Johnnie’s taught me a lot of things in the past three weeks, but one big lesson I owe her is the realization that having an uber social dog is awesome! Not that Baxter or Otis were extremely shy or fearful, but they could get a little nervous in large social settings – a totally normal reaction for even the most good-natured dogs. Lots of new people can be overwhelming and scary. But not for Johnnie Cash!
I brought her with me to my girlfriend’s house for a dinner party get together this past weekend. When we walked in and saw all the people – about a dozen or so – my friend asked me, “Is it going to be too much for her?” and I was happy to reply, “Nope, she’s going to love it!” Johnnie is truly a social butterfly and loves meeting strangers. She immediately made her rounds to everyone at the party with her full body wag going a million miles a minute. An instant hit with everyone, Johnnie settled right in.
The nice thing about bringing Johnnie around is that she’s the perfect blend of independent yet focused. Unlike some dogs I’ve had in the past, Johnnie is not attached to my hip when we do new things – in fact, she’d probably prefer anyone else’s lap just as much as, if not more than, mine. But despite her love for making friends, I was able to keep her in check all night by always bringing her focus back to me. I had her on leash the whole time since we were eating dinner and because I haven’t gotten the jumping under wraps yet, and that helped me keep her out of everyone’s way. We were constantly practicing sit, down and touch to keep her engaged with me instead of others’ meals.
I was proud of how she calmed down pretty much right after we got there (after her initial exuberant greetings of course) and how she even let me eat my dinner without trying to beg for food the entire time. After dinner Johnnie decided she’d had so much fun socializing that she was ready for bed and immediately snuggled up with a few of us. I must say that tiring your dog out via social events with your friends is pretty awesome!
To adopt your own social butterfly Johnnie Cash, email firstname.lastname@example.org.