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The Rule of 3:

Welcome home! 

Every dog is different, as are their past experiences.  Some dogs will warm up in their new home within a day or two and others may take much longer.  The key to a successful adoption is patience!  They have no idea that you’re their forever home and that you just want to hug them and kiss them and love them forever.  Right now, they see you as the next strange thing that they’ve stumbled into and they need time to adjust to the new normal before accepting that love!

Ok, so how do you do that? 

Leave him alone!  Or at least, as best you can.  Allow him to explore the inside of his new house and all of its strange smells.  If your new guy is super shy, this might be easiest on leash, or even with the leash on but dragging behind.  Allow him to come to you and your human family members and reward him with yummy treats when he does.  Not all dogs love affection right away, but most appreciate a good treat.

Got a crate?  Let her chill inside the crate while you and your family go about your day as usual.  She’ll be able to see how your family operates while feeling safe inside and not being bombarded with all the new happenings all at once.  

Got other family pets?  The best doggie friendships are built over time.  Respect your new dog’s need for space as well as your resident dog’s need for space.  Take walks together and allow play time, but give them time to decompress in separate places of the house or crates until you’re sure that their love for each other is mutual.

Got kids?  Young kids especially can find it hard not to love on their new family member right away.  While this may be tolerable for puppies, most adult dogs may not have the patience for this and will react in the only way they know how.  They aren’t able to say “Hey, Kaitlyn, I really don’t appreciate your face in my face right now.” Instead, they know physical methods.  Make sure you and your family are watching for signs that they need their space.  Less obvious signs include turning their face away from yours, becoming still, and getting up and moving away.  More obvious and serious signs that they’ll resort to are growling and snapping.  Please give them the space that they need to feel comfortable!

Once your dog is comfortable with you, we highly recommend a training technique called “Nothing in life is free”.  It will build a better bond between you and your new furry family member!

Want more advice?  Here’s a great read!

Still struggling?

Check out for articles and online courses to guide on common behavior problems.

Want more choices?

Find an animal behaviorist or trainer in your area.

Did you update your new dog’s microchip info?

If your dog’s chip starts with 9810200, we’ve registered your new furry family member for you! Visit to reset your new account’s password.

If it doesn’t start with 9810200, that means you’ll need to visit to search for his/her microchip manufacturer to register the chip.

Need help? Just let us know!

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Join the Big Bones Canine Rescue Alumni group on Facebook!
We love to see updated pictures of our rescues!

Find a vet

Several of our partner vets offer complimentary exams to newly adoptees. Visit our website to learn if one is near you!
Please schedule with one of our vets within 7 days of adoption.

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Need a spay/neuter appointment?

If you paid a spay/neuter deposit, please schedule that procedure at this time. The spay/neuter is required to be completed within 60 days of adoption. We'll be happy to cover the cost when using one of our vets! Once complete, just email us with proof of completion and we'll get that deposit refund going!

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