Breed Basics: The Black Mouth Cur

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The fearless Black Mouth Cur is definitely an excellent addition to any family. These dogs are loyal, protective, playful, and smart.

Aside from their agreeable temperament, Black Mouth Curs (BMCs) are known for their vibrant yellow, brown, or red coats, muscular built, and intelligent eyes.

Let me tell you more about this awesome breed so you can decide if it’s the right dog for you.

Black Mouth Cur lying down with its head tilted at the camera

A brief background of the Black Mouth Cur

The word ‘cur’ is often used to refer to a mutt or a mixed-breed dog. The term was originally used for an English cattle-driving dog

In the United States, a ‘cur’ is a purebred treeing dog. Curs originated in Southeastern US, where they were bred to work in farms and forests as cattle herders and wild hog hunters, respectively.

The Black Mouth Cur is most commonly known as a hunting dog. These sturdy, strong canines have been known throughout history as efficient cattle herders, hog hunters, and family guard dogs.

Nowadays, BMCs can be found anywhere around the country. However, in some places, they might have different names.

Here is a list of dogs that belong to the Black Mouth Cur family of dogs:

  • Foundation Black Mouth Cur (from Texas)
  • Ladner Yellow Blackmouth Cur (from Mississippi)
  • Red Alabama Blackmouth Cur
  • Florida Black Mouth Cur
  • Southern Black Mouth Cur (from Alabama)
  • Southern Cur

Black Mouth Curs vs Mountain Curs

The Mountain Cur is another working dog that’s often mistaken for a Black Mouth Cur. One apparent difference between the two breeds is that Mountains Curs are smaller-boned than the BMC.

Another prominent difference is that Mountain Curs generally have longer coats. In terms of temperament, Black Mouth Curs are known to be more aggressive compared to the Mountain Cur.

What does a Black Mouth Cur look like?

Most BMCs are medium to large in size. These dogs tend to have a muscular, athletic physique that helps them be efficient at their work as hunting dogs.

A full grown Black Mouth Cur can be anywhere from 16 to 25 inches (40 to 63 cm) in height and has an average weight of 40 to 95 lbs (18 to 43 kg).

side view of the Black Mouth Cur standing outdoors and looking behind
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This dog gets its name from its distinguishing feature: a ring of pigmentation surrounding its square-shaped muzzle. The pigmentation often extends to the inside of the mouth.

Other physical characteristics of this breed may vary between dogs. Some have pointed ears, while other BMCs have floppy ears. Many Black Mouth Curs also have webbed feet.

Most of these purebreds have coats of short hair, which may be fine or coarse in texture. The Black Mouth Cur’s coat comes in different colors, depending on its bloodline: black, brown, or even a combination of shades of red, yellow, and fawn.

How’s the temperament of a Black Mouth Cur?

These reliable canines are known for their obedience and stable temperament, both important qualities when hunting game.

These traits are also what make the Black Mouth Cur a good family dog.

They  can be loving and reliable companions and are extremely loyal to their human pack. They’re social creatures, and they’ll love nothing more than to spend the day at their owner’s side.

Highly energetic and playful, they’re suitable pets for families with kids. Imagine your kids running outside together with your dog all day. A BMC is always up for that kind of fun.

If you are single, you might also find yourself enjoying the company of this breed, particularly if you are someone with an active lifestyle.

Just look at the energy of these little Black Mouth Cur pups:

Are Black Mouth Curs aggressive?

Aggression towards humans is atypical of this breed. However, these dogs may develop an aggressive side without proper training and socialization.

Black Mouth Curs are highly protective of their family. A BMC will form a strong bond with its human pack, and he will fearlessly protect you against threats.

Due to their nature as guard dogs and hunters, these dogs can also be territorial. They may not get along well with other animals in the house, given their prey drive.

If you’re planning to add a Black Mouth Cur to your household, make sure to take the time to properly introduce him to your other furbabies.

Sufficient socialization will ensure that everyone coexists peacefully at home.

Black Mouth Cur laying on the porch with a tennis ball

Black Mouth Curs as working dogs

As we’ve mentioned, Black Mouth Curs are best at working as hunters and herders.

They tend to be calmer and more quiet than other dogs, which is why hunters prefer this breed as canine companions.

These Curs have a nose that’s made for trailing (finding a scent in the air) or tracking (following a scent on the ground). Their outstanding eyesight and sharp hearing ensures that they can quickly spot prey such as raccoons, squirrels, deer, and wild hogs.

Aside from their efficiency in hunting down prey, these Curs are also reliable as emotional support animals. With their calm temperament and strong bodies, they can provide physical comfort during anxiety attacks.

Are Black Mouth Curs easy to train?

Black Mouth Curs are incredibly intelligent dogs, which will make training them a breeze. They’re capable of quickly learning verbal commands and non-verbal cues from their owners.

Like with most dogs, it is best to start training a Black Mouth Cur as a puppy. These dogs respond best to positive reinforcement.

One way to make sure that he adopts good behavior is to give him plenty of praise and treats when he follows your commands.

Two Black Mouth Curs snuggled up to each other on a couch
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Proper socialization is also important for BMCs. By being exposed to different people and animals as a puppy, they learn which behaviors are acceptable and which are not.

With this breed’s tendency to be territorial and domineering, it pays to teach them the difference between real and perceived threats. This way, you can avoid stressful situations with your dog.

How much exercise do these Curs need?

We’re not kidding when we say that the Black Mouth Cur has high levels of energy. You’ll have to invest plenty of time in giving your dog sufficient exercise.

This Cur needs at least an hour of vigorous exercise daily. He’s the ideal companion for walks, runs, and hikes, as his strong body doesn’t tire easily.

Canine sports such as frisbee, agility training and weight pulling are also good options for burning through this dog’s energy levels. (For safety, make sure your dog’s at least 2 years old before it participates in sports.)

BMCs need an active lifestyle so they can put their intense stamina to good use. They thrive best in homes with huge backyards where they can run around.

Black Mouth Cur half-standing on the stairs
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It can be a little tough if you live in an apartment, but you can always take your Cur to the nearest dog park so he gets his daily dose of outdoor playtime.

A neglected BMC can be destructive. Chewing and excessive barking can become issues that are caused by either stress or boredom.

These behavioral problems can be avoided if this energetic canine gets enough physical and mental stimulation.

Aside from activities such as running, hunting, herding, and swimming, Black Mouth Curs enjoy games that require them to think. Treasure hunts and puzzle toys are great ways to keep your dog’s mind sharp.

What to feed Black Mouth Curs

With this dog’s muscular built and high energy levels, the Black Mouth Cur’s diet should have a high amount of protein and fat. Carbohydrates will also serve as a good source of energy.

Dog food formula for large dogs is a good choice for this breed. Feed your BMC 3 cups of premium dry kibble daily. Make sure to divide this amount of food into 3 to 4 meals to reduce the likelihood of bloat.

Do BMCs require a lot of grooming?

Black Mouth Cur with mud on its paws standing outdoors
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In terms of grooming, the Black Mouth Cur is pretty low-maintenance compared to other breeds.

It’s easy to maintain this breed’s short coat. Brush your BMC’s coat once a week to keep it healthy and clean.

He doesn’t shed a lot of fur, but he may shed more heavily as the seasons change.

More frequent brushing sessions may be needed during these periods to remove dead hair from its coat.

Bathe your dog only on an ‘as needed’ basis to prevent its skin from drying out. Wipe down his coat with a damp cloth to remove dirt if he’s been playing outside.

If your Black Mouth Cur is more of an indoors dog, trim his nails regularly so he can comfortably move around.

Their teeth should also be your priority, especially if your BMC regularly hunts and uses his mouth to catch prey. Proper dental care must be observed, including daily brushing of the teeth. Dental chews can also help keep your dog’s teeth clean.

Are there any potential health issues with the Black Mouth Cur?

Generally, Black Mouth Curs are a strong breed, with an average lifespan of 16 years

Breeders are focused on making BMCs as healthy as possible so they can serve their purpose as working dogs. That’s not to say the Black Mouth Cur doesn’t suffer from its fair share of health conditions.

These canines can be prone to skeletal problems because of their active nature, along with infections in their ears and eyes.

These Curs tend to sweat a lot in the inner areas of their ears during physical activity. The moisture buildup makes the dog’s ears vulnerable to mites and ticks.

Make sure to check your Black Mouth Cur’s ears at least once a week to ensure that they’re clean and do not have a bad smell.

Remember Old Yeller?

Want a look at the traits of a classic Black Mouth Cur? Look no further than the 1957 Disney film Old Yeller, which features a charmingly mischievous and smart dog, winning the hearts of his owners.

Throughout the film (which is based on a book by Fred Gipson), Yeller proves his worth by saving his family from several instances of danger such as attacks from bears, wild hogs, and even a rabid wolf – something that a real-life Black Mouth Cur would do!

Here’s a snippet of the movie (skip to 1:21 for a peep of the adorable Old Yeller):

How much are Black Mouth Cur puppies?

The price of a Black Mouth Cur puppy can range from $300 to $500 each. If the cost is a little too steep for you, there is always the option to adopt.

If you think you have what it takes to take care of Black Mouth Cur, you can check out and contact the following breeders:

Nothing is more exciting to a dog lover than bringing home a cuddly new puppy! But before jumping into being a fur-parent to this breed, make sure that you have considered all the expenses.

Aside from the Black Mouth Cur’s basic needs, it is important to plan ahead for this dog’s training. You can always undertake your puppy’s training yourself, but, sometimes, professional help is best.

For instance, if you wish to turn your puppy into a hunting buddy when it gets old enough, there are plenty of trainers you can contact for help.

If you wish to focus on developing obedience in your pup, obedience training classes are also available.

Black Mouth Cur curled up in bed
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Ready to be an owner of the lovable and loyal Black mouth cur?

It is an absolute pleasure to own a Black Mouth Cur. It may seem like they are too much to handle, but, really, like most dogs, they just want to please their humans.

They are smart, strong, and excellent working and family dogs. They definitely need you to be a committed owner who can provide them with enough mental stimulation, physical exercise, and training.

If you are a proud owner of a Black Mouth Cur, what are the joys and pains of raising one? We’d love to read about your stories. Share your experiences with us in the comments below!

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