Black Mouth Cur
|Other names||Southern Cur
Yellow Black Mouth Cur
Black Mouth Cur
American Black Mouth Cur
Red Black Mouth Cur
|Country of origin||United States|
|Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
The Black Mouth Cur is a hunting and cattle dog that has its origins in the Southern Eastern United States of America.
The Black Mouth Cur is a well-muscled rugged herding, hunting, and all around utility dog whose coat comes in a number of colors and shades, generally red, yellow, fawn, or buckskin. Solid white and piebald colors are not allowed in Black Mouth Curs, but in rare occasions may appear in a litter due to recessive genes from several generations back matching up. According to the breed standard of the United Kennel Club, up to ten percent of the coat may be white with the amounts of white on the toes, tail, nose and chest are acceptable but not desired. As of this date the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Cur is recognized by AKC as the Catahoula Leopard Hound and the Plott Cur has been renamed the Plott Hound. It is hoped that the Black mouth Cur does not become recognized, renamed, and made into a show dog whose champions are judged only by their looks and not their working performance.
The name "cur" is a descriptive term for a general, short-coated, drop-eared, farm and ranch working dog. Primarily BMCs are herding dogs able to hunt big or small game, but they are also suitable as family dogs.
The breed has a litter of 3-12, and a lifespan of 12–18 years. 
Black Mouth Curs have short coats, either coarse or fine, and a combination of the two types may appear in the same litter. Black Mouth Curs come in many colors. All shades of red, yellow and fawn; black; brown; buckskin; or brindle; with or without black muzzle or mask. Very small amounts of white are allowed under the chin, around the nose, on the neck, chest, legs, and tip of tail, provided that no more than ten percent total of the dog's body may be white. Dilute coat colors are acceptable and may be identified by the following traits: green, yellow, or light brown eyes; white toenails; red or yellow coat without any trace of black hair. Never spotted, mottled, merle, or with white collar. A disqualification is albinism.
The muzzle is square-shaped. It may have a melanistic mask, which is most often black. Maskless dogs are allowed but not preferred. The name 'Black Mouth' refers to the dark pigmentation around the lips that also extends into the interior of the mouth including the roof of the mouth, gums, and cheeks, excluding the tongue. The ears are medium-sized and hanging and may either be melanistic like the muzzle or the same color as the coat.
The tail of a Black Mouth Cur can be of any length; long, medium, bob tailed, or none at all. Some owners of curs that are born with a tail will dock their dog's tail, and some cur dogs are born with little or no tail at all. The feet are of moderate size, compact and well arched. Pads are large, tough, and well cushioned. Toes may be webbed. Single or double dewclaws may be present.
The adult weight ranges depending on the line from 35 pounds minimum for tree dogs (i.e. Ladner BMCs) to 50 pounds and over a hundred pounds for herding or hog dogs (i.e. the Weatherford Ben line). Their height can also vary with a minimum height of 16 inches tall. Males in the same lines are normally larger than females.
Black Mouth Curs are great family dogs. They are very social dogs if trained properly. The BMC is a "extremely smart" breed who "by nature need to bond a few weeks" with their owner/trainer before training can begin. The breed shows great loyalty and will willingly give their life to save their owner. Great around children if introduced correctly, they have great potential to "make wonderful family dogs." As they grow older they become very laid back. "The BMC was bred as a homestead dog that would protect its family and home against intruders. This means that a well-bred BMC is territorial. Most BMCs off their 'turf' work well with other dogs, hunting or herding stock, but on their family property will chase the same dog away. Their turf can be viewed by the dog as the family’s home, land, truck, or sometimes proximity to 'their person'."
Over all, the BMCs enjoy some of the best health of any breed or mixed breed of dog. But all dogs with dropped ears can be subject to ear infections, especially if worked under very wet conditions, as for example, hunting wild boar in swamps. Humidity in general will cause the inner ear to sweat creating a great environment for ear mites and infection. It’s a good idea to check your dog’s ears on a regular basis (weekly). You should look for clean skin, and smell to see if there is any bad aroma. If either ear has excessive wax build up, lots of dirt or a bad smell, take the dog to the vet for a check up. Just a helpful note, it’s easier and cheaper to prevent a problem than to correct one later.
"The BMC is genetically very athletic and eager to please. Given proper guidance and training, a BMC can excel in just about any activity you could imagine. They can herd animals, track or trail game, pull weights, run in a coursing event, work as a Search and Rescue dog, or anything else a smart, athletic dog that wants to please its owner can do." Black Mouth Curs are used for herding cattle, baying hogs, hunting squirrel, raccoon, bear and mountain lion. All Black Mouth Curs excel at baying and herding. They will also tree game. The BMC is a very versatile dog, and a single dog can be used to bay, herd, and tree depending upon the handler's desire. They have also been noted to be successful deer tracking dogs in the South.
The Cur dogs were developed by the Celts and when the Irish, Scots and or Celtic people settled in southeastern America, they brought their trusted working dogs with them. It is doubtful if the southern United States could have been settled without the cur dogs. The Black Mouth Curs, as a breed, have varied historical documentation dependent upon region. Among them are the Southern Black Mouth Cur from Alabama, Foundation Black Mouth Cur from Texas, Ladner Yellow Black Mouth Cur from Mississippi, and the Florida Black Mouth Cur, sometimes called a cracker cur.
The first Black Mouth Curs registered with a national kennel registry were the Ladner Black Mouth Curs through the National Kennel Club in April 1964. Mr L.H. Ladner had such extensive written documentation of his family's breeding curs that the NKC recognized their dogs as a breed.
The Florida Black Mouth Cur, used for herding cattle, are featured in old paintings hanging in local barber shops and homes, so their existence and history in Florida is documented.
The Southern Black Mouth Cur, is believed to have originated in Alabama, though there are Southern Black Mouth Cur in Florida and Tennessee. The Howard Line of Southern Black Mouth Curs were first registered Line of Black Mouth Curs, with a legitimate, and well documented outside source. They were registered with the courthouse around Howardtown, Alabama about 40 miles north of Mobile and nearby Tibbie in the early 1940s. These dogs were bred for well over 100 years prior to registration with the courthouse. They were used as multipurpose pioneer dogs that would hunt, protect the home, and gather in the cattle and pigs at slaughter time. Several breeders through the South continue to work toward retaining and improving the Southern Black Mouth Cur. Through the efforts of several Black Mouth Cur breeders, the United Kennel Club later recognized the breed. Some of the first dogs originate with the Howard family. Mr. JD Howard can be found as being a descendant of Howardtown, and the Southern Black Mouth Cur heritage. Mr. JD Howard carried on the long family tradition for many years. His legacy is being continued by family member Mr. Steve Howard, who is still actively improving and breeding the Southern Black Mouth Cur.
- https://www.akc.org/breeds/complete_breed_list.cfm |accessdate=2015-01-3
- "BlackMouthCur home page". blackmouthcur.com. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- "FAQ's". Blackmouthcur.com.
- "FAQ's". Blackmouthcur.com. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- Campbell Loughmiller; Lynn Loughmiller; Forward by Francis E. Abernethy (2002). Big Thicket Legacy. Temple Big Thicket Series, Vol. 2. Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press. ISBN 1-57441-156-X.
- Media related to Blackmouth Cur at Wikimedia Commons