Dog Adoption: The 3-3-3 Rule
On March 23, we celebrate National Puppy Day! If you’re cuddling up to a new puppy — or an older dog — this month, this blog is for you!
It's been 3 days since you adopted your puppy or dog and brought them home for the first time, and the process has been a whirlwind. You didn't expect it to be easy, but the reality is far more daunting than you thought. This blog will explore the settling-in period that most puppies and dogs go through after adoption and what is often referred to as the 3-3-3 rule. We'll help you understand what to expect and how to make the transition as smooth as possible for both you and your pup!
The 3-3-3 rule is simple — expect it to take your dog three days, three weeks, and three months to settle into their new home in different ways. During this time period, they will be exploring the boundaries of their new environment and testing you as pack leader to figure out what behaviors are acceptable and which ones aren't.
What to Expect at 3 Days
The first 3 days after your pup's adoption will likely be filled with lots of nervous energy. You can expect them to feel anxious and overwhelmed by their new surroundings. Give them their own space in the form of a crate or bed, show them where they should be eating, and try to be patient as they adjust.
What to Expect at 3 Weeks
Throughout the first 3 weeks, your new dog will begin to act more confident in your home. By establishing a consistent routine, they will feel more comfortable and secure in this space. Begin training them to listen to commands, go to the bathroom outside, and behave while on walks. Consistency is key during this time to ensure your pup has a stable routine they can begin to rely on.
What to Expect at 3 Months
By the time 3 months have passed, you can expect your pup to really start settling in. During this time, it's important to continue your training and routine efforts so your dog doesn't fall into bad habits. Soon, their personality will start shining through, and they will feel like an irreplaceable member of the family!
Remember, every dog is different. Some may take a shorter or longer amount of time to adjust to their new life in your home depending on their personality and previous experiences. All you can do is create a safe and loving environment for them, and eventually, it will feel like home!
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