Elizabeth Galvin's beautiful "Appa"- a fabulous Caspian & Aravis Colorado Mountain Dog
The purpose of Colorado Mountain Dog Breed Standards is to ensure that
Colorado Mountain Dogs remain true to the unique traits they are bred for. For the purposes of developing and improving the breed, the CMDA® is allowing approved exceptions to the physical standard for the Foundation registered dogs, with the end goal being dogs conforming to the Breed Standards. Please be aware that the CMDA® is unique from other breed organizations in that the focus during the early development years is on the genotype, or the temperament and guardian qualities of the breed. The phenotype, or physical characteristics, are secondary to that. This allows the CMD breed to develop as a whole animal, with all parts included, rather than being too focused on one aspect.
- The dog’s disposition should be friendly and people loving. They should be family-oriented, child-friendly, and accepting of visitors. Aggression towards people or excessive nervousness are serious faults. The trait that is most unique to the CMD is the fact that they are accepting of humans in general, rather than just their family or regular visitors.
- In regard to predators, the dog should exhibit strong and protective guarding instincts. The dog’s preference should be to bark and warn off predators, only physically attacking a predator if absolutely necessary. The dog should not bark excessively, but with purpose, to warn or alert.
- The dog should be of independent mind and possess problem-solving ability. It should be somewhat self-sufficient and content to remain with livestock. A tendency to wander beyond its assigned territory is discouraged.
- The dog should bond closely to the livestock, but maintain a balance of protection, authority, and respect. Any tendency toward unprovoked aggression is unacceptable.
- The dog should be tall, proportionally balanced, and of lean build, but not thin boned. Males should stand 30-34 inches at the withers and weigh 110-130 lbs., while females should stand 26-29 inches at the withers and weigh 80-100 lbs.
- Tails should be long, stout, arched loosely over the back when the dog is alert, and covered in thick fur.
- The fur should be of medium-length and soft. It should grow a nice undercoat in winter, but “blow” to a thinner, cooler, outer coat in summer. Longer hair on the mane, back of legs, and tail is permitted.
- White coloring is preferred, but other color is currently permitted.
- The dog should have long, stout legs with solid, proportional feet. Each foot should have 4 toes. Dew claws on the hind legs may be single or double. Absence of dew claws is also permitted.
- The head should be refined, not square, and the muzzle should be long and gently sloping. The bite should be in line, the lips clean, and the mouth dry. Dogs that drool excessively are highly discouraged.
- The eyes should be set wide, brown, alert, and expressive.
While the breed standards are the ideal that breeders should strive for, the CMDA® is not seeking to produce “show-ring” dogs. The primary focus is the disposition towards people, vigor, and a natural instinct and ability to guard livestock.