Getting through the pandemic puppy blues

Your new dog may not be behaving. Help it—and your kids—get through the transition

Before Jessica and Simon MacLean adopted their rescue dog, Kristy, they made a list of traits they hoped to find in a dog, like “friendly” and “likes to play.” The foster family for the year-old Lab mix gave the thumbs-up, and Kristy arrived at their Brooklyn home in mid-September.

But during most of that first week, Kristy was hardly the “best friend” that their 10-year-old daughter, Bea, had been begging for. “She retreated to her crate at every opportunity. She didn’t even wag her tail,” Jessica MacLean says. “To be honest, we started to wonder if we’d made the wrong decision.”

Turns out, the MacLean’s experience is hardly unusual. Just like people, animals need time to adopt to new situations. “A dog’s

Unlock this story for free
Create an account to read the full story and get unlimited access to hundreds of Nat Geo articles.

Unlock this story for free

Want the full story? Sign up to keep reading and unlock hundreds of Nat Geo articles for free.
Already have an account?

More for your family

Your guide to safely exploring the outdoors with kids
Feeling crazed? Try putting your kids in charge. (Seriously.)
Helping kids overcome their fear of sharks