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WHY ADOPT FROM US?
We don't, "broker" dogs. Given the nature of the two breeds we work with, all of our candidates are actually in our physical possesion 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 characterists about the dog. We take the time to get to know our dogs, and obtain a professional, concise character and ability assesement, 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 sugarcoat the truth about their dogs, and/or with hold important information from the prospective adopter. Over 90% of private homes looking to place their chows with us, do so due to aggression or some other unwanted behavioural issue, so it is extremly important that the dog be thoroughly assessed prior to being re-homed into any new situation.
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 natrually, 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 dogs who come here are started in basic obedience. Depending on the amount of time they spend here dictates the amount of level of obedience they can achieve, however, irregardless of how much obedience training they receive, it is up to YOU to maintain this, either through your own learned dog training skills or via obedience classes. No dog will retain training if it is not consistently reinforced by the owner.
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. We are members of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers.
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.
ABOVE:( Left, blind chow being led by, ( Right) young male being trained as Service Dog)
The large chow on the right was to be euthanized because of aggression issues.
BELOW: Depending on their individual capacity, they are taught basic obedience, including how to walk nicely on a lead, how to recall and "stay".
ABOVE: Working with Aggressive Chows.
This chow arrived here with all kinds of aggression issues. Allowed to become very enabled by his owners, he developed issues so strong that taking him for a walk had become next to impossible. After a workout session this chow was able to walk comfortably without a muzzle and in very close proximity with strange dogs.
We try to give them all a good start before they go on to their new homes. We spend loads of time with our adopters to help make sure the transition into the new home is as smooth as possible.
ABOVE: Working at, "heel" and positively re-inforcing obedience concepts.
Comment from one of our adopters: "I've never met a rescue so willing to work with their adopters even well after the dog has been adopted". Chris Hayes
Naturally, as with all living things, characters are dependant on their health and environment, and although we ensure to give our dogs are good start, it is up to YOU to keep them that way. All potential adopters must demonstrate their ability to work with our dogs - or at least demonstrate their willingness to take the dog to obedience classes. We have a contractual obligation to all adopters to be compelled to attend a dog school with their new adoptee in the event the obedience training starts to falter under their care.
ABOVE: Excellent forward energy by both. This dog was a notorious puller and escape artist.
Under her new, "management", she is excelling at obedience and walking wonderfully on lead at, "heel".
Additionally, we insist that you be willing to work with a knowledgable trainer, who can help you find the right balance and method for you and your dog. Above all, listen to your instincts. Training should be fun, not punishment. If you don't feel what you're doing is right for your dog, find someone else for a second opinion. We also offer training classes for our dogs.
ABOVE: Working with blind dogs. This dog is learning to respond to commands from a distance and learning how to re-orientate herself towards, "home", no matter what direction she is pointed in.
All of our adopters are welcomed to come back here and work with us at any time, especially for problem solving or reinforcement. From time to time we do work with outside interests as well.
Our Adoption Dogs
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Good Health comes from Natural, Species Appropriate Foods - a Raw Regime
ABOVE: Almost 50% of this dog's body was missing fur from living in squalid conditions and having had exceedingly poor nutrition.
She also had elephant skin, and yeast infections.
ABOVE: Almost 80% of this dog's body was missing fur from living in squalid conditions and having had exceedingly poor nutrition.
She also had elephant skin, yeast infections, pustules and open, cracked wounds that would not heal.
ABOVE: Poppy was found on the streets of Puerto Rico. He had demodex, malnutrition and elephant skin
All the dogs who come to Merlin's Hope Rescue are fed a prey model raw diet in all circumstances. We work very hard, especially in the case of Chinese Shar-Pei to bring them back to wellness and good health. Our feeding program has consistently proven excellent results with all of our rescues. To learn more about a Raw Feeding Regime, please log onto RawPets.ca
While we hope that our adopters continue with our method, we realize that it is not always possible for a variety of very valid reasons.
We recommend grain free meat only commercial dog foods as a viable subsitute to our adoptees conditioned to Raw Regime -
When you come to pickup your adoption pet, we will offer you a small portion of commercial food so that you have two meals available for your journey home.
Raw Menu - Sampler
All of the rescues who come to Merlin's Hope Rescue are immediately placed on a Raw food regime, without exception, for total wellness.
Given the sensitity of the Chinese Shar-pei, hands down we have not regretted our decision to follow this path.
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