How To Stop Your French Bulldog Chasing Cars

French bulldog chasing cars

How To Stop Your French Bulldog Chasing Cars 

If your Frenchie is anything like ours, you know what happens when walking down the pavement/sidewalk, they hear a car engine, motorcycle or a cyclist coming – their ears prick up and they are off, trying to chase them!  Despite your calls, your dog is in full pursuit mode of the moving vehicle – to the extent of your lead length.

Have you noticed how French Bulldogs chasing cars seem to go deaf in these moments? 

Why French Bulldogs Chase Cars and Bikes 

A French Bulldog chasing cars, bikes, motorcycles, skateboarders etc. is a common behavioural and instinctive issue, inherently linked to their prey drive, which can be very dangerous for the dog and/or the driver or rider. 

While it may seem amusing, car, bike, and motorcycle chasing is extremely dangerous and needs to be curbed for your Frenchie’s safety. These dogs are low to the ground and deceptively fast, putting them at high risk of being struck by a vehicle, trapped underneath a car, pinned by a cyclist or underneath a skateboarder! 

Frenchiechat Beehiiv

Here are a few reasons why your French Bulldog is chasing cars

  1. Instinctual Drive: French Bulldogs have a natural hunting instinct, and moving objects can trigger their prey drive.
  2. Boredom and Lack of Exercise: Without adequate physical and mental stimulation, your French Bulldog might find car chasing an exciting way to relieve boredom.
  3. Territorial Behaviour: Dogs often chase cars that enter or pass through what they perceive as their territory.
  4. Lack of Training: Inadequate training and socialization can result in poor impulse control and obedience. 

Bored French Bulldog

How To Help Stop Your French Bulldog Chasing Cars and Bikes 

Preventing car and bike chasing involves a training, environmental management, and ensuring your French Bulldog gets sufficient exercise and mental stimulation. Basic obedience training is crucial, teaching commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come” to help your French Bulldog respond even in distracting environments.  
Desensitization is also important; gradually expose your dog to moving vehicles in a controlled manner, starting with a parked car, and then a slowly moving one, rewarding calm behaviour. Physical and mental stimulation through walks, playtime, and engaging toys, including puzzle toys or training games, can help tire them out. 

Leash training is essential; always walk your French Bulldog on a leash in areas with traffic, using a harness instead of a collar to prevent choking if they lunge at passing cars. If your dog has access to a garden or yard, ensure it is securely fenced to prevent them from running after cars on the street. By combining these strategies, you can effectively manage and prevent car-chasing behaviour in your French Bulldog. 

The Reward Method for Not Chasing Cars or Bikes 

One of the most effective ways to stop undesirable behaviours in Frenchie’s is to reward the behaviour you do want to see. Every time your Frenchie notices a moving vehicle but doesn’t give chase, give them treats and praise like there’s no tomorrow. This positive reinforcement teaches your Frenchie that ignoring cars equals good things happening to them i.e. treats. 

Over time, you can put this on a command like “leave it” and reward them whenever they disengage from the potential chase trigger. Frenchies are smart (well sometimes!) who thrive on food rewards and attention, so this method does work.  

Of course, sometimes even the most treat-motivated Frenchie gets overly excited and can’t resist going after that moving target. In cases like these, your backup is a rock-solid recall command. Practice having your dog come to you on command from increasingly distracting situations, always offering a super high-value treat when they succeed.  

Patience and Positivity ARE required 

French Bulldogs are stubborn little dogs (as I am sure you already know!) who may test your training, but persistence and positivity will help you manage it effectively. Understanding your Frenchie’s instincts and providing adequate training, exercise, and mental stimulation are crucial steps in preventing your French Bulldog from chasing cars and other moving objects in the future. 


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