Updated: Aug 8
"Breed dogs" they said...."It'll be fun".
The first thing I need to do is come up with what I want in a dog. Explain it - describe it. And THAT becomes my goal in breeding - the set of standards that I aim for. I will compare each dog to this description, and it's quality will be matched to that standard.
The farther away from those goals a dog is - the less quality it has to me and my breeding program to create the Rocky Mountain Companion Dog.
Those standards, written and published by me and me alone, makes me the creator of dog lives I am responsible for. Although I am making these dogs for "me", one of the things I truly desire is to make the dogs for YOU, the individual reading this considering buying one of my puppies. These dogs are just as much yours as they are mine. You have to live with the end product of my mad-sciencing. Not me. YOU are the one who care and nuture this animal into a member of your family. We will cry together when that fateful day comes - and reminisce on how we first found each other. We may, at times, worry and bite our nails while we wait for results together. But I WILL be there. Once that dog leaves my possession, it doesn't leave my heart. ALL of my pups will leave with a microchip in them. I do this because I can't stand the thought of something I created floating around out there with no place to go. If ever one of my dogs winds up in the shelter and YOU can't be reached?
I will go get my dog.
This may sound more like ownership policy, but in truth, it is part of creating the standard. I commit myself to the point that I understand I have to live with the dogs I create. They may come back to me - so I actually "might" end being the one caring and nurturing the animal into a member of the family, until I see it through to the end of it's life. The Rocky Mountain Companion Dog should be what I want to live with for the rest of my life. As much as I would LOVE to churn out all kinds of hair and coat styles, colors and sizes, I must keep in mind that I am the one who may end taking the dogs back, and living with them furever. I better like what I make.
There are a few points I have been considering that have to do with todays social and economic climate.
Conservation news says that we are about to have 23 Apex predators dumped into our backyard. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/gray-wolves-to-be-reintroduced-to-colorado-in-unprecedented-vote/ar-BB1aJQ6k
This news makes me hesitant to create a dog closely resembling a wolf, and letting it loose on the population of the Colorado Rockies. More and more our mountain communities are the host of small acreage farms. Hobby farms are springing up in higher elevations as well as the western slope. Wolf packs have a hard time distinguishing state lines. The Rockies extend up to Canada. I will be keeping a close eye on the interaction of the wolf pack and our Colorado pet dogs. If possible, I find it may behoove me to set the standard as a "not-so" wolfy looking dog. Some thing a trigger happy hobby farmer could not possibly mistake for a wolf at 3 am in his goat pen. The voice and carriage is also important. A non-howling dog might be prudent, and a slower more lumbering gait may be desirable.
Social distancing has effected the way we live our lives, and the way we are beginning to "use" our pets. I feel that we are at a point now more than ever where a companion temperament in a large dog is crucial to develop. Too many breeds developed for special working skills will be asked to be companions, and we will lose a very valuable treasure in the diversity of the working dog. The companion temperament is something specific. You may notice the wording gets tweaked now and again, but the idea is the same - Calm, aloof to strangers with a desire to stay close to their people. Quiet, non barking, with little prey drive. An uncanny intuition, they can easily "read" their people and respond before asked. An innate understanding for all things man-made. In innate disposition for collars and leashes, can be easily trained to walk on a leash. Has a natural Taboo about eliminating inside, is easily housebroken. These are the things that would make a dog a consistent good companion for me? So these will be the traits I will look for in the dogs I create. The Rocky Mountain Companion Dog