[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to determine if brief exposure to a dog behaving badly or in a friendly manner affects subsequent perceptions of the target dog's and other dogs' adoptability. Participants viewed a videotape of an adoptable German shepherd behaving either aggressively or prosocially and were then asked to rate the characteristics and adoptability of the same and different dogs. The results showed that people who saw the aggressive behavioral schema perceived only the target dog and a dog of the same breed to be significantly less adoptable than dogs of other breeds (p<.01). Results of a principal components analysis showed participants perceived the adoptability of dogs to be related to "sociability": Adoptable dogs were more approachable, friendly, intelligent, and less dangerous and aggressive (p<.01). Brief exposure to a misbehaving dog prior to making a decision to adopt may unfairly penalize other dogs perceived to be similar to the misbehaving dog.