It Doesn’t Happen Overnight – The 3-3-3 Rule for Dog Adoptions


Adopting a rescue dog can be a rewarding experience, but it also requires patience, understanding, and preparation. One guideline to help in this process is the 3-3-3 rule, which provides a structure for adjusting to life with a new furry friend.

Understanding the 3-3-3 Rule for Adopting a Rescue Dog

The 3-3-3 rule is a guideline for transitioning a rescue dog into their new home and helping them to settle in. It suggests that the first three days should be used for adjusting to their new surroundings, the next three weeks for training and bonding, and the first three months for continued socialization and training.

What is the 3-3-3 Rule and Why is it Important?

The 3-3-3 rule provides a roadmap for the adoption process and helps ensure a smooth transition for both the dog and the owner. It also helps set realistic expectations and prevents common mistakes such as overloading the dog with too much too soon. By following the 3-3-3 rule, owners can give their rescue dog the time and support they needs to adjust and become a well-behaved member of the household.

First Three Days:

Give your rescue dog time to adjust to their new surroundings and get used to you. Limit exposure to new sights, sounds, and experiences, and provide a quiet and safe space for the dog to rest and recover. Start your daily routine right away but do not force interaction. Set your boundaries early while still giving them space.

Be patient & stay positive!

Next Three Weeks:

Focus on training and bonding with your rescue dog. Start with basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay, and come, and gradually increase the difficulty of the exercises. Take your dog on daily walks and spend time playing and challenging your new pup. At this point they may be testing the boundaries so don’t get discouraged.

Praise every success!

First Three Months:

Continue socializing and training your rescue dog, and expose them to a variety of experiences and environments. Take them to the park, go on car rides, and let them interact with other dogs and people while being mindful of their unique personalities and limitations with strangers. This will help build confidence and strengthen your bond.

Continue building your bond!

What They are Feeling During These Milestones

We’re Here For You – If you have any questions or concerns that come up after adoption, please contact us at if you adopted through us, or at if you acquired your dog through another avenue.