Adopting a shelter dog (any animal!) is a truly rewarding experience. From the anticipation of first walking into a shelter to find your new friend to prepping your house for their arrival, to the moment you both walk in the door together, it feels exciting. You may feel like you have everything to make your new dog comfortable and happy but have you looked at it from the dog’s perspective? Numerous studies have studied what is known as the “decompression phase.” It is a critical time for your pooch to acclimate to its new surroundings peacefully after going through an overwhelming situation. This phase may vary from dog to dog, but generally speaking, most literature points to anywhere between two weeks to a month (in some cases, sometimes longer). Too much exposure to new situations and people can result in your new furry friend developing overly anxious tendencies.
There are many articles online that go further into depth on decompression phase methods. While the methods may slightly vary, the goal is the same: providing a stable environment for your new dog, leading to a long, successful and loving relationship!
We’ve highlighted a few articles below for further reading. (Note: this blog is not intended to replace expert advice; if in doubt regarding an animal’s behaviour, please contact your veterinarian or a registered animal behaviourist).
Written by: Petroglyph Animal Hospital
To read more about the decompression phase, check out these links –