Pros and Cons of Getting a Colorado Mountain Dog

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The Colorado Mountain Dog is known for its soft appearance, large size, affectionate nature and relaxed demeanor. It’s a livestock guardian pooch with a friendly temperament. This breed is great with kids and loves to be part of the family. They defend the boundaries against predators that may try to steal livestock.

Colorado Mountain Dogs are perfect for large ranches and farms. Dogs of this breed blend in with the stock, making them a great guardian dog. They are also welcoming to guests, so they are a good option for those who are looking for an all-around guardian canine.

Appearance

Colorado Mountain Dogs have a beautifully proportioned build. Males are 28″ to 33″ high and weigh 110 lbs to 150 lbs. Females are 26″ to 31″ tall and weigh 80 lbs to 120 lbs. They have a thick tail, medium sized chest, long legs and large feet with moderately splayed toes and strong straight back.

Most Colorado Mountain Dogs have a soft white coat that’s medium in length. They also come in other colors such as tan with a dark muzzle, badger markings and brindle. This breed grows an undercoat during winter and in summer, this warm coat sheds.

Colorado Mountain Dogs have a rounded forehead and long sloped muzzle. They have large, soulful eyes that are usually amber or deep brown in color. This breed has V-shaped ears with rounded tips and a black nose. Their ears usually dangle at the sides of their head, but they rise to a semi-erect stance when the dogs are alerted.

Colorado Mountain Dogs have a graceful neck that’s medium in length. They have powerful hindquarters, long and sloping forequarters and well-boned legs that are not excessively muscled. These dogs have a fluid gait. Their large frame may look floppy when they are making short movements slowly, but it creates a strong forward movement with remarkable fluidity at higher speeds.

Coat

The coat of Colorado Mountain Dogs is silky and soft to the touch. It usually stays clean, making this breed easy to maintain. They have a dense long mane around their neck, bloomers on their hind legs and feathered legs. Their thick undercoat only stays during the winter season. They have short hair on their skull and muzzle.

History

Wendy Francisco developed the Colorado Mountain Dog together with her husband in 2008. A mountain lion attacked their Colorado farm and killed the majority of their goat herd. She found Caspian, a crossbred livestock guarding canine whose parent breeds were the Anatolian Shepherd Dog and the Great Pyrenees.

Caspian was an excellent guardian and friendly to the guests. She found a dog called Snow that shared some of Caspian’s traits. Snow and Caspian produced healthy puppies with a friendly nature and outstanding guardian traits. The breed steadily grew in numbers and in 2015, the name Colorado Mountain Dog was registered to monitor the breed around the US.

The Colorado Mountain Dog was developed for use in areas where wandering and over-barking, some of the traits of a traditional LGD breed, can be a problem.

Maintenance

Their coat needs to be brushed thoroughly once a week. You have to brush their teeth several times every week. Their nails must be clipped when needed. This breed needs to be brushed every day once summer arrives in order to remove their winter undercoat.

White Colorado Mountain Dogs have to be bathed occasionally to keep them clean. Don’t use human shampoo because it can remove the natural oils in their skin that protect the dogs from all types of weather. Use a mild shampoo for dogs. You should also check their ears for infections, ticks and parasites.

CMDs need a lot of exercise, but you don’t need to worry because they will spend their day wandering around your property to watch out for potential predators. Those that stay at home as pets or companion dogs need to be exercised through playtime in the yard, walks or hikes to exhaust their energy levels.

Training

You can start training your CMD puppy at birth with plenty of stimulation and handling. This will help them get started on the socialization process. Exposing them to different sounds, situations, people and places can help them become more confident and develop their ability to handle unfamiliar situations.

Encourage them to eliminate outside the house by training them where to do their business. This is particularly important if you are planning to keep them as a companion dog that will stay inside the house often. You can also serve meals with the use of chew toys to let them release their excess energy and teach them what they can or can’t chew.

Your pup can start obedience training when he’s 5 weeks old. Teach him the sit command and to look directly into your eyes. He should be able to follow basic obedience commands such as bit, stay, stand, come and down by the 7th week. You can start distance control on the 8th week.

The pup should undergo temperament testing to meet his specific needs. You can work with a professional to train your CMD dog.  Since Colorado Mountain Dogs are LGDs, they are naturally inclined to protect and bond with their livestock. A CMD puppy could be assigned to a large pasture and provided that he is from an excellent working LGD line, he would most likely become an outstanding protector of his livestock.

If you want to have control over your dog and livestock and you have young children or guests, it is best that you give your pup basic training to develop and improve his social skills. He may occasionally need some guidance regarding proper play with livestock because this breed can get rough in their adolescent period. They tend to learn fast because they are intelligent, so training should not last very long.

Shedding

Colorado Mountain Dogs shed a bit because they have a double coat. The thick inner coat is replaced by a thin outer coat during summer. You have to brush them weekly to maintain the quality and health of their coat. Some Colorado Mountain Dogs are satisfied to stay home, while others like to wander.

Wandering Colorado Mountain Dogs want to expand the area that they patrol. They are naturally inclined to keep predators away from their livestock. So, do you need a fence to contain your pet? Some farmers have obtained positive results from using field fencing, electric fencing and temporary fencing.

Many proactive owners, on the other hand, have successfully assigned unfenced areas for their pets by just walking them around the border a couple of times and slowly entrusting their pet to stay within the boundaries.  It all depends on the loyalty of your dog to the livestock as well as your attentiveness in your pet’s early days. This is why you should train your Fido as early as possible.

What if you want to introduce a new dog to your farm? If your dog has been encouraged to protect your area from canines, he will probably want to protect your farm from this new Fido as well. Older dogs are seen as a threat. Puppies are usually accepted fast because they tend to be submissive.

If you’re really planning to introduce a new dog, you should introduce this newbie on neutral ground. For instance, you can place a fence between your dogs for a couple of days and then gradually bring the new canine into your dog’s territory. The new dog should not act intimidating. Slowly increase the amount of time they stay together, so they can gain each other’s trust.

It may take some time for your old dog to completely accept his new companion, depending on how tight the bond of your Fido is with the livestock. You just need to be patient and go slowly. Trust your dog to do what is expected of him.

Pros of Owning a Colorado Mountain Dog

  • A Hard Worker

Colorado Mountain Dogs have a great sense of purpose and will work hard to protect livestock. This breed is always alert and they don’t make so much noise or bark excessively unless necessary. Their bark should serve as a warning to predators like mountain lions and coyotes. They will not attack predators unless absolutely necessary.

  • Independent

This breed is highly independent. They understand their purpose and depend on their instincts to do their job. Colorado Mountain Dogs can protect livestock without much direction from their owner. They also tire themselves out by roaming around the area to look for any threat. This means that you don’t have to worry about giving them regular exercise.

  • Friendly

Colorado Mountain Dogs are gentle giants. They were bred to protect livestock and serve as a deterrent to predators, but Colorado Mountain Dogs are well mannered and friendly around new people. They make people and livestock feel comfortable. Colorado Mountain Dogs are a good option for those who have a lot of people entering and exiting their property.

Cons

  • Require a Lot of Maintenance

The undercoat of Colorado Mountain Dogs will blow out during summer, but they’re quite easy to maintain during winter. When their undercoat blows out, you have to brush them every day to get rid of loose or dead hair. You should also check their ears and coats for ticks and parasites.

  • Takes Longer to Mature

You have to be patient with a CMD pup because they take a bit longer to mature than the other breeds. It takes 2 years for them to mature.

  • Stubborn

Colorado Mountain Dogs can be strong-willed and just do what they want. They are not so great at listening because they are independent thinkers.

  • Expensive

This breed is quite expensive. They can cost anywhere from $800 to $1000. Colorado Mountain Dogs can also eat a lot of food because of their large size. They can eat up to 4 cups of food and this can quickly add up to your expenses.

Producing a good Colorado Mountain Dog is not only expensive, but also time consuming. Responsible breeders accept the costs involved in veterinary health examinations, good nutrition and obtaining high-quality genetics in their breeding program. They also need to make sure that the puppies are correctly introduced to livestock early, so they can become mature livestock guardians.

You also need to be prepared to walk them every day. If your CMD is not a working dog, he needs to be exercised for at least 80 minutes every day. Colorado Mountain Dogs, however, are perfect for those who are looking for a friendly livestock guard dog that doesn’t bark a lot. Buying from a responsible breeder improves your chances of raising a great Colorado Mountain Dog.

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