Given a dominating set, how much smaller a dominating set can we find through elementary operations? Here, we proceed by iterative vertex addition and removal while maintaining the property that the set forms a dominating set of bounded size. This can be seen as the optimization variant of the dominating set reconfiguration problem, where two dominating sets are given and the question is merely whether they can be reached from one another through elementary operations. We show that this problem is PSPACE-complete, even if the input graph is a bipartite graph, a split graph, or has bounded pathwidth. On the positive side, we give linear-time algorithms for cographs, trees and interval graphs. We also study the parameterized complexity of this problem. More precisely, we show that the problem is W-hard when parameterized by the upper bound on the size of an intermediary dominating set. On the other hand, we give fixed-parameter algorithms with respect to the minimum size of a vertex cover, or d + s where d is the degeneracy and s is the upper bound of the output solution.