Black Mouth Cur

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington

Black Mouth Cur Basics

Not everyone wants a tiny little pup that they can fit in their pocket. That’s great for many dog owners, but some want something different. Some want a dog that feels more like a roommate. A dog that makes their presence known just by walking into a room. A dog that will fit into a passenger seat of your car more easily than your handbag. A dog that sometimes feels like he’s taking you for a walk. If you are in the market for a rugged and strongly muscled working dog, then look no further than the Black Mouth Cur. This breed is a medium-to-large sized dog that is named after the black coloration on its muzzle. This is a serious dog for serious dog owners.

Black Mouth Curs are often referred to as “multitalented” dogs because they can be trained for a variety of tasks including hunting, herding, and general utility. Yet, they aren’t just dogs who are bred to work. Black Mouth Curs also make great family pets! This attractive and intelligent breed is an excellent option for families with or without children because they form very strong bonds with their humans and they respond well to training. Even so, these energetic and driven dogs are not a good choice for first-time dog owners, as they need a firm hand and someone who can keep up with their zest. This is a dog for those who are serious about their pets and will make their Black Mouth Cur the latest addition to their pawesome family.

If you are looking for a rugged, strongly muscled working dog then look no further than the Black Mouth Cur.


The exact origins of the Black Mouth Cur are unknown, but it is thought to have been developed from various ancient European and Asian cur-type dogs. What is known is that the breed was developed in the Southern United States as an all-purpose farm dog and that the breed has become fairly widespread since the 19th century. These pups have a long and rich history as working dogs on farms and they serve their masters well. While some believe the term “cur” implies a mixed breed dog, the Black Mouth Cur is actually purebred. Some of the breeds from which the Black Mouth Cur may have been developed include the Southern Black Mouth Cur originating in Alabama, the Foundation Black Mouth Cur from Texas, and the Ladner Yellow Black Mouth Cur that came from Mississippi. There is a rich history to this beloved animal.


fast facts

About Black Mouth Cur

50-100 lb
12-16 years
Not applicable
Best Suited For
Active singles, families with children, houses with yards, farms/rural areas
Intelligent, loyal, protective, kind
Comparable Breeds
Catahoula Leopard Dog, Black and Tan Coonhound
16-25 inches

With cross breeds and hybrids, it is usually easy to learn more about their history - you simply have to look at their parent breeds. With the Black Mouth Cur, it is somewhat different. The Black Mouth Cur is thought to have descended from various ancient European and Asian cur-type herding and hunting dogs. This makes their lineage and history very old and very interesting. They are one of the few original doggos around! You will notice their unique provenance in their character as they have those original natural instincts that dogs were known for across time. From herding to guarding the family – curs know it all. So. they will arrive in your home ready to get to work. This breed also shares some characteristics with the Catahoula Cur, namely its webbed toes.


In the life of any dog, diet plays a very important role. Without a proper, quality, healthy diet, your pet simply cannot reach their full potential. That is why you will have to pay special attention to what you are feeding your pet. Given that the Blackmouth Cur is a medium- to large-sized breed, it is best to use a l arge-breed dog food formula. If you plan to use your dog for hunting or herding, make sure to use a dog food formulated for active dogs to provide your Black Mouth Cur with the energy he needs. These dogs will require a diet that will keep their powerful bodies bursting with energy. As always, consider consulting with your vet to determine the best possible diet. If you intend for your Blackmouth Cur to be a highly active working dog, he may require a special diet and portion control to keep him healthy, happy, and filled with the energy that you’ll need. While there are plenty of foods out there that will promise to fulfill those needs, only your vet can determine what is right for your working dog and their specific needs. After all, an active animal will require a lot of extra protein, vitamins, and minerals in order for their body to remain healthy and strong. 

The Black Mouth Cur is a very intelligent breed and he is eager to please his owners.


The Black Mouth Cur is a very intelligent breed and he is eager to please his owners. However, it is important that his training regime be firm and consistent. This dog needs to know that his owner is the boss and the owner must not waver in his control of the dog. Otherwise, they simply won’t respond to your training. That being said, please don’t confuse assertiveness and positioning yourself as a pack leader with aversive training methods. Yelling, hitting or punishing a dog is not only cruel, but counterproductive as well. Those methods of dog training and dated and cruel. That’s animal abuse, plain and simple. You won’t get the results that you need through those methods. Instead, rely on positive reinforcement methods and motivate your pet to learn with treats and praise.

Training should be started as early as possible with puppies and continue throughout the dog’s early life to solidify his obedience. Start with the essentials, such as potty training and leash training. Teaching commands such as fetch or “ drop it” is also a great idea. After that, you can expand the repertoire of commands if the dog shows eagerness to learn. In addition to training, you should make sure to socialize your dog early and often. Early exposure to other pets and children will help with behavioral guidance from the owner.

Black Mouth Curs can be trained for a variety of purposes including hunting, herding, coursing, agility, and even Search and Rescue. These dogs love having a job to perform. This will also mean that they’re unhappy when they don’t have a task to occupy themselves with, so make sure to always have something for them- lest they become destructive. This is not a dog that will live in apartment and take short walks every day. This is a big dog with big needs. If you can’t provide the space, attention, and tasks that Black Mouth Curs need, you shouldn’t even consider bringing one into your home.


The weight range for Black Mouth Curs is between 50 and 100 pounds, with males typically being larger than females. The reason for the significant variation in this weight range is related to the fact that there are several different “types” within the breed. Each type, or variation, is named for the kennel or family by which it was developed. Males typically weigh between 40 and 95 pounds, while females weighing in at 35 to 80 pounds. The variation in size between Black Mouth Curs is entirely dependant on breeding.

Due to their medium to large size, Black Mouth Curs will need some extra free space in order to function properly. Small apartments or tiny homes simply won’t be good for them. They are active and energetic dogs, and will need free space both indoors and outdoors. It is best if you own a protected yard where they can freely exercise and play. Being cooped up inside just isn’t good for them, and they can develop some serious behavioral issues if their needs are neglected. So, keep their needs met - extra free space inside to lounge, snooze, and play, and plenty of time spent outside as well. And with all that, your Black Mouth Cur will be one happy dog.


Brave and intelligent, the Black Mouth Cur truly is the Jack of all trades of the canine world. They are quite versatile and adaptable, and will be happy as long there’s a task for them to do. This breed is oriented towards work before everything else. So without a job, they tend to get depressed and destructive really quickly. In addition to their energy, this is the main reason why this type of dog is not a good choice for the apartment dweller. These dogs are made for country living and wide open spaces.

While primarily a working dog with impressive smarts and a fierce drive to please their owner, the Black Mouth Cur is also a great companion. Their capability and need for service certainly don’t overshadow their affectionately sweet nature and devotion to owners. Ideally, they should be paired with an active and outdoorsy family that would understand its need for exercise.

The Black Mouth Cur also makes a great family pet as long as it is trained and socialized from a young age. These dogs form very close bonds with their family and have been known to be incredibly protective and loyal. When exposed to children starting from their puppy days, Black Mouth Curs can get along well with kids of any age. Of course, supervision is recommended for very young children because the dog may not know to be gentler with them. Their energetic view of playtime can be a bit rough for smaller kids, as they could knock them over unintentionally. So it might not be the best idea to bring a Black Mouth Cur into a home with an infant or toddler. Older children, on the other hand, will fall in love with these playful and loyal animals almost instantly.

This breed is typically not aggressive with humans, even though they can be somewhat territorial. Due to its hunting instincts and high prey drive, it is not recommended that you leave this dog alone with non-canine pets. That’s a story that won’t end well. Still, a lot of it comes down to proper socialization. If a puppy Black Mouth Cur was given plenty of time around other pets, dogs, and humans in their early life, the chances for their greatest and best aspects to become dominant are higher.

Common Health Problems

The Black Mouth Cur is generally considered to be a very healthy breed. Since it is used primarily as a working dog, any genetic defects that might hamper its abilities were quickly culled from the gene pool. These are tough animals who in the past led tough lives. There are, however, certain conditions to which the Black Mouth Cur is prone. These conditions include ear infections, eye problems, skeletal problems, epilepsy, and mange. So, regular visits to the vet are recommended to keep on eye on the development of these specific ailments.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy of the Black Mouth Cur is between 12 and 16 years. When cared for properly, with regular vet visits and optimal care, the Black Mouth Cur can easily reach the high end of their lifespan of sixteen years. This is amongst the highest life expectancies for dog breeds, with an average high number being 15 years, especially for large dog breeds. That means that not only will you find a trusty companion in a Black Mouth Cur, but you will also discover a steadfast and affectionate friend that will stay by your side for a good number of years. In general, this is a hardy and hale breed, with an outdoorsy nature that was built over many generations. As such, it is a long-lived breed that will endure plenty of hardships over the years. But still, they will require your help along the way. That help consists of a proper diet, good healthcare, and, of course, tons of affection! 

Exercise Requirements

Every doggo out there will simply love to zoom about the yard and spend their pent-up energy. The Black Mouth Cur is no exception, especially as it is considered a medium energy breed. It requires a daily brisk walk as well as plenty of outdoor space to run and play. If you live in an apartment, this dog will not be a good choice for you. They need to live on a farm or a house with a big, securely fenced backyard. Otherwise they will become depressed and even destructive. Remember that a cooped up doggo will simply not thrive at all. Apathy, lethargy, loss of appetite, anxiety, and aggression are just some of the issues that develop from lack of space and exercise. 

On average, at least 60 minutes of deliberate exercise is recommended for this breed. And that’s not the mention the activity they’ll do on their own, roaming about the yard or occupying themselves with their job. So don’t even consider bringing home one of these big and burly pups unless you’re certain that you can keep up!

This breed does particularly well when trained for hunting, herding, or another sport that keeps it active and engaged. If anything, they need that type of task to give them purpose and keep them happy. Lack of exercise for this breed can lead to the development of behavioral problems. In addition to training for a task, you can make sure your pet is occupied by offering them puzzle toys. Interactive toys can keep an intelligent dog such as the Black Mouth Cur entertained for hours on end.

Of course, if you live on a farm or have a big fenced-in yard, that would be the best environment for a Black Mouth Cur. A true southern hunting dog, this breed is suited for farm life and wide open spaces – where there’s no danger to them. That means that they can get all the exercise that they want, and still have the comfort of the house to rest and get away from the elements.

The Black Mouth Cur makes a great family pet as long as it is trained and socialized from a young age.


Sadly, many hybrid and designer dog breeds are not officially recognized in many registries, simply because they are not purebred. No cur breeds are currently recognized by the AKC but the Black Mouth Cur is considered a member of the Herding Group by the UKC. The Black Mouth Cur first caught the interest of the UKC in the late 1990s but the AKC shows no interest in accepting the breed for registration. Either way, this does not lower the quality of this unique breed whatsoever. After all, they have so much to offer to future owners!


The Black Mouth Cur has a short coat that comes in a wide variety of colors including red, yellow, fawn, white, and piebald. Of course, their most recognizable trait is their pitch black snout. It gives them their name of “Black Mouth”, and makes for an unmistakable detail. The UKC breed standard states that up to 10 percent of the coat may be white and that white on the toes, tail, nose, and chest is acceptable. Because the coat of this breed is so short, it is relatively easy to groom. The Black Mouth Cur simply requires occasional brushing to remove loose hairs. Just establish a proper routine and do some light brushing every day, for just a few minutes. This will help you maintain a tidy and shiny coat, without having to spend hours untangling any mess. And since this is an outdoorsy breed, they will tend to get dirty and stinky over time, so an occasional shower is well advised! 


The average litter size for the Black Mouth Cur is between 3 and 9, though litters of up to 10 have been reported. While they’re still in their formative period of life, the Black Mouth Cur puppies need to go through basic socialization and training. Failing to do so could lead to your new pet growing up to have behavioral issues and bad manners. Establishing your alpha nature in the relationship early is important. So be sure to start their training early and be diligent. It might mean extra effort early, but that will pay off for a lifetime.

Socialization for puppies is an essential part of their upbringing. Without it, all dogs, Black Mouth Curs included, are prone to developing a number of behavioral issues in their future. Aggression is just one such issue, and one that leaves many owners puzzled. But the explanation is simple – a puppy that was not given the chance to bond properly with the owner, to socialize with other dogs or people, and that was somewhat neglected early on, will undoubtedly be more aggressive than is normal. This can result in your dog being nippy, over-protective of their food and toys, snarling, lashing out, fearful, or stressed out. Do keep these issues at bay, devote plenty of time to your puppy and give them a chance to see other dogs and people. Those formative years are very, very important.

The price of Black Mouth Cur puppies can vary greatly- anywhere from $300 to $1,000, depending on the puppy’s pedigree. Of course, when rare and designer dog breeds are considered, this can be seen as a low-end price. Still, dogs with better pedigrees and looks that are closer to the pedigree standards will have a higher price. But the best solution here is adoption! If you manage to find a rescue shelter that has Black Mouth Curs up for adoption, don’t hesitate! Not only are the fees much, much lower, but you will also be doing a good deed. Giving a dog that was abandoned a new and loving home is the best thing you can do for your future four legged friend.

Photo credit: Kelley Varisco/Shutterstock; Jeffrey Lee/Shutterstock; Jennifer Kramer/Shutterstock

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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