The 3 – 3 – 3 Rule

So, you just adopted a dog. Wonderful news and congratulations from all of us at Fetch Family Pet Resort. Now what? I know – off to the Pet Supply Store or a binge on Amazon for food, bed, toys, chewy things – but how about beyond that? What comes after the euphoria of a new home and a new pet? There is something known as the 3-3-3 rule. These are important milestones and guidelines for bonding with your new furry family member.

FIRST THREE DAYS: Everything is new – like crazy new! New smells, new faces, new feeling under the paws. Everything is euphoric on both sides of the equation. Your new dog can easily get lost in the house and is very distracted by just about anything. It’s a time of “firsts.’ That first doorbell ring or knock; that first time Amazon drops a package at the front door; that first time the mailman pulls up; that first time the trash truck squeals to a stop and trashcans bounce off the pavement. How about the first time someone gets up in the middle of the night to go to bathroom? The key word is “unpredictability.” You don’t know what your dog will do, and your dog doesn’t know what you will do. So, pay attention!

FIRST THREE WEEKS: During this period your dog is starting to get used to his new routine – what time things happen on a regular basis, and the comings and goings of your home. Your pet starts to feel safe, but still frightens easily and anxiety may manifest itself as accidents, excessive barking, and even chewing on inappropriate items. This is a time to be vigilant for warning signs of problematic behavior and to reward good behavior with lots of love and treats. It’s also time to begin some basic training with simple commands and focus on the three D’s: distance, duration, and distractions.

happy dog sitting in a chairFIRST THREE MONTHS: So now we are getting real. Time is passing, and everyone is adjusting to the new family dynamics. Your pet knows when it goes potty, when everyone goes to bed, and when everyone gets up. There is confidence growing on both sides of the aisle. If your dog is a rescue, things make a little longer, but the new “family” unit is becoming stable. Further training should be explored, and your dog should be going out on little adventures with you. The journey has just begun….

If you have just adopted a dog, or have owned one for years and have questions, call or email me. I am just a bark away.


Carolyn’s Corner

Carolyn Lapps is the General Manager at Fetch Family Pet Resort. Her love and passion for all animals began at a young age and has led to a career. She is frequently consulted on pet socialization, family integration issues, and is highly regarded for her experience with domestic animal management and care.