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When life hands you Nuts...You have to go buy lemonade.

When the sixth male puppy of Stella's litter was born (Workingman's), all sorts of notions crossed my mind. If they could make a noise, it would have sounded like a cross between the needle being torn off the record, and tires screeching to a halt. Of two of my founding litters between them I have nine potential stud dogs and no females. This presents an obstacle in the road of my breeding program that I will have to detour around. Just a detour.

A breeding program is kind of like the mechanics of a watch. There are a few layers of works that need to be assembled in a particular order. If you try and place one of the wheels that belongs on top, into the bottom, the watch will invariably lose time and eventually will break down.

This is how it is with a breeding program. Auggie, is like the bottom wheel of the watch works. He can only be a founder, and not reinserted into the works. That would be inbreeding consistently and my lines would quickly bottleneck, genetically speaking.

With Bonnie's genes on one side and Pearl's genes on another, I had intended to line breed off Auggie for 3 generations then introduce fresh genes on the 4th. This was also going to define the split between lines appropriate for service work and lines better suited for Therapy or Live Stock Guardian work. This progression was also going to solidify Auggie's "look" on one line and solid white of the Colorado Mountain Dogs on the other.

A "plan B" had been considered, but Plan "C" md is where I've landed.

The Colorado Mountain Dog Registry is currently holding open Stud Books, and accepting new individuals as founders to the breed. They have a clear cut standard, but are open to allowing for color variation, placing temperament and good physiology for a long lived healthy dog as the highest priority. I like that a lot.

The key component of my desire to work with Colorado Mountain Dogs is the open registry. Pedigrees can be tracked back five generations in some lines. An open registry (stud books) with a clear standard for a breed allows breeders an almost limitless gene pool to draw from and always be working true to breed "TYPE."

So far pedigrees can be tracked to five generations. I'm ever so fortunate to have Bonnie and Pearl, that are both third generation classic examples of the breed standard.

Physically, the Colorado Mountain Dog is a natural balanced animal. Square, well boned and large-but-not-giant builds, the CMD's solid white is flashy . I like that a lot too. I love Auggie's coloring just as much, so it only makes sense to have two lines for the time being. Until such time as my outcrosses align in temperament and utility with the CMD

standard. Once they do, I would aspire to concentrate my efforts on working with Colorado Mountain Dogs only.

The Colorado Mountain Dog Standard states pendant ears are necessary.

Many folks on my waitlist have stated a desire for prick ears like Auggie. I will need to maintain a line for this feature until this preference is full filled.

(I hope this is an Aha! moment for those grasping with my Tiered reservations.)

The best way for Fennario's breeding program to bring all this together for Rocky Mountain Companion Dogs and be responsible in breeding the most healthy, stable out of this world dogs for you wonderful people is to breed both Bonnie and Pearl with registered CMD studs and the next litters we have will be registered fifth generation Colorado Mountain Dogs. Proceeding with this option will give us the best chance of securing the next generation of females so Bonnie can retire and we can have a plethora of genes to work with.

We are also looking at bringing in 2 new females (Colorado Mountain Dogs) to diversify our genetics even further. Essentially, this pushes our timeline back anywhere from 6 months to a year, but at the end of the detour - we will have a larger selection both genetically and puppies to place in homes and in service.

We sent Pearl DNA off to EMBARK last week. It's usually a few weeks before they get the results back to me. This will have much to do with the selection of our stud, so we are shopping around right now. There are a few candidates in the running that I am super super excited about adding their genes to the mix. We'll know for sure by the girl's next season. Something tells me they will both come into to season at once, so we will have two litters of Christmas puppies to close out the year.

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