If you’ve ever started a new job or moved to a new school, you should know the feeling of being in an unfamiliar place, new surroundings, new people, new rules.
The first few days are spent trying to sort out what is expected of you. Then a few weeks later, you are getting more comfortable, meeting new friends, learning the timetable, and rules. After a few months, you’ll have got it all figured out and are settled in your new job or school.
The common milestones your new dog or puppy will go through will be the first 3 days after bringing your dog home from the shelter, then 3 weeks, then 3 months.
The 3 Days, 3 Weeks, 3 Month Rule
In the first 3 days your new dog will be overwhelmed with her new surroundings. She will not be comfortable enough to be herself. Don’t be alarmed if she doesn’t want to eat for the first couple of days, many dogs don’t eat when they are stressed. She may shut down and want to curl up on her new bed or even under the table or show her unease by pacing and demanding attention. She may be scared and unsure about what is going on. Or, she may be the opposite and test you to see what he can get away with, like a naughty child.
After 3 weeks she’s starting to settle in, feeling more comfortable, and realising this really may be her forever home. She will have started to get into her new family’s routine and will let her guard down. Her real personality will start showing and it may be that she starts to test her boundaries but if you have set her routine and have been firm but kind when showing her what is expected from the start she will soon realise what is right and wrong.
After 3 months your dog is now completely comfortable in her home. You have built trust and a true bond with your dog, which gives her a complete sense of security with you. She is set in her routine and will have come to expect her dinner at the usual time.