Tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) and color M-mode Doppler flow propagation velocity (Vp) are used to assess cardiac function in humans, but the feasibility and applicability of these measurements to murine cardiomyopathic models of heart failure remain unclear. Left ventricular (LV) function was measured by TDI and Vp among mice exhibiting severe dilated cardiomyopathy (TOT), pressure-overload hypertrophy (TAC), and normal controls (NTG). Transmitral flow pattern in TACs and TOTs showed a restrictive filling pattern, but early diastolic mitral annulus velocity was comparable among the three studied groups. Propagation velocity in an anesthetized state was comparable in all three groups. However, while Vp increased in all three groups in the conscious state, the increase in NTGs was statistically greater than in TACs and TOTs. Collectively, results indicate that color M-mode Doppler echocardiography can be used to assess LV function in mice. Furthermore, Vp is depressed by anesthesia, a complication that can lead to misinterpretation of LV function in normal hearts.