Ralphie may look adorable and cute but the currently homeless dog is a “100% full jerk” according to the shelter where he’s staying. And they aren’t joking even though they are dead serious about finding him a good home.
New York-based nonprofit animal shelter Niagara County SPCA shared their honest thoughts about Ralphie in a Facebook post that has since gone viral around the world. They describe the 26-pound rescue dog as “fire-breathing demon” and “a whole jerk — not even half” who has a habit for lunging for ankles and fingers.
They introduced their post by explaining they are “pros at writing animal adoption posts.”
“With the adorableness we encounter daily, we have tons of material. Sometimes we can sugar coat the less than desirable traits like – prefers to be an only child,” Niagara County SPCA shared. But with Ralphie the admitted they had a problem. “This one stumps us though. We don’t actually have too many nice things to say so we’re just going to come out with it.”
“Meet Ralphie. At first glance, he’s an adorable highly sought after, young dog. People should be banging down our doors for him. We promise you, that won’t be the case. Ralphie is a terror in a somewhat small package. What could go wrong with a 26lb dog, right? We’re sure you’re thinking: my ankles will be just fine. We’d caution- proceed at your own risk.”
Shelter staff learned this personally when they went to get him. But they found Ralphie has developed some negative habits that make him less than attractive like being aggressive and possessive.
“Our best guess is that Ralphie’s cute face got him whatever he wanted and boundaries are something he heard people talk about, but they didn’t apply to him,” the shelter opinioned.
“His first owners took him to board and train, but their relationship was built on the premise that Ralphie was the boss so things ended abruptly. He was rehomed,” they explained. “Two weeks into this new home and he was surrendered to us because ‘annoys our older dog’. What they actually meant was: Ralphie is a fire-breathing demon and will eat our dog, but hey, he’s only 26lbs.”
In other words, Ralphie has become one of those dreaded spoiled brat dogs who was overindulged and doesn’t know boundaries. Niagara County SPCA spelled it out in plain language.
“Lots of people withheld Ralphie’s less than desirable traits, but we’re going to tell you all about it,” they wrote. “He’s a whole jerk- not even half. Everything belongs to him. If you dare test his ability to possess THE things, wrath will ensue. If you show a moment of weakness, prepare to be exploited. Sounds fun, huh?”
But in all seriousness the Niagara County SPCA is invested in re-training Ralphie and finding him a family who will help him with that. Ralphie’s previous trainer is lined up to give Ralphie’s adopters with training tips and tools.
The shelter shared a video of Ralphie that reveals a “snapshot of behavior.” They indicate he was not being teased in this video, the staff member is trying to go into his kennel to retrieve a toy he gutted. He is lunging to bite the person’s fingers. He is also leash reactive.
And Ralphie recently went on a training field trip with SPCA staffers Liz and Tina to see how things would go in “an attempt to make a proper gentleman out of Ralphie.” They picked out an outfit for him and went to their local Joann Fabrics, the shelter shared in a follow-up Facebook post.
The trip in the car gave Ralphie a choice to show off.
“He was a complete lune in the car, bouncing from front to back,” the post said.
Once Ralphie got into the store he was a bit better. He interacted with another customer, who “didn’t realize she was taking her life in her own hands,” but he was “out of his element,” so he “stood stiff and side-eyed her.” Liz and Tina kept him a “safe distance away” from folks as to not subject them to his demonic impulses.
He also seemed to see something he liked…himself. “[H]e trotted right up to a mirror where he went on, like any true jerk, to admire himself endlessly — really checking from all angles,” the post continued.
Overall, it was a successful outing as “no blood was shed” and “they weren’t told to never come back.”
The interest in Ralphie after their funny posts exploded, which the SPCA is grateful for. But they did point out it will still be a challenge to find Ralphie a suitable home.
“While we’ve used humor to help make his behaviors more palatable for public consumption, his behaviors are no joke,” they wrote in an update. “That’s why we’re being super picky about his adopter.”
They think that the ideal home for Ralphie is “the Mother of Dragons, or an adult home free of other animals, with an owner who will lead him calmly and sternly- putting up with zero crap.” The home should not have children. “He really needs a no nonsense owner. Otherwise, there may be no hope for him.”
“Serious inquiries only. No, we will not make exceptions. No takesy backsies (kidding, obviously).” And despite Ralphie’s less-than-desirable temperament, they are hopeful.
“He 100% is a full jerk, but we believe he has potential to be a good boy — if only a percentage of the time,” the Niagara County SPCA concluded. For those interested in dipping their toes (be careful!) into the adoption waters, visit Niagara County SPCA’s website.
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