Black-mouthed Cur, Alabama Red Black Mouth Cur, the Southern Cur… and a number of other names are used for one and the same American breed of dogs, most widely known as The Black Mouth Cur. They were originally bred as working and shepherding kind, but let’s look at them closely.
What Is the Black Mouth Cur Dog Breed?
This breed of hunting dogs is primarily a working breed with a strong work drive. They were bred in America for herding and hunting. They’re very competent for this type of activities, and with a moderate amount of training, they can be truly obedient.
This is why they make excellent pets, as well. It is a very physical, strong and energetic Southern breed. They need long and fairly fast daily walks, a lot of exercise, or running, so if you need a training buddy, this versatile dog great for you.
Also Read: The Feist Dog
Origins of the Black Mouth Cur breed is mostly unknown. It is believed to be a cross-breed of European and Asian cur-type sorts.
Judging by the name itself, the breed might be connected to the Celts. Namely, Celtic word for dog is “cu”. Moreover, the majority of these dogs used to be found in the American South, i.e. in the areas where Celtic influence (Scottish and Irish) was most notable in the New world.
They are the descendants of the most resilient kinds of dogs which made the whole voyage from the UK to the North America on the first Puritan ships.
Only a few breeds were able to survive this arduous journey, and even fewer to adapt to the conditions in the American South, which were extremely different from those in England.
This is why they are so resilient. Additionally, being a cross-breed of different cur types which each served very specific purpose in the UK – guarding, shepherding, hunting – they became more of an all-purpose work dogs with wider range of abilities. i.e. the combination of all or a pair of these above mentioned.
Their first appearance is recorded in the late 1800’s, and they’ve been around ever since. However, despite being reproduced only within the species, they haven’t been registered in kennel clubs until only recently – in 1990’s.
Black Mouth Cur Size and General Appearance
This cur breed has some variations in size due to cross-breeding, so the members can be medium to large. Males are usually 18 to 25 inches tall, if we measure the shoulder height, whereas females are 16 to 23 inches. This muscular, fit and athletic sort has weight ranges from 40 to 95 pounds when it comes to males, and 35 to 80 pounds with females.
They have medium sized head with a square and broad muzzle, which allows for a lot of smell receptors and strong jaws grip. Muzzle almost always has a melanistic mask, and if that’s not the case, it’s considered a fault. It’s usually black or tan, and its coloration spreads to the roof of the mouth as well.
Their ears, which might also show some dark pigmentation, have a wide base, they are short to medium and hanging, while eyes might be green, brown or yellow.
The fur is short and either soft or coarse. When it comes to colors, it can be yellow, red, fawn, tan, black, brown, buckskin, and brindle. White patches are allowed around the nose, under the chin, on the chest, top of the tail and paws, only if the white parts occupy up to 10% of the fur. No spotted or mottled specimens will be allowed in the show ring, but they would, regardless of the fur pigment, make great pets or help.
The tail is either long and curved or a short bob. Some owners even tend to have the dog’s tail shortened to a few inches.
Black Mouth Cur Shedding and Grooming
Overall, grooming your Black Mouth Cur should be a fairly easy task. They don’t require too much to keep them looking their best. Afterall, they’re not a long hair dog. You should brush them at least once a week, maybe twice. When combing through their fur, you may have to try different combs until you find the best one for your dog. Some Curs have sensitive skin, and you don’t want a comb that will irritate or hurt them.
You might be worried about Black Mouth Cur shedding. When combing them, you want to use a brush that will help with the oils in their skin. Too much oil can cause their skin to flake and itch. They also have a few weeks each year where they shed a lot.
You should brush them and make sure the shedding hair doesn’t get in their ears or eyes. You shouldn’t bathe your Cur too often. They should only be given a bath when it is necessary, over bathing them can cause skin issues. If they are given a bath, use baby shampoo or another shampoo that is very gentle and hypoallergenic. Also, make sure they are completely dried with a soft towel.
Your dog has very sensitive ears, and they should be checked every day. Any debris or excess hair in their ear canal can lead to an infection.
If there is wax buildup inside their ear, you should discuss with your vet how to remove it safely at home.
When it comes to the Cur’s eyes, most foreign particles travel to the corner of the eye, making it easy to remove.
You can brush your dog’s teeth, but you should only use a paste bought from your vet. Check the pads of your dogs paws a few times a day to make sure there is nothing stuck in them or any open areas.
If your dog’s nails get long enough to click on the ground when they walk, they should be cut. Be careful not to clip their nails too short though.
Black Mouth Cur Dog Training & Temperament
Hunting & Herding
As already mentioned, they are excellent at herding and being hunting companions. They’re easy to train. They pretty much fear nothing and they are naturally very skilled at catching anything from small to medium-sized animals.
These dogs are exceptional and responsible guards, as well. They are not very good with strangers, and as much as they can be trained to be friendly with them while outside of the area they perceive as home, they will be quite aggressive towards the unknown persons who try to “trespass”, i.e. step into their terrain without the permission of the owner.
Whether you want to keep them as hunters, shepherds or guards, you should train them as soon as you bring them home and keep trainings short and intense. In this case, they should be fully trained until 6 months of age.
As with strange people, they will be hostile towards strange animals as well. Any of these are considered a potential enemy if they walk into his realm. On the other hand, if brought up with other dogs or small animals, they should get along with them well enough.
However, this doesn’t go for other small animals of the same species – if we’re talking about uninvited cats, they probably will end up dead. Exception to this are other dogs on a neutral terrain with whom they should be moderately friendly, or at least not too aggressive.
Protective & Loyal
Black Mouth Curs may not be very good at playing with small children since they cannot completely control how rough they are. Nonetheless, if they are socialized with kids since the very start, there shouldn’t be any problems.
As family dogs, they tend to be extremely loyal and protective. They’d even give their life to protect a family member. So, if you want a really devoted pet, look no further.
Stubborn & Dominant
When it comes to the type of owner you should be to completely restrain his naughty nature, the first trait that comes to mind is dominant. They are very hard-headed and you need a significant amount of effort to train them properly.
They must, under no circumstances believe to be in charge your family “pack”. One of the things to pay attention to is the walking routine: they should walk by the owner’s heel or behind them, never in front as the leader.
Energetic & Mischievous
This breed is full of energy and always up for a physical challenge. They will chase after anything that moves, even their tail, roll around in mud, and basically do anything just not stand still. They need a brisk hour’s daily walk or a run in order to keep their behavior normal.
If you don’t keep them active enough, they might develop some behavioral problems, become aggressive, or destructive. This dynamic spirit is also what pushes them towards escaping, so beware of that tendency of theirs.
You can see why they aren’t really apartment friendly. If you live in one, you should think hard before getting a Black Mouth Cur.
This breed of dog was bred to be a herding and working dog. They need adequate time outside and plenty of exercise. It wouldn’t be good to keep them in a small apartment, they need space to roam. Ideally, they should live somewhere that they have enough space outside to run. If you don’t have a big yard, be sure to take them for plenty of walks, or to the dog park regularly.
The best home for a Black Mouth Cur would be on a farm with lots of space to run. It would also be good if they were trained to herd cattle on the farm as well. If there is a lake or pond nearby where they can swim, that would be an added bonus for them as well. They like to be very active and feel needed.
Possible Dog Health Problems To Note
Black Mouth Curs are known to be an overall healthy dogs, and have a life expectancy or life span of up to 16 years. While they are a healthy breed, they are susceptible to epilepsy, mange, skeletal problems, ear infections, and eye problems. If your dog works a lot or spends a lot of time in water, they can easily get ear infections. Because they have drop ears, they can easily accumulate build up in their ears.
Their ears should be checked every day to reduce the risk of an ear infection. If your dog does get an ear infection, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. Don’t try to stick anything into your dog’s ears unless your vet tells you to. If an ear infection isn’t treated properly or in time, there can be damage to your dog’s ears.
Since there are different variations of this breed, you should have your dog genetically tested at a young age. This can help show if they are going to have any skeletal or eye problems, even if it would occur later in life. This can also show you other health issues your dog may have. Some health problems include: cataracts, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia.
Because the Black Mouth Cur was bred to be a working dog, they need plenty of exercise. Your dog will be at their optimal happiness when they have a chance to run around freely, with a fence of course. If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, they may act out in behavior. They may destroy items in your home or not follow commands.
If you don’t have a yard large enough to accommodate your dog, you may want to take them to the dog park daily to allow them to run freely.
You can also take them on long jogs each day as well. They will also be happy if you train them to hunt, herd, or some other vigorous activity that will keep them busy.
Are Black Mouth Cur Puppies or Breed Good For Family and Children?
This is a good family pet dog breed. They need to be socialized and trained while they are still young though.
They shouldn’t be left unattended with children when they are still black mouth cur puppies that are being trained. They are a playful breed and may nip a child just like they would do with one of their siblings to play around.
They are a very loyal breed, and will protect their family no matter what. When training them, they shouldn’t think that they are the most dominant in the family. As long as they feel loved and have plenty of exercise and things to keep them busy, they will be a lovable and loyal dog.
Once they are fully trained, they are great with children. Since they are working dogs that love to be in outdoor space, they can handle a child’s rough play. They are also more careful when playing around small children.
If you already have a dog, you can socialize a Black Mouth Cur into your family. Some Curs don’t get along well with other dogs, but some do. If you train them and show them love no matter what, it might help. They need strict and consistent training when they are black mouth cur puppies. Some will also like a routine as well.
This short haired black muzzled cur breed form American South is a breed with a great stamina and capability for anything from hunting to guarding. They are protective defenders and guard dog. They’re also proficient hunters. If you live in an apartment, you might want to think twice, since this species might not be the right choice for you. Their active nature might make your cohabitation impossible.
In this day and age, you might not be interested in these traits in a dog. You’ll probably be looking for an energetic loyal dog to be your buddy, not a guard or a shepherd. This sort fits into that description as well.
Although you might have some difficulties with training him and handling his dominance and mischief prone behavior, you’ll be rewarded with a true and devoted new family member.