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Have you heard of the 3-3-3 Rule?

There's a lot of social media chatter going around involving the 3-3-3 rule of dogs acclimating into their new surroundings.

Supposedly, it's a magic formula comprised of 3 days, 3 weeks and 3 months and what to expect or do in those specific times.

In my opinion, there is no magic formula to dealing with dogs. It takes a lot of hard work, consistency, and patience to help dogs adapt into a new environment. There is some wisdom to the "general" advice given, but every dog is different. Instead of setting expectations, here are three phases a dog goes through.

  1. Fight or Flight: This phase consists of being overwhelmed by new surroundings. I see it everyday during temperament tests with dogs who are not used to a daycare setting. They become overwhelmed, overstimulated and act completely different than their norm. For example: Gyda is a smooth coat, two year old female St. Bernard. She is amazing outside of daycare. Inside, she is a holy terror. She is aggressive and unpredictable. (Obviously, Gyda is not a daycare dog) In this instance, you want to provide a stress free space as much as possible. Some dogs completely pass this phase and are happy go lucky all the time!

  2. Adjustment: Most likely at this phase your dog has adjusted to their new surroundings, new schedule and new people. The dog's actual personality and habits are starting to show. Some bad habits might show that was previously learned, this involves training on your part to fix. On the lighter side, your dog might just be your dog.

  3. Bonded: Your bond should be completed at this phase. Unfortunately there is no magic formula saying how long until you reach this phase. Two examples I have: My sister brought home Tyson, he was greatful from day one and loves to be part of a family. My dog Molly, it took her over a year to accept us as her family. Every dog is different. Do your research before adopting, to see if they are a good fit for your family.


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