Decompression (The 3-3-3 Rule)


You did it! You decided to consider a rescue dog, and that is awesome, now what? A system continues to be developed to ease your dog into their new home. 

This process is the 3-3-3 rule (also known as the Rule of Threes) and can make an enormous difference in the way your new loved one starts life using their new family. Rescuers created the system to assist new owners better understand the post-shelter decompression process their four-legged pal are experiencing through the first Three days, 30 days, and three months once in their new sanctuary.

Of course, every dog is unique and adapts differently somewhere, so it is vital that you have patience and understanding and give them plenty of space to develop and adjust in their own pace.

3 Days

In those first Three days, it is vital to keep in mind how vulnerable and overwhelmed your pet will feel, act, and appear at the moment and this is all completely normal.

  • Your dog may feel a little overwhelmed, scared, uncertain, and can be wondering what's going on at this time.
  • Their real dog personality won't come out just yet, that personality continues to be acclimating to the ” new world ” and may not show for weeks.
  • Feeding may be difficult too, as they might not feel comfortable enough to consume or drink, and may even diarrhea or vomit.
  • Sad, seemingly beatdown, or fatigued in the shock of all of the change and may want to chill under a table or relax in their crate for any little personal time.
  • Your new dog may test out your boundaries initially, see the things they can and can't do, and find out how this new part of their life is likely to react once they do certain things.

3 weeks

By week 3, your dog ought to be settling in and appearing to be a little more confident with their new home, as well as signs of them understanding that this is their new home.

The environment you introduced to them will be more familiar and also the routine you and your pal have been patiently working on is starting to become just that, a routine. Something that makes them secure simply because they understand what is expected of these increasingly more each day. 

This is such an enjoyable time because your dog's real personality might start coming through. However, the comfort to be comfortable within the new space may also bring rise to some behavioral issues that may need addressing.

3 months

At 3 months, your rescue ought to be close to or used to their new home. Even more, both of you have entered a relationship of trust, and a secure bond has set. This is the dog's new home and they're secure in knowing their routine.

Decompression Preparation 

Whether you reside in a house or apartment, be sure to take a great walk-through it and look for any items that may be alluring to a dog. Food, clothing, shoes, and exposed wires are items your dog may touch and become bad for them. 

This process is quite like baby-proofing a house for any human child. By taking out the item, the need or temptation to munch, eat, or wreck havoc on something that it should not can also be removed, as well as the have to discipline or correct them only at that fragile stage in their development.  

Crate Training

Yes, a crate is technically a cage, but it's open and can be a great device that enables your dog a personal, quiet space to visit and decompress. The crate will soon represent a haven of sleep and ease when things are still new and different. 

A crate should be a tool initially and once your rescue is feeling comfortable in their new house, it is up to you to determine just how much it is used continuing to move forward. The crate technique is useful whenever your dog first takes residence and will result in the transition much smoother.

Not every dog will require to some crate, but, you can assign a place in your house like a designated (safe) “chill zone.” Building independence early is vital and helps with possible stress and anxiety that may occur when the bond grows between dog and owner.

Property Check

Make sure to provide the beyond your house a great walk-through, especially if your pet lives in or spends amount of time in a yard. Take this time around to preemptively look for spots where your rescue could easily get out and into danger, any escape openings, holes, etc. Use this time to reinsure latches on gates or doors and take away any harmful debris.

The Dog Necessities

It 's time to hit the pet store and get some goodies! Your new ball of joy needs some items before they get to their new home: water and food bowl, leash, collar, products, and toys!

Researching and deciding which food brand and product (ingredients) are perfect for your dog will require a little trial and error. You will find great dog food suggestions, yet it's remember this that every dog has different needs, possible food allergies, autoimmune conditions, etc., which could cause reactions and pose problems, obtaining the right mix can make a big difference in your dog's healthy way of life.

Reflection Before Adoption

Building a good relationship early on together with your new friend is crucial, and whether you've got a dog already or otherwise, researching and understanding and utilizing various resources and guidelines on rescues before they arrive is important. Doing so will help to understand what to expect and how to better communicate, and also the payoff down the road as far as rewards, reinforcement, and identifying your canine's behavior plus your capability to properly correct it.

It is time to bring them home to become a welcomed and loved part of your loved ones, wait, remember, part of the plan is a calm demeanor. This is ideal for doggy's first moments in your domicile and setting the right tone when having your relationship started.

As difficult as it might sound, this tone, this healthy energy, this “you,” must go on for the following 3 months, and so on. Obviously, there can still be those fun moments of love and excitement with your pet during this time, yet it is best to do your best to have to wait and employ these emotions toward your dog's acclimation process.

Take a Stroll Together Outside First

You are home with your new dog but before you go inside, bring them on a nice walk (leash on) round the neighborhood, it will allow them to use up a number of that extra energy. Even more, this can help to establish boundaries in your future relationship, like listening and how to walk with you, and a sense of their new environment, area, the sights, sounds, smells, etc.

If you will find leash issues, it's a wise decision to search out a credible training tool or manual. Fixing unhealthy habits early on will assist you to build new, good ones. Moreover, once you establish a proper leash rapport with your four-legged friend, the gentle leader will no longer be needed, and you may go back to a great, old-fashioned collar.  

Introducing Rescue for their New Home

The walk is over, and everyone’s just a little calmer, so it's time to walk inside. Keep the leash on initially, because they have to continue following and also to prevent them from wandering or sniffing around. This is essential in giving your dog a sense of who is in control, who runs this house, may be the proverbial “leader of the pack.” 

As almost as much ast it might be tempting to let them roam the place, the leash keeps them close to you and avoids sending the wrong message. Also, it enables you to bring them to each room in the home, piece by piece-slowly. (Please be aware, be sure you enter and leave first, this can help establish rely upon leadership and gets these to follow your lead). When the home tour is finished, move on to the patio, yard, perimeter, etc.

Again, as difficult because it is to ignore your brand-new precious pal throughout the first Three days, it is important to do this process while not talking, petting, or making eye contact. The dog is beyond overstimulated only at that initial stage, thus the less stimulation, the simpler it's for your dog to focus during the process. You're the tour guide, maintaining your calm while you show the four-legged newbie the lay from the land, reinforces who is in charge and helps them stay on task. 

Meeting another Pets

If you've other pets in your home, it is best to keep the new furry friends separate for 24 hours. It is a high-stress time and could exacerbate that already established stress, which may result in a fight. Yes, all of us think that we've the nicest dog in the world, however they may be territorial with a new dog.Introducing dogs casually in the dog park versus home can give them a chance to get used to one another. 

When it is time to introduce your rescue to the other pets, outside is a preferred spot. Maybe a long walk with both prior to making that initial pass through the house's threshold together. As for the cat, it's kind of up to the kitty how it wants to satisfy the dog; keeping a gate so it can get away if it wants to, may be beneficial, as well.  

Your rescue may be experiencing several things the very first time, things we are used to, for example children, stairs, TV, speakers, etc., might be all somewhat new. Thus, don't forget to become patient and understanding as your new friend gets accustomed to all of the something totally new in their life, so they eventually understand that there's nothing to fear. 

Setting Boundaries

The welcome home tour has ended, which is now time to start setting some simple boundaries. The leash is on, bring these to their eating area, demonstrate to them where they can acquire some water and perhaps several treats. This will help set up a routine feeding time and get them more acquainted with what's going to be a popular area.

The food hookup has become known, it is now time to proceed to their bedroom. Let them sniff around and get a good, comfortable sense of the crate. Allow them to smell it, mull around inside it, let them come with an all-out research party inside. It is okay to toss or put some treats in the crate to entice them in and allow them to get more comfortable with the space. Some dogs walk right in with ease, while some might take a little bit longer. Either way, once happily in, it's okay to get rid of the leash in addition to shut the doorway. They'll use this time to further decompress, however, when they seem stressed or anxious by closing the doorway, then simply just leave it open and permit these to come and go as they wish.

If you've chosen not to go the crate-training route, let them from the leash and allow them to investigate their sleeping quarter. When you remove the leash in their room, for a moment, you are allowing them to know this really is theirs, it is associated with them. They might just decide to chill here and not be worried about the rest of the family for any bit. This is a great sign. It means your introduction process would be a success and they have found their station in the “pack.”

By now, your dog includes a sense of its new home and it is boundaries. Attempt to limit just how much freedom they are allowed the initial few days; this can be accomplished by closing some doors or just making some of the rooms in the house as “no dogs allowed!” And that relaxed environment going, stay calm, attempt to repress those feelings to overwhelm your new family member with attention and affection (as hard as that's to complete). If you think they're itching for some attention, obviously, provide, but remember to reduce it at this stage (want to limit separation anxiety).

It is figure, physically and emotionally, especially at this juncture, since your rescue dog continues to be adjusting to its new house. Because the airlines always say before takeoff, please remain calm, and in your canine's situation, this is to teach them this is the house, and you're simply the rule-maker. When they make a move good during these first 72 hours, then rush to reward because it will send a message which will reverberate in the future.  

Routine, Routine, Routine

Establishing a regular routine together with your dog during the first 3 days, once they might not be eating or drinking much, acting just a little off, or still just acclimating to their new house, is vital. A routine is a great way for your dog to understand what to anticipate, what's coming, which is a great tool in limiting unnecessary stress or anxiety. 

Here are several daily steps to help you as well as your rescue get started (repeat Three times daily where applicable).

  • Start your entire day after which start your canine's day. Your thing must come first, and then whether or not the dog is first to wake and comes, you choose when it's time to begin your day.
  • Get out and go for a walk in your terms along with you leading, preventing them from tugging or pulling ahead.
  • Try out some simple commands. Do this for about five minutes, for example sit, come, wait, etc.
  • Give them their food but make sure they are listen and wait before they are able to start, if able. Do the same goes with treats if it's afternoon. 
  • Remember, following a walk is a good time for more training, after which something to consume is a great way to show that growing love. 
  • Also, as hard because it is to get this done, you should ignore your furry buddy at the moment, whether it is within the a.m. when you go to work or perhaps in the night when you return. Offering a hearty hello or goodbye will most certainly obtain the dog excited, and stress and anxiety will increase rather than target your product. As difficult and heartbreaking because this may become, it will help the dog in the future.

The 3-3-3 Decompression Rule is a great method to start your journey with your new rescue.By using the steps and suggestions above, your four-legged friend will have a great chance of from their new house successfully. 

It takes work, time, and patience, but there are rewards, and it is a positive method to introduce your dog to the new happy home and limits the issues that could arise during decompression.

Finding the Right (Rescued) Breed

The Best Start: Supplies for a New Puppy

Crate Training a Dog