Black Mouth Cur – Are They the Perfect Household Pets?

black mouth cur

Strong, playful, fearless, are some of the terms we’d use to define a black mouth cur. They are working dogs that help hunters and farmers in difficult terrains of the south-eastern US.

Black mouth cur can protect your home, track games, and herd livestock. However, they have a sensitive side that doesn’t go well with punishment or harshness. These dogs love to be around humans and want to be treated like family. They are great with children and need high exercise routines and might not be best to play with young children. If you’re a novice in terms of petting a dog, you might need a professional dog walker to help you. Black mouth curs are always high on energy and need you to keep them busy and active.

You will find this breed of dogs mostly in the US – they are rare in other parts of the world. If you plan to bring one home, you must be prepared for a strong yet sensitive dog that’s high on energy.

History and origin

Black mouth curs were known to belong in the south-eastern United States from the 1800s. However, no one knows the first ones that were produced. Some show traces of being from Mississippi or Tennessee, which is alleged t be the birthplace of this breed. But not much is confirmed about their origin.

As per records, these dogs were trained to do multipurpose work. They excel at basic tasks like what farm dogs do. They can herd livestock, track down clues, and are great guardians. These dogs were family to people who settled in new lands in order to protect them from danger.

Ironically, this breed is not recognized by American Kennel Club as a part of this breed is variable. For example, their sizes and characteristics might often differ from one another.

Characteristics of a black mouth cur

Black mouth cur dogs are social and love spending time with humans they know. They socialize more with adults and like to play with kids. Their ‘working dog’ nature doesn’t impede them from having connections with fellow humans. They are extremely loyal and territorial and will always protect your home from any probable threat.

While black mouth curs have defensive instincts, they naturally distrust strangers. It is a characteristic and they need a lot of socialization to like more people after the immediate family.

Most black mouth curs work alongside other canine breeds for years. This makes them tolerant of other dogs. However, there have been reports about dog-to-dog aggression so it is best to be cautious about such instances.

You must note that a black mouth cur can have a high prey drive, so introducing them to smaller pets like squirrels and cats can be risky. Their instinctive nature can hurt them, so you have to be aware of such actions.

Fun facts about black mouth cur

Here are some fun facts to familiarize yourself with black mouth curs:

1. Multi-talented dogs

Black mouth curs are extremely talented. They are one of the best herding dogs that can help you guard and hunt. These dogs have also helped search and rescue people. Since they adapt to different breed types, they are perfect for farms as well.

Black mouth curs make great companions and bond with people who bring them up. They need lots of exercises and would always want to be by their master.

2. Must be taken outdoor

A black mouth cur needs their trainer/owner to handle them according to the Goldilocks training approach. Owners have to be firm but not harsh, help them exercise, and give them a large space to run. Keeping these dogs at home will make them destructive and bored.

Black mouth cur dogs are born to bred outdoors. They are not the ones you can lock up inside four walls. These dogs don’t go best for apartment settings. You need to give them a spacious garden where they can play and run.

The dog is medium-high on energy all the time but needs one hour of vigorous exercise all day. From brisk walking to running around off-leash, they need their exercise time. If you tend to go jogging often, a black mouth cut will make an excellent partner.

3. Famous for being protective

‘Old Yeller’, an old Disney movie stands testimony to a story about a young boy with a stray dog. The time set was during the post-Civil War Texas. The pet here was a black mouth cur, whose loyalty and fearlessness to the owner saved the family from wild animal attacks. The dog injured itself in the process but didn’t stop protecting the people.

The story captures the real essence of what this dog breed offers to their master. They are courageous, gentle, strong, and loving. If you have a growing child in the house, they are sure to keep them safe.

4. Highly intelligent

Black mouth curs are quick to learn commands and that’s why is it easy to train them. Since they’re intelligent, they don’t get bored too often. But you cannot repeat things with them as they’ll get bored. When you’re training a black mouth cur, make sure you do it for a short span of time and repeat later.

If you’re bringing home a black mouth cur puppy, you have to be a firm leader. You need to assert yourself with the pet and help it adapt to your behavior. You need to set a rule and maintain them yourself. For example, if you don’t allow the pet to sit on the sofa or jump on you, you have to dictate. As a puppy, if you resist such acts, you won’t have a problem when it grows up.

5. Healthy and long life

The breed of dog can live for almost 16 years – much longer than the large breed of dogs that live up to 13 years. If you plan to own a purebred black mouth cur, they will be your companion for long.

Since black mouth curs are always active, they need to be engaged to do a job all the time. Keeping them active also keeps them healthy and increase their life span.

6. The name

Black mouth curs get their name for having black color on their muzzle and lips. They were identified by the American Kennel Club and there are no other dogs with ‘cur’ in their names. According to the United Kennel Club, black mouth curs are identified as purebred scenthound.


  • Black mouth curs are working dogs that are comfortable to go hunting with and also protect homes.
  • The grooming needs are minimal as they don’t shed much. You need to brush them once a week to keep them clean.
  • Black mouth cur lab mix and black mouth cur shepherd mix are two common mixes of this dog breed. Their characteristics are similar to the purebred, but looks different and has different adaptability too. Search for black mouth cur puppies for sale to explore the pups you can adopt.
  • You can find black mouth cur dogs that come in different sizes, personality traits, and coats.
  • These dogs need a trainer who will be firm yet sensitive to them. They must refrain from harsh rebukes as it can make them vulnerable. People who have no experience with dogs will find it difficult to train or take care of them.
  • Although black mouth curs are healthy purebreds, they can have genetic predispositions that trainers and the owner must find out.

Overall features of black mouth cur

Find out all about the features of black mouth curs to know them better:

1. Size and weight

Even if you’re just focusing on the purebreds, there can be many sizes of black mouth curs. This is one breed type that can have different sizes of dogs from the same litter. A male black mouth cur will be larger than female, and they weigh anywhere between 40 to 90 pounds. The female ones weigh between 35 and 80 pounds. The dog breed is around 16 inches high or tall. Sometimes the reasons or purpose behind why a litter has been bred can change their size. For example, tree dogs weigh between 35 to 50 pounds, while herding dogs can weigh more than 100 pounds.

2. Personality traits

The history of the breed leaves an influence of how black mouth curs are till today. If we look back in time, we’d find out how settlers needed dogs that could suit their needs. They wouldn’t want a certain breed to only focus on one specific task.

A black mouth cur is courageous and they never back down from fights. It is useful to ward off predators like bears and wildcats. Till today, this dog breed retains fearlessness, and the traits are definitely genetic.

Settlers needed intelligent dogs that helped them hunt. They also wanted them to be loyal to their family and a companion to protect their home. Black mouth curs have been trained to be strong and rugged. Their traits are inborn today, but does need training and nurturing.

The energy quotient in this dog breed was also ingrained with long hours at work. Their bodies are tamed to take exercise and that’s why they don’t fit into apartment spaces. Black mouth curs always need a yard to run about and can feel anxious if not set free at times.

Black mouth curs can be stubborn while training, but will not tolerate harshness. Anyone who trains this dog has to be firm yet soft while training them. They must also not repeat the kind of exercises they do as it can drift their minds away.

3. Healthy

The black mouth curs are naturally healthy and have lesser genetic problems compared to other dogs. Their lifespan goes up to late teens but they can have some predisposed conditions. For this, owners must look out for conditions like:

  • Ear infection
  • Mange
  • Epilepsy
  • Cataracts
  • Hip dysplasia

4. Taking care

When you bring up a pet, there are many grooming patterns you need to follow. For these dogs, you need to keep a close check in their ears. They tend to trap in dirt, debris, and water, which leads to an infection.

Black mouth curs love to play outside and they’re good with water. They survive in humid areas, but need regular cleaning to prevent an infection.

It is important to keep a check on their bone and eye health. They can be prone to cataracts, hip dysplasia, and more. You need to brush their teeth regularly and clean when you think it is needed.

5. Coat color and grooming

The appearance of black mouth curs can depend on their breed. Sometimes, dogs look different from the same litter. The coat is generally short and varies from fine to coarse. The colors can be yellow, red, brown, black, and brindle.

Most of these pets have a black muzzle and that’s how they got their name. Some of these dogs have the appearance of a mask around their eyes and face. You might find patches of white that appear on their chest, tail, legs, and face. The dogs also have yellow, brown, and green eye color.

Black mouth cur shed moderately all through the year. However, during winters and summers, they shed more heavily. These dogs need little care and maintenance, so brushing them once a week is fine. They need more care in terms of keeping them active instead of keeping them groomed. Thus, you might never need professional grooming for black mouth curs.

You need to trim their nails often and keep their ears and face clean. The fold of their skin are places to clean well in order to avoid harbor bacteria, debris, and parasites.

Final thoughts

Black mouth curs are not the ideal household pets that you’d want you little child to play with. But if you’re interested because of their unique characteristics and you can provide them their space, consider having them as pets. Black mouth cur dogs are definitely a great companion, protector, and workout partner for you.


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