Black Mouth Cur Owner’s Guide: What To Know Before Buying

If you are looking for a working dog and you are an experienced dog owner, the Black Mouth Cur could be right for you.

This is an American breed that was developed in the south as an all-round working dog. The dogs are intelligent, brave and extremely high energy.

The Black Mouth Cur is not an apartment dog.

They need plenty of space and a ton of exercise. They are a work focused breed and will become bored if they don’t have a job to do.

This pooch is a wonderful family dog and forms strong, lasting bonds with its loved ones.

Black Mouth Cur Overview

Black Mouth Cur

A Black Mouth Cur is a working dog bred for hunting, herding and protection. Their origin is unknown but it’s likely they originated from European and Asian Cur dogs that migrants to America brought with them.

Over the years, the Black Mouth Cur has been interbred with various other breeds but the modern version of this dog is generally only bred with other Black Mouth Curs.

This breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) due to its hazy past, but it is accepted by the United Kennel Club. Some people may recognize the Black Mouth Cur as the dog breed from the novel Old Yeller.

Although Old Yeller’s breed was never formally mentioned, the description and historical location fit the Black Mouth Cur perfectly!

This dog is a high energy dog that needs to be exercised every day.

As long as you keep them occupied they should be a wonderful family dog. They are suitable for any household as long as you have the time and space to care for them.

Black Mouth Cur Appearance

Two Black Mouth Cur Puppies

Black Mouth Curs get their name from their dark-colored fur around their muzzle.

The rest of its coat is usually black, brown, tan, red or yellow. They have short fur that is easy to groom.

You should expect them to shed all year round but not excessively.

They are a powerful, agile dog with long legs and a broad head. The ears hang down but sit high on the head and they have a long muzzle.

Eye color may be green, brown or yellow. Their tail can be any length but it should be straight.

They are hardy and able to work in all weather conditions and for long hours thanks to their athletic build. Their size and muscular body will certainly put off any intruders!

Black Mouth Cur Size

The Black Mouth Cur is a big dog – they range from 50 to 100 lb and can reach up to 25 inches tall.

Males are usually heavier and taller than the females. These dogs are not going to be happy in an apartment, as they need plenty of space to accommodate their size.


The Black Mouth Cur coat color may be black, brown, red, brindle or yellow. They have black fur around their muzzle which gives them their name. The dark fur can extend up to the eyes forming a mask shape.

Occasionally, they don’t have the black muzzle coloration but this is extremely rare.


Their fur is short and either fine or coarse. This type of fur is common with working dogs as it’s very easy to care for. It does not become knotted or tangled and is easy to wash and brush.

Black Mouth Cur Temperament

Puppy Black Mouth Curs

The Black Mouth Cur is, above all else, a working dog.

They are intelligent, fast learners with a need to please and a desire to work. This is a powerful, confident, protective, loyal and affectionate dog that loves their family.

Due to their loyal nature and the strong bonds they form with their family, the Black Mouth Cur is a protective dog. This behavior is part of the reason they were such well-rounded farm dogs. They have the speed and intelligence for hunting and herding, plus they are wonderful guard dogs.

Unfortunately, this protective nature can cause them to be aggressive to people they feel are trespassing. This is great when you don’t know the person but not so great when you do. Plenty of early socialization will help with this behavior.

This breed is a hunting dog and has a high prey drive. It is not recommended that this dog is left with pets that are not canine. They do enjoy the company of other dogs and will play nicely when meeting friends as long as they have been socialized correctly as puppies.

Being an extremely high energy dog, they always want to have something to do.

Life as a working dog suits them as there is no shortage of activities to keep them occupied. If a Black Mouth Cur does not have a way to burn off that energy, they will become bored and boredom will lead to anxiety and destructive behavior.

If you are going to buy this breed but not as a working dog then you really need to understand its need for space and exercise.

An extremely active family with a large garden and house who are home most of the time may be able to provide this dog with a lifestyle that will keep them happy. If this does not describe your home, its worth considering one of the many other dog breeds that will suit your lifestyle better.

Can a Black Mouth Cur Be a Family Dog?

The Black Mouth Cur is an excellent family dog, they will form strong bonds with all family members and love to play with children.

It’s important that they are socialized with children from a young age to ensure they know how to behave around them. The same point goes for children too – teach them how to behave correctly around dogs.

Black Mouth Cur Training

A Black Mouth Cur

One of the reasons that a Black Mouth Cur is not a dog for first-time owners is that dog training one can be difficult.

This is a super intelligent dog that may sometimes be a little on the stubborn side. They do not respond well to any form of shouting or punishment. It is incredibly important that you don’t become frustrated with them.

You should use short, positive training sessions to achieve the best results. Using positive reinforcement methods and maintaining a firm and consistent approach will ensure that your dog will learn.

Socialization is very important for this breed. They are not a naturally aggressive dog but they may become protective of their family. Make sure that you socialize them with plenty of different people while they are a puppy and this will reduce the risk of them becoming aggressive with strangers.

This socialization will not remove their natural guarding instincts – it will just teach them where and when the guarding behavior is appropriate.

This breed needs all the mental stimulation you are able to give them.

As a working dog, they will receive this mental stimulation in their jobs.

If you want this dog as a companion animal, good luck! We recommend puzzle games, training sessions, agility classes, tons of exercise and basically anything else you can think of to keep them entertained and prevent boredom.

Caring for a Black Mouth Cur

Mouth Cur Dog

The Black Mouth Cur suits a working dog’s life best. They are wonderful hunters, herders and protection dogs. This dog will be completely at home with farm life as they have great stamina and love to work.

They still make wonderful family dogs – you just really need to understand what you are buying. They will need a family who is home most of the time, is extremely active, loves the outdoors and has plenty of home and yard space.

Exercise Requirements

This is a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

If you are keeping them as a working dog, they will be running around from dawn to dusk. Fitting the breed exercise quota in is easy! The problem arises on days when they are not working, you may want to rest but they almost certainly won’t.

You will have to take them for a long walk every day or they may become unmanageable. One thing to consider is their high prey drive. If you are walking them in areas where there are wild animals around, a leash is definitely a good idea.

If you are not using this breed as a working animal, expect to take them out twice a day for at least 2 hours. It could be one walk and one session like agility or dock diving, but they will need to spend plenty of time burning off that energy.

Grooming and Shedding

Grooming your Black Mouth Cur is very simple.

You should brush them once a week to remove dirt from their coat. If they get very dirty, wash them with a dog shampoo.

Make sure to regularly clean in any folds they have – this will keep them clean and healthy. Their nails will need regular trims unless they are working dogs.

They shed all year round – it will become slightly heavier before summer and winter but not out of control. Brushing them regularly should help most of the hair come out.

Feeding and Diet

The Black Mouth Cur, like all dogs, will be kept healthy through diet and exercise. An excellent diet for a Black Mouth Cur would be a raw dog food diet. This is because it has a great range of nutrients and variety. It’s more work than the average dry food but for working dogs especially it’s ideal.

If you would prefer to use a dry food, you should make sure you are buying a high quality kibble.

They should be fed one and a half cups twice a day. The food itself should be high in protein, as this is the most important nutrient for dogs. Things to avoid in dry food are food dyes, rendered fats and wheat gluten.

Known Health Problems

Luckily, this dog is generally considered a healthy breed – this is because it’s a working dog.

However they are still susceptible to a few conditions.

Some problems are easily managed such as eye and ear infections. You have to ensure you regularly clean your dog’s ears and any skin folds. Always wash them if they become dirty when out working.

You should also regularly check for ticks and use tick and flea treatments.

Other conditions that they may develop but are less easy to manage are epilepsy and skeletal problems. Your best bet is finding a breeder that really focuses on breeding out these conditions in their dogs.

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How Long Does A Black Mouth Cur Live?

A Black Mouth Cur should live between 12 to 16 years.

How Much Does A Black Mouth Cur Cost?

You should expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 for a Black Mouth Cur.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size:16-25 inches
Lifespan:12-16 years
Coat:Short but can be coarse or fine
Color:Tan, brown, black, red or yellow with a black muzzle
Do They Shed:Yes (only small amounts)
Temperament:Loyal, hard-working, intelligent and affectionate
Intelligence:Very intelligent but can be stubborn at times
Socialization:Needs socializing from an early age
Destructive Behavior:Will be extremely destructive if left without any job
People Skills:Great with family but can be wary of strangers
Good with Children:Excellent with older children but may be too big for young ones
Activity Levels:Extremely high activity levels


This is a gorgeous dog that is extremely high energy.

They make wonderful working dogs excelling in many different fields. They love their family and will form strong bonds with all your loved ones. They are great with kids but can be a little too rough for the really young ones.

Owning this dog outside of a working environment is not usually recommended. However, if you have the kind of lifestyle that gives this dog plenty of space, activity and attention, we are sure your pooch will be happy for many years!

The Black Mouth Cur is an amazing breed and, in the right home, will become an outstanding and loyal companion.

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.


  1. I have a Black Mouth Cur that I obtained from the humane society, and they falsely labelled him as a Pitbull. Granted, they were initially bred with pit bulls as well as various other breeds to create this magnificent animal. My dog is extremely protective, loyal and intelligent, and tends to be a tad aggressive but all around the best dog I have ever had. His bark is menacing enough to ward off trespassers and he does want to go after small animals (and large, considering they were bred to hunt wild boar) but he gets on just fine with my cat, who will tease him and bite him and he will typically just chase her through the house or grumble at her. He is excellent when it comes to knowing if something is wrong or upsetting to his people and responds in kind. He has been a great therapy dog for myself personally, but I can guarantee he would not be good as a recognized therapy dog since he is not good with other people. All around, as I said, the best dog I have ever had.

    • I have a lab black mouth cur mix he’s six months old our pit mix cur passed away 20months we were heart broken he was such a excellent dog we decided to get another mix cur he’s our gentle giant lol not good with strangers growls in vehicle when a person walk’s up to us very protective of us he’s a excellent guard dog being so young his best friend is our cat we’re senior citizens and raised this one also full of energy and very intelligent live in country plenty of room sleeps with me at night

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