The next step in this process comes when your dog is visibly relaxed during the foundation-building missions. It might take some time and please don’t feel you have to rush during this course! The last thing you want to do is to push your dog past their threshold and “snap the muscle” we’re building. Just like if you were to do that at the gym, you’d have some recovery and physio to work through to repair the damage and get back on that equipment, and that’s not even bringing you back to where you were before the “snap”! 

It bears repeating: take it at your dog’s pace.

The next Mission will get you started on leaving the house (or unit) and closing the door behind you for longer than a split-second. This part is particularly difficult for dogs as it is the first time you’re going out of sight and putting a physical barrier between you and the dog. It’s the great unknown, in your dog’s mind. It’s where they have experienced a great deal of distress in the past, most likely…so it will be difficult. 

We go slowly here – we do not rush.