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Highlights on Hunting Dogs: The Black Mouth Cur

The Black Mouth Cur is a loyal companion and a fearless hunting dog.

Ties to Old Yeller

“Common as a yellow dog” is a popular way of calling something dull or average. But there’s nothing dull or average about the Black Mouth Cur, perhaps the most prevalent and common yellow dog there is.

Known for their kind, loyal, protective and fearless temperament, the Black Mouth Cur makes an excellent hunting dog and companions. Native to the US, black mouth curs were used as homestead and hunting dogs by the early pioneers.The Black Mouth Cur is adept at treeing prey and hunting feral pigs and cattle.

This isn’t a dog for apartment living in the city. They likes wide open spaces and is most comfortable on rural homesteads.

If you’re looking for a great hunting companion that will also be a friend to your family, you might want to consider a Black Mouth Cur.

Click through the slideshow to view more highlights of the Black Mouth Cur.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

Powerful hunting dogs

Regardless of their region or their primary job, the Black Mouth Cur is as steady a reliable companion as any, with particular skill when it comes to treeing prey. They’ve been known to tree squirrels, raccoons, bobcats, mountain lions, and even bears when the situation calls for it. On the ground, they’re excellent at hunting hogs and feral cattle, the animals the black cur’s Celtic ancestors were originally bred to hunt. These dogs never run away or give up, and their instincts for treeing and herding are so strong, it’s not unlikely that a young Black Mouth Cur will perform these tasks independently. Their excellent tracking skills also lend to search and rescue missions.

Pioneer Dogs

The Black Mouth Cur breed originated in the United States, and as such it has been part of our history. Some say they were originally bred in the Appalachian mountains. Others say Tennessee, still others say Mississippi. Wherever they began, the breed has been the constant companion of pioneers across the country for over 200 years.

As varied as their regions

A Red Alabama Blackmouth Cur. Image via Wikimedia Commons

It’s hard to identify this dog as simply a ‘cur’, because that term is almost as vague as “hound”. Over the years, the cur has become as varied as the regions it occupies. Even a seemingly specific variation, such as Black Mouth Cur, varies from state to state. For example, the Ladner Yellow Black Mouth Cur is prevalent in the south, largely in Mississippi, whereas the Red Black Mouth Cur is common in Alabama. Texas has the Weatherford’s Ben Black Mouth Cur, and Florida the Florida Black Mouth Cur.

The jobs the cur has been bred to do are also varied. The Weathorford’s Ben and Florida Black Mouth Curs were bred for cattle herding. The Red Black Mouth Cur serves as a guard dog, a herding dog, and largely as a hunting dog. The true link between these dogs is their versatility and ability to adopt whatever skill is asked of them.

Unexpected Latecomers

The cur has been a part of America for hundreds of years, and yet the Black Mouth Cur was not registered with the National Kennel Club until L.H. Ladner introduced his Ladner Yellow in 1964. The breed is marked by its dark brindle or yellow coloration and the darn snout, from which the Black Mouth Cur earns its name.

As pets

A blackmouth cur with a brindled coat. Image via Wikimedia Commons

A poor choice for apartment living, the Black Mouth Cur is a rugged, muscular, Southern dog that needs daily physical and mental exercise, preferably through steady work. Give them the space to run and a job to do and they’ll be the happiest dogs on earth. They’re fiercely loyal, to the point of giving their lives for their families, and great with children. However, their fierce hunting and treeing instincts make them unfriendly to non-canine pets.

Ties to Old Yeller

Perhaps the most well known Black Mouth Cur of all time is the one featured in the classic, heartbreaking Disney film, “Old Yeller”. Many credit a Blue Lacy as the inspiration for the dog in the book, though, it was a Black Mouth Cur that starred in the film that captured and broke, the hearts of millions of viewers.

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Highlights on Hunting Dogs: The Black Mouth Cur