Ok, I have a few suggestions.
1. Set down your treats. Put down your clicker. Let your dog go in his crate with a chew
and buy this book: http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Clash-.../dp/1888047054
Donaldson is funny. She's insightful. She tells us how it is. And she gives us tips how to communicate with those furry creatures that we choose to share our homes with.
Every time I get so frustrated that I want to pull my hair out, I pull the book off the shelf. And there is Jean, smiling through her words and reminding us of the obvious problems. They are not like us. So we must stop thinking like US and start thinking like THEM.
2. Päivi, this is one of the major reasons that I take classes. The other owners commiserate. The trainers commiserate. And when I whine "she'll never learn ANYTHING," the trainer walks over quietly, gives my pup five commands in a row (which she executes perfectly), and looks at me and says "you taught her that. She's learning. Now back to work!"
3. Also, your dogs are both adolescents. You're the mom of teenagers. The funny thing about adolescent dogs is that they ARE learning. They're learning everything. But they're bratty teenagers. They'll never admit you're right. But then they slide into adulthood and wow, look at that -- they know everything you've been trying to teach them. One day not very long ago, I looked down at the dog at my side and wondered who is this well behaved guy? And he looked up at me (with beautiful eyes and a dashing grin) and said 'Hey, I've been here all along. "
4. Learning almost always happens BETWEEN sessions. You'll struggle. You'll struggle. You'll struggle. And then one time, your pup will get it right the FIRST time. Brains (human, canine, dolphin) are programmed to learn while we're relaxing and especially while we're sleeping. So you're thinking "OMG! How'd you do that!" and your pup is thinking, "well, I've been practicing that in my dreams for the last five nights!"
So while it's nice to end on with success, if I can't get a success with the new skill, I ask my dog for a Sit, Down, Stand, Speak! And when he does all of those in succession-- which is easy for him, and he loves to end with that big happy bark! -- I give him a big snack and that's our ending with success.
Sometimes (ok, often) brains just need downtime to process new information and learn.
If I get frustrated, he's not happy. So I try to stop before then. I switch tasks to something easy that can use repetition (can't our dogs ALWAYS work on faster sits and downs or longer down stays?); or I move to something more physical (maybe teaching a trick that requires movement, like a Spin. Or I just call it a day and I chase him around the house until we're both out of breath.
1. Get the book.
2. Find someone to give you perspective on how far you've come and to point out that you're improving day by day.
3. There is only one way through adolescence. You have to WORK through it.
4. Learning occurs BETWEEN sessions.
5. You are not alone.