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How Much Exercise Do Vizslas Need? Vet-Approved Facts

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

Vizsla standing in long grass at sunrise

Vet approved

Dr. Maja Platisa Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Maja Platisa

In-House Veterinarian, DVM MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you’ve decided to add a new companion to your family, it’s always a good idea to research the breed first. No matter how cute a dog is, you should make sure that their temperament and energy level will be a good fit for you and your family.

Vizslas are highly energetic dogs and need a minimum of 2 hours of exercise daily, which can be split into several walks, so they require very active owners. If you’re interested in learning more about the Vizsla, keep reading, and we also provide a few ideas on the best ways to exercise this breed.

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A Little Vizsla History

Before we get into the nitty gritty of exercising the Vizsla, let’s examine why these dogs were bred in the first place. Looking at a breed’s history can give you insight into their temperament and care requirements.

The Vizsla’s ancestors were originally bred by Magyar warriors in Hungary. The Magyar bred swiftness and agility into both their horses and hunting dogs. These dogs were golden rust and red in color, like the Vizsla, and were able to keep up with the horses, which truly demonstrates the speed of these dogs!

Eventually, the breed was refined by warlords and Hungarian nobility and got closer to the Vizsla that we know today. These dogs were used for hunting hares and birds and were eventually bred as pointers and retrievers.

The first ever Vizsla arrived in the United States in 1950, and the AKC recognized the breed in 1960. As of 2022, the Vizsla is the 33rd most popular breed out of 200 breeds.1

Photo Credit: Vizslafotozas, Pixabay

The Exercise Needs of the Vizsla

Since Vizslas were bred to be fast, they have a great deal of energy and need various healthy ways to use it. They were bred to work with hunters and can walk long distances over challenging terrain.

The fastest that a Vizsla can run is 40 mph (64 kph), so they definitely have the energy to spare! They need at least 2 hours of exercise every day, but even more is considered ideal. You should allow them to run off-leash in a secure area as often as possible and allow for plenty of sniffing.

They are the perfect dogs if you enjoy doing regular outdoor activities, such as hiking, running, biking, and swimming. Their retriever background gives them webbed feet, which makes them strong swimmers.

Keep in mind that only adult Vizslas should undergo vigorous exercise, and younger dogs, especially puppies, that aren’t fully grown yet shouldn’t be over-exercised, as this can cause injury to their growing joints and bones.

A general rule of thumb for exercising puppies is to allow them one to two sessions of 5 minutes walking for each month of age, so a 4-month-old pup could enjoy walks of 20 minutes at a time, once or twice a day.2 Continue this until they are fully grown.

Likewise, when they get older, senior dogs start to slow down and can develop health conditions like arthritis, so intensive exercise is not ideal, as they will be in more pain and become stiff. For puppies and older dogs, mental stimulation and games are crucial.

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Types of Exercise for the Vizsla


Every dog needs daily walks, as these enable them to release some of their energy and explore all the sounds, sights, and smells in the world around them.

You should aim to walk a Vizsla at least twice a day for about 1 hour each. Go on these walks around the same time every day to build a routine.

Try for off-leash, dog-safe areas only, away from traffic, but ensure that your dog is trained to come on command. If this isn’t possible, get yourself a retractable or a training long leash and enroll your pooch to an accredited training class.

woman taking her Vizsla dog for a hike or walk
Photo Credit: aliaksei kruhlenia, Shutterstock


There are several games that you can play with your Vizsla to keep them physically and mentally healthy.

  • Fetch: A good old-fashioned game of fetch is a great way to spend time with your dog, and it can healthily trigger their retriever instincts.
  • Swimming: Vizslas love to swim, so get them to a lake or beach, and maybe play fetch in the water.
  • Tug of war: Dogs love to play tug of war with a rope. This is also considered a strength-building exercise.
  • Frisbee: Teaching your Vizsla how to catch a Frisbee is trickier than teaching them to catch a ball. But it does give your dog plenty of running and catching opportunities!
  • Socializing with dogs: Let your dog socialize and play with other dogs, if they enjoy it. Fortunately, Vizslas are naturally quite friendly with other dogs.

Mental Stimulation

Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise. Walking your dog but not spending time playing with them can lead to a bored dog, which can lead to a destructive and unhappy dog.

  • Scent and nose games: For dogs bred to hunt, engaging in scent and nose games will kick those instincts into high drive. This gives them physical activity with plenty of mental stimulation!
  • Chew toys: All dogs need chew toys. Chewing exercises their jaws, helps clean their teeth, keeps them occupied, and releases endorphins.
  • Puzzle toys: These can help challenge your Vizsla and encourage their problem-solving skills. Bear in mind that these dogs are quite smart, so you’ll want to aim for challenging puzzles.
  • Food enrichment: You can make your own food puzzles, turning mealtime into a game that makes your dog “work” for their food, getting more satisfaction from it in the process.

Ultimately, make sure your Vizsla has a comfortable dog bed and possibly a large and secure crate, plenty of chew toys, and a few soft blankets.

vizsla running

Image Credit: Ivanova N, Shutterstock

Fitting Exercises for Your Vizsla Into Your Day

If you have relatively busy days and are worried about how to fit all this exercise into your schedule, there are a few ways that it can be done.

Each day should include a walk and mental stimulation. In the morning, you can start with a half-hour walk and a play session with other dogs at your local dog park. Then, after work, play fetch for another half hour.

If you work from home, take your Vizsla for a 60-minute walk; hiking on a trail would be ideal. Then, do scent work for 30 minutes. If you enjoy a run before work, take your Vizsla with you for 30 minutes, and do off-leash running and walking for another 30 minutes in the evening.

The world is your oyster on the weekends! Take them swimming at a lake or beach, or go hiking up a mountain.

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If you’re not the kind of person who loves to get outside and go for runs, enjoy hiking for a day, etc., the Vizsla will not be the best dog for you.

All dogs need physical activity and mental stimulation to remain healthy and happy, but some dogs require quite a large amount, like the Vizsla.

Ultimately, the Vizsla is an intelligent, loving, and enthusiastic dog that can be the best companion for the right owner.

Featured Image Credit: TMArt, Shutterstock

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