Mountain Cur

Height: 16 – 25 inches
Weight: 30 – 60 pounds
Lifespan: 10 – 13 years
Colors: Black, Brindle, Black and brindle, Yellow
Suitable for: Active singles, Families with older children, Outdoorsy types
Temperament: Rugged, Independent, Protective, Outdoorsy, Brave

The Mountain Cur is a fascinating dog breed with a vibrant history. Intrinsically linked to early American settlers, this spunky, speedy, and versatile working dog was considered precious cargo to 18th century pioneers. They were often treated to sitting inside of the Conestoga wagon, a spot typically only reserved for people!

Nowadays, Mountain Cur pups make amazing pets for active folks who live in suburban or rural areas. Fast and hardy, this breed thrives when he has a job to do.

Let’s take a closer look at this unique breed to help you decide if a Mountain Cur puppy is the right addition to your family.Divider 1

Mountain Cur Puppies – Before You Buy…

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

Sturdy, smart, and super obedient, Mountain Curs obtained official “breed status” in 1957, thanks to a group of Mountain Cur enthusiasts banding together to launch the Original Mountain Cur Breeders of America (OMCBA) with the sole purpose of preserving this one-of-a-kind breed. However, it wasn’t recognized as a breed by the United Kennel Club until 1998 and the American Kennel Club until 2017.

One look at a Mountain Cur puppy’s face and your heart is guaranteed to melt. The perky ears, big doe eyes, and devoted personality all equate to a really wonderful dog. But before you go and pick up your new puppy from any old breeder, you should fully educate yourself on what a “backyard breeder” is as compared to a reputable one.

Much like puppy mills, backyard breeders are mostly motivated by monetary profits and care little about the welfare of the animals. These folks will typically sell their puppies online to whoever wants to buy them, including pet stores, wholesalers, and individuals.

While the cheap prices of backyard bred puppies can seem alluring, the dog may come with a myriad of health and behavioral issues. This is why it is always best to buy a Mountain Cur puppy from a reputable breeder, such as one accredited with the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Some signs that might point to a backyard breeder can include:

  • Receiving the puppy before they are eight-weeks old
  • Not getting the opportunity to see or meet the parents
  • You cannot visit the breeder’s facility
  • The breeder doesn’t ask you any questions about your lifestyle, home, or family
  • They breed several kinds of dog breeds
  • They always seem to have puppies available for sale
  • There is no contract
  • They don’t have any references
  • They’re not active in breed-specific clubs

If you notice any of the aforementioned characteristics of a backyard breeder, run for the hills.

What’s the Price of Mountain Cur Puppies?

With all of that being said, a Mountain Cur puppy from a high-quality and reputable breeder is going to cost you quite a few bones. For a premium puppy that’s show quality and has papers, you should budget anywhere from $700 to $3,000. However, on average, Mountain Cur puppies will cost you around $400.

But that money is only for the initial price of a puppy. You will still have to factor in everything you need to get for him to flourish. This can include a crate, vet visits, bedding, food, as well as puppy paraphernalia such as toys, leashes, and collars.

Also, keep in mind that those items aren’t a one and done deal. You will need to provide for your new puppy for the rest of his life. Annual expenses for your furry friend can add up to be as much as $1,200 or more. And this doesn’t include emergency vet visits, boarding costs, or dog walking fees.

Before you buy a Mountain Cur puppy, it is crucial to know if your budget can handle it. If not, opt for a lower maintenance friend, such as a houseplant.Divider 8

3 Little-Known Facts About the Mountain Cur

1. They Have Mid-East Roots

The Mountain Cur is predominantly from Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia.

2. They Come from 5 Pedigree Bloodlines

Prior to 1957, there was no recorded history of pedigree for the Mountain Cur. After the breeders association was founded, the five original lines included:

  • Arline
  • Ledbetter
  • McConnell
  • Stephens
  • York

3. They’re Also Known as Pariah Dogs

The term “cur” is actually an old word that refers to an unknown, or pariah, dog breed. There are actually 16 different specific treeing cur breeds, the Mountain Cur being just one of them.

Brindle Mountain Cur dog
Image: Kyle Christian, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Mountain Cur

The Mountain Cur breed is neither a meek or submissive dog. They are strong, fearless, and able. However, they are fiercely protective of their human pack and will do anything in their power to protect their families. This is why it is so critical to establish that you’re the alpha from a very early age.

Brave and bold, the Mountain Cur is not easily scared and will gladly stand up to anyone or anything attempting to establish dominance. A hunting dog down to his core, the Mountain Cur will not back down from any fight, even with a bear.

Mountain Curs are working dogs. This means that they always want a job to do. If left alone, they cope very poorly with boredom and isolation and will resort to destructive tendencies.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Mountain Curs are very protective of their family and will always keep a watchful eye over the household. While they do well around older children, you may not want to buy one if you have young toddlers or a small baby.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Yes. If socialized with other animals from a young age, your Mountain Cur will get along with just about any other animal in your household. However, their natural hunting tendencies may make them want to stalk and chase smaller animals, such as the family cat. Additionally, their protective nature may make them view other dogs in your home as intruders are competition. So they’d be at their best as an only dog.

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Things to Know When Owning a Mountain Cur

Now that you know more about his personality, let’s explore everything your Mountain Cur pup needs in order to live his best life in your care.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

You should be feeding your Mountain Cur high-quality, high-protein, grain-free kibble specifically formulated for a high-energy, medium-sized dog. Keep in mind that as your Mountain Cur ages, his nutritional needs will change. Always ask your vet what they recommend feeding your dog.

This dog has no breed-specific diet requirements.

Exercise 🐕

Mountain Curs are special in that they need a lot of exercise. And we mean a lot. They have a huge capacity for activity. Back on the prairie during the times of early American settlements, this breed didn’t have a problem running or walking up to 15 miles per day or more!

Moreover, this hunting breed was specifically developed to chase and hunt tree climbing prey animals, such as raccoons or squirrels. Thus, your Mountain Cur is a pretty amazing climber.

He will need a ton of space to gallivant, romp, and play. So, if you’re an urban apartment dweller, this may not be the breed for you. Mountain Curs do best in homes with big backyards or in rural areas where they can constantly run, smell, and explore.

Training 🎾

With a natural tendency to guard, your Mountain Cur will need a lot of socialization from a very young age.

From the very first day your new puppy arrives home, you will need to have him intensely interact with people. Take him to the park, walk him around the neighborhood, and have him meet as many people as possible.

Take your Mountain Cur to many new locations. Sit with him and give him treats or verbal praise as strangers pass by.

As for training, Mountain Curs can easily pick up the basics effortlessly. However, their strong-willed nature means that you have to establish who is boss right away. Positive reinforcement training, such as clicker training, works best with these dogs.

Grooming ✂️

Mountain Curs are pretty low maintenance. Since they can suffer from dry skin, it’s best to only give them a bath as needed. They shed out twice per year and will require additional brushing during those times. Be sure to clip their nails and clean their ears when needed.

Health and Conditions 🏥

This dog is overall an extremely healthy breed and is not linked to any specific hereditary conditions.

Minor Conditions
  • Dry skin
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • N/A

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Male vs. Female

Male Mountain Curs are a tad bigger than females by a few inches and a few pounds. They will also display dominance more, so it’s critical to establish boundaries with your little boy pup as soon as he comes home.

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Final Thoughts

The Mountain Cur is a delightful breed of dog best suited for active individuals, couples, or families with older children who live in suburban or rural areas. They are devoted dogs that are smart, spunky, and extremely active. A natural protector, it’s important to start socializing your Mountain Cur from a young age.

If you’re looking for a talented, able, active, and agile pooch, the Mountain Cur may be the perfect dog for you!


Featured image credit: ThoHug, Wikimedia, CC 4.0 (cropped)