Colorado Mountain Dogs pros and cons
Colorado Mountain Dogs Sybie and Yeti (Photo: @goatsofyamnuska / Instagram)
helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on May 24, 2019
Fact Checked

Colorado Mountain Dogs were created in 2005.

As a result, there isn’t a lot of information readily available about these Livestock Guard Dogs.

They were created by an American called Wendy Francisco in Colorado almost 15 years ago.

She was eager to create a Livestock Guard Dog that could protect her goats but would also be friendly to visitors to her property.

While Colorado Mountain Dogs were initially limited to the US state as Wendy developed her breed, they’re not more widespread across the USA.

In this article, we’re going to look at Colorado Mountain Dogs pros and cons to help get an understanding of this young breed.

Where do Colorado Mountain Dogs come from?

Colorado Mountain Dogs Sybie and Yeti (Photo: @goatsofyamnuska / Instagram)
Colorado Mountain Dogs Sybie and Yeti (Photo: @goatsofyamnuska / Instagram)

Based near the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Wendy was eager to find a Livestock Guard Dog after a mountain lion attacked and killed a goat on her property.

At that time, LGD had a reputation for having a no nonsense temperament that didn’t suit a farm where they would be a reasonable footfall of visitors.

She set about looking to create a new type of LGD that would have their famed protection qualities but would also be sociable around new people.

Wendy found a dog called Caspian, who was 3/4 Great Pyrenees (a North American livestock guard dog) and 1/4 Anatolian Shepherd Dog (originally from Turkey).

After finding an ideal mate called Snow that embodied some of the same traits as Caspian, Wendy was able to lay down the foundation of her breed.

Expanding the gene pool, Wendy was able to fine tune her Colorado Mountain Dogs with help from her Aimee Cabrera.

They were soon in demand throughout the United States given their LGD skills but family-friendly temperaments.

Colorado Mountain Dog Association was set up along with a registry in 2015 to keep track of the breed around the USA.

Colorado Mountain Dogs pros

Friendly

You won’t be surprised to learn that Colorado Mountain Dogs are usually a friendly breed. Although Wendy decided to create these dogs for specific purpose of developing a breed that would act as a deterrent and protect livestock from predators such as coyotes and mountain lions, she wanted the Livestock Guard Dogs to be friendly and sociable around new people. As a result, Colorado Mountain Dogs are well mannered canines. Their amenable personalities should make livestock and people feel at ease.

Goats of Yamnuska (@goatsofyamnuska) says:

Compared to many other LGD breeds, they absolutely adore people which is great if you have a lot of people coming in and out of your property.

Don’t bark a lot

Another trait of the breed is that they don’t make a lot of noise unless absolutely necessary. Colorado Mountain Dogs won’t attack a predator unless it’s a last resort. Instead, their booming bark should act as a warning to coyotes and mountain lions to think twice about attacking livestock. Apart from scaring off predators, Colorado Mountain Dogs don’t bark a lot.

Goats of Yamnuska (@goatsofyamnuska) says:

They only bark when necessary which makes getting a good night’s sleep much easier!

Independent

Colorado Mountain Dogs need to be able to think on their feet. They’ve got rely on their instincts, especially if they’ve got a legitimate role to play on the farm or protecting livestock. They’ll need to know when to deter predators and when to spring to action. They don’t need a lot of commands with a good understanding of what their purpose is.

Goats of Yamnuska (@goatsofyamnuska) says:

With not very much input from us humans, they instinctively know what their job is and are able to perform that job without much direction.

Hard workers

The livestock guard breed will work hard on the farm as they carry out their duties. With a deep sense of purpose, they’ll work tirelessly to ensure livestock is safe. Colorado Mountain Dogs are always alert to potential danger.

Tire themselves out

If you plan to use Colorado Mountain Dogs on the farm, then you won’t need to worry about providing the breed with regular exercise. They’ll naturally tire themselves out as they wander the boundary on the lookout for any threats.

Colorado Mountain Dogs cons

Strong willed

Given the breed are independent thinkers, they can also be quite stubborn and sometimes operate on the own terms. While they’ve got a deep rooted sense of duty and understanding of what their role is within the family and farm, they’re not great when it comes to listening.

Goats of Yamnuska (@goatsofyamnuska) says:

Due to their independence they are not the best listeners and take very little direction from people!

High maintenance

Colorado Mountain Dogs have a double coat that will shed at the changing of the seasons. Although they don’t need a lot of maintenance during the winter months, their undercoat will blow out when summer comes. During this time, Colorado Mountain Dogs require daily brushing to remove dead or loose hair. Given the Livestock Guard Dogs are likely to spend a lot of time on the farm, you’ll need to check their coats and ears for parasites and ticks.

Goats of Yamnuska (@goatsofyamnuska) says:

Due to their long coats they do need some work to maintain their coats. In the spring we had to deal with quite a few mats under their ears.

Take time to mature

If you adopt a Colorado Mountain Dog puppy, you’ll need to be patient. They can take a little longer than most breeds to mature.

Goats of Yamnuska (@goatsofyamnuska) says:

They do take 2 years to mature, which means that in those first 2 years they can make some bad decisions regarding how to interact with stock. Unfortunately we did lose a few roosters to rambunctious puppy behaviour.

Quite expensive

Even though they won’t break the bank, Colorado Mountain Dogs aren’t a cheap breed. A puppy will cost between $800 and $1000. Given their large sized dogs, they’ll require quite a bit of food. According to Wag.com, they can eat four cups of dog food a day. Feeding them could cost up to $100 a month.

Need exercise if they’re not working dogs

Colorado Mountain Dogs that aren’t working dogs will require around 80 minutes of exercise a day. Therefore, if you’re planning to adopt one of these dogs to be a family pet, be prepared for long daily walks. Usually, they’ll be able to travel distances of up to 20 miles a week.

Anything else to consider?

If you’re thinking about a Colorado Mountain Dog then you should reach out and speak to reputable breeder to learn more about the relatively young breed.

Not only that, but it may be a good idea to contact the Colorado Mountain Dog Association to get as much information as possible about these dogs.

In conclusion

Colorado Mountain Dogs are livestock guard dogs that are more friendly than some traditional LGDs.

They’re good around people they don’t know but they’ll also carry out their duty if their used in a working dog capacity.