top of page

The 3-3-3 Rule: A Pawsitively Perfect Guide to Bringing Home Your New Adopted Dog

At the Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT), we know that adopting a new dog can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, we also know that it can be overwhelming and stressful for both the dog and the new owner. That's why we recommend following the 3-3-3 rule when bringing home a newly adopted dog.

If you're interested in adopting a dog from HSNT, the first step is to visit one of our adoption centers or attend one of our adoption events. You'll be able to meet our adoptable dogs, talk to our adoption counselors, and find the perfect companion for your family. You can take your new furry friend home the same day!


What is the 3-3-3 rule?

Once you've found your new bestie, it's important to prepare for their arrival by following the 3-3-3 rule. The 3-3-3 rule is a set of guidelines for the first three days, three weeks, and three months after adopting a new dog. The goal of the 3-3-3 rule is to help the dog adjust to their new environment and build a strong foundation for a long and happy life with their new family.

Why is the 3-3-3 rule important?

The 3-3-3 rule is important because it emphasizes the need for patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement when bringing home a newly adopted dog. Dogs are creatures of habit and routine, and they need time to adjust to new environments and build trust with their new family.


The First 3 Days

During the first three days, it's important to give the dog plenty of space and time to acclimate to their new environment. They may exhibit behaviors such as fear, nervousness, or confusion as they adjust to new sights, smells, and sounds. Some dogs may be hesitant to eat, drink, or play during this time. T It's important to give them plenty of space and time to acclimate to their new environment. Keep them in a quiet, comfortable room with their bed, food, water, and toys. Limit their exposure to other pets, family members, and visitors so they don't get overwhelmed. This time is called decompression.

During this time, take your new dog outside for potty breaks on a leash, but don't overwhelm them with long walks or trips to the park. This is a time for them to explore and get comfortable in their new surroundings at home.


The First Three Weeks

After the first three days, gradually introduce your new dog to other family members and pets. Keep their routines consistent and give them plenty of positive reinforcement for good behavior. Use treats, praise, and toys to reward them for following commands and exhibiting good behavior.

Start introducing them to new environments, such as walks in the neighborhood or trips to the park. But be mindful of their comfort level and keep them on a leash until you're confident they won't run off or get scared.

The First Three Months

By the end of the first three weeks, your new dog should be comfortable with their new home and family members. During the next three months, continue to reinforce positive behavior and gradually increase their exposure to new experiences.

Consider enrolling them in obedience classes or training sessions to help them develop good habits and build confidence. This is also a good time to establish a routine for exercise, playtime, and training.

Be patient with your new dog and continue to provide plenty of love and positive reinforcement. By the end of the first three months, your new dog should be fully adjusted to their new home and routines. However, it's important to remember that every dog is unique, and some may take longer to adjust than others. By following the 3-3-3 rule, you're setting your new dog up for success and laying the foundation for a long and happy life together. You'll also be able to identify any behavioral issues early on and address them before they become bigger problems.


Adopting a new dog is a big responsibility, but it's also a wonderful opportunity to bring joy and companionship into your life. By following the 3-3-3 rule and giving your new dog the time and attention they need to adjust, you'll be setting them up for a successful transition into their new home and happy life with their new family. After the first three days, the dog should start to become more comfortable with their new surroundings. During the next three weeks, gradually introduce your new dog to other family members and pets. They may start to exhibit more playful and curious behaviors as they become more comfortable in their new environment.

By the end of the first three weeks, your new dog should be comfortable with their new home and family members. During the next three months, continue to reinforce positive behavior and gradually increase their exposure to new experiences. Some dogs may develop new behaviors or habits during this time, such as barking, chewing, or digging. It's important to address these behaviors early on and provide positive reinforcement for good behavior.

By the end of the first three months, your new dog should be fully adjusted to their new home and routines. They may exhibit more confident and affectionate behaviors as they bond with their new family.

It's important to remember that every dog is unique, and some may take longer to adjust than others. The 3-3-3 rule is a guideline, and it's important to be patient, and consistent, and provide plenty of love and positive reinforcement throughout the entire adoption process. By following the 3-3-3 rule, you're setting your new dog up for success and laying the foundation for a long and happy life together. You'll also be able to identify any behavioral issues early on and address them before they become bigger problems. Dogs are creatures of habit and routine, and they need time to adjust to new environments and build trust with their new family.

We hope that this information is helpful in setting expectations when adopting a new dog from HSNT. Our adoption specialists are available to answer any questions you may have and to assist you in finding the perfect companion for your family. Thank you for considering adoption and for helping us save the lives of deserving animals.

All pets adopted from HSNT come spayed/neutered, microchipped, and up to date on all age appropriate vaccinations.


Weekend Adoption Events:

Our adoption events are held every weekend at various PetSmart and Petco locations in the Fort Worth Area. We often post a few of the highly anticipated pets you can expect to see available the night before each adoption event on our Facebook and Instagram. Our adoption events are very popular and many of our kittens and puppies coming to them are coming straight from foster care! You never know who you are going to meet!


Pets cannot be reserved in advance, so we highly recommend arriving early to view all pets we have available!


HSNT - Pets and People, Saving Each Other®


HSNT’s mission is to act as an advocate on behalf of all animals and to ensure their legal, moral and ethical consideration and protection; to provide for the well-being of animals who are abandoned, injured, neglected, mistreated or otherwise in need; to promote an appreciation of animals; and to instill respect for all living things.

120,892 views0 comments

Kommentare