Petfinder Ads: Reading Between the Lines

24 Jun

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably spent more time than you would like to admit reading through Petfinder looking at dogs who need homes.   We totally understand that the rescue’s job is to make their dogs as appealing as possible so that they can find forever homes but sometimes they go a little… overboard.  Given how much time we’ve spent trolling Petfinder, we’d like to think we’ve gotten pretty good at deciphering what some of these ads are really saying. Below we will give examples of several key phrases that we saw in current ads* and what we think they really mean.

1st dog

“loves attention”  = Say goodbye to privacy or the ability to get any work done.  Dog will be on you like white on rice.

2nd dog“LOVES people” = Will hump your leg voraciously.

woops“perfect outdoor activity companion” = If not given enough exercise, will take up parkour using your furniture.

3rd dog“He’s looking for a family to show him around and help him explore”  = Dog is agoraphobic. Will have to be dragged out by his feet.

fourth dog“talkative”  = It might be a good time to invest in earplugs.  Have neighbors?  Apologize in advance.

5th dog“If you are looking for that full terrier experience, then I might be the dog for you.” = Prepare for utter mayhem and destruction.

6th dog

“I may be small, but I come with BIG attitude.” = Will gladly tear into the underbelly of larger dogs.

*See a dog that you absolutely must have?  All of these dogs are adoptable (at the time of posting), so message us and we’ll send you their direct Petfinder link.

Did we miss anything?  What Petfinder descriptions have stood out to you in the past?  Share below!

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12 Responses to “Petfinder Ads: Reading Between the Lines”

  1. Jessica June 24, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    My favourite is the descriptor “protective”

    Read: Will eat anybody coming into your house, might eat you.

  2. Sami King June 24, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    Oh, I know of a dog. She’s been in the system for going on 3 years now. They can’t adopt her out because she’s NUTS (I know. I’ve met her.) but her petfinder description makes her sound like a great companion that will give you nothing but love and hours of laughter. And by “hours of laughter” they mean she runs around wreaking havoc.
    Also they mention that she “doesn’t love other girl dogs” candy coating the fact that if allowed anywhere within eyesight of another dog (honestly, when I met her it didn’t matter whether the other dog was male or female… she’s not biased) she turns in to a foaming, thrashing, snarling nightmare. The only home I can see her doing well in one that’s highly experienced in dealing with willful (see: stubborn) high-drive dogs. Of course this isn’t mentioned anywhere on her petfinder page. 😦

  3. Julie June 24, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    My favorites – the supposed mixes that are NOTHING like the mix they are purported to be but simply were named that mix because of what colors they are. Calling it a Bernese Mtn Dog mix because it is tri-colored does NOT make it one. In fact, most BMD mixes are NOT tri-colored!!!

    • houndsofgrey June 27, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      All “skinny” dogs get labelled a “greyhound mix”… as if greyhounds are the ONLY breed with a curvy underline or tuck-up. Working with adoption groups, I often get called to a shelter to come get this “greyhound” only to arrive and tell them, “That’s a boxer.” (facepalm)

  4. shuneu June 24, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    Ha!! Ha!! “… take up Parcour using your furniture” – that’s rich!

  5. rontuaru June 25, 2013 at 1:58 am #

    The following usually accompanies a photo of a dog that looks at least part ACD/Aussie/Border Collie, etc. “Would do best on a farm.” Translation means: I live to roll in the most disgusting stuff I can find. The stinkier the better. And when I’m done I’ll eat the remains, then regurgitate on your rug.

  6. Genie June 25, 2013 at 5:30 am #

    Ha ha Nash is my foster dog and I wrote that Petfinder post! You have it partly right, but not quite. When it comes to cats we can have total Mayhem but what I meant was that Nash is super smart and tenacious like any good terrier would be. LOL Some people like that! So I was hoping those would be the people who would apply for him. Glad to see my guy made your blog!

  7. leestrates June 25, 2013 at 6:58 am #

    My kelpie’s kijiji ad read ‘better suited to pet home’ as I recall (he was a working dog). I was greeted my a dog who didn’t even know what a house was. 😄 It took me a month to coach him off the patio into the kitchen! Yeah perfect housepet …..

  8. rontuaru June 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Another few of my faves: “Research this breed before calling.” Translation: No matter how ‘cute’ you think this puppy/dog is, or that your cousin Bubba had a dog that looked just like it and it was the most fantastic dog ever, this is a living, breathing entity that can make your life pure hell if you’re a bad match. In other words, it might be here for a reason. Or, “Must have a fenced yard.” Which means: It has been known to chase anything that moves. You, your kids, your car, your lawnmower, birds, cats, dogs that live six blocks away, the UPS man, leaves, it’s own shadow … the list is long, complex and may change without notice. And “Prefers to be the only pet.” Means: It can and will fight to the death with any furry critter that gets within reach. Yeah. Gotta love those Petfinder Ads!

  9. sunnyb June 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    Funny, but not really, the dog who would be the perfect companion for skating, biking or running needs to go to a home with no other dogs or cats. What happens when your rollerblading down the street & the neighbor is out walking their dog or one of the neighborhood cats crosses in front of you? 2 words – road rash. If you’re lucky, that’s all you get!!

  10. Christine Vezina June 26, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Oh man… On Riley’s the combination of “loves attention” and “would benefit from continuing confidence games” lead me straight to “dog is terrified of everything and will climb on your head for safety.”

  11. Catherine Duke June 26, 2013 at 3:43 am #

    Nash is a doll! I’m a terrier fiend, but my hubby has a tiny, dorky cat who loves to try and make friends with any creature larger than he is, so we’re careful about prey drive around here. 😀

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