For anyone, moving into an unfamiliar environment can be daunting, but even more so for our furry friends who can’t express themselves quite like we do. Transitioning from their old home, kennels or shelters can be exciting but also stressful and worrying. So, what can owners expect during the process?
Generally for the first three days your dog will be somewhat unsure and overwhelmed by its new environment, not interested in eating or drinking, hiding, or even trying to test your boundaries and see what they can get away with. Try not to worry too much about this, and hard as it may be, let your dog come to you at its own pace.
Within three weeks your rescue dog should be now more adjusted to your home, beginning to settle in and feel more comfortable. As your dog begins to realise they aren’t going anywhere their personality will begin to shine, and with it any behavioural issues will also begin to show. It’s important at this stage not to let your dog become leader of the pack – keep to your routine and show them who’s in charge by sticking to set boundaries.
Finally after three months your dog should be set in their routine, knowing when it’s time for walks, for food and maybe even a few tricks. Now they’ll feel comfortable and secure in your home, having built up trust and made bonds with you and the rest of your family.
The 3-3-3 rule for rescue dogs is a staple for a reason. It’s the best thing to keep in mind for new rescue owners, and something we make sure every family who takes home one our ‘dawgs’ is aware of. Keep in mind that it’s also only a guide, and some dogs will take less or more time to adjust to their new environment.