The 3/3/3 Rule

This works, if you do the work!
May 25, 2023
Stephanie M. Casey

I did not invent the 3/3/3 Rule aka the dog slow, controlled introductions 3/3/3 guide... but I did modify it!

Wondering how to introduce a new dog to your home?


My chart below includes specific, introductive behavior (dog and human) techniques. Following the below method has never failed in my home, for successful integration of a foster animal.

The same slow, controlled introduction technique applies to bringing a newly adopted pet home, as well. Or purchased, if you went that route (please don't!).

Personally, I wait until day 5 to allow for play. Sometimes I will cheat and allow a play teaser on evening 4, after our evening walk.

The most common side effect of NOT doing slow, controlled "333 Rule" dog introductions is RESOURCE GUARDING. Resources include food, treats, toys, spaces (dog beds, the yard, couches), and YOU.

Failure to do this upfront work can result in poor acclimation for a new animal resulting in abandonment, surrender, or the very worst... abuse. This is hard work - it can be stressful. The first few days WILL be challenging.

Here is my personal "333 Rule" Set Up Routine - this applies to bringing home a new foster or adopted dog.

But putting in very brief upfront time and energy can lead to a lifetime of peaceful pet ownership. It pays off and it is up to the human to set the stage.

This works, if you do the work!


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You may use this graphic however you like to get in the faces of anyone and everyone bringing a new dog into their home!

The content on this website is based on personal experience and researched information. Please note no one here is a professional vet, trainer, or behaviorist. Always consult your vet and trainer about what is best for your dog or cat and their mental & physical health!

3 Days, 3 Weeks, 3 Months
3 Days, 3 Weeks, 3 Months

The 3/3/3 Rule is a general guideline - all dogs are different. Some dogs will hit the "3-month" milestone in a few weeks, others will take a year. In general, the 3/3/3 Dog Introduction notion is... 3 days to not be scared, 3 weeks to feel safe, 3 months to be relaxed and themselves.