What Is the 3-3-3 Rule? Canine Adoption Adjustment Interval Defined


Ever heard of the “3-3-3” rule for canine? A snapshot of a chart referring to the adjustment interval for a canine after they’re adopted has gone viral on Reddit.

The picture captioned “3/3/3 rule, each canine is totally different,” shared by Lucy_Pugz on the subreddit forum r/coolguides, has acquired not less than 21,100 upvotes and almost 200 feedback because it was posted on Monday.


Redditor rudebis defined: “It is a normal guideline so if the instances are longer ie. takes them longer to regulate, give them as a lot area as they want. It took almost a yr for my rescue to really feel snug being round us for lengthy intervals of time and to begin asking for pets,” in a remark that acquired 685 upvotes on the time of publishing.

A dog hiding under a sofa.
A canine hiding underneath a settee. Adopted canine might shut down by sleeping rather a lot or go into hiding within the first few days of arriving of their new residence.
iStock/Getty Pictures Plus

Person uniqueusername5001 highlighted the continuing nature of this adjustment interval, noting that canine “will proceed to settle and present additional indicators of belief and development for a very long time!,” in a remark that acquired 239 upvotes on the time of reporting.

Right here, we unpack the 3-3-3 rule for canine following adoption.


What Is the 3-3-3 Rule?

The rule of thumb, also called the “Rule of Three,” refers back to the three levels of adjustment an adopted canine will sometimes expertise over totally different lengths of time, as outlined beneath.

3 Days

The primary three days of your canine’s arrival might even see them be overwhelmed by their new environment. Beneath are a number of the behaviors your canine might current inside this preliminary three-day interval:


  • Being scared or uncertain of what is taking place: A brand new setting could be overwhelming on your canine, particularly in the event that they’ve spent a number of weeks at a shelter, explains the Dane County Humane Society, a Wisconsin-based animal shelter.
  • Being unable to eat or drink: Many canine do not eat once they’re pressured, so that you should not be alarmed in case your pet doesn’t eat within the first few days, says Furbaby Pet Care, a Canada-based pet care companies group.
  • Shutting down: Your canine might wish to curl up of their crate or disguise underneath a desk or elsewhere. They might sleep rather a lot throughout these first few days.
  • Testing the boundaries: Whereas canine might snooze rather a lot through the preliminary few days, it is extra seemingly that they’re going to discover it troublesome to calm down and be simply aroused as a result of pleasure of the brand new environment, says the Dane County Humane Society. They will wish to discover and examine their new setting and take a look at the waters, from whether or not they’re allowed to go on furnishings to the place they’ll go potty.
A dog sniffing a chessboard at home.
A curious canine smelling chessboard subsequent to a toddler and a person in a lounge at a house. The primary three days of an adopted canine arriving at residence will see them be simply aroused and excited by their new setting.
iStock/Getty Pictures Plus

3 Weeks

After the primary three weeks since their arrival, your canine will begin to really feel extra snug and settled of their new residence.

Your canine can have acquired used to extra of a daily routine, understanding when their subsequent meal will likely be given, once they’ll be going for a stroll each morning/night and once they’ll get potty breaks.


Your pet can even begin to let their guard down and exhibit their true persona in response to totally different conditions and fewer of the preliminary mixture of worry, pleasure and stress they confirmed within the first few days.

This era can also be when any behavioral points are prone to present, so it is necessary to indicate your pup what’s proper and improper on the subject of their habits, advises Furbaby Pet Care.

“You’ll have narrowed down his habits issues (if any) to those which might be prone to stay until you attend coaching courses or get assist from a canine coaching skilled. It will not be utterly clean crusing, however the bumps within the highway will likely be much less frequent and fewer hectic,” says the Dane County Humane Society.

3 Months

After three months of their new environment, your canine will really feel utterly at residence, being established in a set routine. They’ll have constructed belief and a bond with you and really feel a way of safety with your loved ones.

Dog sitting on
A canine sitting on a door mat that claims “Residence Candy Residence.” Adopted canine will undergo an adjustment interval in numerous levels earlier than they absolutely settle into their new residence.
iStock/Getty Pictures Plus

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