Black Mouth Cur

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Black Mouth Cur
Weight Male 40 lb (18 kg) and over
Female 35 lb (35 lb) and over
Height Male 18 in (46 cm) and above
Female 16 in (41 cm) and above
Coat Short and dense.
Color Red, yellow and fawn; black; brown; buckskin; or brindle; with or without black muzzle or mask.
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 hunting, herding, 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 occur in Black Mouth Curs, and on rare occasions appear in a breeding. 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 considered acceptable. None of the Cur breeds are currently[when?] recognized breeds of the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Aficionados describe the breed as "multitalented". Primarily BMCs are herding dogs able to hunt big or small game, but they are also suitable as family dogs.[1]

The breed has a litter of 3-9, and a lifespan of 12–16 years. The name "cur" is a slang term for a mongrel.


Portrait of a Blackmouth Cur showing the typical melanistic mask around the muzzle.

Black Mouth Curs have short coats,[2] either coarse or fine, and a combination of the two types may appear in the same litter. They can be a dark or light solid color, of Red, Buckskin, Yellow or rare White.

Head: 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.

Tail: The tail of a Black Mouth Cur is of medium length and should be left natural.

Feet: The feet are large and webbed, similar to a Catahoula Leopard Dog.

Size: The adult weight ranges from 50-100 pounds, and 16-25 inches tall, with males being larger than females. The wide range in size is due to different types within the breed.[2]


Black Mouth Curs are great family dogs. They are great social dogs if trained properly. The BMC is a "very smart"[1] breed who "by nature need to bond a few weeks"[1] with their owner/trainer before training can begin. The breed shows great loyalty and may even die for their owner.[citation needed] Great around children if introduced correctly[citation needed], they have great potential to "make wonderful family dogs."[1] As they grow older they become very laid back.[citation needed] "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'."[3]


Though many health issues affect dogs of all breeds and can affect the Black Mouth Cur, they seem to be a rather hardy breed. Their average life span is 12–16 years of age.[citation needed] As with other similar breeds, entropion (slight turning in of eyelid) is a correctable health issue. Their active nature exposes them to the possibility of torn ligaments and pulled muscles.[citation needed]


"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."[4] 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.


Black Mouth Curs 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.

The first Black Mouth Curs registered with a national kennel registry, were 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 that the NKC recognized their dogs as a breed.

The Weatherford's Ben Texas Black Mouth Cur comes from a line of curs well-documented in the book Big Thicket Legacy.[5][page needed] They are used primarily for herding cattle.

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 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. Believed to be descendants of Old European Hounds, and Molloser breeds, which are now extinct. 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, featuring Howard Carnathan's Bruno, a Southern Black Mouth Cur. Mr. Carnathan used several lines to develop his own line. 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. He is preceded by family member Mr. Steve Howard, who is still actively improving and breeding the Southern Black Mouth Cur.


  1. ^ a b c d "Welcome to". Retrieved 2013-07-23. 
  2. ^ a b Palika, Liz (2007). The Howell Book of Dogs: The Definitive Reference to 300 Breeds and Varieties. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780470175859. 
  3. ^ "FAQ's". 
  4. ^ "FAQ's". Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  5. ^ 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. 

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