How adoptable is your dog?


We didn’t know this at the time when we adopted him but Mr. N hit just about all of the hallmarks of a super adoptable dog. Small. Check. Fluffy. Check. Light colored. Check. Young. Check. Looks like a stuffed animal. Check. He was also house trained and knew how to dance and high five.

Mr. N’s adoption profile photo

Dogs that are harder to adopt out include older pets, those with behavioral needs, Pit Bulls, fearful/shy dogs, those with medical needs and those that need to be only dogs, according to Petfinder. Black dogs can also have problems finding a home.

Mr. N’s foster told me she had turned down half a dozen people who wanted him before us. She also said that if he was at the humane society, he would get adopted so fast you would get whiplash. I sometimes feel a little guilty that we adopted such an adoptable dog over a less adoptable one.

Even now when he’s a bit older, I think he would still be extremely adoptable (not that he’s going anywhere!). He would probably have to go to a home that would be home most of the time (due to his mild separation anxiety) or could take him to work or make other arrangements but aside from that no special needs. He would also be fine with older children as long as they were gentle.

Now whether or not his new home would want to keep him would be a different story! Mr. N has tons of energy and brains (you think this is a good thing until he outlasts you and tries to outsmart you!) and he would not be happy with the conventional little dog lifestyle.

Yes, I stick him in a purse sometimes so he doesn’t get stepped on but he also goes for ten-mile hikes and isn’t tired afterwards.

How adoptable is your dog? Would your dog have trouble finding a home?




38 Responses

  1. sagechronicles

    July 14, 2014 1:08 pm

    I have always found it interesting that there are those who think black dogs/cats are off-limits. It goes back to groundless superstitions that have no basis in reality.

  2. Jackie Bouchard

    July 14, 2014 2:33 pm

    I actually read something recently that black dogs aren't as discriminated against as everyone thinks. Don't know if that's the case but it was an interesting read. As for Rita, she was at the shelter for months before we discovered her. Her foster mom called her "average looking". (WHAT??? She's adorable!) She is also shy with strangers, so that probably didn't help. I guess the only thing she had going for her was "young"! She was ~8 mo old when we got her.

  3. Beth

    July 14, 2014 4:26 pm

    Barley definitely stole my heart immediately when she was at the shelter and she'd only been there a month, so I'm not sure how much attention she'd gotten from other potential adopters. Even if she was "adoptable," I'm not sure that she would be "keepable" for a lot of people–between all the energy and being reactive to other dogs, she's definitely more work than I think a lot of people would put it. I snatched my cat up after he'd been at the shelter for only 2 weeks–I think he was probably super adoptable with his pink nose and ears, but once he developed his bladder issues, I'm not sure every adopter would have kept him either! I guess I have a knack for picking out the problem pets 😉

    • Tenacious Little Terrier

      July 15, 2014 3:40 am

      Mr. N is definitely high maintenance too. I enjoy most of it though. Is a month short for where you are? That seems long! The rescues here actually bring in small dogs from California to fill the demand for small dogs.

    • Beth

      July 16, 2014 2:40 am

      I enjoy most of the high maintenance of Barley, too! Yes, we have LOTS of dogs at our shelter who have been there over 6 months. Some have been in and out of the shelter many times. I think when I found Barley they had over 80 dogs at the shelter! They try to send some to rescues when they've been there a long time, but the rescues are crowded most of the time, too. A lot of them end up in NY, though, where they seem to have a lot of luck adopting some of the older dogs 🙂

  4. Janet Keefe

    July 14, 2014 9:49 pm

    Oh my gosh, I can see why you couldn't resist that adoption photo though…he's really working it! BOL
    Mr. N always impresses me with his energy level, but yes, I can see where he might wear a person out! 🙂

    Two of ours our seniors, so they'd probably be tough. Luke is a pretty good puppy though and it would probably be easy with him….he's still young (less than a year) and he is showing he's pretty smart too.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  5. Susan Willett

    July 14, 2014 10:19 pm

    I have a black dog and two other mutts who probably don't fit the adoptable profiles. My black dog Lilah was afraid of everything at first (lots of training later and now you'd never know), my hound Jasper is 70 pounds of big and bouncy (we're working on it) and Tucker the terrier needs to be amused–as people who live with terriers will attest.

    Mr N is just downright adorable.

    –Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

  6. Barking from New Mexico

    July 18, 2014 2:06 am

    I admit that Puffy would probably NOT be put up for adoption is he were to end up in doggy prison. He may be cute, little and white, but he has a bunch of health issues and sometimes nips and bites at people and male dogs. He has already been rehomed four times that we know of but even with all his "issues" we plan on keeping him until he is called to the Rainbow Bridge.

  7. Snoopy@snoopysdogblog

    July 18, 2014 3:38 am

    I cracked up when you wrote the clarification that you weren't really gonna put Mr N back up for adoption, guess he's relieved! 🙂

    I've heard black dogs and cats are hard to re-home, such a shame!

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

    PS – Mum says I don't need to worry either cos I'm not going anywhere 🙂

  8. Shannon Adams

    January 6, 2017 6:12 pm

    Rama is super adoptable in that she is sweet, unfazed by pretty much everything, cool with kids, cats and other dogs. The main thing that would be tough for her would be her size and the number of folks that would probably overlook her because of her appearance. She is a breed not commonly seen and has cropped ears, so a lot of folks mistake her for a Pit Bull mix when in fact she is a purebred mastiff. Not many people are used to seeing Cane Corsos and they can be quite intimidating if you are not familiar. I would worry people would overlook her because of this. She is also brindle colored, and I think brindle dogs are tough to adopt out. If people could see past her appearance, they would fall in love, I am certain of it! Thankfully, she won't be up for adoption! She's staying put!

  9. Fashion Beyond Forty

    January 6, 2017 8:38 pm

    I loved this article! Hummm our Lyla would get adopted from cutness alone most likely but like Mr. N – it may be hard to find her a home that would keep her once her personality came out. Lyla does not like children, in fact I am sure she hates children. I have no idea why. We have had her since she was a pup and to my knowledge she was never mistreated by a child. I have always worked from home so always had my eyes on her and kids around her. She gets very nervous during storms or any loud sounds, and has some medical issues. We love her to pieces though and she is never leaving our home so I need not worry. 🙂

  10. Beth Patterson

    January 7, 2017 1:53 am

    I think Nelly and Sophie would be pretty adoptable if they weren't completely stressed out by the shelter environment. Both of them are very friendly and pretty well trained. Theo sat in the shelter for over 3 weeks and no one was interested in him until we came along. For the life of me, I can't figure out why, although he does have a protective streak. He was also overweight and several people thought I chose him because he was "less adoptable." I've always thought he was adorable though.

  11. MattieDog

    January 7, 2017 4:34 am

    One of the best signs of a good adoptable dog is their 'happiness' factor – do they roll over, comfortable with tummy rubs, accepting of people. Color, size, all that really should be secondary. That said, we've adopted all sorts of Shih Tzus, a variety of age, size, color, health issues, etc. You name it, and we've adopted it! I'd re-adopt our dogs – so yup, they are adoptable! 🙂

  12. Ruth Epstein

    January 7, 2017 7:01 am

    Great article. Layla is a rescue, I do not know her past but have often wondered but she is such an easy going quirky little one who just keeps me amused and loves everyone. Only the other day I was sitting and sorting out papers and wondering what would happen to Layla if something happens to me as I have no family in the USA, and while thinking about this my neighbor and I were having coffee and she has 2 shitzus who Layla adores, and without me saying anything she said to me if anything happens to you just know Layla is going to live with us, WOW I had tears in my eyes as for the first time since I got her I was breathing and relaxed.

  13. Pawesome Cats

    January 7, 2017 12:53 pm

    Great post! We adopted a black cat, who was shy and terrified of strangers – she definitely wouldn't have been first choice for a lot of people, but was a beautiful kitty and very affectionate with those she knew and trusted.

  14. Maggie

    January 7, 2017 8:16 pm

    What a cutie Mr. N is!

    So, none of my pets are considered "readily adoptable." And I LOVE that about them!! 🙂 Emmett and Cooper are both pit mixes. Emmett was already an adult when we adopted him but had no manners, no idea how to walk on a leash, and some unexplained scarring on his legs. He had been in a no-kill shelter for two years by the time I met him. Love at first sight for me! Cooper is high-strung, reactive, and so poorly bred that nearly everything that could be wrong health-wise is wrong. Newt is an all-black kitty. They're perfect to me, though, and they're happy, comfy, and spoiled like crazy! 🙂

  15. Lola The Rescued Cat

    January 8, 2017 1:15 am

    Hi Mr. N! Your adoption photo is adorable. Well, this is a good question. OK, so we're not doggies… but… I might not be considered very adoptable because I have chronic sinusitis. That means I often have a runny nose, get stuffy and sneeze. And oh boy, do I sneeze! Other than that I'm fine. Lexy has no health problems, but she doesn't trust people right away and won't let anyone pick her up. She's not a lap cat. But we're not going anywhere either!

  16. Kelsie - It's Dog or Nothing

    January 8, 2017 6:28 pm

    My two are definitely desirable, especially as puppies, but I wouldn't consider them "adoptable". While at a shelter, they'd leave so fast, but usually to the wrong hands. Most people do not consider many Great Pyrenees traits to be positive 😉

  17. Cathy Armato

    January 8, 2017 7:35 pm

    It broke my heart to see so many great dogs passed over for adoption because of age, breed, or looks. Yes, Mr N is definitely one that would have gone in a heartbeat at the shelter. I can tell in seconds which ones will go lightening fast! Both my dogs are pretty adoptable; Although she's an older dog Phoebe is small, white & fluffy, mellow & sweet so I think she'd be very adoptable. Like most Huskies, Icy is strikingly beautiful so many people would be tempted to adopt her. But sadly, she is more likely to be returned because of her boundless energy & other Husky traits. They're not the easiest breed. I'm so you & Mr. N found each other!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  18. raisingyourpetsnaturally

    January 9, 2017 12:09 am

    It's great that you have Mr. N. A lot of people think they are ready to adopt a dog with a behavior or medical condition, only to find out they really are not able or committed. Dexter's huge medical expense and the emotional toll it takes would make him not very adoptable to the average pet home. <3 But like you said, he's not going anywhere.

  19. Sweet Purrfections

    January 9, 2017 12:31 am

    I'm sure Truffle and Brulee would be adoptable, but my concern with cats like them as that people who don't know how to take care of Persians tends to turn them back in (in terrible condition).

  20. FiveSibesMom

    January 9, 2017 1:00 am

    Such a thought-provoking post. I know my furangel Gibson, although he was beautiful and sweet, was a special needs dog with Canine Epilepsy and weak hind end issues due to meds, so I do realize that would have been more difficult, although I do hope and do awareness for dogs with epilepsy in the hopes folks will think about giving these amazing dogs a loving forever home. Gibson was so amazing! The joy and love I received back from him so outweighed the care he required. My other four I am sure are very adoptable! But sorry, they have their forever home! 🙂

  21. Robin Mudge

    January 9, 2017 5:36 am

    Well, there isn't a lot of good news on the "adoptable" front for cats. Almost everyone just wants a little kitten and it is very difficult to adopt out a cat over 2 years old. My cats have great looks and personalities. People really love the distinct tabby patterns on cats. Manna would be difficult to adopt out because of her age. Dexter would probably go faster because he is still under a year old.
    -Purrs from your friends at

  22. FidoseofReality

    January 10, 2017 4:26 am

    Is it odd that I literally got upset thinking of someone adopting my little man? I love the spin you put on this topic. My little man is very kind, loving, sensitive, has his Canine Good Citizen, and is a genuine fab ambassador of love and his breed.


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