What Can You Expect from a Black Mouth Cur?

Pet Type


April 22, 2020

There are many different kinds of dogs out there. From mutts to designer breeds, there is surely a dog for just about everyone. In fact, there are many dogs that are bred for specific purposes. Some dogs are bred to be herding dogs, which means that they work with you on a farm to herd the livestock where it needs to go. Other dogs do better as guard dogs, which means they protect their family from threats. There are plenty of dogs out there that function just fine as companion dogs. Companion dogs are the dogs that most people think about when they think of a dog: dogs that are happy in home environments.

One type of dog that you might not think about unless you work on a farm is a cattle dog. A prime example of what a cattle dog is will be the black mouth cur. This herding dog is often referred to as a cattle dog, as it is regularly used to herd cattle specifically.

Whether you want to adopt this dog for its looks or for its ability to work with other animals, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. For one, these dogs have extremely high energy. This means that you are going to need to exercise your dog regularly and thoroughly. If you don’t have the expertise or time to manage that, then the black mouth cur might not be the dog for you.

Aside from this, these dogs are generally good with older children. They do have a tendency to play rough, meaning that they should be supervised around younger children. These dogs are playful and dedicated to their work, creating the perfect balance of a working dog and a companion dog.

What Is the History of the Black Mouth Cur?

The black mouth cur is a dog that originated in the United States, particularly in the southern area. Experts believe that this breed first originated in either Mississippi or Tennessee, though it is hard to determine the exact origins beyond that. While this breed was descended from European and Asian cur dogs, this specific cur dog takes on a life of its own.

They were bred to be herding dogs that could also tackle the rugged terrain of the south while also protecting the livestock from the wildlife in the surrounding areas. This particular breed actually played a large role in helping settlers and farmers find their homes on the American frontier, and some people believe that settling westward would not have been possible without the black mouth cur.

What is interesting about this breed is that there are variants within the breed, unlike most other purebred dogs. For example, the Alabama black mouth cur tends to have a ruddy coloration compared to the Florida black mouth cur, which has a more yellow coat. Because of these variations, it is not easy to establish where the true history of the black mouth cur began. However, all of this breed and its variants will have black markings surrounding their mouths, earning them the name of black mouth cur.

What Does the Black Mouth Cur Look Like?

Regardless of the different variations on the breed, this dog tends to have the same body stature all throughout. They tend to reach between 16 and 25 inches in height and between 50 and 100 pounds in weight. As with most dogs, the males are going to be taller and stockier than their female counterparts. Due to their origins as a working breed of dog, they have a lean and athletic body type with longer legs than most other working dogs. They have medium-sized folded ears and bright eyes that give this dog a very endearing expression. Their tail is relatively short and often curled toward the end.

Because of the different variation in breed, there is not one specific color that defines this breed. They can come in several different colors ranging from yellow and red to black or brown. The color of the breed usually indicates which area it is from, as some states focus on specific colored dogs. The coat itself tends to be very short, with some dogs having coarser hair and others having finer hair. Some dogs will also have white markings on their tail and paws. No matter what type of fur this dog will have, the black mouth cur will always have black markings covering its snout and its mouth, hence the name.

How Does the Black Mouth Cur Behave?

This dog is a curious blend of friendly and dedicated to work. Overall, its personality will depend on how much of a hard-working dog it is. If your dog works full time and spends the entire day guarding and herding your livestock, then its behavior is going to be quite different than a dog that has been adopted as a companion rather than a worker.

If your dog is a working dog, then you can expect it to not have much interest in socializing with you and your family. While your dog might love you and your family, these dogs often enjoy their work much more. This means that they are smart, diligent learners, and dedicated to the task at hand. They might seem aloof or distant at times, but this is only because your dog is just that focused on getting its job done.

On the other hand, if you are keeping this dog as a companion rather than a worker, its behavior will be vastly different. Companion black mouth curs are very loyal, loving, and affectionate dogs who love to spend time with you and your family. They are very playful and are often more than happy to play with children.

A word of caution, however, is that they tend to be somewhat rough and rambunctious players. This means that if you have younger children, you might not want to encourage play as much as with older children who can handle a larger dog’s roughhousing. Depending on the size of your children, these dogs might also attempt to “herd” the children as well due to their nature of being a herding dog.

These dogs are surprisingly sensitive, and require a specific method of training to ensure that you make good progress. You need to make absolutely sure that you minimize punishments and negative reinforcement, as this can actually halt progress on training. Instead, you should put even more focus on giving praise and positive reinforcement, even for the simplest of tasks. You should focus on being gentle, albeit firm when training a black mouth cur.

How Do You Care for the Black Mouth Cur?

There are a few things that you need to know about caring for a black mouth cur. For one, they have extremely high energy, which means that you will need to make a conscious effort to take your dog out on long walks and play with it regularly. If your dog is a working dog, then the time spent outside herding animals and watching livestock will be enough for your dog. However, if your dog is a companion dog, you will need to make sure that you take it out on a long, long walk every day.

Sometimes you can get away with breaking that long excursion up into smaller ones throughout the day. This depends entirely on your schedule. You should spend an absolute minimum of 60 minutes outside with your dog every day, and this time should be moderately vigorous exercise. If you want to make that time better for your dog, you can consider doing an activity that gives the dog a “task” to do. This satisfies their need to be working dogs.

As for the coat of this dog, there isn’t too much that you need to focus on or worry about. Most professionals only recommend occasional brushing and combing to get rid of loose hairs. The short hair of this dog makes it very easy to groom, so you won’t even have to spend a long time grooming on the occasions that you do. Bathing should be very rare, if at all, as it can dry out your dog’s skin.

How Is the Health of the Black Mouth Cur?

For being a purebred dog, these dogs are surprisingly healthier than most out there. Their average life expectancy is between 12 and 18 years, which is very good for a dog that is both purebred and relatively large. There are a few health concerns that you should keep in mind though, as all purebred dogs are at risk of developing hereditary conditions. The main conditions you will need to look out for are epilepsy, mange, hip dysplasia, and cataracts. Aside from this, these dogs are built to be robust and healthy.