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Black Mouth Cur: The Ultimate Guide

By Kerry
Updated on

The Black Mouth Cur also goes by a variety of other names, like the Southern Cur, Southern Black Mouth Cur and the Yellow Black Mouth Cur. This is a medium sized dog that is from the United States and they make excellent companions due to their history, which we will talk about later on.

As with getting any other dog, it is important to be aware that there are both good and bad sides to owning any breed. You will need to do your research to find out whether or not this is the right breed of dog for you and your family. This is something that we are going to help you with here.

Black mouth cur

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the Black Mouth Cur, so you can find out for yourself if they are a good match for you or not. We have created an ultimate guide to the Black Mouth Cur breed to put all of the information that you need to know in one place.

Black Mouth Cur Key Facts

Before we get into the good and bad of the Black Mouth Cur, it is really important that you learn about some key pieces of information when it comes to this breed. You will need to know about their average lifespan, minimum daily exercise, and more, which we will explain below.

Average Lifespan

You can expect the Black Mouth Cur to live anywhere between 12 and 16 years of age, and they live for a longer period than some other breeds of dog. 

Minimum Exercise (Per Day)

These are dogs that need lots of exercise as they have high energy needs. They were originally bred to have a high energy level that would be appropriate for a long day of work.

This is why they will need at least 60 minutes of exercise per day through walking. Without a lot of exercises, they could become quite destructive in their behavior as they become easily bored. It can also be useful to play games with them at home to help them to burn off any excess energy.

Coat Length

The coat of a Black Mouth Cur is typically short, and it will also be coarse or fine. 

Minimum Cost (Per Month)

This is a relatively low maintenance breed of dog, and the first-year expenses will typically cost you the most. You can expect to pay a minimum of $50 a month on your Black Mouth Cur dog, but these expenses can sometimes be up to $70 a month. Generally, the cost of maintaining a Black Mouth Cur is quite affordable, especially in comparison to other bigger dogs.


The appearance of Black Mouth Curs can vary depending on breeding, and even individuals of the same litter can look very different. Their coats are typically short and they can either be coarse or fine. The color of the coat can be red, yellow, black, brown, or brindle, and most of these dogs will have some black fur on their muzzle, which is where their name actually comes from. However, not all Black Mouth Curs will have this. 

Some will have the appearance of a mask around their face and eyes, and patches of white can appear on the face, chest, legs, or tail. Their eyes may be green, yellow, or brown.


There can be lots of variation when it comes to the size of a Black Mouth Cur, depending on breeding, and even the dogs within the same litter can be of different sizes. Generally, they are classed as medium-sized dogs. However, the males tend to be larger than the females. Sometimes, the dog’s purpose has been bred can influence their size. Tree dogs can range from 35 to 50 pounds, while herding dogs can weigh over 100 pounds.

Average Height

In general, this breed of dog is typically at least 16 inches tall or more. 

Average Weight

The males tend to be slightly larger when it comes to weight, lying somewhere between 40 and 95 pounds. However, females will typically tend to range from 35 to 80 pounds. 


The history of the Black Mouth Cur has heavily influenced which traits have been kept in the breed. Settlers needed a dog who could suit all of their needs, rather than focusing on a specific task.

Black Mouth Curs are known to be courageous and never back down from a fight, which was useful in warding off American South predators, including wildcats, bears, and other animals.

They have retained this fearlessness in modern times.

Settlers also needed an intelligent dog to help them hunt for food and valuable pelts. They needed a dog who would be a loyal and dedicated family companion so that it would protect the homestead.

They needed a dog who would be strong and able to handle life in the rugged frontier. All of these traits remain with the modern Black Mouth Cur.

They were also bred to have a high energy level appropriate for long days of hard work, so it is important for Black Mouth Curs to get a good deal of exercise. They don’t do well in apartments or sitting on a couch all day.

A yard to run around and at least one long walk per day are essential, as anything less can lead to boredom, anxiety, and destructive behavior.

When it comes to training, the Black Mouth Cur can be stubborn, but an overly harsh approach does not work for this sensitive breed. They need a trainer who will be firm and lay down the law, but also won’t raise their voice in anger or frustration.

Black Mouth Curs are eager to please, but they will also get bored if training sessions are too long or repetitive, and their attention may drift. Short, focused training sessions are best.

Apartment Living

Unfortunately, this is not the right dog for you if you live in an apartment. These dogs are much too energetic and big to live in an apartment, and this is not something that is recommended. Due to their high energy levels, they also need lots of space to run around, like in a backyard.

Good for Novice Owners

The Black Mouth Cur loves to be around humans and their family. However, they have very high exercise needs and training requirements, which means that this breed is not the best choice for novice owners, or those that cannot keep up with a demanding level of energy. 

Sensitivity Level

Even though these dogs will require a firm trainer, they are quite sensitive, which means that they do not respond well to being scolded. Black Mouth Curs respond best to positive reinforcement and encouraging behavior.

Tolerates Being Alone

Blakc Mouth Curs are dogs that just love to be in the company of their owners. They were originally bred to be companion dogs, which is why they do not tolerate being alone very well.

They will not do well if they are left alone for more than 4 to 6 hours at a time.

Tolerates Cold Weather

Black Mouth Curs can moderately tolerate cold weather. They will do fine in the snow as long as they run around and keep active. In extremely cold weather, they are likely to get cold feet and should not stay outside for long periods of time.

Tolerates Hot Weather

They are reasonably tolerable of hot weather, but they can get too hot if they are outside in the sun for too long, which is something to be mindful of. 

Affectionate With Family

Black Mouth Curs are known for being very affectionate with their families, and their loving and affectionate side will come out quite often. 


These dogs are very loving and caring, which is why they are often very good with children, making the perfect furry companion for them. However, they do sometimes like to engage in rough play, which isn’t the best combination for young children.

For this reason, they are probably better suited to families with older children or no children.

Dog Friendly

This breed can be very friendly to other dogs, especially if they have been socialized from a young age. Socialization is something that is really important, as Black Mouth Curs can otherwise become very territorial and respond to other dogs with aggression.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Another reason early socialization is so important is that it helps them understand that strangers are not always a risk. Without the right training and socialization, it is possible for your dog to become aggressive with strangers if they feel that they or their families are threatened.

Health And Grooming

Black mouth cur

As important as it is to be aware of the temperament and personality of the Black Mouth Cur, it is also really important to find out more about their health and grooming needs. This will help you to prepare for a future of living with your Black Mouth Cur. Keep reading to find out more.


Black Mouth Curs will tend to shed moderately throughout the year and a bit more heavily before winter and summer. Generally, they don’t require much care.

One brushing per week should be more than enough for their coat type, and many Black Mouth Curs can go their whole lives without having their coats professionally groomed.


These are dogs that do not drool very much, if at all. However, if you notice that your Black Mouth Cur is drooling excessively, this could be a sign that they have an underlying health condition. You might want to get this checked out by a vet, just to be on the safe side.


These dogs are very low maintenance when it comes to grooming. They will benefit from weekly brushing, and there is often no need to see a professional groomer.

The only thing you really have to do besides general bathing and maintenance is to ensure that you keep their face and ears clean, especially where there are folds in the skin. These are areas that are more likely to harbor bacteria, parasites, and debris. 

General Health

Black Mouth Curs are generally considered to be healthy dogs, but there are some health conditions that they are more likely to develop due to their genetics. We will explain more about some of the conditions that they could inherit below.

Common Health Problems

Some of the conditions that might affect Black Mouth Curs include:

  • Ear infections
  • Epilepsy
  • Mange
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Cataracts

Potential For Weight Gain

Black Mouth Curs do not typically gain weight easily. While it is important to ensure that you are providing them with a healthy and balanced diet, it is unlikely that they will put on too much weight unless they are largely overfed.


Some dogs are simply naturally easier to train than other dogs.  Find out more about Black Mouth Cur training below.

Easy To Train

Unfortunately, these dogs will need an experienced owner who is firm yet not too harsh. While they are generally easy-going dogs, they can be more difficult to train. You will need to be patient and strict when training your dog, and it will be highly beneficial to have some experience under your belt for this challenge.


These dogs are very intelligent, which is definitely a good thing when it comes to their training. You can expect them to learn new things quite quickly, as long as they feel willing to do so at the time. 

Potential to Bite

It is not typically behavior or Black Mouth Curs to bite or be aggressive with people.

Tendency To Bark Or Howl

Black Mouth Curs don’t usually bark excessively, but they are likely to bark if they see something that they do not recognize. These dogs also often bark out of excitement, combined with jumping and tail wagging.

Black Mouth Cur History

The origin of the Black Mouth Cur breed is somewhat of a mystery, but something that is known about them is that the breed originated in the American south, most likely in Mississippi or Tennessee.

This breed of dog most likely descended from European and Asian cur dogs that were brought to North America and used by pioneers and settlers that hunted and farmed the land from Florida to Texas.

They needed a farm dog that could help them herd livestock and hunt in the region’s rugged terrain. They were also needed to ward off dangerous wildlife.

They played a big part in settling the American Frontier, and some would even claim that westward expansion by European settlers wouldn’t have been possible without the breed.

During these times, curs were crossbred with other dogs as needed, and record keeping on which breeds were used wasn’t of great importance. This is why information on their history is very limited, especially when it comes to their origin.

Therefore, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when purebred Black Mouth Curs first appeared.

Even today, there is a lot of variation in the breed that is based on the region and specific breeder that produced them. However, they are still considered to be purebred dogs, as most modern Black Mouth Curs are usually only intentionally bred with other Black Mouth Curs.

Something else that we know is that these dogs have been bred for more than 100 years by the Ladner family in SOuthern Mississippi. This family are the most well-known breeders of these dogs.

Other variations include the Alabama Black Mouth Cur, known for their red coloration, and the Florida Black Mouth Cur, recognizable by their yellow coat.

All of the different Black Mouth Cur variations make it difficult for organizations to develop breed standards, which is why many do not recognise the breed, including the American Kennel Club.

One of the most famous Black Mouth Curs is the titular dog in the novel Old Yeller. Even though the breed of the dog is not specifically mentioned, the description of the dog combined with their temperament and behavioral characteristics all imply that it is a Black Mouth Cur.


The average cost of a Black Mouth Cur is usually between $500 and $1300. However, this cost will depend on the area that you are in. They can cost as low as $450, or as high as $1400. The price of this breed will depend on the breeder, the dog’s pedigree, and the amount of training that has gone into the dog.

Black Mouth Cur Fun Facts

  • The word ‘Cur’ actually means dog
  • These dogs are very energetic and need lots of space to run around
  • They can tolerate both hot and cold weather quite well
  • These dogs will not be friendly towards cats due to their natural instincts
  • The history of the Black Mouth Cur is somewhat ambiguous

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.