?

Vizslas need to be walked every day. Ideally this walking time is off leash so they are free to run, roam, smell and explore.

Do Vizslas Need A Lot Of Exercise?

It is not accurate to say every vizsla needs 2-3 hours of physical exercise each day. While vizslas are physically capable of doing a lot of exercise, what most need is at least one hour of medium to high intensity physical exercise off leash plus mental stimulation and plenty of love and attention from their human owners.

What Happens If Vizslas Don’t Exercise Enough?

If vizslas are not exercised enough (both physically and mentally), they can quickly become bored and turn to destructive behaviors like barking, chewing, digging and generally misbehaving to keep themselves busy.

How To Tire Out A Vizsla

So in conclusion, the best way to tire out a vizsla is with a healthy combination of daily physical exercise, regular training and mental stimulation.

Vizslas are strong and energetic and bred to have a job hunting in the fields.

Thanks to their athletic build, vizslas can go for hours at the dog park, on the trails or as your running partner. It is actually pretty hard to physically tire a vizsla out!

First time vizsla owners often make the mistake of lengthening their physical exercise time in an effort to tire them out. But often this simply increases the threshold required for their daily physical activity as they get fitter and fitter.

Instead, it is best to lower the amount of physical activity and integrate mental work into their day instead.

Scent work, learning tricks, food puzzles and games and daily obedience training are an integral part of tiring your vizsla out.

What does your vizsla daily exercise routine look like? Let us know in the comments below!

Have a vizsla puppy? Get our vizsla puppy training planner to stay organized and track their progress.

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Rachel is the founder of It's a Vizsla. She is a Hungarian Vizsla owner and general dog enthusiast! She loves to research and share practical tips to help other vizsla owners care for their dogs.

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