The Black Mouth Cur is a multi-talented, hard-working and fearless dog which can successfully hunt, protect, herd and at the same time be a loving companion dog at home.
These energetic, strong and intelligent dogs are very popular family dogs in the US, where it is believed they were first developed.
The Black Mouth Cur simply loves being around its family and playing with the kids, but has high energy levels so it is suitable for active families and owners (preferably experienced ones), as well as for people who have backyards and kids who are old enough to play with a large sized dog.
Here is a detailed overview of the Black Mouth Cur breed, and everything you can expect if you decide to add one of these wonderful and versatile dogs to your family.
- Canine breed group: working dogs
- Height at the shoulder: 16 – 25 inches
- Average weight: 40 – 95 lbs.
- Average lifespan: 12 – 18 years
- Coat color: the short-haired coat can be yellow, tan, black, brown, fawn or other, and the dogs have black fur on their muzzles or faces
Overview of the Black Mouth Cur breed
The name of this American breed comes from the typical black color of the lips and muzzle of these beautiful dogs. Although the Black Mouth Cur is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, and neither is any one of the many other breeds which have “Cur” in their name, this breed is hugely popular throughout the USA.
Around the world, it is a pretty rare breed, but it is recognized by the United Kennel Club as a purebred scent hound dog breed.
The breed is believed to have originated from the Southeastern US, and these dogs are known for their multiple talents, their loyalty, courage, and strength. There was even a famous Black Mouth Cur depicted in a classic children’s book and Disney movie – “Old Yeller.”
At the same time, these dogs are also very sensitive and are truly intuitive, so they can sense the feelings of their owners and their human families easily.
The Black Mouth Cur is a suitable companion dog for experienced owners who are firm, confident and consistent enough to properly train them. Their firmness though should not be expressed in excess punishment or harshness, because these canines are overly sensitive and may react badly to harsh punishments.
The dogs from this amazing breed have high energy levels and need daily exercise, which can be achieved via long walks, as well as access to a large backyard where the dog can roam and spend its overflowing energy.
If you fail to provide a dog of this breed with the exercise and physical activity it needs, it can easily become bored and even destructive in your home.
Overall, Black Mouth Curs interact pretty well with all people as well as with other dogs, but they can be quite territorial and may perceive any strange dog or person as a threat to their home and family.
This is why socialization of the dog via meeting it with as many people and other dogs possible should start from a very early age.
Overall, the Black Mouth Cur is a working dog which is good at everything – herding, protecting, hunting and being a loyal companion.
The dogs from this breed require minimal grooming, even though the coats and size of the dogs differ from one breeder to another.
Their high energy levels and their size make them unsuitable for small apartments.
They are also pretty strong, so they do enough a bit of rough playing, so they may not be suitable for pets for families with very young children. Also, they do have strong hunting instincts, so they may not be suitable for households where there are already other pets.
But as a whole, these dogs are very loyal, protective and loving companions, and will sense exactly what you are feeling immediately. They are excellent companion dogs for sports, hunting or play, and the best news is that they are a healthy breed with a pretty long life expectancy of up to 18 years!
If you want an accurate depiction of the true nature of the Black Mouth Cur, you should read or watch the “Old Yeller” book or movie where a dog from this breed joins a family at their farm and does everything in its power to protect them.
History of the Black Mouth Cur
Even though the exact origin of this dog breed is not completely clear, it is known that the Black Mouth Cur was first developed in the American South, in either Mississippi or Tennessee, and that it was a result of the cross-breeding between Asian and European dogs brought by the settlers and the pioneers in the lands from Texas to Florida. It is believed that because these settlers needed reliable farm dogs to help with the hunting and to guard and herd the livestock, the Black Mouth Cur was developed and used by the majority of them.
In fact, some people believe that it was this breed that made the westward expansion by the settlers possible at all.
Unfortunately, there are very limited records which can prove exactly where the Black Mouth Cur descended from. Some believe that it was from crossbreeding with the English Mastiffs which the very first settlers brought in as early as the Mayflower arrival at Plymouth in 1621.
Today, there is quite a bit of variation among the dos in the breed depending on the actual region and their breeder who produces the dogs. At the same time, the Black Mouth Cur dogs are considered to be purebred dogs by the United Kennel Club who recognized the breed in 1998.
One of the most famous breeders of Black Mouth Curs is the Ladner family from South Mississippi which has been breeding these dogs for more than 100 years now. Other popular variations include the red colored Alabama Black Mouth Cur and the yellow colored Florida Black Mouth Cur. Due to these variations in color and size, the American Kennel Club and other kennel clubs have refused to register the breed as an officially recognized one.
No doubt, the most famous Black Mouth Cur dog is Old Yeller portrayed in the novel and the Disney movie of the same name in the 1950s.
The size of the Black Mouth Cur
There is quite a bit of variation in the sizes and the colors of the different Black Mouth Curs, depending on the region they were bred and their breeders. Like with other dog breeds, the males are usually larger and heavier than the females, and weigh between 40 and 95 lbs., while the females usually weigh between 35 to 80 lbs. The dogs from this breed are usually about 16 inches at the shoulder or higher.
Tree dogs from this breed can be only 35-50 lbs. while herding Black Mouth Curs can reach a weight of 100 lbs.
The dogs from this breed are medium to large sized, strong and very athletic. Being such active dogs they need daily exercise.
Keeping the Black Mouth Cur at a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of joint disease, diabetes and other diseases, and will keep your dog healthy and alive for a long time, which is why you should read our tips about feeding the dogs from this breed, and also follow the recommendations for the daily dosage and diet provided by your vet.
The personality of the Black Mouth Cur
The history of this American dog breed has had a rather heavy influence on the character and traits of the Black Mouth Cur.
Since the settler needed reliable protection of the livestock and themselves from predators, they encouraged their dogs to fight and never back up when attacked. This has led to the dogs from this breed to be fearless even today when they are most commonly used as family pets and companion dogs.
Also, the early settlers were in need of intelligent dogs which could help them hunt down valuable prey and food, as well as a loyal canine to provide reliable protection for their homes and families. Also, strong and rugged dogs were needed to hunt in the tough terrains of the frontier. The ancestors of today’s Black Mouth Cur were also bred to be able to withstand long days of work, which made them highly energetic and athletic dogs.
All of these traits are still very characteristic of the Black Mouth Curs.
This is why you can expect a Black Mouth Cur to be exceptionally loyal, hard-working, an excellent trail tracker and hunter, as well as highly energetic and in need of daily exercise.
For the best results, a young Black Mouth Cur should be socialized and trained by a firm but patient trainer. They are smart and will learn to obey commands but do not like to be penalized or yelled at, and will become bored if the training sessions are way too repetitive and long.
Here are the main personality traits which make the Black Mouth Cur dogs what they are today:
- Hard working and multi-talented
- Highly energetic and athletic
- Fearless and tenacious
- Protective and loyal
- Family oriented and loving
- Excellent hunters
Overall, with the appropriate care, socializing and training, these dogs can become one of the best family dogs especially for active people who love the outdoors, and who have large outdoor areas.
They are also still very popular hunting companions and are excellent scent hounds, but are silent trackers, unlike most other scent hounds.
Some breeders breed dogs which are specifically made for certain types of work and disciplines, so avoid the herding bloodlines if you want a hunting dog and vice versa.
Health care and common health problems for the breed
The Black Mouth Cur is a very healthy dog breed with an exceptionally long life expectancy of about 18 years. These dogs have less genetic health problems than other dog breeds.
Still, there are some health conditions which they can be predisposed to, including epilepsy, ear infections, hip dysplasia, Mange, and cataracts.
The reason for the good general health of this dog breed is possibly due to the fact that they were and still are bred for their performance rather than just for their looks. And healthy dogs can do better in all disciplines including dog sports, herding, hunting, guarding and so on.
In order to prevent ear infections in your Black Mouth Cur, you will need to regularly check the inside of its ears and clean them because dropped ears tend to trap dirt and moisture. But never try to clean the ear canals. If you notice that the ear is red or smells bad, it is a good idea to go to the vet and seek professional care.
The dogs from this breed also should get regular checkups of their eyes for cataracts and of their bones for possible dysplasia.
You should brush their teeth on a regular basis and if necessary trim their nails.
Also, to ensure that you are adopting or buying a healthy puppy, always check its coefficient in inbreeding, because the higher the inbreeding – the larger the risk of hereditary health problems.
With proper care and good nutrition, these dogs live for 12 to 16 years, and many of them can easily reach an age of 18 which is quite unusual for canines of this size.
Caring for the Black Mouth Cur
Black Mouth Cur puppies are absolutely adorable and are very eager to learn and please. Plus, they are easy to potty train and to maintain. They will be great play pals for your children and can play from dusk till dawn, which is good for both the dog and for the children.
As mentioned previously, early socialization of the puppy will help curb its natural protective and hunting instincts, so make sure you meet your dog with as many other dogs as possible, as well as with different people in different settings.
Also, training must be firm and focused. DO not be too harsh with the dog or bore it with endless and repetitive training sessions.
If you manage to do that properly, you will end up with the perfect loving and incredibly loyal companion for a very long time.
Feeding the Black Mouth Cur
Typically, pups need 4 quality meals per day, and adult Black Mouth Curs should eat twice a day. Of course, the quantity and the type of food you feed your dog depends on its age, its health, its weight, and its activity level, so make sure you ask your vet for recommendations for its daily diet.
Keeping the dog from becoming overweight can help keep it safe from hip dysplasia, diabetes, and other serious health conditions.
With a well-balanced, healthy diet, your Black Mouth Cur can live for long years and bring joy to you and your family.
Grooming the Black Mouth Cur
Since the appearance of the different dogs from this breed can differ quite a bit, the grooming recommendations can differ as well. Usually, they have short coats some of which can be course and others – fine. The usual colors of the coats of the Black Mouth Cur are red, yellow, black, brown or brindle. Most of them have the trademark back fur on their muzzles, and some have black masks on their faces.
Overall, grooming a Black Mouth Cur is an easy task. These dogs shed moderately throughout the year and heavily during the shedding seasons before the summer and the winter.
Typically, one brushing of the coat per week should be sufficient for the Black Mouth Curs. But you will need to clean their ears and the skin folds on their faces regularly, as well as trim their nails and wash their teeth on a regular basis as well. If the skin of your dog becomes dry, make sure you moisten it with the appropriate moisturizers.
Otherwise, a dog from this breed can live happily all of its life without the need of professional grooming, if you are able to provide the regular care it needs yourself.
Socializing the Black Mouth Cur with pets and children
Due to its protective instincts, the Black Mouth Cur needs to be socialized and trained from day one in order to learn how to interact with other dogs as well as with strangers, especially on their own territory.
Usually, there should be no problem with living with another dog at home, but small pets like hamsters or cats and rabbits can bring up the strong hunting prey drive, so it is not recommended to bring a Black Mouth Cur into a home where there are already other smaller pets.
As for children, Black Mouth Curs are perfect play pals. They can spend all day long playing with the children, but like all large dogs, they will need to be supervised when they interact with children.
Being strong and energetic dogs, the Black Mouth Curs can be a little rough when they are playing, so they are not suitable for families with very young kids.
Also, it is crucial to teach your children how to properly and safely interact with your dog and with any dog, in order to prevent incidents at home.
With sufficient social interactions, training as well as daily exercise and car, the Black Mouth Cur is one of the best family dogs and companions you can have.
Buying or Rescuing a Black Mouth Cur from a shelter
Before heading off to a breeder to buy a Black Mouth Cur, why not check out your local shelters for dogs from this breed which are up for adoption instead? This is a great way to find a perfect dog for your family and also to save the life of a homeless pup.
If you decide to buy a Black Mouth Cur, you need to be prepared to pay a price of about $250 to $800 for it, depending on the breeder and the region, as well as the pedigree and amount of training it has undergone.
Make sure you choose the type of Black Mouth Cur which suits your needs because some breeders produce dogs which are specifically bred for hunting, while others are for herding, and some are larger and others are smaller.
Even though the American Kennel Club does not recognize any of the cur breeds, the Black Mouth Cur is an official member of the herding dog group of the National Kennel Club.
Always look for reputable breeders who have health certificates for their dogs and can give you information about the lineage of their pups. Ask your breeder for recommendations if you are looking for a specific type of dog, such as a hunting dog, a herding dog or a family dog.
Never buy a pup from puppy mills and from breeders who keep the dogs in bad or inhumane conditions.
The Black Mouth Cur is a dog breed which is said to have played an important role in US history. It is a popular breed in the country but is quite rare outside of the USA.
These medium to large sized dogs are one of the most versatile dog breeds ever. They are superb hunters, herders, protectors, and family dogs.
They are generally quite healthy and re fairly easy to maintain with a little grooming needs.
With the proper training and socializing, you can end up with one of the best and loyal friends you have had in your life if you decide to add a Back Mouth Cur to your family.
They live long, love to play with the children and are generally friendly with other dogs. Also, these dogs are amazingly smart and sensitive, so they will always understand what you are feeling and what you are trying to tell or teach them.
All you need to do is take proper care for your Black Mouth Cur, take it on long walks and provide it with the exercise and love it needs and it will pay you back a million times!