Colorado Mountain Dog – A Detailed Guide

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In 2008, Wendy Francisco used a dog named Caspian as a foundation dog to create a new breed of dog known as the Colorado Mountain Dog (CMD). CMDs were developed as a type of Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) with the personality and guarding skills necessary for small-acreage farming. This breed is ideal for homesteads and farms since it has little propensity to roam and bark.


The Colorado Mountain Dog Registry (CMDR) was founded by Wendy Francisco with the goal of protecting the breed’s genetic variety. CMDs are not a hybrid breed but are instead chosen for their unique functions through careful screening of individuals. As we delve deeper into this complete guide, we’ll explore the origins, characteristics, and unique features that make CMDs valuable additions to various agricultural settings.


The Colorado Mountain Dog’s (CMD) Historical Traces


A wonderful dog named Caspian started the history of the Colorado Mountain Dog (CMD) back in 2008. Caspian wasn’t just any dog; he was the foundation of a breed that would come to be known for its unique traits and suitability for small acreage farming.


Caspian: The Foundation Dog


Caspian stood out because of the unique blend of skills he possessed. He walked and barked less, and he didn’t mind other people, even strangers, as long as they weren’t a threat. His personality was well-suited to the rigors of farming on a modest scale. CMDs’ visionary Wendy Francisco saw potential in Caspian to create a new breed.


Wendy Francisco’s Role in CMD Development


Wendy Francisco had a vital part in the development of the CMD. She was so impressed with Caspian that she set out to develop a breed with his combination of protective instincts and outgoing personality. Wendy founded the Colorado Mountain Dog Registry (CMDR) because she was determined to breed dogs with specified qualities.


The Colorado Mountain Dog Registry (CMDR)


Wendy Francisco established CMDR in 2008 with the aim of recording and monitoring the progress of CMDs. It is the goal of this registry to promote responsible breeding techniques within the Caspian breed in order to preserve the breed’s genetic variety. Over 1,200 dogs have been registered with CMDR, and the organization is dedicated to the breed’s future development.

The CMDR is more than simply a database; it is a symbol of Wendy Francisco’s goal to develop a breed with superior intelligence and personality. Through CMDR, the Caspian legacy carries on as the breed evolves to become a devoted and dependable companion for small acreage farmers.


Colorado Mountain Dog Characteristics


The Colorado Mountain Dog (CMD) possesses distinct characteristics that set it apart as a valuable livestock guardian. These traits are carefully selected to fulfill specific functions on small acreage farms.


Function-Selected Traits: CMDs are bred with a purpose in mind. Their traits are not arbitrary but chosen deliberately to make them well-suited for their role as guardians. These dogs are carefully screened for qualities that make them effective in protecting livestock and properties.


Importance of Friendly Demeanor: One standout quality of CMDs is their friendly nature. Unlike some other livestock guardian breeds, CMDs are not only protective but also welcoming to visitors. This friendly demeanor is a crucial aspect, especially for farms open to the public or those with frequent visitors. CMDs exhibit intelligence by discerning when to be protective and when to be amicable.


Reduced Wandering and Barking: Wandering and excessive barking can pose challenges, especially in smaller farming settings. CMDs, however, are specifically bred to address these concerns. Striving to minimize wandering, these dogs stay focused on their role without unnecessarily roaming. Additionally, over-barking is considered a disqualification for a CMD, emphasizing the breed’s commitment to maintaining a calm and controlled presence.


Athleticism and Adaptability: CMDs are not just guardians; they are athletes. Their athleticism is a key trait that enables them to move deliberately, keeping herds calm. These dogs are designed to handle the physical demands of their role, with a build that reflects strength, agility, and adaptability. Whether patrolling fields or relaxing in a pen, CMDs are capable and well-suited to various tasks on a small family farm.


Crafting Colorado Mountain Dog Excellence


The Colorado Mountain Dog (CMD) is not your typical breed with a fixed mix of parent breeds. Instead, it’s a result of carefully mixing various Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) to create a dog that excels in specific traits. This approach is distinct from conventional breeds, and each addition to the CMD breed is carefully selected based on its function rather than a predetermined breed mix.


When it comes to the CMD’s ancestry, several LGD breeds contribute to its unique characteristics. Among these are the Great Pyrenees, Anatolian Shepherd, Boz, Maremma, Kuvasz, and Akbash. Each of these breeds brings its own set of qualities to the mix, contributing to the overall development of the CMD. This diverse genetic background is a deliberate choice to ensure that CMDs inherit the best traits from each contributing breed.


The breed development is an ongoing and meticulous process. It involves a continuous screening and selection process to maintain and enhance the desirable traits that make CMDs excellent working dogs. This approach is distinct from traditional breeding practices, as the focus is not on adhering to a specific breed standard but on functionality and the dog’s ability to fulfill its role as a Livestock Guardian Dog.


CMD International Standard


The Colorado Mountain Dog (CMD) is defined by a set of standards to maintain and enhance its quality worldwide. These standards guide breeders in preserving the essence and soundness of the breed, ensuring its effectiveness in fulfilling its intended purpose.


Physical Characteristics and Temperament


The CMD is a large, beautifully built dog with a striking appearance. Standing tall on long, well-boned legs and featuring a square body, the CMD exudes an impressive yet soft demeanor. The breed possesses a medium-weight build, with a uniquely soft and smooth coat that tends to stay clean. The undercoat thickens during winter but remains non-matting and easy to care for throughout the year.

CMD  Size, Weight, and Coat


For males, the CMD typically weighs between 120 to 150+ pounds, with a height ranging from 29 to 33+ inches. Females, on the other hand, weigh around 80 to 120+ pounds, standing at 26 to 31+ inches. These weight and height ranges may vary, but taller dogs are associated with heavier weights. The CMD’s coat is primarily white, though variations like badger markings, brindle, or tan with a dark muzzle are accepted.


Intelligence and Guardian Aptitudes


One of the key focuses in CMD breeding is intelligence and guardian aptitudes. The breed is not only visually impressive but also possesses a discerning and intelligent nature. Dogs are selected based on their ability to serve as effective guardians for livestock and properties. The breed standard emphasizes the importance of a friendly yet discerning temperament, ensuring that CMDs are not only visually striking but also fulfill their role as intelligent and effective working dogs.


Colorado Mountain Dog International Standard


Physical CharacteristicsDescription
BuildStrong, square
HeightMales: 28-33+ inches; Females: 26-31+ inches
WeightMales: 110-150+ lbs; Females: 80-120+ lbs
Coat TextureUnusually soft, smooth, non-matting
Coat LengthMedium to medium-long, slight wave
ColorPrimarily white; may include brindle, tan with dark muzzle, or badger markings
Head SizeSlightly large, pronounced crown
Skull ShapeRounded with a sloped muzzle
EyesLarge, wide-set, open, deep brown to amber
NoseBlack, permissible sun fading
EarsNot large, V-shaped with rounded tips, hanging down at rest, semi-erect when alerted
NeckMedium length, graceful
ForequartersLong, sloping shoulders; medium-narrow to medium-width chest
BodySquare, not elongated; tall on well-boned legs
HindquartersPowerful, well-boned, not overloaded with muscle
LegsLong, well-boned, not overly muscled
FeetLarge, powerful, toes moderately splayed
DewclawsAcceptable during development, removal not encouraged
TailAbundantly furred, medium curl, hanging at rest, arched loosely when active
GaitWell-extended, fluid, long-reaching, smooth
TemperamentRelaxed, affectionate, vigilant, not a constant barker, friendly to people


Colorado Mountain Dog in Action


The Colorado Mountain Dog (CMD) shines in various roles, showcasing its versatility as a valuable member of farms, homesteads, and beyond.


Utilization as Livestock Guardian Dogs


CMDs are purposefully bred as Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs), emphasizing their innate ability to protect flocks and properties from predatory animals. Unlike some traditional LGD breeds, CMDs bring an added dimension to their role – they’re designed for small acreage farming. This means they possess traits like reduced wandering and barking, making them particularly suitable for the unique demands of smaller properties.


Protection in Agricultural Settings


One of the primary functions of CMDs is to safeguard agricultural settings. Whether it’s keeping watch over livestock or standing guard in fields, CMDs excel in providing protection without unnecessary aggression. The breed’s friendly nature allows them to interact positively with people, striking a balance between being vigilant guardians and approachable companions in the agricultural environment.


Hiking Trails and Beyond


CMDs extend their protective capabilities beyond the boundaries of farms, proving to be reliable companions on hiking trails. With their natural instincts intact, CMDs not only offer security against potential threats from wildlife but also provide a reassuring presence for individuals exploring deep wilderness areas. Their adaptability makes them well-suited for eco-tourism operations, where they can play a dual role of protector and friendly guide.


Role in Wildlife Population Management


CMDs contribute to wildlife population management in a unique way they repel rather than hunt predators. This distinction is vital for maintaining a balance in ecosystems, as CMDs deter potential threats without posing harm to local wildlife. Their presence helps reduce incidences of predation, making them valuable assets for those looking to coexist harmoniously with the natural environment.



CMD Ownership and Suitable Environments


Colorado Mountain Dogs (CMDs) make fantastic companions for individuals who reside in family farms, homesteads, or ranches. Their robust guardian instincts and friendly nature align seamlessly with the dynamics of these environments. In such settings, CMDs fulfill crucial roles in protecting livestock and properties, showcasing their intelligence and adaptability.


CMDs thrive in open spaces where they can utilize their athleticism without the constraints of city life. Family farms provide the ideal backdrop for these dogs, allowing them to roam within the boundaries of the property. Their function-selected traits, including reduced wandering and barking, make them particularly well-suited for smaller acreages, ensuring a harmonious coexistence with neighboring properties.


CMDs Unsuitability for City Life


City life, with its confined spaces and bustling environments, is not conducive to the well-being of Colorado Mountain Dogs. CMDs require room to roam and a job that keeps them engaged. The urban landscape, with its limited space and potential for increased stimuli, can lead to stress and behavioral challenges for these large, working dogs.


The CMD’s natural instincts, honed for protecting open spaces and herding livestock, may not find suitable outlets in a city setting. Their characteristic mellow presence can be overshadowed by the fast-paced, crowded nature of urban living. As such, potential CMD owners residing in cities may find it challenging to provide the necessary environment for these dogs to thrive.


Responsibilities of CMD Owners


Owning a Colorado Mountain Dog comes with a set of responsibilities that contribute to the well-being of the dog and the harmony of the environment. CMD owners should:


Provide Adequate Space: Ensure that CMDs have enough space to roam and fulfill their natural instincts. Fenced areas are beneficial for allowing controlled movement.


Offer Purposeful Tasks: CMDs thrive when given tasks that align with their guardian nature. Assigning responsibilities, such as protecting livestock, provides them with a sense of purpose.


Socialization: Despite their guardian roles, CMDs benefit from positive socialization. Introduce them to various people, animals, and environments from a young age to foster a well-rounded temperament.


Regular Exercise: CMDs are active dogs and require regular exercise to maintain their health and well-being. Engaging in activities like walks, play, and even light work tasks keeps them physically and mentally stimulated.


Veterinary Care: Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive care are essential for the health of CMDs. Attend to any health concerns promptly to ensure a long and happy life for your furry companion.


How Do Colorado Mountain Dogs Interact with Children?


Colorado Mountain Dogs (CMDs) display a friendly demeanor and remarkable patience, making them suitable companions for families with children. Known for their gentle nature, CMDs often form positive bonds with kids. It’s essential, however, to monitor these large dogs around children, especially during their excitable puppy years when accidental bumps can occur.


Families share positive experiences with CMDs, highlighting their trustworthiness and calm disposition. While their size may pose a risk of unintentional knocks, responsible supervision ensures a harmonious interaction between CMDs and children. This breed’s unique blend of guardian instincts and friendliness makes them not only reliable protectors but also amiable members of the family, contributing to a wholesome environment on farms and homesteads.

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How to Get a Colorado Mountain Dog


Before you get a Colorado Mountain Dog (CMD), there are a few important things you should think about. Getting a CMD isn’t just about getting a furry friend; it’s also about getting a working animal that will be very important to your farm. Here are the most important things to think about:


Cost Considerations


There are costs that come with having any dog, and the CMD is no different. It’s important to think of buying a CMD as an investment rather than an expense, even though the original cost can range from $900 to $2,000. Think about the following things that affect costs:


Initial Purchase Price: The price you pay for a registered CMD is based on the breed’s unique traits, genetics, and how committed the owner is to upholding the breed’s standards.


Healthcare and Immunizations: Think about how much it will cost for annual checkups, vaccinations, and any possible medical needs. Like any other large breed, CMDs may need special medical care.


Food and Nutrition: Large dogs, like CMDs, can have demanding appetites. You should set aside money to buy your dog good food that meets their nutritional needs.


Training and Socialization: Community-based and professional training are very important for CMDs to be good working dogs. Set aside money for supplies or training classes.


Equipment and Supplies: Think about how much it will cost for things like a nice dog bed, leashes, collars, grooming tools, and any other tools that the CMD will need.


Working Dog Investment


Your CMD is more than just a pet when you bring it to your house. It is a working animal with skills that are perfect for farm life. This is why CMDs are thought to be good investments:


Guarding Livestock: CMDs are made to have strong protective instincts, which makes them great guardians for animals. Their appearance helps keep animals safe by scaring away predators.


Adaptability to Farm Life: These dogs are made to do well on farms and can handle the difficulties of small-scale farming, ecotourism, and living in the country.


Specific Uses: CMDs are great at keeping flocks, properties, and even people safe in rural and farming areas. Their unique traits make them well-suited for specific working roles on a homestead.


Genetic Investment: The initial purchase cost reflects not only the individual dog but also the breed’s genetic heritage. Responsible breeding practices contribute to the CMD’s overall health and functionality.


CMD Breeders and Resources You Can Trust


When looking to get a CMD, it’s important to choose a reliable breeder. Here are essential considerations and resources to guide you in finding the right breeder:


Research Breeders: When doing research on breeders, try to choose ones that have a solid reputation for using only ethical breeding methods, are dedicated to upholding breed standards, and highlight the special qualities of the CMD.


Check Reviews and References: Read reviews from other CMD owners and get references from the breeder. If previous buyers had good experiences with the owner, that’s a good sign.


The Colorado Mountain Dog Registry (CMDR) is an excellent resource that was established by Wendy Francisco. It promotes safe breeding practices, keeps track of CMDs, and highlights the importance of genetic diversity.


CMDA Classifieds:  You can locate CMDs for sale via the CMDA website’s classifieds, which are updated frequently. You can use it as an additional tool to research possible breeders.


Local Communities: Get in touch with farmers, homesteaders, and people in your area. They may offer recommendations based on their experiences with CMDs in the area.


Colorado Mountain Dog (CMD) Puppies


Colorado Mountain Dog (CMD) puppies are a bundle of adorable characteristics that make them irresistible. From their soft, silky fur to their soulful eyes, CMD puppies capture hearts with their cuteness. These little ones quickly grow, reaching substantial sizes even at ten weeks old. Their rapid growth and development highlight their impressive genetics and robust nature.


Preparing for CMD puppy ownership involves understanding their unique needs. Their unusual soft and smooth coat, which tends to stay clean, requires minimal grooming. CMD puppies are known for their friendly and mellow personalities, making them excellent companions for families. However, their large size, even as puppies, means they need space to roam and play.


Prospective CMD owners should consider the investment required for a healthy puppy, including immunizations, food, and proper care.


Pros and Cons of Colorado Mountain Dogs


Pros of CMDsCons and Considerations
Genetic inclination for livestock protectionHigh feeding costs due to their size
Friendly natureSpace requirements for optimal well-being
Reduced barking tendenciesLimited suitability for urban environments








Final Thoughts on CMD


In conclusion, the distinctive characteristics that Colorado Mountain Dogs (CMDs) exhibit are the result of selective breeding. Wendy Francisco’s unwavering commitment to creating an LGD with enhanced guarding instincts, sociability, and less wandering has given rise to the unique traits of the CMD. Because they are calm, athletic, and flexible, they are perfect for small farms.


The amiable and protective CMD is a direct descendant of the foundation dog Caspian, making it an ideal companion for homesteads. They are great as watchdogs on farms and ranches as well as on hiking paths, proving that they are a good fit for family homes and farms. With a growing registration and continuous improvement, the Colorado Mountain Dog is well-positioned to fulfill the changing needs of farmers and landowners in the future.

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