What Is the 3-3-3 Rule When Adopting a Rescue Dog? | Tips for Adopting Rescue Dogs | Pet Palace

What Is the 3-3-3 Rule When Adopting a Rescue Dog?

3-3-3 rule for dogsBringing home a rescue dog and hoping to have the smoothest transition possible for both you and your new pup? You’ve come to the right place! We know that the transition period for a rescue dog can be challenging so that’s where the 3-3-3 rule comes in.

The 3-3-3 rule is a good guideline designed to help rescue dogs navigate the initial three days, three weeks, and three months of their adoption. Each phase represents a different stage of adjustment for both you and your furry companion to ensure a happy settlement into a new environment with the right attention and training.

The First Three Days

Often the most overwhelming time for a rescue dog, the first three days are crucial to ensure your dog adjusts to their brand-new home. Keep in mind that while you are overjoyed to welcome your four-legged friend, they are leaving behind everything familiar to them, which can be extremely overwhelming. Some dogs are leaving behind their previous homes, routines, and possibly their family.

During this period, be sure to provide a calm and safe environment with lots of enrichment for your pup. Keep your interactions minimal and make sure to give your dog plenty of time to explore their new surroundings at their own pace. In this stage of the 3-3-3 rule process, patience is key as your new family member begins to get acclimated to their new home.

The First Three Weeks

As you and your rescue dog begin to settle in, you will start to notice that your their true personality will begin to shine. It is still extremely important to remember that even in this stage of the 3-3-3 rule process, they are still adjusting to their new home so continue to have patience and understanding.

During the first three weeks, start focusing on building trust with your dog and establishing routines. During this stage, you may start to slowly introduce them to fun and new experiences, such as walks around the neighborhood or even interactions with other pets! Consistency and positive reinforcement will help to strengthen your bond with your new family member and build their confidence to continue to try new things.

The First Three Months

In this stage of the 3-3-3 rule process, your rescue dog should start feeling like a true part of the family. It’s essential to remain patient, however, as you are still learning more about your dog, and they are still learning more about you!

Use this time to further deepen your connection with your new pup through continued training and lots of playtime. Keep celebrating your canine companion’s milestones, big or small, and continue to provide them with the love and support they need to overcome any lingering insecurities.

Beyond the 3-3-3 Rule: Tips for Successfully Bringing Home Your Rescue Dog

In addition to following the 3-3-3 rule, there are several other tips to keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition for both you and your new furry companion.

Create a Safe Space

Set up a designated area in your home where your new rescue dog can retreat to if they need some alone time. This safe space can be a designated cozy dog bed away from distractions or a crate with a comfortable blanket.

Establish a Routine

As illustrated in the 3-3-3 rule, animals tend to thrive when there is a routine in place. Be sure to establish a consistent schedule for walks, feeding times, potty breaks, and even bath time!

Provide Stimulation

It is vital for your new rescue dog to have both mental and physical stimulation. To accomplish this, you can engage your dog’s mind with interactive toys and provide physical stimulation via different outdoor activities.

Be Patient and Understanding

Remember that every dog is different, and it may take some additional time for your rescue dog to fully adapt to their new surroundings. Be patient, understanding, and supportive as they navigate through this period of transition.

Seek Additional Help

If your dog is struggling with behavioral issues during any of the phases in the 3-3-3 rule, or you need additional guidance, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional at Pet Palace!

At all of our locations we focus on plenty of outside time, socialization, and much more! From luxurious accommodations to grooming services and more, Pet Palace is dedicated to helping you and your new furry friend thrive together!

Visit Pet Palace

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can support you in your new adoption journey. We look forward to seeing you and your pup!

Additional Resources to Check Out

6 Ways to Celebrate National Pet Month

Common Dog Behavior Problems and How to Solve Them

The Benefits of Socializing Your Dog

Lora Shaw

About the author

Lora Shaw

Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.

Categories: Dogs, Pet Boarding, Pet Grooming, Pet Safety, Tips for Your Pets