Beta is the “agile dog” – her full name is Bryn Mawr’s All Rev’d Up. She is the one pictured on the right sidebar at the top of the blog, and the dog I compete in Agility with. While Jack, our first Australian Cattle Dog, is my wife’s dog, Beta is my dog. She is both the first Cattle Dog I have ever owned, and also the first pure-breed dog I have owned – this is known as jumping in with both feet. From the start, Beta was eye-catching:
My wife did the research to find Beta’s breeder; the breeder actually vetted us as potential owners – the sign of a really good breeder. I knew within moments of meeting the dog that I wanted to take her; I have been rewarded for that choice ever since. Beta has all of the main traits of an ACD: smart, energetic, loyal, stubborn, and dominant. She also loves people; she even likes strangers, which is NOT a normal ACD trait. She can be defensive of bigger dogs, but is quite good with dogs her size and smaller, even puppies (which is also not normal for an ACD). She is a “Blue” ACD, the more common color, and has the cool common markings of an ACD. But she has distinctive white rings in her tail, very much like a racoon or a ring-tailed lemur. She is also small for a Cattle Dog – under 16″ at the shoulders. Given her slightly smaller size, boundless energy, drive, and intelligence, she is a natural for Agility. With her natural talent, cool looks, and outgoing nature, she is a real hit on the Agility circuit here in New England. First, a glamour shot:
Now some Agility action photos:
Why “Beta”, you ask? First, I’m a software geek, and had already trained my first agility dog (Tyler). So this was my second attempt, hence “Beta” -like beta software. Also, it was a subtle reminder to myself to remain in charge – be the “alpha dog” so to speak. A Cattle Dog will try to be in charge if you let them, and nothing good will come of it. Third, it’s different, and doesn’t get confused with all the “normal” names at dog shows. And finally, there is a thought in dog training that a dog’s call name (their common name) should be two syllables, and end in a vowel, to make it easier to call them with a positive inflection.
One of the main points of this blog will be to post photos and videos of Beta (and me, when I’m with her). How can you resist this?: