[Note: This is a continuation of columns profiling local rescue dogs. We’ve handpicked these dogs in the hopes of finding them loving homes. We encourage you to ask questions and add your own parenting tips in the comments.]

Bow-Wow Bio

Molly, a former resident of the Santa Barbara County Animal Services shelter, had been adopted in 2006 by a family who loved and cared for her dearly. Her owners became ill, and she was recently returned to the place she once knew. She is hoping to repeat history in finding other humans with whom she can share her life and love.

According to shelter personnel, Molly is fine with other dogs and cats. She has also been described as a “quiet, gentle soul.” With her weight being on the more curvaceous end of the scale, it has been suggested she would benefit from daily walks and/or other forms of physical activities.

Molly is house-trained and would transition very easily into a home with adults. Older children would be fine, too.

Canine 411

» Name: Molly
» Breed: Chihuahua/Jack Russell terrier mix
» Gender: Female
» Age: 8 years young
» Weight: 20 pounds
» Location: Santa Barbara County Animal Services

From the Dog Trainer’s Notepad

Want Molly to be part of your family? Try these tips:

» Establish expectations: Decide first what you want and what you expect from Molly, then develop a plan of action to teach her the skills you’d like her to have. Dogs can learn at any age!

» Know your animal: Although Molly is considered an older adult, she is still full of life and personality. Having lived with a family for more than six years, she’s fortunate to have gained experience socializing with others and familiarizing herself with various routines that are common in our human world. Our recommendation would be to allow her time to adapt to her new home and surroundings, while gaining trust in those who will be caring for her.

» Figure out a behavior baseline: Life experience means having the opportunity to practice many types of behaviors. We encourage pet parents to take the time and observe Molly and all the canine good manners she has to offer. From there, determine the skills that need to be reinforced and those that need to be taught.

» Reward with recognition: You can never thank an animal too often for doing something you want — even when you didn’t ask. Make sure you let Molly know you appreciate it whenever she’s making good choices. This will help her build self-confidence, while enhancing the bond you share.

Before beginning any training plan with Molly, we recommend consulting with a veterinarian to determine the best diet and exercise program for reaching her goals. Because of Molly’s current weight, pet parents will want to use food rewards wisely. Utilizing her meals for training the behaviors you want, as opposed to feeding her out of a bowl, will help keep her mentally sound and physically fit.

Pawsitive Mutt Match?

If you think Molly is the gal for you, please contact Santa Barbara County Animal Services to arrange a meet-and-greet.

Sharing Is Caring

We’ve got a whole bowlful of training tips! We’re happy to help you achieve your own dog training goals, so click here for a free download of our Top 10 Training Tips.

Community TalkBack

We’d like to hear from dog people in our community. Fellow pet parents, dog lovers and forward thinkers, what do you recommend for Molly and her parents-to-be? Add your comments below.

— Dear Inquisitive Canine/Tails from the Doghouse is written by Joan Mayer and her trusty sidekick, Poncho. Joan is a certified professional dog trainer and human-canine relationship coach. Poncho is a 10-pound mutt that knows a lot about canine and human behavior. Their column is known for its simple common-sense approach to dog training and behavior, as well as its entertaining insight into implementing proven techniques that reward both owner and dog. Joan is also the founder of The Inquisitive Canine, where her love-of-dog training approach highlights the importance of understanding canine behavior. If you or your dog have questions about behavior, training or life with each other, advice@theinquisitivecanine.com.

Joan Hunter Mayer

Joan Hunter Mayer

Joan Hunter Mayer is a certified canine behavior consultant, certified professional dog trainer, and founder of The Inquisitive Canine. She and her team are devoted to offering humane, pawsitive, practical solutions that work for the challenges dogs and their humans face in everyday life. Joan offers training and behavior consulting services both in person and online, dedicated to strengthening the human-canine bond. If you are feeling inquisitive and have dog training questions, email advice@theinquisitivecanine.com and click here for more training tips. The opinions expressed are her own.