Trainer reveals why your dog will never be fully trained — and it makes so much sense!

Woman training dog
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to training your dog, it’s easy to think of it as a challenge to overcome, or something to win — like there's some kind of finish line where you can put the training tools down and simply enjoy life with your pup. 

However, this isn’t quite the case. Much like humans don’t completely stop learning once they leave school, dogs never stop learning as they get older. Training is something that’s ongoing — particularly when there are some of the best dog treats involved! 

And now, certified dog trainer Juliana DeWillems, the owner and head trainer at JW Dog Training & Behavior, has explained why in a recent Instagram post. 

“It’s a total misconception that training is one and done,” DeWillems begins, “That you train your dog and they’re just trained for life. While you and your dog might complete a training class or a training program, learning never stops.”

DeWillems explains that there will always be new conditions in your life, meaning that you’ll need to reinforce previous training with your pup, perhaps, or teach them new skills. 

She continues, “Furthermore, for a behavior to maintain, it needs to be reinforced in some way. While that reinforcement might look different than the frequent flow of treats that you used in the teaching phase, reinforcement for a behavior doesn’t just stop because then the behavior would stop and totally fall apart over time.

“So, embracing learning and training as something you and your dog get to do together for the rest of their life can be a much more helpful perspective than aiming for the day that your dog is trained and you don’t have to worry about it anymore, because that day will probably never come.”

And remember, training is a great way to bond with your pup. Dogs love positive reinforcement and rewards, and often just simply want to please you, so training can really strengthen your connection with each other. And training dogs with treats? Even better!

Training doesn’t have to come in the form of formal training sessions, either. You can easily incorporate training into walks, or just take five minutes here and there when you’re at home during commercial breaks on the TV or between work meetings. 

Even if you can’t think of any more training to do with your dog, why not pivot to teaching them some fun tricks, instead? Here are 32 quick and easy tricks to teach your dog that you might find enjoyable — and you and your pup will be able to show them off to your friends and family, too!  

Pupford Beef Liver Training Freeze-Dried Dog Treats
$16.89 from Chewy

Pupford Beef Liver Training Freeze-Dried Dog Treats
$16.89 from Chewy
We gave these to our tester Isaiah for his dog Hayes to try. He reports back that they're his new favorite treat and are a suitable size for training. "He could and would eat the whole bag if allowed!"

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.