Black Mouth Cur

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
U.S.A.
Translation
Francis Vandersteen

A brief presentation of the Black Mouth Cur

The Black Mouth Cur is one of the best known of the many Cur-type dogs developed in the southern United States. They were created from hunting dogs, Terrier breeds and feist dogs to become versatile dogs capable of hunting, herding and guarding for farmers and settlers who often couldn't afford to keep more than one dog at a time. They were bred for skill rather than looks. For this reason, there's a lot of variation from one dog to the next in coloring and size zones. Whatever their size, these dogs have a high activity level and an extremely strong prey drive. They will need daily physical and mental exercise to prevent the development of behavioral problems.

History of the Black Mouth Cur

Although originally described as an unhealthy or aggressive mongrel dog, it now refers to one of the many dog breeds that were developed as versatile farm dogs in the southern United States. The dogs that fall into the Cur classification were deliberately bred for their varied skills. So it stands to reason that several dog breeds with many different skills were combined to develop these dogs without much concern for their physical appearance. Written records of this type of dog indicate that the Cur has been around since at least 1,700, and most of them were mixtures of hunting and Terrier dogs, with a hint of feist and sheepdog thrown into the mix. Early Cur dogs eventually split into several types, including the Catahoula Leopard dog, the Mountain Cur, the Treeing Cur and the Black Mouth Cur. The Black Mouth Cur is one of the oldest Cur varieties and is described by author Fred Gipson in his famous novel "Old Yeller", although the dog in the film of the same name is a rescue dog mixed between a Dogue and a Labrador. The Black Mouth Cur variety is distinguished by its characteristic black muzzle and the darker pigmentation that extends to the inside of the mouth, with only the tongues remaining pink. This dark pigmentation has led many experts to speculate that the Black Mouth Cur, in particular, may have a significant contribution from the English Mastiff, although this has not been proven to date.

Appearance of the Black Mouth Cur

The Black Mouth Cur is a medium to large dog, measuring between 40.5 and 63.5 centimeters in height, and can be a little heavier than most cur varieties, weighing up to 43 kilos. They are slightly longer than they are tall, with a particularly broad, muscular chest and slightly arched loins. The Black Mouth Cur's legs are strong and straight, and many of these dogs have flippers between the toes. Their head tends to be broad, with a broad, flat skull and a broad muzzle with a particularly well-defined lower jaw. The muzzle and inside of the mouth are generally black, with only the pink tongue remaining, and their low, medium-length ears are set high on the head and hang close to the cheek. Their eyes can be any shade of brown, green or yellow, while blue and multicolored eyes sometimes appear, they are considered serious faults.

Temperament of the Black Mouth Cur

This breed tends to be quite sociable with people of all ages, but they should be closely supervised when interacting with smaller children, as they can be large and sometimes clumsy. With proper socialization, they get on quite well with other dogs when on neutral territory, but due to their territorial nature, they can sometimes tip over into aggression when on their own property. They are natural hunters with an extremely high prey drive. These dogs are therefore generally not recommended for homes with cats and other smaller pets. They should never be left alone in the yard, as they are resourceful escape artists and their prey is so relentless that, when given free rein, many Black Mouth Curs bring home gifts of dead animals to their owners, like cats with larger prey. They are very intelligent and good problem-solvers, but although many train quickly, some Black Mouth Curs will show no interest in being trained and prefer to try and learn things for themselves, which can sometimes lead to mischief.

Needs and activities of the Black Mouth Cur

These dogs are generally quite active and need at least an hour of vigorous activity a day, as well as plenty of mental stimulation to keep their inquisitive minds occupied. If not given enough physical and mental stimulation, this breed can quickly become mischievous and even destructive. Fortunately, the Black Mouth Cur is also an extremely versatile dog and can be entertained by a variety of activities, including herding, tracking and swimming. These dogs are generally too large, active and territorial to make good apartment dwellers, and are happiest when they have a large yard to run and play in.

Maintenance of the Black Mouth Cur

These dogs have a relatively easy-to-care-for coat and few grooming problems. Bathing should be maintained as needed, as these dogs can develop dry skin problems if bathed too frequently. Although they only need brushing a few times a month to control shedding and keep their coats healthy, their coats tend to pick up dirt and debris on the outside, which may require more frequent brushing sessions. Many Black Mouth Curs also shed more heavily during seasonal changes and may require more frequent brushing sessions during these periods too.

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