The Purebred Black Mouth Cur
For people who hunt, no other dog will do. Among this swift hunter's quarry are boar, bear, coon, squirrel and deer. With medium-sized game, the Black Mouth catches and kills it with no questions asked. This dog never retreats. It is also proficient at treeing and baying. During the hunt, trailing is semi-open or silent, with a chop or yodel acceptable on tree or at bay. Curs rarely trot, even while hunting, going from a walk to a ground-covering sprint. These dogs are avid hunters, yet can also work with cattle. Breeders say a pup will train himself treeing, protecting and/or bunching and penning cattle by six months of age. As relentless and overpowering as this cur appears at work, he is kind and protective with his family. Loyalty and fearlessness are the norm. They have a burning desire to please their master. Good with children, this breed needs an owner who projects a natural authority over the dog. The owner must set rules the dog must follow and stick to them. They must be stern without being harsh, remaining calm and confident. The dog must be convinced he is below humans in the pack order. It is paramount that this dog receives daily mental and physical exercise. Curs that lack in exercise can become high strung and rammy. When not working out on the hunt they must be taken for daily walks where they heel beside or behind the owner, never in front as the pack leader goes first. Intelligent, predictable, with an even temperament, the Southern Curs are loyal to their families, giving their lives, if necessary, to protect them. Start training the Black Mouth puppy as soon as you bring it home. Training sessions should be short and frequent to keep them from becoming bored. This working dog should not be trusted with non-canine pets.
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Intro / Overview
(All dogs are individuals, which means any single dog from any breed can be any number of ways, both good and not so good. Keep that in mind as we discuss breed generalities!)
The Black Mouth Cur is an energetic and playful dog that will capture your attention, keeping you safe and pulling on your heartstrings with their sensitive, loving natures. Black Mouth Curs are a great choice for a family pet or to serve as the perfect best friend for the right person. They’re active, loyal and friendly, but if you’re considering adopting a Black Mouth Cur, there are some things you need to know first. Starting with their energy levels – these dogs are not loungers, especially as puppies. You’ll need your own stock of energy to keep up with these dogs, who will soon become your favorite active buddy.
Here’s a guide to the Black Mouth Cur so you can get to know the ins and outs of this sweet and loving dog.
Also Known As…
Southern Cur. Yellow Black Mouth.
The Black Mouth Cur itself is unique to the United States, but owes its lineage to European and Asian cur dogs. These were brought over as farm dogs to what are now Florida and Texas to work as farm dogs in the region. They were brought to the U.S. to hunt and guard farms from predators, as well as to herd livestock on farmland.
The European and Asian cur dogs were then crossbred with other dogs such as English Mastiffs, although breeding history is still a bit murky. Either way, over time these dogs came into their current form as great guard dogs and family companions, herding animals on farms and becoming part of many families.
Black Mouth Curs range in size from 16 to 25 inches tall for both males and females.
Both male and female Black Mouth Curs weigh around 35 to 40 pounds as adults.
Black Mouth Curs are known for their energy, loyalty and capacity to love an individual or a family. They’re loyal and friendly, ready to keep your house safe from predators. Black Mouth Curs are sensitive dogs, which means they’ll pick up on your emotional cues and should be shown plenty of affection.
They’re also high-energy dogs that love to play with members of their pack. Remember that Black Mouth Curs were bred to be work dogs, which means they need plenty of playtime and love to get out their energy outside. These dogs are also intelligent, which makes for a great training experience with the right owner who’s up for a smart dog with a love of outdoor activities.
Intelligence / Trainability
Black Mouth Curs are intelligent dogs, which means you can have great success training them. It also means they can outsmart you once in a while. It’s hardly the worst thing and may make for some entertaining moments like stealing your seat on the couch, but with some good, positive efforts, you can train them well.
Best Training Techniques For Black Mouth Curs
Black Mouth Curs will learn quickly and can complete more complex tricks to earn those treats you have waiting for them. They’re sensitive creatures, so they respond best to positive reinforcement. They don’t respond well to reprimands, on the other hand, and will pick up on your emotions, especially when you’re frustrated with them. It’s best to use positivity and praise with a Black Mouth Cur, and make sure you reward them with both treats and love.
As high-energy dogs, Black Mouth Curs need plenty of time to play and exercise. They’re better suited for homes with yards and outdoor space rather than city apartments. Black Mouth Curs love space to run around and play fetch with their owners, as well as spaces where they can entertain themselves for a while, such as in a yard they can access freely.
Black Mouth Curs always appreciate a nice long walk, but be cautious if you’re thinking about training your dog to walk alongside you off leash. Black Mouth Curs were bred to protect farms from predators and herd animals, so they have a tendency to roam after any potential prey, which doesn’t make them ideal off-leash dogs.
Good For Families And Kids?
Once you’ve trained your Black Mouth Cur to refrain from jumping on small children out of excitement, these dogs can be great with families and kids. They’re ideal companions for active families that love to be outside, and make great playmates for kids. At the end of the day both kids and a Black Mouth Cur may be worn out from trying to out-play the other. Bring your Black Mouth Cur on a hike, to the beach or on a jog and they’ll be a happy pup.
Black Mouth Curs live an average of 12 to 18 years.
Black Mouth Curs are generally healthy dogs with a long lifespan. However, every dog breed is susceptible to some health problems, and Black Mouth Curs are no exception. These dogs are prone to ear infections, so it’s important to regularly inspect your dog’s ears, especially if they spend any time in the water.
Some Black Mouth Curs are also prone to hip dysplasia, especially as they grow older.
Black Mouth Curs are high-energy dogs. If you get a Black Mouth Cur, get ready to play, go on long walks and to spend plenty of time outside.
Friendly With…(Dogs? Strangers? Cats/Other Pets?)
Black Mouth Curs are friendly dogs, especially with humans. No matter how friendly, however, it’s important to socialize your dog so they don’t see every new human as a potential threat. They’re medium-sized dogs, so a loud bark or jump may come off as physically threatening to strangers.
These dogs are not typically reactive, and so htey tend to do well around other dogs. Again, proper socialization is key. While generally friendly with humans and other dogs, Black Mouth Curs may not appreciate to cats and other pets. They were bred to hunt and guard farms, so their instincts to chase other creatures is still present.
Coat & Grooming
No need to get to the groomer often when you have a Black Mouth Cur. These are short-haired dogs and shed an average amount, so you’ll need to give them a good brushing a couple of times a week during shedding season. They need baths infrequently, as bathing them too much can cause their skin to dry out. Every couple of months is plenty, unless they’ve gotten muddy or been in the water.
As with any dog, you’ll also need to trim their nails regularly, and as they are prone to problems with their ears, make sure you keep an eye out for any ear problems and ask a groomer to take a closer look at their ears.
Toys Black Mouth Curs Would Like Best
Prepare yourself for many games of fetch when you bring home a Black Mouth Cur. These animals love to run and play, so you can’t go wrong with a classic Fetch Toy. You can also play with some Tug Toys to help them release their energy, whether indoors our outdoors.
To keep them occupied on rainy days, you may want to get them a treat-dispensing Super Chewer Toy to engage their intellect. Something like the Magnum Can Toy is an excellent option!
Recommended Diet Or Supplements
Feeding your Cur (or any dog) the freshest whole food diet you can afford (trying to eliminate fillers, grains, or inflammatory proteins such as chicken), can go a long way to decrease health issues and increase longevity.
Since Black Mouth Curs are prone to hip dysplasia in their later years, you may want to consider incorporating a joint supplement into their diet to help them keep their joints in good shape. A fish oil supplement might be a good idea, too.
Glucosamine Supplement For Hip & Joints
This supplement is veterinarian-formulated, made with all natural ingredients (glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid), and comes in the form of 150 soft chews. Basically, it looks and tastes just like delicious treats, and it could really help your canine companion with their hip and joint issues. ($32.99.)
Fish Oil Skin & Coat Supplement
These delicious, vet-formulated chews are made with all-natural ingredients including Omega 3, 6, 9, and Vitamin E. They are designed to support immune health, provide relief from itchy allergic skin, and promote a healthy coat. ($19.99)
For Black Mouth Curs with joint issues – or any dog who just loves to lie around! – a nice comfortable bed with orthopedic support is probably a good idea.
Orthopedic Ultra Plush Memory Foam Dog Bed
This ultra plush orthopedic dog bed provides support for even the most active of dogs! The combination ergonomic memory foam and gel foam relieves pressure points, and helps ease body aches caused by hip dysplasia, arthritis and other orthopedic issues. ($27.99-64.99.)
Notable Instagram Black Mouth Curs
Dodger is a rescued Cur and very good boy living it up in Utah.
Dozer the Black Mouth Cur is a well-loved dog. He spends his time playing in Florida, where he lives, as well as chomping on treats and taking luxurious naps.
Check out Sugar as she cuddles on the couch, runs around on the beach and plays in the woods.
Bailey is ready for anything, as long as it revolves around time outside and nice long hikes.
***Looking for a gift to blow your Cur’s mind? Spoil them with BarkBox! Every month BarkBox delivers 2 original toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and a chew. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <– This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription! 🙂
Featured image via Dodger_the_cur/Instagram
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Black Mouth Cur: Dog Breed Profile
The Black Mouth Cur, named for his square black muzzle, is a short-haired ranch dog with a sweet personality. A jack of all trades, the Black Mouth Cur is a “utility” dog often used for hunting, herding, and other jobs. He became popular with early American settlers in need of help on their farms and ranches. His energy, intelligence, and tenacity makes him a loyal worker and companion, and his desire to bond with humans makes him a great family dog.
Because the Black Mouth Cur is an all-around hunting and herding dog, you need to watch him around other animals. His breeding may make him lean toward territorial behavior, and his prey drive could compel him to chase or attack small mammals like rabbits and squirrels.
With proper socialization as a puppy and appropriate introductions to other animals, the Black Mouth Cur can often happily cohabitate with another pet. However, feeding them separately and making sure there are ample resources—like extra water bowls, bones, and balls—is suggested to discourage resource guarding behavior.
Height: 16 to 23 inches (female); 18 to 25 inches (male)
Weight: 35 to 80 pounds (female); 40 to 95 pounds (male)
Coat and Color: The Black Mouth Cur has short fur that can be either fine or coarse and ranges in color from tan to red and brown. Almost all Black Mouth Curs have black muzzles, hence the name.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
Characteristics of the Black Mouth Cur
|Tendency to Bark||Medium|
|Amount of Shedding||Medium|
History of the Black Mouth Cur
The exact origin of the Black Mouth Cur is unknown, but the breed was developed in the southern United States and was used by early settlers to hunt game, protect their homes and livestock, and help out on the ranch.
There are a number of different Black Mouth Cur lines throughout the US. The Texas Black Mouth Cur, for example, is a cattle-herding line. Another line, the Southern Black Mouth Cur, purportedly originated in Alabama and is popular with ranchers looking for livestock guardians and hunters.
Black Mouth Cur Care
The Black Mouth Cur is a high energy dog that needs at least two hours of daily exercise if he doesn’t have a job to do. If you’re looking for a tireless companion to join you on adventures, the Black Mouth Cur is your dog.
His social nature and eager-to-please attitude makes him a great family dog. The Black Mouth Cur has a sensitive nature, and though he’s fearless on the job, he doesn’t respond well to negative reinforcement from his owner. Raising your voice at him will only result in distrust and a decrease in your bond.
As long as you keep it light and breezy, training will come easily to your Black Mouth Cur. He’s intelligent and driven; training gives him work to do and he’ll happily do it.
The Black Mouth Cur is no couch potato, so if you aren’t able to properly exercise him he’ll get himself into trouble. Intelligence and restlessness are a recipe for a mischievous dog. You can help keep the Black Mouth Cur’s mind busy with puzzle toys and skills like nose work on a rainy day.
The Black Mouth Cur’s short, thick fur is single-coated and easy to maintain with semi-regular brushing and bathing for hygiene and odor management. Keep up with tooth brushing to help prevent gingivitis, dental disease, and bad breath.
Common Health Problems
Because the Black Mouth Cur was created through a wide gene pool, he benefits from generally good health but is prone to a number of conditions.
Like all other medium to large dogs, the Black Mouth Cur is at risk for arthritis and hip dysplasia. Preventative care for his joints is important for a long and happy life. Keep your Black Mouth Cur at a healthy weight, because obesity puts extra strain on his joints. Talk to your vet about a joint care diet and bone and joint supplements.
Black Mouth Curs also frequently experience allergy-related afflictions like ear infections and skin irritation. You may need to experiment with foods, supplements, and medications to control allergy symptoms. Nowadays there are injectable allergy treatments that can last up to months at a time.
Unfortunately, epilepsy is also a condition the Black Mouth Cur is prone to. If you notice your Black Mouth Cur having balance problems, falling, shaking and twitching, vomiting, or experiencing other seizure symptoms, see a vet ASAP. He may need medication to control the seizures.
Diet and Nutrition
The Black Mouth Cur needs a high-performance working dog diet if he has a job in order to maintain his health. Otherwise, a regular high-protein diet will make him a happy pooch. His diet should be balanced with appropriate exercise to keep him trim and physically conditioned. An overweight Black Mouth Cur is at a much higher risk for other health concerns.
Grain free foods should be thoroughly vetted, as recent studies have begun to show that the legumes in grain-free foods are causing Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in some dogs. Talk to your vet about what food will be best for your Black Mouth Cur.
More Dog Breeds and Further Research
Always do your research before bringing any new animal into your life. It’s a good idea to talk to both current owners of a breed as well as breed organizations, and this goes double for breeds like the Black Mouth Cur which do require extra exercise and attention.
If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:
Otherwise, checkout all of our other dog breed profiles.
Black Mouth Cur
- Weight: 40 – 90 pounds
- Height: 16 – 18 inches
The Look of a Black Mouth Cur
Black Mouth Curs have large, muscular frames covered in short coats that are usually yellow, reddish brown or brindle. Their powerful heads have strong, square muzzles that sometimes have black shading. They have sturdy, athletic midsections and long tails that hang low. Overall, Black Mouth Curs look rugged and resourceful.
Ideal Human Companion
- Active singles
- Outdoorsy types
- Experienced dog handlers
What They Are Like to Live With
Black Mouth Curs are tough, resilient working and hunting dogs. Fearless and relentless in the wild, Black Mouth Curs happen to be very sensitive and gentle with people: Around children they tend to tone-down the play and become more mild and protective. They are outgoing, affectionate and very protective of family members. Black Mouth Curs are smart and curious canines.
Things You Should Know
Born and bred in the outdoors, the Black Mouth Cur might feel a little confined in an apartment. It needs lots of daily exercise. If you can provide the Black Mouth Cur with a protected area for roaming and exploring, by all means let it run.
Black Mouth Curs can live as long as 15 years with relatively few health problems. Grooming the Black Mouth Cur is fairly easy. Simply brush it occasionally, check the ears for signs of infection and keep the toenails trimmed.
Black Mouth Cur History
Curs originated in the Southeastern U.S., but you can find different “Cur” types throughout the country. Dependable and hardy, Curs were used by pioneers to herd cattle, hunt wild boar and guard property. Though no one knows their exact lineage, Black Mouth Curs are believed to descend from ancient European and Asian Cur-type herding and hunting dogs.
Mouth cur black
Black Mouth Cur
- Height: 16-25 inches
- Weight: 50-100 lb
- Lifespan: 12-16 years
- Group: Not applicable
- Best Suited For: Active singles, families with children, houses with yards, farms/rural areas
- Temperament: Intelligent, loyal, protective, kind
- Comparable Breeds: Catahoula Leopard Dog, Black and Tan Coonhound
Black Mouth Cur Basics
Not everyone wants a tiny little pup that they can fit in their pocket. That’s great for many dog owners, but some want something different. Some want a dog that feels more like a roommate. A dog that makes their presence known just by walking into a room. A dog that will fit into a passenger seat of your car more easily than your handbag. A dog that sometimes feels like he’s taking you for a walk. If you are in the market for a rugged and strongly muscled working dog, then look no further than the Black Mouth Cur. This breed is a medium-to-large sized dog that is named after the black coloration on its muzzle. This is a serious dog for serious dog owners.
Black Mouth Curs are often referred to as “multitalented” dogs because they can be trained for a variety of tasks including hunting, herding, and general utility. Yet, they aren’t just dogs who are bred to work. Black Mouth Curs also make great family pets! This attractive and intelligent breed is an excellent option for families with or without children because they form very strong bonds with their humans and they respond well to training. Even so, these energetic and driven dogs are not a good choice for first-time dog owners, as they need a firm hand and someone who can keep up with their zest. This is a dog for those who are serious about their pets and will make their Black Mouth Cur the latest addition to their pawesome family.
If you are looking for a rugged, strongly muscled working dog then look no further than the Black Mouth Cur.
The exact origins of the Black Mouth Cur are unknown, but it is thought to have been developed from various ancient European and Asian cur-type dogs. What is known is that the breed was developed in the Southern United States as an all-purpose farm dog and that the breed has become fairly widespread since the 19th century. These pups have a long and rich history as working dogs on farms and they serve their masters well. While some believe the term “cur” implies a mixed breed dog, the Black Mouth Cur is actually purebred. Some of the breeds from which the Black Mouth Cur may have been developed include the Southern Black Mouth Cur originating in Alabama, the Foundation Black Mouth Cur from Texas, and the Ladner Yellow Black Mouth Cur that came from Mississippi. There is a rich history to this beloved animal.
The Black Mouth Cur is thought to have descended from various ancient European and Asian cur-type herding and hunting dogs. So. they will arrive in your home ready to get to work. This breed also shares some characteristics with the Catahoula Cur, namely its webbed toes.
Given that the Blackmouth Cur is a medium- to large-sized breed, it is best to use a large-breed dog food formula. If you plan to use your dog for hunting or herding, make sure to use a dog food formulated for active dogs to provide your Black Mouth Cur with the energy he needs. These dogs will require a diet that will keep their powerful bodies bursting with energy. As always, consider consulting with your vet to determine the best possible diet. If you intend for your Blackmouth Cur to be a highly active working dog, he may require a special diet and portion control to keep him healthy, happy, and filled with the energy that you’ll need. While there are plenty of foods out there that will promise to fulfill those needs, only your vet can determine what is right for your working dog and their specific needs.
The Black Mouth Cur is a very intelligent breed and he is eager to please his owners.
The Black Mouth Cur is a very intelligent breed and he is eager to please his owners. However, it is important that his training regime be firm and consistent. This dog needs to know that his owner is the boss and the owner must not waver in his control of the dog. Otherwise, they simply won’t respond to your training. That being said, please don’t confuse assertiveness and positioning yourself as a pack leader with aversive training methods. Yelling, hitting or punishing a dog is not only cruel, but counterproductive as well. Those methods of dog training and dated and cruel. That’s animal abuse, plain and simple. You won’t get the results that you need through those methods. Instead, rely on positive reinforcement methods and motivate your pet to learn with treats and praise.
Training should be started as early as possible with puppies and continue throughout the dog’s early life to solidify his obedience. Start with the essentials, such as potty training and leash training. Teaching commands such as fetch or “drop it” is also a great idea. After that, you can expand the repertoire of commands if the dog shows eagerness to learn. In addition to training, you should make sure to socialize your dog early and often. Early exposure to other pets and children will help with behavioral guidance from the owner.
Black Mouth Curs can be trained for a variety of purposes including hunting, herding, coursing, agility, and even Search and Rescue. These dogs love having a job to perform. This will also mean that they’re unhappy when they don’t have a task to occupy themselves with, so make sure to always have something for them- lest they become destructive. This is not a dog that will live in apartment and take short walks every day. This is a big dog with big needs. If you can’t provide the space, attention, and tasks that Black Mouth Curs need, you shouldn’t even consider bringing one into your home.
The weight range for Black Mouth Curs is between 50 and 100 pounds, with males typically being larger than females. The reason for the significant variation in this weight range is related to the fact that there are several different “types” within the breed. Each type, or variation, is named for the kennel or family by which it was developed. Males typically weigh between 40 and 95 pounds, while females weighing in at 35 to 80 pounds. The variation in size between Black Mouth Curs is entirely dependant on breeding.
Brave and intelligent, the Black Mouth Cur truly is the Jack of all trades of the canine world. They are quite versatile and adaptable, and will be happy as long there’s a task for them to do. This breed is oriented towards work before everything else. So without a job, they tend to get depressed and destructive really quickly. In addition to their energy, this is the main reason why this type of dog is not a good choice for the apartment dweller. These dogs are made for country living and wide open spaces.
While primarily a working dog with impressive smarts and a fierce drive to please their owner, the Black Mouth Cur is also a great companion. Their capability and need for service certainly don’t overshadow their affectionately sweet nature and devotion to owners. Ideally, they should be paired with an active and outdoorsy family that would understand its need for exercise.
The Black Mouth Cur also makes a great family pet as long as it is trained and socialized from a young age. These dogs form very close bonds with their family and have been known to be incredibly protective and loyal. When exposed to children starting from their puppy days, Black Mouth Curs can get along well with kids of any age. Of course, supervision is recommended for very young children because the dog may not know to be gentler with them. Their energetic view of playtime can be a bit rough for smaller kids, as they could knock them over unintentionally. So it might not be the best idea to bring a Black Mouth Cur into a home with an infant or toddler. Older children, on the other hand, will fall in love with these playful and loyal animals almost instantly.
This breed is typically not aggressive with humans, even though they can be somewhat territorial. Due to its hunting instincts and high prey drive, it is not recommended that you leave this dog alone with non-canine pets. That’s a story that won’t end well.
Common Health Problems
The Black Mouth Cur is generally considered to be a very healthy breed. Since it is used primarily as a working dog, any genetic defects that might hamper its abilities were quickly culled from the gene pool. These are tough animals who in the past led tough lives. There are, however, certain conditions to which the Black Mouth Cur is prone. These conditions include ear infections, eye problems, skeletal problems, epilepsy, and mange. So, regular visits to the vet are recommended to keep on eye on the development of these specific ailments.
The average life expectancy of the Black Mouth Cur is between 12 and 16 years.
The Black Mouth Cur is considered a medium energy breed. It requires a daily brisk walk as well as plenty of outdoor space to run and play. If you live in an apartment, this dog will not be a good choice for you. They need to live on a farm or a house with a big, securely fenced backyard. Otherwise they will become depressed and even destructive.
On average, at least 60 minutes of deliberate exercise is recommended for this breed. And that’s not the mention the activity they’ll do on their own, roaming about the yard or occupying themselves with their job. So don’t even consider bringing home one of these big and burly pups unless you’re certain that you can keep up!
This breed does particularly well when trained for hunting, herding, or another sport that keeps it active and engaged. If anything, they need that type of task to give them purpose and keep them happy. Lack of exercise for this breed can lead to the development of behavioral problems. In addition to training for a task, you can make sure your pet is occupied by offering them puzzle toys. Interactive toys can keep an intelligent dog such as the Black Mouth Cur entertained for hours on end.
The Black Mouth Cur makes a great family pet as long as it is trained and socialized from a young age.
No cur breeds are currently recognized by the AKC but the Black Mouth Cur is considered a member of the Herding Group by the UKC. The Black Mouth Cur first caught the interest of the UKC in the late 1990s but the AKC shows no interest in accepting the breed for registration.
The Black Mouth Cur has a short coat that comes in a wide variety of colors including red, yellow, fawn, white, and piebald. The UKC breed standard states that up to 10 percent of the coat may be white and that white on the toes, tail, nose, and chest is acceptable. Because the coat if this breed is so short, it is relatively easy to groom. The Black Mouth Cur simply requires occasional brushing to remove loose hairs.
The average litter size for the Black Mouth Cur is between 3 and 9, though litters of up to 10 have been reported. While they’re still in their formative period of life, the Black Mouth Cur puppies need to go through basic socialization and training. Failing to do so could lead to your new pet growing up to have behavioral issues and bad manners. Establishing your alpha nature in the relationship early is important. So be sure to start their training early and be diligent. It might mean extra effort early, but that will pay off for a lifetime.
The price of Black Mouth Cur puppies can vary greatly- anywhere from $300 to $1,000, depending on the puppy’s pedigree.
Photo credit: Kelley Varisco/Shutterstock; Jeffrey Lee/Shutterstock; Jennifer Kramer/Shutterstock
Tagged as: agility, Black Mouth Cur, coursing, herding dog, hunting dog, search and rescue dog, webbed toes
Black Mouth Cur
|Black Mouth Cur|
|Other names||Southern Cur|
Southern Black Mouth Cur
Yellow Black Mouth Cur
|Dog (domestic dog)|
The Black Mouth Cur, also known as the Southern Cur, Southern Black Mouth Cur and the Yellow Black Mouth Cur, is a medium to large sized breed of cur-type dog from the United States. Originating in the south of the country, the breed is a popular hunting companion used to hunt a large variety of game.
The Black Mouth Cur's origins are in the Southern United States where it is known by a number of names including the Southern Cur, Southern Black Mouth Cur and the Yellow Black Mouth Cur. There are a number of stories about the breed's ancestry, the most commonly held story is the breed descends from dogs brought to southern Mississippi by European settlers, among these progenitor European dogs included Belgian Malinoises. In this environment these dogs were bred into their current form as a popular cur-type hunting dog, and from Mississippi they spread to the mountains of Tennessee, Missouri and North Carolina and eventually into the Big Thicket region of Southeast Texas. It is claimed the title character in Fred Gipson's novel Old Yeller was a Black Mouth Cur. In 1987 a breed club was formed to support the breed, the Southern Black Mouth Cur Breeders Association, and in 1998 the breed was recognised by the United Kennel Club.
The Black Mouth Cur is a medium to large sized, athletic, muscular breed of dog. The breed varies considerably in height, typically standing between 16 and 25 inches (41 and 64 cm) with individual dogs known to reach 28 inches (71 cm), the breed standard mandates a minimum height of 18 inches (46 cm) for dogs and 16 inches for bitches. The breed typically weighs between 45 and 100 pounds (20 and 45 kg), with the breed standard allowing for significantly lighter animals than is typical, stating a minimum 40 pounds (18 kg) for mature dogs and 35 pounds (16 kg) for mature bitches. The Black Mouth Cur has a short, dense coat that is typically yellow, fawn or light brown in color, although dark brown, brindle and black individual animals are known. The breed's head is broad and flat, they have drooped ears and a powerful, distinctively melanistic black muzzle. They have a broad chest, long legs and a long tail that is typically left undocked.
The Black Mouth Cur is an extremely active breed which requires a great deal of exercise; the breed is known to be very protective of children, sometimes to the point of objecting to parents disciplining their children; the breed is wary of strangers and curiously many dogs are known to respond better to female handlers.
The Black Mouth Cur is used extensively for hunting throughout the Southern United States, the breed is also used as a herding dog. The breed is used to hunt a broad variety of game including bear, feral pig, raccoon, deer and squirrel; the breed has a reputation as a voracious hunter that usually catches and kills game on the ground, although it does tree and bay game as well.
- ^ abcdefghijkMorris, Desmond (2001). Dogs: the ultimate dictionary of over 1,000 dog breeds. North Pomfret, VT: Trafalgar Square Publishing. pp. 222–223. ISBN .
- ^ abcdeWilcox, Bonnie; Walkowicz, Chris (1995). Atlas of dog breeds of the world. Neptune City, N.J.: TFH Publications. p. 203.
- ^ abc"Official UKC breed standard: Black Mouth Cur"(PDF). United Kennel Club. 2000. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
- ^ abcdefDe Brisco, Andrew (1990). The mini-atlas of dog breeds. Neptune City, NJ: T.F.H. Publications. p. 291.
- ^ abcdPalika, Liz (2007). The Howell book of dogs: the definitive reference to 300 breeds and varieties. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley Publishing Inc. p. 158. ISBN .
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Black Mouth Cur 101: History, Personality, Grooming, & More!
Although they aren’t as well-known as golden retrievers, poodles, or any of the other breeds often seen in dog parks and pet stores across the country, black mouth curs are wonderful dogs who deserve more attention than they typically receive.
Fun-loving, energetic, loyal, and brave, black mouth curs have a lot going for them. They are excellent working dogs and, when matched with the right owner and living situation, they can make good companions too.
We’ll talk about the basics of the breed below – including their history, physical characteristics, personality, and health – so that you can decide if a black mouth cur is a good fit for your home and family.
History of the Black Mouth Cur
The history of the black mouth cur is relatively muddled.
They’re known to have lived in the southeastern United States since the 1800s, but nobody knows exactly where or when the first ones were produced. Many breed advocates point to Tennessee or Mississippi as the most likely birthplace of the breed, but details of the breed’s origin remain elusive.
They were likely developed to be multi-purpose working dogs, and they excel at most of the basic tasks farm dogs are expected to perform.
They are capable of herding livestock, they make excellent hunting and tracking dogs, and they are courageous and capable guardians who won’t hesitate to defend their home and family from perceived threats.
They accompanied the pioneers who headed west to settle new lands and eventually became relatively common throughout the country. In fact, Old Yeller is often thought to have been a black mouth cur (although the author never explicitly states such, and the dog who played Old Yeller in the movie was a retriever mix).
Despite their popularity in the U.S., black mouth curs have never become very popular overseas – they tend to be a stateside favorite. Ironically, these all-American dogs aren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
This is likely due in part to the breed’s variability and the fact that different breeders often strive to produce dogs with different characteristics. For example, those bred as pets or for protective purposes usually reach the upper end of the breed’s size range, while those bred to tree raccoons and other prey are usually less than 60 pounds.
The United Kennel Club does recognize the black mouth cur, placing them in the scenthound group.
Black Mouth Cur Physical Appearance: Size, Coat, & Build
Black mouth curs aremedium to large dogs, who vary pretty significantly in terms of size. Some are little more than 16 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh around 40 pounds, while large individuals may be nearly 10 inches taller and approach the 100-pound mark.
All black mouth curs have short coats, but they occur in a variety of colors. Most have black markings on the muzzle (hence their name), but their body coloration can be yellow, brown, red, or black. Some black mouth curs even have a brindle pattern. Some have very coarse hair, while others are coated in softer, finer hair.
As a working breed, black mouth curs are lean, muscular, and athletic-looking. They appear as though they’re ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice, and their legs are relatively long – a fact that helps them travel long distances.
These dogs have a very endearing expression, and their medium-sized ears tend to fold over in a pretty adorable manner. Sometimes, their ears also feature a black or dark-colored wash, which looks very handsome in conjunction with the black muzzle markings.
Image from Wikipedia.
Black Mouth Cur Personality & Temperament
An increasing number of people are keeping black mouth curs as companions, but most members of the breed are expected to work for a living. And the way in which these dogs are kept can significantly affect their personalities.
Working black mouth curs tend to be all business. They are very smart, they’re reasonably easy to train for experienced owners, and they can learn a variety of skills, commands, and tasks. They have an amazing work ethic, and they’ll gladly spend all day in the field before clocking out for dinner. They love their people, but they probably love working more.
But black mouth curs kept as pets are often quite different.
Black mouth curs kept ascompanions are typically very loyal and loving dogs who bond strongly with their families. They’re usually fantastic with kids, although you’ll need to supervise any interactions with young children, as this breed can be a bit rambunctious. Given their size, this can lead to accidental injuries. They may also “herd” children.
Black mouth curs are relatively sensitive, so their owners must employ firm yet gentle training techniques. They should be provided with copious amounts of praise and positive reinforcement throughout the process, but most will enjoy learning new things and pleasing their person.
These are extremely energetic dogs and they need an outlet for their drive to work, so frequent exercise is required to keep them happy. They’ll need at least one (very) long walk per day, and frequent trips to the lake or dog park are also a good idea.
Black mouth curs do not always get along well with dogs who already live in the home, so if you intend to keep more than one dog, it is wise to purchase them both at the same time (and while both are young) or be ready to work with a professional dog behaviorist to ensure that the two dogs get along together.
Black mouth curs can also be a bit distant with unfamiliar people, and they’re quite protective and territorial.
Health and Grooming Needs of Black Mouth Curs
Black mouth curs are typically very healthy dogs, and they don’t suffer from many common diseases or disorders. This may be due in part to the large genetic pool from which the breed originated.
Nevertheless, black mouth curs appear predisposed to a few health problems, including:
- Hip dysplasia
- Ear infections
- Several eye disorders, including cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and ectropion
Black mouth curs are a dream dog for owners who don’t want a dog with a high-maintenance coat. They don’t require any elaborate grooming services – a weekly brushing and a bath every month or so should keep their coat healthy and looking great. They don’t shed or drool very much either, so they may be a good option for allergy sufferers.
Black mouth curs can, however, be pretty filthy pups if provided with lots of time outdoors. Like many other breeds, they seem to love coating themselves in dirt, mud, and anything disgusting they can find lying around on the ground.
And if they are allowed to do so immediately before coming inside and jumping on the couch, all the better!
You will need to trim your black mouth cur’s nails regularly and provide him with an appropriate preventative flea treatment, as you would any other breed.
Some owners note that black mouth curs seem very susceptible to mange, but, rather than being a tendency of the breed, this may have more to do with the way working black mouth curs are often kept outside, in outdoor kennels.
This further illustrates the importance of implementing good flea-prevention practices.
Ideal and Not-So-Ideal Living Situations for Black Mouth Curs
Black mouth curs can thrive in a variety of living circumstances and familial situations. The primary things you need to be able to provide a black mouth cur include:
- Plenty of Space – Black mouth curs are quite energetic, and you must give them plenty of room to run, jump, and play, or they can develop a variety of destructive behaviors. Ideally, you’ll want a large, securely fenced yard (they’re often escape artists who like to wander) so they can burn off energy regularly.
- Early Socialization – While loving with their families, black mouth curs can be territorial and occasionally overprotective. To avoid this, you’ll want to socialize early, introducing your pup to as many people and pets as you can while he’s young.
- Lots of Attention – Black mouth curs kept as pets rarely enjoy being left home alone for long periods of time. In fact, doing so can unleash a host of destructive behaviors. They like a lot of interaction with their owners and thrive best in homes where somebody is home all day long.
If you can satisfy the above criteria, a black mouth cur may be a great choice for your family. On the other hand, prospective owners in either of the following categories should probably opt for a different breed.
Not Best For First-Time Dog Owners
Black mouth curs can certainly make great pets, butthey aren’t well-suited for novice owners. While they are pretty intelligent and relatively eager to please, they can be slightly difficult to train. They need an owner who can assert calm leadership, while still providing all of the support and positive reinforcement this sensitive breed requires.
Not Great For Apartment Dwellers
Black mouth curs are also a poor choice for those who live in apartments, primarily because of the breed’s energy level and need for space.
They may also bark and howl quite a bit as your neighbors come and go. Even if you’re willing to put up with the noise these dogs can create, your neighbors are unlikely to be as understanding.
The black mouth cur is a pretty neat breed that can make a good pet for some families.
Just be sure that you carefully consider the amount of space you have available, as well as the amount of time you have to spend with your new pet, before deciding to add one of these black-muzzled beauties to your home!
Do you have a black mouth cur? What has been your experience with this breed? Share your stories in the comments!