Welcoming a new member of the family is an exciting time for everyone. Please remember though, that for the dogs, it can also be a scary and anxious time. They leave behind everything they’ve known so far to go to a new place with strange people, strange dogs, strange sights and smells. It may take them a little while to settle in.
While each dog is an individual, generally try to remember the ‘Rule of 3’ when welcoming a new dog into your home:
- In the first 3 days your new dog may be feeling overwhelmed; may be scared and unsure of what’s going on; may not be comfortable enough to be ‘themselves’; may shut down and want to curl up in their crate or hide under a table; and may test some boundaries.
- After 3 weeks your new dog should be starting to settle in; they are feeling more comfortable; they are realising this could possibly be their forever home; they have figured out their environment; they are getting into a routine; they let their guard down and may start showing their true personality; and any behaviour issues may start to emerge.
- After 3 months your new dog should be completely comfortable in their new home; should be building trust and a new bond with their family; should have gained a complete sense of security with their new family; and should be set in a routine.
Source: Rescue Dogs 101
Give your new dog space and time to work at their own pace during this initial settling in period.