How to Train a Dog Not to Chase Running Children or Bicycles?

April 4, 2024

If you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably faced a situation where your canine friend has decided to give chase to a child running in the park or a bicyclist zooming down the street. This kind of behavior can be quite stressful, not only for you but also for the unintended "prey". In order to address this issue effectively, it’s important to understand the underlying causes and apply suitable training methods.

Understanding the Chase Behavior in Dogs

Before you embark on the training journey, it’s important to understand why your dog exhibits this chase behavior in the first place. Dogs, by nature, have a strong prey drive. This is an instinctual behavior that traces back to their ancestors who needed to hunt to survive. Fast-moving objects, like children running or bikes passing by, can trigger this instinct.

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Remember, your dog isn’t chasing out of malice or ill-intent. They’re simply responding to their natural instincts. Understanding this can help you approach the training with empathy and patience.

The Role of AKC and Other Resources in Dog Training

The American Kennel Club (AKC) provides a myriad of resources for dog owners seeking to train their pets. Their guidelines provide numerous tips and tricks to keep your dog from chasing moving objects. Other resources like professional dog trainers and online training platforms can also be extremely helpful.

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It’s essential to use these resources and not attempt to train your dog through punishment or harsh methods. Training requires consistent, positive reinforcement to help your dog understand the desired behavior.

Training Techniques to Stop Your Dog from Chasing

After understanding why your dog chases and what resources are available, you can now begin the actual training process. Remember, training should be a bonding experience between you and your dog, and it should be done with much patience and consistency.

One effective training technique is the "sit-stay" command. Start by training your dog to sit and stay in a quiet, distraction-free environment. Slowly introduce distractions, like a ball rolling by, and continue to command your dog to sit and stay. Reward them for obeying the command. Gradually, you can introduce bigger distractions like a child running by or a bicycle.

Another technique involves using a leash. Keep your dog on a leash while taking them for walks. This can help you maintain control if they get the urge to chase. You can gradually train them to not react to fast-moving objects while on the leash.

Incorporating Distractions and Rewards in Training

Distractions are key to successful dog training. Begin by introducing small distractions and gradually increase the intensity as your dog gets more comfortable. This step-by-step approach will keep your dog from getting overwhelmed and help them progress effectively.

At the same time, rewards play a crucial role in training. Dogs are more likely to repeat a behavior when they associate it with a positive experience. So, always remember to reward your dog for good behavior. This doesn’t always have to be a treat; it could be a favorite toy, a belly rub, or enthusiastic praise.

Managing and Monitoring Your Dog’s Progress

Training a dog not to chase can be a lengthy process, and it’s essential to manage and monitor your dog’s progress. Keep track of their reactions to different situations, and adjust your training techniques accordingly. If your dog seems to be struggling with a particular step, don’t hesitate to take a step back and repeat previous stages of training.

Remember, patience and consistency are key in dog training. Your dog won’t change their behavior overnight. But with time, patience, and the right techniques, you can train your dog not to chase running children or bicycles, ensuring the safety and peace of mind for everyone involved.

The Best Dog Breeds for Training Not to Chase

Some dog breeds have a more pronounced prey drive than others, which can make them more inclined to chase after fast-moving objects like running children or bicycles. However, it’s important to remember that every dog is an individual, and their behavior can be influenced by a multitude of factors beyond just their breed.

Breeds such as Border Collies, Greyhounds, and Terriers are known for their strong prey drive. These breeds were originally bred for jobs such as herding or hunting that required them to chase. Conversely, breeds like Bulldogs, Basset Hounds, and Shih Tzus typically have a lower prey drive.

Irrespective of the breed, it’s possible to train a dog not to chase. Even breeds with a high prey drive can learn to control their instincts with the right training methods. You should equip yourself with the right knowledge, be patient, and consistent in your approach to training. However, it’s also crucial to remember that training may take longer for breeds with a high prey drive.

Using Dog Sports to Channel Your Dog’s Chase Instinct

Dog sports can be a great way to channel your dog’s prey drive in a controlled and safe manner. Sports like agility, lure coursing, and herding trials can provide your dog with an outlet for their chasing instinct. While your dog is engaging in these activities, they’re also learning to focus their attention, follow commands, and work with their handler, which can be beneficial in reducing their propensity to chase.

Agility training involves directing your dog through an obstacle course within a set time frame. This requires your dog to focus their attention on you and the course, rather than on other distractions.

Lure coursing is a sport designed for dogs that love to chase. A mechanical lure is used to simulate the unpredictability of chasing live game. Your dog can indulge their prey drive without endangering anyone or themselves.

Herding trials allow dogs to use their natural herding instincts in a controlled environment. Even if your dog is not a herding breed, they might still enjoy this sport.

Those dog sports are fun for both you and your dog and can strengthen the bond between you.


Helping your dog overcome their instinct to chase can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By understanding the root of your dog’s chase behavior, utilizing available resources, and implementing effective training techniques, you can manage your dog’s prey drive. Remember, the goal isn’t to suppress your dog’s natural instincts, but rather to manage and direct them in a way that is safe for everyone.

Various dog breeds may take different time periods to adapt to the training due to their inherent prey drive. Incorporating dog sports into your pet’s routine can also be a fun and effective way to channel their chase instincts.

Above all, patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are crucial throughout the training process. It’s also important to keep monitoring your dog’s progress and adjust your techniques as needed. With time and perseverance, you can help your dog become a well-behaved member of your community, ensuring peace of mind for everyone — whether they’re on foot or on wheels.