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The Three days, Three Weeks, Three Months, Rules of Adopting a Rescue Dog

The 3-3-3 rule stands for different phases in a newly adopted dog’s life that relates to their adjustment period and when they are likely to hit different milestones in their life. The 3’s stand for “3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months” as markers in time after you bring an adopted dog home. It’s a great way to track your dog’s progress and understand where your new dog should naturally be in terms of behaviour in their new home.

The first 3 days are crucial for a newly adopted dog and this period takes patience and understanding. You dog may be acting nervous and scared of their new surroundings. Sounds and spaces are unfamiliar which can be frightening. You might notice their personality is quite sheltered or subdued, they are probably going to hide and be in fear. Don’t be too alarmed if they don’t eat regularly in the first 3 days as this will change over time.

Practice patience with them, keep treats handy and do as much research as you can. You can talk to us if you’re looking for tips on how to make your new dog feel comfortable.

Within the first 3 weeks of bringing your rescue dog home, you will notice they start to open up a bit more. They will have been eating more regularly, making more contact with you and family members, and showing off more of their personality. These are the moments where you begin to see your dog getting more comfortable with their new home and start building a routine around yours.

However, this could also be the time that your dog starts testing you and its environment. 

3 months should be about the time that you notice your dog has transitioned almost completely into your home. They recognize that this is their new forever home and forever family. This gives them a sense of comfort and security with you as their new owners. At this point, your adopted dog is settled and adapted to their new routine. They will understand when it’s time for a meal and things like what grabbing their leash by the front door means.

By this time, your adopted dog has reached the tail-end of the 3-3-3 period and should be comfortable and feel secure. 




 Dates for your Diary 

           For 2024


            Horley Dog Show 1st September 2024            

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Tel: 07849 532111 / 01342 843953

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Copsale Road,
Copsale, West Sussex RH13 6QU

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