Black Mouth Cur
From the dog's description in the book, it is believed that Old Yeller was actually a Black Mouth Cur.
Black Mouth Cur Scientific Classification
- Scientific Name
- Canis lupus
Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.
Black Mouth Cur Conservation Status
Black Mouth Cur Locations
Black Mouth Cur Facts
- Rabbits, squirrels, racoons, feral pigs
- Name Of Young
- Group Behavior
- Fun Fact
- From the dog's description in the book, it is believed that Old Yeller was actually a Black Mouth Cur.
- Most Distinctive Feature
- The Black Mouth Cur has a black muzzle and inside of its mouth.
- Other Name(s)
- Southern Cur, Southern Black Mouth Cur, and the Yellow Black Mouth Cur
- Gestation Period
- 63 days
- Affectionate, hardworking, and loyal.
- Litter Size
- 3 to 12 puppies.
- United States
- United States
Black Mouth Cur as a Pet:
- General Health
- Energy Level
- Tendency to Chew
- Family and kid friendliness
- Yappiness / Barking
- Separation Anxiety
- Preferred Temperature
- Average climate
- Exercise Needs
- Friendly With Other Dogs
- Pure bred cost to own
- Dog group
- Male weight
- 40-95 lbs
- Female weight
- 35-85 lbs
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“From the dog’s description in the book, it is believed that Old Yeller was a black mouth cur.”
The black mouth cur is something of a jack-of-all-trades in the dog world. American settlers in the South bred it as a combination watchdog, herding dog, and hunting dog by mixing many breeds from Europe. Affectionate, loyal, and hardworking, the Cur is a rugged working dog that loves its family and can be protective of its territory and people.
3 Different Types of Black Mouth Cur and Mixes
Though there are over 21 known mixes of the black mouth cur, below are three popular mixes.
- German shepherd Mix: The black mouth cur shepherd mix has excellent guarding instincts and is a loyal breed. It is larger than the cur and needs lots of play and exercise.
- Cursset: This cross between a black mouth cur and a Basset hound is a lovable family dog with high exercise needs. The Cursset is not a very vocal breed and is excellent with children.
- Siberian black mouth cur: This is a mix of cur and Siberian husky. This is an excellent guard dog that is also good-tempered and affectionate. It also does well with other pets in the home. It should be socialized well and early.
3 Pros and Cons of Owning a Black Mouth Cur
|The Black Mouth Cur is protective and loyal. It bonds well with its family and is very protective of children in the home.||The Cur can be a very territorial dog. Socializing them well is essential to avoid aggressive stand-offs over food, people, or property.|
|The Cur is hardworking and can be relied upon for watchdog duties, herding, and hunting as necessary.||Because of their energy, athleticism, and prey drive, Black Mouth Curs have been known to escape yards, large and small, while chasing critters.|
|Intelligent and eager to please, the Black Mouth Cur can be a valuable addition to farms and large homesteads.||Because of its intelligence and work ethic, the Cur can be challenging to train. They respond best to firm yet positive treatment.|
The Best Dog Food for Black Mouth Curs
Black mouth curs are always on the move (or should be). Consequently, they need a high-protein diet. A-Z Animals recommends Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain Free Dry Dog Food. Please consult your vet to match your dog’s activity level with its diet.
•Nutritional, high protein food for large breed dogs
•Real protein as #1 ingredient
•Fruits & superfoods for vitamins & minerals
•Antioxidants, omega fatty acids, prebiotics
Size and Weight
The black mouth cur varies quite a bit in size from region to region and breeder to breeder. Consequently, this breed has a wide range of weights and heights. Male Curs stand between 18 and 25 inches at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 40 to 95 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, standing 16 to 23 inches tall and weighing 35 to 85 pounds.
|Height (Male):||18 to 25 inches|
|Height (Female):||40 to 95 pounds|
|Weight (Male):||16 to 23 inches|
|Weight (Female):||35 to 85 pounds|
Common Health Issues
Due to its mixed and varied lineage, the black mouth cur is a rugged, healthy dog. Like many dogs, it can be susceptible to joint-related issues, such as elbow and hip dysplasia. Curs need a great deal of exercise and are prey-driven, so they may be prone to obesity if not active enough. Many can also develop allergies which can cause skin and ear irritations. Finally, some have been diagnosed with epilepsy, so if you notice your dog shaking, vomiting, or having balance issues, contact your vet immediately.
Black Mouth Cur Temperament
This dog is affectionate, loyal, and hardworking. They have a high energy level that has them constantly looking for something to do. While they bond well with families and children, their need for activity, exercise, and engagement makes them more appropriate as farm or hunting dogs. Their rambunctious and playful personality can make them a hit with kids but can also lead to collisions, bumps, and bruises with smaller children.
How To Take Care of a Black Mouth Cur
Maintenance and Grooming
Grooming this breed is not a difficult chore. The Cur is a rugged dog with a short wash-and-wear coat. If the coat gets dirty, wipe it down. Brush it every week or so; otherwise, the dog can be bathed whenever it smells bit doggy. If the dog is not working, clip its nails every few weeks. Check its skin and ears for irritation and debris, wiping down folds in the skin if necessary. Finally, brush the dog’s teeth a few times a week.
Intelligent and independent, this dog can be challenging to train. Keep sessions short, energetic, and interesting. The Cur responds best to a firm but positive approach; it does not respond well to harsh treatment or speech.
The black mouth cur is a highly energetic dog that requires at least an hour of intense activity if not two. A hardworking dog, the Cur is bred for herding, hunting, and guarding; it is not a dog for lying around the house. Even though a large enclosed yard is good for exercise purposes, it’s best not to leave the dog in the yard unattended as it will chase anything that runs and can escape.
Socialization should begin as soon as the puppy arrives home. Take it with you to new places and introduce the little pup to new people and other dogs. This breed can be territorial and rambunctious; you must socialize the dog well from a young age. Puppy kindergarten is a good idea as soon as it has been fully vaccinated. Introduce your Cur to your children and other dogs. Bringing a black mouth cur into a home with cats or other small pets is not a good idea because the cur will treat them as prey.
Black Mouth Curs and Children
These dogs and children get along well, and curs have been known to be highly protective of children. Curs have even been known to step in when children are disciplined, so that’s something to be aware of. Socialize the dog early with children to get them to bond with one another. Also, teach the children how to interact with a dog, so they do not poke, prod, and pull at it. They play rough, so they are probably not a good match for small children. Finally, children should never be left unsupervised with an untrained dog, and small children should never be left alone with any dog, trained or otherwise.
Dogs Similar to the Black Mouth Cur
Mountain cur: The mountain cur is similar to the black mouth cur, though it tends to be slightly taller and lighter and has a longer lifespan. It lacks the distinctive black muzzle.
Famous Black Mouth Curs
In the book Old Yeller, the dog’s description matches that of a cur, though a yellow lab was chosen to play the dog on screen.
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Black Mouth Cur FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is the black mouth cur a good family dog?
This breed is an affectionate and loyal dog. Its suitability for family life is dependent on the family. An active family with someone who is always home is best for the cur. Ideally, the dog will have work to do and plenty of space to do it in; the black mouth cur was bred by farmers for farm, hunting, and ranch life. It’s known to be difficult to train, so this breed is not recommended for novice owners.
Is a black mouth cur the same as a pit bull?
The black mouth cur and the pit bull are distinct breeds, though the two have been bred as a popular mix. Though they are similarly sized, the cur has a slightly lighter frame than the pit bull.
What is a black mouth cur used for?
Black mouth curs were bred by settlers in the American south as all-purpose working dogs. They can serve as guard dogs, herding dogs, and hunting dogs and can bring large game to bay while treeing smaller game.
What breeds make up the black mouth cur?
The history of the black mouth cur is murky. The cur was bred in the American south from European stock from various dogs. Because the breeding was designed with function in mind, people in the south weren’t as concerned about breeds as they were with useful traits. Most were initially assumed to be a mixture of hound and terrier, with some herding dogs mixed in.
Do black mouth cur bark a lot?
Black mouth curs are known to be vocal and somewhat territorial, so they tend to bark a lot. This is another reason why they are better on a farm than in an urban or suburban home.
Is Scooby-Doo a black mouth cur?
Scooby-Doo is actually a great Dane.
Why doesn't the AKC recognize the Black Mouth Cur?
The ancestry of the black mouth cur is too uncertain for AKC evaluation. Because of its uncertain lineage, physical characteristics vary wildly, making it difficult to judge whether or not the breed conforms to a set of standards.
Are black mouth curs easy to train?
Due to their intelligence, independence, prey-drive, and their capacity to work large properties, the black mouth cur has been known to be difficult to train.
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- Dog-learn.com, Available here: https://www.dog-learn.com/breed-vs-breed/black-mouth-cur-vs-mountain-cur
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- k9 of mine, Available here: https://www.k9ofmine.com/famous-dog-breeds/
- Dog Pregnancy Calendar, Available here: https://dogpregnancycalendar.com/black-mouth-cur-pregnancy-week-by-week-calendar/