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Black Mouth Cur

Height: 16-25 inches
Weight: 40-95 pounds
Lifespan: 12-18 years
Colors: Brindle, red, fawn, brown
Suitable for: Active families looking for an energetic and fun, loving pet, families with children
Temperament: Loyal, Kind, Affectionate, Active, Trainable

The Black Mouth Cur is a working dog, bred initially for his ability to herd, protect, and track. They also have a loving and caring side, which makes them a great companion dog.

The exact origin of the Black Mouth Cur is uncertain, but they are likely to have come from somewhere around Tennessee and are descendants of the Cur breeds of Europe and Asia, having traveled over with pioneers that settled land in Texas. The breed was well equipped to deal with the rough terrain of the region and was more than capable of fending off the wildlife.

Although the Black Mouth Cur is considered a purebred dog, it is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, thanks to the wide variation in breed standards. It is recognized by other kennel clubs including the United Kennel Club, however.

Often described as being better for experienced owners, the Black Mouth Cur can be trained, needs to be taught that he is not pack leader, and will do especially well with active families and owners that enjoy spending time outdoors.

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Black Mouth Cur Puppies – Before You Buy…


What’s the Price of Black Mouth Cur Puppies?

The Black Mouth Cur is often overlooked as a breed, despite having the potential to make a great family pet and a working dog. This means it can be difficult to find a breeder that specializes in this breed, but it also means that a good example of a Cur puppy can be had for around $500. Most puppies fall in the $300 to $1,000 range.

When choosing a breeder, check that they have a good reputation. A good breeder will offer healthy and happy puppies, while puppy mills and puppy farms can lead to dogs that are poorly socialized and have both physical and behavioral issues. Check that the parent dogs have been screened for problems like hip dysplasia and any complaints that are common to the breed.

The Black Mouth Cur is not a well-recognized breed. As such, you may find some in shelters across the country. Rescuing a dog does offer certain benefits over buying a puppy, but extra care needs to be taken to ensure that you get a well-adjusted dog. Curs can be headstrong, may have a strong prey drive, and need to be socialized to avoid any issues when meeting strangers. Meet the dog before adopting and determine whether it is good with people, other dogs, and any other animals. You should also ask the shelter for details of any health problems and a general history of the animal.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Black Mouth Curs

1. They Come in A Range of Color Variations

The Black Mouth Cur comes in a huge range of color variations. Although brown is the most common color, you will also find Curs with red or yellow coats. Brown Curs are usually descendants of the Ladner family of dogs, while the Alabama Black Mouth Cur is known for its red coat and the Florida Black Mouth Cur is better known for having a yellow coloring.

Although most do have the black mouth and snout, this isn’t always the case, and some have a mouth that matches their coat color. Some examples of the breed may have white patches and markings, but these should only cover 10% of the coat or less. It is this variation in coloring that led the American Kennel Club to not recognize the breed, although they are usually only bred with other Black Mouth Curs and thus are considered purebred.

2. They Can Also Differ Significantly in Size

As well as having a wide variation in their colorings and markings, the Black Mouth Cur can also vary in size, usually according to the purpose they were bred for. The Ladner Black Mouth Cur will reach a weight of 35 pounds, while the much larger Weatherford Ben Black Mouth Cur can weigh more than 100 pounds. The size of a puppy is usually a reasonable indication of how big they will grow, and a breeder should know the size of both parent dogs. They will be able to advise you on the size that your puppy will grow to when it reaches maturity.

3. Old Yeller Was Probably A Black Mouth Cur

In the film Old Yeller, the dog was actually played by a Labrador cross named Spike. And while the breed of the dog was never specifically mentioned in the book, the physical description and the characteristics and traits of Old Yeller point towards him being a Black Mouth Cur. In the book, the dog is described as being a “yellow cur”, but the word cur really only means dog, and yellow was used to describe the color. It is most likely that Old Yeller was a Southern Black Mouth Cur.

Black mouth cur
Image Credit: Alexanderstock23, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Black Mouth Cur

As a hunting dog, the Black Mouth Cur is brave and fearless. He will never back down from a fight. He was used to hunt and kill prey that included deer, boar, and even bears. He hunts silently and accelerates from walking to full sprint in an instant. Even as a family pet, he retains this fearless nature, and is not considered a particularly verbal or noisy dog.

The Black Mouth Cur is still used as a hunting dog today, but he is also a popular herding and ranch dog.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Black Mouth Cur was a popular hunting dog, not only for his prowess at taking down large quarry, but also for his exceptional companion abilities. He would happily sit with his handler at home. This makes him a popular family pet today, and he is considered an excellent pet to keep around children. He has an innate ability to be calm and gentle around children, usually protecting and guarding them, and he will reserve his boisterous playtime demands for time with his adult companions.

It is important that the Cur knows his place in the pack. All family members should be above him in the pecking order. This does not mean the use of physical force, but effective training techniques.

Some care should still be taken around this breed with very small children. The Black Mouth Cur is a large and muscular dog, and despite being gentle and cautious around children, accidents can still happen. His paws still hurt when they are accompanied by the weight of a 100-pound dog.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Black Mouth Cur is a hunting dog. As such, he maintains a strong prey drive, and this usually means that he should not be kept with cats or other small animals. At best, he will want to chase the cats, which can lead to stress for your other pets. At worst, he will see the cat as being prey and fair game. With that said, Curs, like other breeds, can be raised with cats and other animals. They will learn that the cat is part of the family and not to be hunted or chased, but an introduction at a later stage in life will prove considerably more challenging.

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Things to Know When Owning a Black Mouth Cur:

The Black Mouth Cur makes both a tireless working dog and a loving family companion, but he is not ideal for all families or all owners. Before making the final decision of whether to take on this breed of dog, there are some additional factors to consider.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

There is a huge variance in size with this breed, which means that it is impossible to say exactly how much the breed should be eating. Smaller examples will consume around two and a half cups of good quality food each day, while big 100-pound variants will need four cups.

This should be altered according to the amount of work and exercise they partake in, too. Working dogs that are on their feet and exercising all day will require more food to maintain energy levels. Family pets that get only moderate amounts of exercise may not have the same high dietary requirements. Food should be given in two meals spread out over the day. The Black Mouth Cur is not especially prone to obesity, but he can still put on weight if he is eating too much and not getting enough exercise.

black mouth cur sleepy
Image Credit: Pixabay

Exercise 🐕

The Black Mouth Cur is a working dog. Even if they are being kept as a family pet and not required to work on a farm or ranch, they will still have high daily exercise requirements. You should be prepared to give your Cur a long and brisk walk every day, and ideally a second walk. If you are able to get out in the yard with a ball or other toy this will help give them mental stimulation and provide a bonding experience for the both of you.

The Black Mouth Cur loves to be outside, and they are the ideal companion for walkers, hikers, and even joggers. They also take very well to agility and other physical activities and are still used as working dogs. This breed needs regular exercise, and without it, they can develop behavioral issues.

Training 🎾

As with any breed, you should start training the Black Mouth Cur as soon as possible. This is an intelligent breed and one that wants to please its master, but it will also want to assert itself as the dominant member of the pack. Early training should not only teach basic commands, but it should teach your dog that you are the pack leader. As well as training, this should be continued with activities like walking. You should always walk ahead or in line with the Cur because the pack leader walks at the front.

Grooming ✂️

The Black Mouth Cur is easy to maintain when it comes to grooming. It has short hair and, although he does shed, he isn’t considered a heavy shedder. He will benefit from the occasional brushing, which removes dead hair and prevents itching and matting.

Do not bathe your dog unless it is absolutely necessary. This strips natural oils from the fur and can lead to skin problems.

The Black Mouth Cur can be prone to ear infections, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors and especially in water. Check their ears regularly and carefully remove any build-up using a clean, damp cloth.

High activity in the Black Mouth Cur means that their nails should be kept quite short naturally, but if you can hear them clicking on hard floors while walking, you will need to clip them yourself or have a professional groomer or even veterinarian clip them for you.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Black Mouth Cur is considered a healthy dog. He has a long lifespan and can reach 16 years or older. He is hardy and resilient to a lot of physical injuries, but there are some health complaints that you should keep an eye out for. If you spot any signs or symptoms of the following, seek veterinarian assistance as soon as possible.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Mange
  • Cataracts
Serious Conditions
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip dysplasia

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Male vs Female

Male Black Mouth Curs tend to run a little bigger than the female, with the male reaching a size of 40 to 95 pounds and the female only achieving 35 to 80 pounds.

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Final Thoughts

The Black Mouth Cur is a purebred, even though the breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. He is a working dog but also makes a great family companion, as long as you can give him enough physical exercise and keep him mentally stimulated. He is a hardy breed, has a long lifespan, and is incredibly gentle and patient with children. However, he does have a strong prey drive, which means that he might not be suitable for life with cats and other small animals.

The Cur is an ideal companion for anybody that enjoys spending time outdoors. Whether you enjoy long walks, hiking, or running, your Black Mouth Cur will gladly accompany you, but he will rarely trot, instead going from walking to full sprinting, so be prepared to put some serious effort into exercise yourself.

Training and socialization are an important part of caring for a Black Mouth Cur, especially to ensure that they recognize you as pack leader and the rest of the humans in your family as being above them in the pack hierarchy.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay