How can I tell if my adopted dog is happy? A Comprehensive Guide

How Long Does It Take a Rescue Dog to Adjust to New Owner?

While some rescue dogs seem to arrive on their first day, many dogs will need at least 30 days before fully adjusting to their owner.

It’s not uncommon to see rescue dogs take up to 3 months to fully adjust.

During this time, they can be scared of everything, including you.

I’ll go over a couple of things you should never do with a fresh rescue in a minute.

Remind yourself to stay calm and expect nothing.

How can I tell if my adopted dog is happy?

Any anger outbursts may seriously harm your bonding. At best, it’ll set you back in your dog’s adjustment period.

It may seem like nothing is happening but trust me, progress is underway if you keep at it.

Dogs are just going through the process of acclimating themselves to being in a home with someone else who isn’t their original owner.

A dog that loves you will lick you.

How can I tell if my adopted dog is happy?

It can sometimes be annoying, but a dog licking you constantly is often a good thing. According to Victoria Stilwell of Animal Planet, a dogs lick is a major sign of affection. While it can sometimes just be caused by the salty skin of humans, more often than not, a dogs lick is a sign of love for its owner.

Adopting a Rescue Dog the First Seven Days

The first seven days put a lot of stress on your rescue dog’s system. Be prepared for your dog to be really shy and at times even anxious.

It can take a while for your rescue’s personality to show itself and seven days ain’t that long.

But here are a couple of specific behaviors you can expect:

  • Doesn’t like to be touched (I know, you have good intentions)
  • Cowering under the table
  • Easily startled by noises
  • Barking (especially if it’s a learned behavior for them)
  • Chasing cats, other animals, bikes, cars
  • Refusal to walk
  • Now you have a rough idea of what you can expect the first seven days to be like with a new rescue dog.

    The so-called honeymoon period is a time when your rescue dog is just so excited that they’re in a new home and have no idea what to do with themselves.

    The honeymoon period can be a really fun phase for both you and the pup, but it also means they’ll likely need an adjustment period soon after their honeymoon ends. Sometimes, the honeymoon period is the calm before the storm.

    However, you can experience the total opposite with your rescue dog and he might be really anxious and shy during the initial transitioning period, just to calm down during the next phases.

    In any case, your dog will need some time to adjust and it’s important to take note of the 3-3-3- rule laid out above.

    14 Signs Your Dog Doesn’t Love You (Even if You Think They Do)

    While there are different factors that come into play when you’re bringing home your new companion (breed, energy level, age, medical history) they all have one thing in common.

    You may not know this, but when you adopt a rescue dog from the shelter or animal control, it’s like adopting an infant. They are in a new place and meeting new people for the first time.

    While some dogs show their true potential right away, it’s common that the honeymoon period (or devilishly scared period) lasts 2-4 weeks.

    Only after this time will your dog start to show his true potential (positive as well as negative sides).

    However, I do have tips on how long it usually takes to adjust, how to make your rescue dog feel safe in his new environment, as well as what he may be going through when you bring him home for the first time!