Ralphie’s pet parent tells PEOPLE of the competitive and athletic French bulldog, “He’s like Seabiscuit, but he’s the shape of a pig.”

Ralphie is currently more of an imp than a demon.

The 26-pound “demon,” who Niagara SPCA characterized as “fire-breathing” and “a whole jerk- not even half,” shot to celebrity in January after they uploaded a Facebook post looking for a home for him.


Ralphie was adopted in February after the picture, and the dog went viral. However, the black-and-white dog was returned to the shelter two weeks later because the Frenchie “proved to be more than she [the owner] could handle,” Niagara SPCA wrote on social media.


Ralphie was enrolled in a six-week training course with Chris Fiels at YourEveryDayK9 by Niagara SPCA before finding the dog a new home.

“I first noticed a lot of confidence and curiosity. He walked in, looked past me, and just wanted to check everything out. Which, in my eyes, is a very good sign,” the trainer told PEOPLE in March.

Ralphie’s attention span, socialization, boundaries, and engagement abilities improved throughout Fiels’ time with the dog. Fiels was sure the dog was prepared for his new home by the time training was over.

“Ralphie’s new family will help him by simply providing the proper structure and ensuring he meets his physical and mental needs,” the trainer said. “He is a strong-willed dog, like most bulldogs, but under the proper guidance, he will thrive and live a very fulfilling life.”

Because Ralphie is happy and successful right now, Fiels correctly foresaw the future.

Jason, who Niagara SPCA dubbed Ralphie’s “perfect adopter” on Facebook, adopted the French bulldog when his training was complete.

“He’ll live with another Frenchie, a Daschund, and a German shepherd. Jason is uniquely qualified because his Frenchie and Daschund had bite histories before living with him,” the shelter added on social media.


Jason’s French bulldog Cookie served as an inspiration for Ralphie’s adoption.

“I first heard about him like everybody else when he went viral in January,” Jason tells PEOPLE.

He claims he was “struck by the similarity” between Cookie and Ralphie, two French bulldogs from northern New York with histories of biting.

Knoxville-based When Ralphie originally became available for adoption, Jason called Niagara SPCA; however, he was informed that the shelter was seeking a local adopter. Jason decided to try again after Ralphie was adopted and brought back to the rescue.

Jason, a seasoned dog trainer who has worked with detecting and tracking dogs and taught dog athletes for obedience contests, says he typed out a resume of everything he has done professionally with dogs and his own dogs.


Jason’s email stood out to the shelter and Fiels among the more than 700 inquiries regarding Ralphie’s adoption that were sent in after he was returned.

“Three or four weeks after I sent the email, his trainer in Buffalo called and said, ‘I think you are our guy if you’re still interested.’ And I responded, ‘Yes, I’m still interested,'” recounts Jason.

As a result, Ralphie was adopted by Jason, who then drove him from New York to Tennessee to set up residence. Jason and his band of dogs included Cookie the French Bulldog, Arthur the dachshund with a history of biting, the 13-year-old retired tracking dog Lery, the rescue Jack Russell terrier Tizzy, and Cookie the French Bulldog, were ready for the French bulldog when he arrived. The dog trainer also has two Bengal cats, who live with the dogs but are “not impressed” by them.

Ralphie’s “innate social skills” and developing grasp of boundaries immediately became apparent as he got along well with Jason’s other canines.

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“For a dog that probably didn’t have much experience dealing with other dogs, he has very good social skills. He knows when to push, but he also knows when to back away,” Jason says of Ralphie.

Jason concentrated on the interactions Ralphie had with people.

“Those first four days, he had his moments,” Jason says. “I had to be pretty careful with him just trying to figure out his triggers because he was a bite risk.”

After witnessing Ralphie in those formative years, Jason concluded that the French bulldog had lost his “bite inhibition.”

“My suspicion was because he has gotten away with biting people for so long, it didn’t feel weird to him anymore,” the pet parent says.

“He was just a very bratty kid. He would only try to bite me when I tried to do things that he didn’t want done to him,” Jason adds, citing an occasion where Ralphie snapped at him “because I tried to wipe something off his face the first day.”


Jason used Ralphie’s training and knowledge after learning more about Ralphie’s triggers to explain to him that “that kind of lashing out is not okay.”

A month after being adopted, Ralphie is acting politely and refraining from yelling.

“He trusts me now. There’s a lot of trust. I bathed him the other day. I clean his eyes every day now. So I can move him, I can squeeze him, I can roughhouse with him. He’s completely normal with me now. A lot of it is just giving him time and understanding that his biting behavior was a remnant from his past,” Jason says.

Ralphie has demonstrated that he is a self-assured and active dog in his new home over the past two weeks.

“He’s like Seabiscuit, but he’s the shape of a pig,” his owner says.

By exposing Ralphie to new skills like skating and agility training, Jason pushes him to develop his competitive side.


“I think he will win some competitions in a couple of years. Jason says he is one of the most talented dogs I’ve seen,” Jason says.

To improve his abilities and give the dog a place to indulge his competitive nature, Ralphie’s dog dad intends to register the French bulldog in private agility training.

“He’s just a very competitive dog. He wants to be ahead of you when you’re running with him. He wants to win. I jokingly tell my friends,” Ralphie’s owner says.

“I think we’re going to hear a lot more from Ralphie. He’s going to do some amazing things,” Jason adds.

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