We don’t, “broker” dogs. Given the nature of the two breeds we work with, all of our candidates are actually in our physical possession by virtue, and legally surrendered by the owner/ or attending shelter. Rescue is much more than just making a pile of phone calls for a finder’s free and placing a dog from one home, directly into another, without taking the time to discover, know and understand the attributes and characteristics about the dog. We take the time to get to know our dogs, and obtain a professional, concise character and ability assessment, so that we know what our dogs are like as much as possible. Experience has also taught us that when a rescue doesn’t have physical possession of the dog looking for a home, all kinds of things can go dreadfully wrong and potential adopters often become frustrated because they’ve spun their wheels for nothing. It has been our experience also, that many owners are sometimes so desperate to rid themselves of their dog, they often bend and sugar coat the truth about their dogs, and/or with hold important information from the prospective adopter.
When you adopt a dog from us, you know what you are getting and we know what we are giving to you to the greatest extent possible. Always make sure you insist on asking any rescue how long – or “if”, they have had the dog in their physical possession and if the dog has been temperament tested by a qualified individual. You can even ask to see a copy of the temperament test. It should be part of the dog’s dossier.
Temperament Tested – by professional and experienced handlers. Every chow or shar-pei is temperament tested over a minimum period of two weeks before it is released for adoption. This is a very important aspect of adoption for these two breeds because both breeds have histories of possible aggression and often end up in rescue due to the results of non-socialization. During this time we evaluate aspects of the dog’s personality such as friendliness, stability, aggression, and shyness. This ensures that we know all about our animals and can tell you exactly what they are like. You will know right away how your dog interacts with the world around him. It gets even better; When you come to retrieve your new family member we work together with you to make sure you can carry on with the same cues and techniques we use here. In front of you, we demonstrate the dog’s abilities, we disclose any issues we are aware of, and we make sure you are comfortable with your newly chosen family member.
Highly Socialized. During their stay with us, all of our dogs receive lots of one-on-one time with people and other dogs. They are offered obedience training, walked, petted, and played with several times a day just as they would be in any home environment. They learn to live and function within multi-dog environments. We try to instil a perfect sense of balance within our candidates, so that they can go on to new lives with confidence and skill. They become part of our family until they become part of yours.
Fully Vetted. Upon admission to Merlin’s Hope, every dog is spayed or neutered, entropian issues are repaired, elongated pallets, stenoic nasal canals, cruicates, and any other apparent illness/injury that we are aware of. Our dogs brought up to date on vaccinations, tested for heartworms. Each dog receives any needed medical treatment and is completely healthy before being made available for adoption. In fact, with particular emphasis put upon the Shar-Pei, both breeds are more than often dumped off at shelters because of breed specific medical problems, such as entropian, elongated palates, or tight lip syndrome. People purchase these puppies from questionable breeders, sometimes at very high prices, only to find out within a few months, that they need to spend hundreds, or thousands more to deal with serious hereditary breed issues. A great reason to adopt, is that our rescues have all these health issues corrected. All you have to do is love your new family member!!
Our Dogs Are Matched to Your Home Environment. This is our MOST important area that help guarantee a successful placement. We take the time to get to know each dog that comes through our doors, so naturally, we think it’s important to know a little bit about you, too. We ask loads of questions and get a feel for the personalities of the people who will be living in the home, what their lifestyle is like, and what they hope to find in a canine companion. We need to know how much dog ownership experience you have and if you are able to handle the dog you want to adopt. It’s a little like a matchmaking service, but it really works. We have brought hundreds of dogs into happy homes all over Canada and the USA.
Obedience Training: An untrained dog, no matter what breed, size, or age, is a liability in today’s society. For their own safety, all dogs require some form of obedience training, and chows are shar-pei are not the most readily trained. In fact, many of them end up in shelters on Death Row, because their previous owners failed to address their need for obedience training or socialization. Any medium to large sized dog has the potential, not matter what the breed or the breeding, to become a formidable weapon. YOU need to acquire appropriate dog training skills to live in harmoney with your new family member, and to always be in a position to take charge of their behaviour at all times.
All of the dogs who come to Merlin’s Hope go through basic obedience training from the moment they arrive. They are taught basic manners, how to walk properly on a lead how to behave in homes, and how to effectively respond to basic commands. Our dogs are toilet trained, and any vices ( if any), are corrected or modified, and any serious quirks, ( if any), are always disclosed to the adopter. This training not only helps us better evaluate the dog’s temperament in great detail but of course, helps us better analyse their future potential. Also, it helps guarantee placement into the appropriate new home.
The rest is up to you to keep that training in place. We are always upfront about all of our character assessments, because it does not serve us any good purpose to place any dog in the wrong environment. We encourage our adopters to seek out a continuing education with their new family members. The more educated your dog becomes, the more pleasure and freedom you both enjoy together.