Can’t Stop, Won’t stop- Training never stops

“Seven f*cking years and I still have to train you every day?!” I am just casually sitting outside tending to my succulents when I hear someone yelling these offensive words. Excuse me? Did I just hear that right? Yep sure enough, some guy walking down the street is yelling at their dog complaining that he “still” has to train his dog. It doesn’t stop there, he continues to yell at the dog for another minute before telling the dog to “heel” as they walked by.

I’m glad I left Sahara inside at the time. She usually sits on the landing of the stairs, watching me garden, but if anybody comes too close to the yard or house she barks and doesn’t stop until they are gone. I can only imagine what he would mumble under his breath about her behavior walking by.

It isn’t my place to say anything to him, but this here is my place to say something. Training never stops. Let me say it again for the people in the back,


I’m pretty sure everybody has heard that practice makes perfect. This stands true for everything in life. If you don’t keep practicing things you want to be good at you won’t get better. If you are better and don’t want to get worse you keep practicing. It should go without saying but if you want your dog to continuously do something they need to continuously be doing it! You can’t teach once and then neglect forever.

I don’t teach Sahara a new command and then forget the rest or teach it to her and then never go back to it. I teach it to her until she knows it and then add it into our training sessions where she practices many of her commands. In those training sessions, I focus on the things she struggles with. Then, every few commands I throw in a few that she can get right with no problem, which helps keep her interest. She’s more eager to keep going if I’m rewarding her and making it a positive experience and not just yelling no or cursing at her. Plus she knows when she does something right and loves the feeling she gets from it, she’s ready to do it over and over again.

A dog that is getting yelled at is not going to have the same reaction to training. They will keep struggling out of fear and anxiety. Now, maybe this guy was just having a bad day or something, or maybe he usually goes about training in a different way. I don’t know, I’m just going based off of what he said.

The Takeaway

I guess my problem is both the way this man approached the idea of training his dog by yelling at it and making it scared, but also the fact that he didn’t want to put in the work every day. I would have loved to hear him take his dog a few steps back, literally, and try it again. Honestly, who knows what the problem was to begin with! Probably heeling from the sounds of it but either way it’s a moot point.

The point is that training never stops and it never ends. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to do better. Nobody is perfect, not you, not your dog, not me, not my dog. Instead of getting upset and yelling about it, take a few steps back. Try it again.

Work on what they need help with and then once they have that then move on to the next thing they could use some work on and work the old problems into the new so it’s one big continuous loop of training and practicing, day in and day out.

“Seven f*cking years and I still have to train you every day?!” Yes. Yes as a matter of fact sir, you do.

Training never stops
Apparently “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” is the title of a Hip Hop song so Sahara is channeling her inner Hip-Hop artist.
Would you have said something or walked away? I’m eager to know your thoughts in the comments!

28 thoughts on “Can’t Stop, Won’t stop- Training never stops

  1. I’ve been in similar situations and I never say anything, although sometimes I really want to! Some people don’t realize that training doesn’t always mean you have to go outside and train for 20 minutes a day. Training is as simple as every day actions, like having your dog sit for a treat, or having your dog come to you when called and giving him a treat. Keep it simple and fun 🙂

  2. I would love to say that I would have said something, but I am not good with people shouting or confrontation, but I know I would have been terribly upset for the dog. I hope he was just having a bad day, or in a rush, and he doesn’t speak to his dog like that all the time. You are right, training isn’t a one off thing, but on going, for us and our dog.

  3. I might want to say something, but a confrontation with a stranger and his dog would not be a good idea. You never know when someone might respond aggressively or even violently. I’ve run into this in the past and don’t want to experience it again.

  4. I don’t know if I would have been able to let him walk by without commenting. Yelling at the dog certainly isn’t a way to raise a happy and well adjusted dog, never mind build a loving relationship. I feel very sad for the dog. Thanks for reminding everyone training does not have an expiry date.

  5. I don’t have dogs, but I would imagine that you always learn. Just as people always learn, so I can see it’s the same for dogs. I have cats, and heck, sometimes they have to be re-taught not to jump on the dang table!

  6. I probably wouldn’t have said anything because he clearly was not in the right frame of mind to want to learn anything and probably would have been belligerent. If he was physically abusing the dog though, I would have stepped in.

  7. I probably wouldn’t have said anything (because people are crazy these days) however I most like would have given him the side eye or a look. I agree…training take time and also patience! Furkids aren’t perfect, they are doing the best they can. They love us with all our imperfections, we can take heed to that.

  8. I definitely wouldn’t have said anything to him, he was already angry and that would have just escalated the situation. Yelling doesn’t solve anything but easier said than done. I agree that every day is a training situation. Whether review or new, we’re always working with our animals. Hopefully in a positive way.

  9. I hate to admit this, but I probably wouldn’t have been able to think of anything to say. I always worry that if I admonish someone, they are just going to take it out on the dog (or kid) even worse. However, if I saw him another time, and he was in a better mood, I might say something about how great his dog is.

  10. I can truly understand that training is a lifelong commitment. I grew up with dogs, but when I was growing up, they tended to stay outside in a fence with a dog house. One of the reasons I don’t have a dog now is because I know I don’t have the time to commit to lifelong training. I love dogs, but a cat is a little better for my lifestyle now.

  11. You know, I have an english bulldog, he will be 6 years old in December. I have tried to train him as a puppy, then took him to dog classes when he was 3, and he still does whatever he wants…I have to say that I totally gave up! He is literally dragging me in the street when I walk him…thank god he is a very nice dog and still make us very happy!

  12. Training a dog is totally a lifetime commitment. As they get older there are different things that they will have to learn. Having a pet is fun, but certainly a lot of work and dedication.

  13. This is such a true and wonderful post. Having a pet is hard work but absolutely amazing as well. You just have to be prepared to train for life 🙂

  14. My daughter has a fish and wants a dog so badly but since she does not take immaculate care of him, I think a dog is some ways away. Especially as you confirmed what I thought, which is the training never stops and it will always be my responsibility

  15. Training indeed never stops. I am not one for splitting hairs and semantics, but perhaps the word “training” is confusing in a way. Because that does kind of sound like something finite which you get done and don’t have to go back to it. Every interaction really is training in terms of the dog always learning something (desirable or undesirable) from every interaction.

  16. I would have interrupted him with a comment like…only 7 years?…that’s a whole lot less than if you had a human child that you had to train for 18 years and hope that they learned something along the way…It’s all relative and I would use that in my obedience classes when the parents would get frustrated with their dogs. I always got a chuckle and they released their tension.

  17. Im so thankful for my hubby. He trains our dog, and does a great job. I didnt have a dog growing up and was never a dog person until our dog. Hes perfect.

  18. Training is definitely something that you don’t just do and quit. It is something you must push with and stay with!

  19. Wow that guy sounds terrible. You definitely have to keep at it and make it an ongoing process.

  20. It’s the same thing with having human kids! I’ve found that as much as I sometimes want to say stuff to other parents, it’s best not to. We just need to focus on doing the best we can with our own!

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