The three-3-3 Rule of Canine Rescue and a Penny Progress Replace

Have you ever heard of the 3-3-3 rule of adopting a brand new canine?

It’s a set of pointers for transitioning a brand new canine into your own home. Don’t let the phrases “rule” or “pointers” trick you into pondering this can be a hard-and-fast state of affairs. Quite, I like to consider it extra as a framework or mindset to assist your new canine settle.

Let’s dig in, and I’m going to share how our new pup, Penny, is doing on the similar time.

A white dog with brown spots on her hind quarters stands at the bank of a river looking out into the water. The ground is mostly mud with a little bit of green grass popping up. The water is flowing quickly. The dog is wearing a pink and purple collar and a blue and gray harness. The leash has a bright yellow sleeve on it that says "I'm deaf and partially sighted." The text overlay of the image reads: The 3-3-3 Rule for helping your new dog settle in

Right here’s the gist of the 3-3-3 rule:

The primary 3 days are to your canine to acclimate to his or her new environment. That is the “the place the heck am I” and “am I staying right here” section. At this level, your canine isn’t displaying his or her true colours due to the overwhelm.

The primary 3 weeks are to your canine to study the family guidelines and limits in a loving, form, optimistic manner. It begins your bonding course of off on the appropriate foot (er, paw?) and establishes the inspiration of your relationship.

The primary 3 months are for socialization, coaching, and new experiences. By the tip of three months, your canine ought to really feel settled and safe. Part of the household.

All through these first three days, weeks, and months, your job is to remain affected person. Set up form boundaries. Stay calm. Present your canine with a secure, quiet area to make use of at his or her will. Be constant and type. Reward what you need. Ignore or redirect what you don’t need. Begin primary coaching. Stroll day-after-day, should you can. Perceive prematurely your canine will begin to take a look at boundaries. Be affected person and keep constant.

Your canine’s job? Sniff, discover, take a look at, experiment. Actually, it’s to check the boundaries and work out what’s and isn’t acceptable conduct in your house. As your pup turns into safer in your house, you’ll begin to see much more of his or her true persona shine by means of.

After three months, proceed to coach, problem, and socialize together with your pup, although she or he needs to be assured that your loved ones is right here to remain–no extra shelter for you, pupperoo!

So, how’s Penny doing?

In case you haven’t but met Penny, right here’s the primary submit the place I launched her and defined a little bit of her background and quirks. Trying again at that submit, I’m amazed at how far she’s come… however extra on that in a sec.

Holding the 3-3-3 rule in thoughts, I additionally up to date on her progress after the primary month. On this occasion, I stretched these first three weeks into 4 largely as a result of week one for Penny consisted of sleep, sleep, and extra sleep. Trauma restoration, we predict.

Now, we’re simply previous the three-month mark, and there’s a whole lot of progress to share!

On reflection, at three days, Penny wasn’t even able to deal with family routines. She wanted to sleep and eat. That was it.

At three weeks, she felt safer and extra built-in into the family, however her worry nonetheless dominated. Even at 4 weeks, after I wrote that final replace, she nonetheless oscillated between consolation and worry each single day.

Penny’s 3-month replace

She’s doing amazingly nicely.

Penny walks across the neighborhood most days. Some days–twice final week–one thing scares her, however she trusts us sufficient to know that when she freezes and turns towards residence, we are going to comply with as an alternative of push.

She performs with toys. Now she must study the distinction between canine toys and child toys, however truthfully? That’s on the people, not the canine. Violet and Astrid shortly discovered the consequence of not choosing up their toys and stuffed animals.

She sleeps a standard schedule now, which is a huge reduction.

Penny just lately entered the kitchen–twice–all on her personal. We doled out reward and treats, however that wasn’t sufficient to persuade her it’s a secure area but. She hasn’t returned since.

She nonetheless hasn’t walked down the entrance corridor. Possibly she is going to sometime. Possibly she gained’t. For now, she’s established an extended route by means of the lounge to get to the steps and skips the hallway altogether. And that’s OK. She’ll get there… or she gained’t. Once more, I’m not prepared to push on issues that don’t matter.

Lest the 3-3-3 rule appear too excellent

I checked out a whole lot of infographics that implied your canine will likely be completely settled in at three months! Congrats! You made it!

Besides. Nuh-uh.

Possibly your canine completely match proper into your loved ones and your family and by three months hit a stable stride.

It’s attainable, nevertheless it appears much less possible than your canine needing a bit longer than that mark, which is why I like to consider it extra because the 3-3-3 guideline.

Penny nonetheless flinches while you elevate an arm or leg close to her (although she hangs out after I follow yoga, in order that’s enormous progress). She gained’t stroll down the hallway–or enter a rest room, the eating room, or the laundry room, for that matter. She feels safer lounging in her crate than she does snuggling on my mattress.

Candy Penny whines and cries when she realizes somebody is someplace she will’t entry (like the lavatory or eating room) and won’t go to the lavatory on a stroll.

She drinks water from puddles within the yard and is barely now beginning to belief the canine bowls of recent water on the deck and in the home.

At three months, your canine in all probability understands she or he is right here to remain. And that’s superior. That’s an enormous hurdle for canines who’ve been bounced round from shelters or rescues or foster properties or unstable, unsafe conditions like Penny’s.

The remaining is determined by the canine’s persona and the family people’ canine abilities.

So, should you’re somebody who reads one thing like this set of pointers and feels such as you’re failing as a result of your canine continues to be scared / reactive / untrained / no matter on the three-month mark, relaxation assured that you simply’re advantageous. Your canine is ok. I imply, heck, I labored with Cooper for greater than 13 years and he by no means “overcame” his worry or his reactivity.

It’s not about having a “excellent” canine after three months. It’s about constructing a bond together with your canine, constructing belief and safety. Giving your canine a way of security.

The remaining, like Penny’s hallway, will both come or it gained’t.

For those who loved this submit, you’ll in all probability get pleasure from my forthcoming e-book, For the Love of Canine, from Regalo Press in February 2025. It’s chock stuffed with the most recent analysis in canine cognition mixed with tales of my canines to deliver the information to life. To remain up-to-date on the most recent with Penny and my publication information,  be a part of the mailing listing or comply with alongside on Instagram.

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