My French Bulldog Won’t Walk: 5 Common Problems and Solutions

black french bulldog lying with leash

Source: Lee waranyu/

If your Frenchie has ever refused to walk, you know how frustrating it can be. However, walking is a necessary part of a dog’s life, and it’s essential to find a solution so your pup can get the exercise they need. This post will discuss some of the most common reasons French Bulldogs won’t walk and solutions to help get your dog back on their paws and out for a stroll.

Figuring It Out

There are plenty of things that make French bulldogs cute and lovable. From their soft and adorable wrinkled noses to their eagerness to please and be loyal companions, it’s easy to understand why you’ve fallen so hard for your Frenchie. But, of course, one of their most adorable qualities has to be their funny way of waddling when they walk. But if you’re not getting to see that because your French bulldog won’t walk, it’s time to find out why and get things moving again.

Here are some potential reasons your Frenchie may not be keen on strolling.

1. They’re in Pain

One of the most common reasons dogs refuse to walk is because they’re in pain. This can be due to arthritis, joint pain and other age-related issues, or it could be from an injury. If you think your Frenchie may be in pain, take them to the vet for a checkup. Ask your veterinarian about mobility issues common in French bulldogs, such as:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Luxating patella
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
  • Degenerative myelopathy (DM)
  • Spinal disc issues

Solution – Your vet can recommend medication, natural supplements for dogs or physical therapy to help ease your dog’s discomfort and get them moving again. After some time and longer periods of walking, your dog will build muscle strength again, which can help ease the pain of walking.

Discover The Best French Bulldog Harness for Your Pup

2. Fear or Anxiety

Another reason your French bulldog may not want to walk is out of fear or anxiety. If they’ve had a bad experience while walking, such as being attacked by another animal or being startled by loud noises, they may be scared to venture out again. This can also happen if they haven’t been appropriately socialized and don’t know how to interact with other dogs or people. 

owners and dogs at park

Source: MVolodymyr/

Solution – If your Frenchie is afraid or anxious, you’ll need to work with them to help them overcome their fears. This may require some behavior modification training with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. We highly recommend working with folks who utilize science-backed, positive methods for training.

3. They’re Overweight

If your French bulldog is overweight or obese, they may not want to walk because it’s too difficult. Being overweight can cause health problems such as arthritis, joint pain, respiratory issues and more. Additional respiratory issues for a breed already prone to them is definitely something to think about. Therefore, it’s crucial to get your dog to a healthy weight to enjoy walks and a good quality of life.

Solution – To help your Frenchie lose weight, you’ll need to cut back on their calorie intake and increase their exercise. This may mean feeding them smaller meals more often throughout the day or switching to weight-loss dog food. You can also help them get them moving with regular playtime indoors or out.

4. They’re Not Comfortable

Having the right gear for your pup to venture out can make a world of difference. If your French bulldog is not comfortable with their collar, leash or harness, it’s unlikely they’ll want to walk. 

Solution – Consider getting a French bulldog harness for your dog. Whether you go for a no pull or a reversible model, don’t forget to look at the cute dog leashes available. If your Frenchie isn’t used to walking with a harness or leash, start by letting them wear it around the house for short periods. Then, get them used to the feel of it before taking them out on a walk.

5. They’re Not Feeling the Weather

Frenchies can be really hot and cold on the weather, and neither of those extremes works well with getting them walking. 

Hot weather is a considerable concern for Frenchies, a brachycephalic breed. This means they have a short snout, making it difficult for them to breathe in hot or humid weather. If it’s too hot or humid outside, your Frenchie will overheat. 

Solution – The best solution is to avoid walking your French bulldog in hot weather. If you do venture out on a warmer day, be sure to equip your pup with one of our many cooling bandanas to help them stay comfortable. You should also carry water with you and take breaks in the shade.

Shop Cooling Bandanas at Beast and Buckle

Walk This Way

There are a few different reasons your French bulldog may not want to walk. It could be because they’re in pain, scared, overweight or uncomfortable. No matter the reason, it’s essential to be patient and work with them to get them moving again. This may require some training or changing up their routine. With time and patience, your Frenchie will be ready to walk this way...and that...and then over there. And you’ll both be able to enjoy the time together. 

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