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The Rescue Rule

You recently adopted or rescued an adult dog and they're amazing so far! You did everything right and bought everything you needed. You were prepared and now you're living the dream with your new best buddy.

You've had them for a few months and start to notice some concerning new behaviors. Suddenly your sweet, docile new friend is barking non-stop while the neighbor's kids are outside playing, digging up your yard, counter surfing, and stealing your underwear out of the laundry basket. You're at a loss. How did our sweet, calm dog suddenly turn into this little terror?

We call it the "Rescue Rule."

It's often referred to as the "3-3-3 Rule" as well. It goes like this:

During the first three days, your new dog is decompressing from the stress of having lived in a kennel environment.

The first three weeks, your dog is getting used to you, your family, and the household routine.

After the first three months, the dog feels like a fully integrated part of your family.

This is an awesome feeling for them! They're a part of a family and they're comfortable. BUT. It also means you're going to start seeing some of those unwanted dog behaviors.

I like to compare this to a class of kindergartners. During the first few weeks of school, the kids are staying in their seats, not shouting out, playing very kindly at recess, etc. However, by the third or fourth week of school those behaviors start popping up. The kids know the teacher, each other, they know where things are - they're comfortable and safe, therefore the unwanted behaviors manifest.

The best way to get ahead of this is to make sure you're integrating lots of enrichment and decompression opportunities for your new dog and reaching out to a trainer near you!


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