How Do Dogs Adapt To Their Environment?

All animals have a different way of adapting to the environment to suit their preference.

Biologically, adaptation changes a species’ structure, function, or behavior.

It then improves its chance of survival in a specific environment.

How dogs adapt to their environment

This is why when you adopt a dog, it takes a while before it fully adjusts and starts being friendly to all the family members.

Dogs claimed to be man’s best friend still have a wild part inside them.

Their instincts also remain active no matter how trained and domesticated they become.

Indeed, dogs evolved from wolves back in the day.

By just looking at a dog’s physical appearance and comparing it to the wolf, you can notice many similarities.

Puppies have an easier time adapting to a new environment than older dogs.

An interesting fact is that puppies are born blind and deaf.

Thus, their attachment to the environment increases as they continue to grow.

Physical Adaptations

It comprises the various senses that help them adapt quickly to the environment: Hearing, taste, smell, sight, and touch.

Physical adaptations are essential and significantly impact the behavior of a dog.


The dogs have an adaptation to sensing motion and light with their eyes. 

This adaptation helps them hunt at night, detect slight movement, and be keen on the environment.

It goes hand in hand with their excellent hearing mechanism.

Making dogs excellent guards at night and offering the best protection.

Sense Of Smell:

Dogs have astrong sense of smell, which assists them when hunting for food.

Amazingly, their smelling sense is about 1 million times stronger than human beings.

The smell also helps dogs know whether other dogs are nearby or when they are in other dogs’ territories.

Their noses are wet to help them absorb scent chemicals.

They produce mucus that assists them in absorbing these chemicals, which they then lick to taste and understand what smell it is.

That is why dogs are the best allies.

Sense Of Hearing:

They have a strong sense of hearing, which allows them to hear their prey or invader.

It helps them to detect danger when they can’t see their enemy.

That is why; police use dogs to find offenders when they run away.

Dental Formula:

The dental formula and dental dentition also have an essential function.

The carnassial teeth are meant to crush bones, and the strong canines are meant for tearing through flesh.

How Dogs Adapt to Their Environment

Dogs can get used to their surroundings in several ways.

Also, the environment where you keep your dog triggers their instincts.

For example, if you live on a farm with your dog, and there is more of a wild atmosphere around, it tends to increase its hunting behavior.

Such dogs will have the character of being partly independent and not always relying on you for food.

Family Pet

Dogs that were family pets will adapt faster to a new environment than newly adopted puppies.

Like humans take time to adapt to a new neighborhood, dogs also need time to adapt to their new environment.

Therefore, when you see your dog seeming scared or uncomfortable, it is due to its unfamiliarity with the new environment.

However, in the long run, it will get used to it.

Level Of Interaction

A puppy raised in a limited environment will have a smaller brain than an exposed puppy.

The exposed puppy had the chance to interact with foreign things and people.

It will make its level of adaptation to be higher.

Marking Its Territory

Dogs habitually roll and dig in their kennel or bed to spread their scent.

It is a way of marking its territory.

They also dig and scratch when emotionally disturbed, excited, or anxious about something.

Thus, once a dog gets comfortable in its environment, it will mark its territory to scare away other dogs.

Dogs That Live as A Pack

Dogs that previously lived like a pack also adapt to living with humans easily because of their nature.

It should explain why your dog likes to lean against you, chase things in a hyper way, or curl up when sleeping.

They inherited it from their nature of being pack animals.

Do Dogs Adapt to a New Schedule?

Dogs don’t adapt quickly to a schedule change.

They always like following the same routine.

You can notice this effect when the dog expresses feelings by scratching the floor, destroying things, attention-seeking behaviors, and other forms of aggression.

It is advised to stick to a one-time schedule that your dog is used to.

How Do Dogs Adapt to Extreme Cold?

Physically, their fur gets thicker, which helps them stay warm in cold weather.

They also have a layer of fat under their skin that helps them keep heat in.

Also, their metabolism slows down when it’s cold to keep their body heat.

Dogs will try to escape the cold by going inside or huddling together under a big blanket.

They will also sleep more in cold weather to keep their bodies warm.

Tips on How to Help Your Dog Adapt to a New Environment

Maintain Old Routines

When you move into a new place, do some things to help your dog adapt faster to the new location.

You can do this by maintaining the old routines, such as taking your dog for a walk at the usual time and feeding it at the typical intervals.

It would be best if you also allowed your dog to continue its good habits.

Once your dog has settled in, you can insert the changes you want since it will be easier for the dog to handle.

You should also show more love by spending more time with them and playing with them.

Chew Toy

You can also consider distracting it with a chew toy when moving out or traveling to a distant place.

This way, it will be calmer on a long drive or suitably distracted to not notice the strange new environment.

Friendly Nature

A successful relationship between a man and a dog is based on commitment, trust, and fulfillment.

Such a dog will be cheerful, rarely dormant, and perform well.

Dogs see the world differently from us, and they will adjust their behavior according to even the slightest change in a familiar environment.


Therefore, we should help our dogs adapt to the environment in a friendly way as we also train them to do some things.

We should always create a comfortable and friendly atmosphere for our dogs.

Remember, the rate of adaptation depends on the dog’s interaction ability, the bond with other people, and the environment you live in.

Always be patient with your dog as it adapts to the new atmosphere.