What do I do during the reassessment?

During your reassessment, stay close – out of earshot, sight, and not close enough that they can smell you under the door or through the window. Definitely do NOT drive away or get on an elevator – we’re not quite there yet! Just monitor with your timer and be ready to come back in when necessary. 

Who should be running the reassessment with me?

Run your reassessment the way you’ve been running the majority of your Missions, but don’t be tempted to run a number of reassessments with all the variables. We can over-assess and that can sensitise our dogs. Let’s stick to one plan for reassessments and make it the one that means the most to you for now. One reassessment is best! 

Should I return when my dog is barking?

Sure! As long as we’re not doing this all the time, it’s perfectly fine.

Yes, if we do this every time they bark, they will learn that barking makes you come back. If it works, they do it. However, if we reassess once a week and that’s the only time they’re ever pushed past a threshold, I’m not worried about them developing this behaviour chain. 

We’re also going to learn more about our dogs’ vocalisations; some barking is frustration and short-lived. We can wait that out for a few seconds and see if they settle themselves and go lie down. If they don’t and the barking escalates (higher pitch, more staccato, incessant vs intermittent) then we should come back and give them relief as it is more likely to be stress. 

This is a learning curve, so don’t expect to know the difference right now.