Did you adopt a dog? Here's a guideline to how they may adjust to their new home!

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Every pet is an individual and will adjust to their new home differently. Give your shelter dog the space and patience they need to understand their new life! The 3-3-3 guideline is to help you understand what your new dog or puppy may be experiencing.

Not every dog or puppy will fit into this guideline. Some pets adapt to their new homes seamlessly, while others may take months to feel secure in their safety and trust in you. Remember: you're both getting to know each other! And as a shelter dog, we often don't know what the dog's previous life was like. They are adjusting to a whole new life!

In the first 3 days...

You've just adopted your new dog or puppy and brought them home from the shelter. Maybe they are roaming around fear-free, or maybe the dog is avoiding you or trying to hide in their crate. Don't feel discouraged. The pup is in a new space! They may feel overwhelmed, scared or unsure about their new surroundings. They're not ready to be themselves yet because they don't know you, your home, or your routines. Some nervous dogs and puppies may not want to eat or drink at first, and may avoid you. They may also test the boundaries of their new home. Give them time and space! Go slow. Don't introduce too many new things or new people at first. Spend time with them but let them choose to come to you!

After 3 weeks...

Your adopted dog or puppy will start settling in and feel more comfortable in your household. They've begun to understand and navigate their new environment. Your rescue dog may even have picked up on your daily routine. Now you'll start seeing their personality opening up as they adjust to you and your family. Different behaviors may emerge that may have not before, both entertaining personality quirks and behaviors that may need training to adjust. Your dog is starting to understand their new home and know what to expect!

After 3 MONTHS...

Your adopted dog or puppy knows their new home and the family members in it. Your dog has gotten used to your routine, and may even have established a routine of their own! They feel secure in your home and have begun to bond to you and trust you to be their person.