frequently asked questions frequently asked questions

My Profile and Settings

Why should I join RightDog?

If all you want to do is browse nice pictures of animals and read about their adventures, we're not going to stand in your way, because that would be cruel!

But if you'd like to contribute to our community by reviewing and posting photos of your animals, and using RightDog Match, you'll need to become a member. This helps us match you with the right animals, products and services, and also keeps our reviews free of misleading information. Dogs would love to log on and spread weird rumors about cats if they could, but without a RightDog account they'll have to keep their anti-feline opinions to themselves!

Do I need to have an animal to create an account?

Of course not! How would we even check this? I guess we could train sparrow detectives to follow you around, but that seems like a lot of work.

Our community welcomes both animal owners and enthusiasts, so if you're still looking for that perfect pet or appropriate livestock animal, our RightDog Match service will help you find the right breed or species for you. There are plenty of fish in the sea, birds in the trees and mice on the cheese, and all it takes to find them is a RightDog account.

How do I access and update my account information and email alerts?

To change your personal information, email notifications, and social media settings, click on your member name / photo on the top right corner of any page and select "Settings". This will take you to your account settings page, where you can edit info about yourself and control your email alerts.

RightDog Match

Why should I fill out the RightDog Match questionnaire?

Because choosing the right animal isn't easy, and adopting on impulse could land you with chewed up furniture, severe allergies or a suspiciously empty hamster cage. If you're on a date you'll have a conversation with your partner to find out if you're compatible, but since humans can't talk to animals (yet) we thought the process of picking a pet needed a little help.

RightDog Match is the most innovative people-and-pet-matching tool on the web. It delves deep into our lifestyles, likes and dislikes to find us animal friends for life.

We’ve gathered over 65,000 animal reviews—and counting. We painstakingly comb through each review, draw out common threads, and add them to our indexed database. There’s nothing quite like RightDog Match out there—and we believe it’s the most effective tool for finding an animal to suit your experience, lifestyle, preferences and personality.

How does RightDog Match work?

RightDog Match uses a proprietary formula to determine which animals are the best fit for your personality, lifestyle, animal ownership experiences, and preferences. Our formula combines expert opinion with real data from tens of thousands of actual pet and livestock owners. Highly qualified animal experts have determined which qualities are most important for a successful human-animal pairing, and have meticulously rated each and every breed and species in our database with respect to these qualities. We have supplemented our experts’ recommendations with data from more than 30,000 RightDog members (from over 110 nations) regarding the specific combinations of human and animal characteristics that maximize owner satisfaction. Your personalized match results therefore represent a powerful combination of expert guidance on which animals best match your unique lifestyle, along with real data on which types of pets and livestock seem to make people similar to you happiest.

What type of scientific evidence goes into RightDog Match?

RightDog Match is primarily based on our qualified pet and livestock experts’ opinions regarding the factors that promote an optimal human-animal pairing. This expert opinion is supplemented with data collected from RightDog member reviews. Psychological scientists from major universities have analyzed these data to determine which human personality traits, lifestyles, animal ownership experiences, and preferences interact with which animal qualities to predict maximal owner satisfaction. The results of these analyses are incorporated into our proprietary match formulas.

What precisely does a “match percent” mean?

The RightDog Match percentages are personalized, relative recommendations. A perfect match score indicates that a breed or species is our experts’ highest recommendation for an individual with your personality and lifestyle. In contrast, 0% matches represent our experts’ least recommended animals for individuals similar to you. Importantly, the match percentages do not represent absolute match quality. That is, a 0% match will not necessarily be a negative experience (e.g., many people will enjoy a dog of any breed). Rather, a 0% match is simply the least recommended animal for individuals similar to you. Similarly, there is no such thing as a “perfect” pet experience—perfect matches merely represent the most highly recommend animals for people whose personalities and lifestyles are similar to yours.

How accurate are the match percentages?

The match percentages represent the relative extent to which our experts would recommend different breeds or species to individuals whose personalities and lifestyles are similar to yours (see “What precisely does a ‘match percent’ mean?”). Our expert recommendations cannot, however, perfectly predict whether you will have a good or bad experience with an animal. There are several reasons why. First, not all animals of the same breed or species are identical to one another. Within any single breed or species, some individual animals will have easy temperaments, and others will be more difficult. So, although your top matches represent animals that better fit your personality and lifestyle on average, your actual ownership experience will largely depend on the unique characteristics of the individual animal you acquire. Second, people differ with respect to how positive their experience would be with any animal. For example, some individuals would have a negative experience with any dog (including highly recommended breeds). Other people would have a positive experience with any dog (including 0% matches). Finally, the accuracy of our recommendations depends on your candor and self-insight while answering the match questionnaire.

How do you measure my personality in the RightDog Match questionnaire?

We measure your personality using the big five model, which is the scientific gold standard for measuring adult personality (see Goldberg, 1993; Gosling, Rentfrow, & Swann, 2003; Ozer & Benet-Martinez, 2006). RightDog Match’s proprietary formulas are informed by real scientific data—collected from more than 26,000 real pet and livestock owners—regarding the animal characteristics that best complement different human personality traits. In addition to the big five, we also assess several narrower personality facets, such as dominance and social vitality, which our pet and livestock experts have identified as being particularly important to a successful human-animal match.

Can my personality really scientifically predict which breeds/species I will be happiest with?

Your personality can partially predict which breeds and species will maximize your satisfaction. Most people love their pets and are highly satisfied with their animal ownership experience, irrespective of breed or species. And the majority of variance in owner satisfaction is “within breed/species,” which means that your experience will largely depend on the unique personality and characteristics of the specific animal you purchase or adopt. Nevertheless, your personality, preferences, prior experiences, and lifestyle can predict in a small, but meaningful way, which breeds or species are most likely to optimize your animal ownership experience.

What if I disagree with my match results?

RightDog Match is designed to provide the best breed and species recommendations for most people—all while asking as few questions as possible (we know your time is valuable!). However, individual persons can be as diverse and wonderfully unique as the enormous variety of creatures that inhabit planet Earth. Your RightDog Match results represent our pet and livestock experts’ most highly recommended breeds and species for someone generally similar to you. However, you know yourself, your circumstances, and all the aspects that define you as an individual far better than we ever could with just a few questions. So, if you feel that different breeds or species would fit you as an individual better than our experts’ recommendations, we defer to you!

If you feel your RightDog Match recommendations could be improved, we would love for you to provide feedback on your results. Although we can’t respond to all of the feedback we receive, we can promise we will read your comments. Perhaps your feedback will give us new ideas that will help improve our matching formulas in the future!

Nathan W. Hudson Ph.D.

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