Have you ever heard of a Mountain Cur dog?
Not widely known by many novice dog enthusiasts yet beloved and popular amongst experts, the Mountain Cur is a staple of American history.
This purebred dog is incredibly smart, dedicated, and focused on the task at hand, making him an excellent working dog, companion, and sometimes even therapy dog for the right owner.
Thirsty for more? Then you’ve come to the right place. Join us today as we learn all about this incredible, yet somewhat mysterious all American hunting dog.
The Mountain Cur At A Glance
The Mountain Cur is a high-energy, intelligent hunting dog.
The Mountain Cur comes in a variety of color patterns, making it sometimes difficult to distinguish between this breed and a mutt. That said, there is nothing unpredictable about this hard-working hound dog.
Muscular, well-built, and incredibly intelligent, the Mountain Cur was a stable in early frontier days. That said, this breed has a tendency to be stubborn, and his incredible brain can make him somewhat challenging for first time dog parents to manage.
Still, with the proper guidance, the Mountain Cur has the potential to make an excellent companion that is eager to learn, highly trainable, and incredibly bright.
Where Does The Mountain Cur Come From?
The Mountain Cur was an invaluable hunting dog for frontiersmen in America.
The exact origins of the Mountain Cur are muddy. However, it is widely believed that the Mountain Cur is the descendant of European Cur dogs, who were bred and altered throughout the years before being brought to America by settlers and immigrants.
The Mountain Cur of old was a genuine working dog for frontiersmen, playing an important role in their survival and the early expansion of American settlers. As these dogs were bred to work and work hard, enthusiasts deemed keeping records of the breed unimportant.
For this reason, the Mountain Cur’s origin and breeding history is a true mystery.
Regardless, the Mountain Cur has been regarded as an all American dog bred for his tenacity, courage, and intelligence.
The Mountain Cur played many roles in his working days. He was used (and continues to be used) as a hunting dog, with a great talent for treeing, holing, herding and tracking. Unlike many other hunting and gun dogs, the Mountain Cur can be easily trained to leave undesired prey, which is a difficult task for a dog who is so instinctually inclined.
This just proves how intune the Mountain Cur is with his human family, and this skill is something that helped make him an invaluable resource to settlers in early America up until the 1940s.
The Mountain Cur was officially registered as a purebred by the Organization of the Original Mountain Cur Breeders of America (OMCBA) and thus the American Kennel Club until 1957.
Today, the Mountain Cur has made a name for himself as a loving, hard-working, and trainable canine companion for the right owner or family. He also continues to find employment as a gun dog, hunting dog, tracking dog and herding dog for those who require his services.
What Does The Mountain Cur Look Like?
Mountain Cur dogs come in several different colors.
Mountain Cur Height: 16 – 26 Inches
Mountain Cur Weight: 30 – 60 Pounds
Mountain Cur Coat Color: Black, brindle, black and brindle, yellow, black and white, and tan
Coat Types: Short, smooth, shedding
Hypoallergenic Coat: No
Overview of The Mountain Cur:
Athletic and lean, the Mountain Cur is exactly what you would expect out of a diverse and well-bred hunting and working dog. He comes in a multitude of colors but otherwise maintains the same stunning characteristics across the board.
This breed has floppy ears, big brown eyes, and an expressive face. He is agile and short coated, and though he does shed seasonally, his grooming requirements are minimal.
What Are The Mountain Cur Temperament And Personality Traits Like?
Mountain Curs are clever, affectionate, and very high-energy
Like many hunting dogs, the Mountain Cur’s world is governed by his nose. However, unlike many hunting dogs, this is a breed who can be quickly trained to drop a scent or follow a different task abruptly using simple que words and sounds.
With the proper owner, the Mountain Cur will make a wonderful, trainable, and well-mannered companion. He does require an owner who is very hands-on, however, and is best suited for experienced dog owners due to his considerable intelligence.
Friendly, outgoing, and very energetic, the Mountain Cur can get along well in homes with children and other dogs. Unfortunately, however, he is likely to see smaller pets like cats, small dogs, rodents and reptiles as prey, especially if he is not raised with them or properly socialized.
It’s also best that the Mountain Cur be raised alongside children in the home, though it is possible to rescue an adult Mountain Cur who is child-friendly.
Some Mountain Cur dogs are more stubborn than others, and unfortunately, this is not an easy characteristic to predict. The best way to ensure your Mountain Cur is agreeable to you is to build a tight bond with this dog and work consistently on training and mental stimulation.
You should also note that this is a breed who becomes quite bonded with his family. He does best in homes with committed owners who have a flexible schedule and who are able to provide him with plenty of training and exercise, as well as physical and mental stimulation.
What Are The Exercise Requirements For A Mountain Cur?
High energy and enthusiastic, the Mountain Cur needs vigorous exercise.
Exercise is paramount to your Mountain Cur’s overall health and happiness, and without proper exercise and outdoor time, the Mountain Cur can become depressed, anxious and even destructive.
Because he is such an active dog, the Mountain Cur will need to be walked or run at least twice a day, with playtime in between. He does best in a home with a large, securly fenced backyard and an owner who has the time to play fetch or frisby with him.
When walking your Mountain Cur, be sure to invest in a quality dog leash and harness. Remember, this is an athletic dog who, though highly trainable, is prey-driven and may have an instinct to chase smaller animals.
The Mountain Cur can enjoy other dogs, especially if he is properly socialized. Dog park days can do this breed well, and can help them blow off some steam between walks.
Even then, the best exercise for a Mountain Cur will be good, hardy walks that are at least 45 minutes twice a day, and backyard play as we specified above. This is also a dog who would make a great companion for an avid jogger, runner, or hiker.
How Do You Properly Train and Socialize A Mountain Cur?
Without proper socialization and training, the Mountain Cur could see smaller pets like cats and small dogs as prey.
Because the Mountain Cur is so intelligent, he can be a joy to train. However, the novice dog owner or owners who do not have adequate time to work with the Mountain Cur might find this breed difficult and stubborn.
If he gets bored, the Mountain Cur can become hard-headed and distracted. That said, if you keep training short, game like and repetitive, he will learn quickly and be eager to continue pleasing you.
Because he is so active and intelligent, the Mountain Cur may also be an excellent candidate for crate training. When done correctly, crate training a dog can help alleviate anxiety and stress, help high-energy dogs get enough rest, and reduce destructive behaviors.
It’s easiest to train your Mountain Cur when you have a strong bond with him, so be careful of using punishments during training sessions. Instead, stick with treats, praise and other positive reinforcement training techniques to ensure your Mountain Cur is an excellent pupil.
Experts recommend teaching your Mountain Cur a few basic cues that should take priority, including heel, sit, stay, leave it, and come. A solid recall is incredibly important, especially when it comes to hunting dogs with a high prey drive like the Mountain Cur.
Along with teaching the essential cues and training your Mountain Cur using positive reinforcement techniques, it’s also imperative that you properly socialize your Mountain Cur at an early age.
Remember, the Mountain Cur makes a great family dog, but he must be socialized with young children and it’s even better if he is raised with them. It’s also important to monitor young children around your Mountain Cur, and to teach children how to properly and respectfully interact with the family dog.
Properly socializing your Mountain Cur also includes introducing him to as many new people, places, sights, sounds and experiences as possible. Try and ensure these first impressions are positive for him and refrain from forcing him into situations that are stressful or clearly frightening for him.
Instead, use gentle encouragement, treats and praise to help your Mountain Cur explore his world.
The Mountain Cur Grooming Requirements
These are dogs that can be prone to suffering from skin issues, so grooming is especially important.
Though the Mountain Cur is a shedding dog, his grooming requirements are relatively mild. He sheds all season, but most during shedding season which occurs during spring and fall. During this time, he may require more routine brushing to reduce loose hair.
Otherwise, your Mountain Cur will do well being brushed over once or twice a week using a quality deshedding tool. He should also have his ears checked and cleaned regularly to keep waxy buildup, moisture and residu at bay and to reduce chances of ear infection.
His nails should be trimmed often to keep them from cracking and splitting, and his teeth should be brushed once a day using a quality dog toothpaste and dog-safe toothbrush.
The Mountain Cur has a weather-resistant coat that is relatively self-cleaning, though he will still need bathing once every six weeks or so. Be careful when choosing the proper shampoo for your Mountain Cur, as this is a breed who can suffer from skin allergies.
What Is the Average Lifespan Of A Mountain Cur And Do They Have Any Serious Health Issues?
Though relatively healthy, the Mountain Cur can be prone to a few genetic health issues.
Luckily, the Mountain Cur tends to be a healthy breed with very little health issues. He can also live up to 16 years, though his average lifespan is between 10 and 13 years.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common health issues your Mountain Cur may encounter in his lifetime below.
Most Common Health Issues
- Skin Infections
- Skin Irritations
- Ear Infections
- Parasitic Infections (especially from fleas and ticks)
You can help combat some of the above health issues by following the below tips for each category.
To live a full and healthy life, all dogs require a diet rich in real animal protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and water. You can choose between wet dog food, dry dog food, raw dog food or homemade dog food, but regardless, make sure you steer clear of dog foods with additives.
Watch out for artificial flavors, by-products, fillers, and ingredients like corn, soy and wheat. For a Mountain Cur dog specifically, who is prone to skin issues and allergies, a hypoallergenic dog food with limited ingredients may be best.
It’s also important to ensure your Mountain Cur is eating a dog food that is specified for his particular age, weight and activity level.
Routine exercise not only helps keep your Mountain Cur from exhibiting behavioral issues, but it can also help combat stress, which hinders the immune system and can lead to health complications.
Proper exercise can also help decrease obesity, increase muscle and joint health, and keep your dog’s heart and lungs working properly.
Proper grooming is not just for vanity. Though the Mountain Cur requires very minimal grooming, ensuring you follow through is important. Grooming is an excellent way to bond with your Mountain Cur, and it also allows you to get a good look at his physical body.
Grooming, brushing and bathing is especially important to help you find any potential skin issues or infections on your Mountain Cur, so that you may catch them early before they become too serious.
(Pro tip – you might also consider implementing coconut oil in your grooming practices to help alleviate skin issues in this sensitive breed.)
Routine Vet Visits
Like people, dogs should visit their veterinarian on a routine basis for basic wellness exams. Most veterinarians suggest that dogs under 7 visit at least once a year, while dogs over 7 years of age visit every six months.
Keeping up with routine vet visits can help catch any potential health issues before they become too serious, saving you money and heartache in the long run.
What Are Some Pros And Cons Of Owning A Mountain Cur?
The Mountain Cur is highly intelligent, though he can be stubborn at times.
The Mountain Cur is certainly an incredible dog, but there are some pros and cons to owning this clever canine that any potential owner should be aware of.
See for yourself below.
Pros To Owning A Mountain Cur:
- Mountain Cur dogs are highly trainable
- They are active and energetic
- They can be quite affectionate
- Mountain Curs love their family
- They enjoy having a job to do and can be trained to do household chores
- Mountain Curs are excellent dogs for active families
- They can get along with children and other, larger dogs
- They are long-lived dogs with very little health issues
Cons To Owning A Mountain Cur:
- Mountain Cur dogs are extremely high-energy
- Some can be stubborn and difficult to train
- Novice dog owners may find these dogs overwhelming
- They require consistent training, socialization and exercise
- The Mountain Cur has a high prey drive and may not do well with smaller pets
- They need vigorous exercise each and every day
What Is The Ideal Home Type For A Mountain Cur?
The Mountain Cur does best with active home owners and owners who have experience with intelligent, working dog breeds.
Because the Mountain Cur is such a high-energy, intelligent dog, he will do best in homes with experienced dog owners who have plenty of time to commit to exercise and training.
This is also a dog who will fit in well with active, outdoorsy families with young children and larger dogs. They require lots of space to run and play, and are not best suited for apartment living.
These dogs will also do well in families with flexible schedules who are home often, or in homes where owners are able to hire quality dog walkers or pet sitters.
Choosing A Mountain Cur Puppy Or Rescue – Tips On Finding The Healthiest Mountain Cur Possible
To ensure you get a healthy puppy or rescue dog, make sure you go through reputable sources.
While it is true that the Mountain Cur does not suffer from many major health issues or genetic diseases, it’s still important to ensure you go through the proper sources when looking for one of these dogs to call your own.
On average, a Mountain Cur puppy from a reputable breeder costs between $400 to $3,000. This is quite a range for these hunting dogs, but the price will vary depending on the breeder, your location, and the quality of the Mountain Cur puppy’s parent breeds.
Keep in mind that working Mountain Cur puppies and show puppies generally cost more than puppies bred specifically for companionship.
When going through a breeder, make sure you do plenty of research. We suggest finding a breeder who has references, a history with the Mountain Cur breed, and is able to offer you a health certificate proving their puppies have been health screened and cleared of any serious issues.
Avoid unqualified breeders, backyard sellers, or those who are offering you a Mountain Cur puppy at a bargain price without certification. While you may save money initially by going through these routes, you could unwittingly be supporting a puppy mill and have a much higher chance of winding up with a sick puppy. This could cost you much more money in the long run, not to mention heartache.
Along with going through a reputable breeder, you might also consider adopting a Mountain Cur dog from a rescue or shelter. Sadly, because these dogs are so high-energy, many unprepared owners often invest in them and quickly become overwhelmed.
For this reason, there are several shelters that specialize in this intelligent breed, and with time and research, it’s more likely than not that one of these rescues will be able to unite you with the Mountain Cur dog of your dreams.
There are plenty of benefits of going through a rescue. For starters, many rescues have their dogs undergo behavioral and health screenings before putting them up for adoption. Some shelters even provide you with a free initial vet exam.
Not only that, but adopting a dog is generally a fraction of the cost of going through a breeder, with the average cost of adopting a Mountain Cur coming to around $150 to $200.
The Top 5 Products Every Mountain Cur Owner Needs
Make sure you’re prepared for raising a happy, healthy Mountain Cur by stocking up on all the right gear.
If you’ve decided that a Mountain Cur is the ideal dog for you, then congratulations are in order! This is absolutely a special and unique breed, and we are thrilled for you. To help you and your Mountain Cur start off right, we have listed five of our favorite Mountain Cur products below.
Take a look!
PetSafe 3 in 1 No Pull Dog Harness
The Pet Safe 3 in 1 No Pull Dog Harness is one of our favorite dog harnesses for active, athletic dogs like the Mountain Cur. This is a back and front-clip harness that helps reduce pulling without putting pressure on your dog’s throat or sensitive trachea.
It also reduces your Mountain Cur’s instinct to pull by redirecting him back to you, making walking much more comfortable and safer for you both.
The above harness also works as a car harness or seat belt by clipping in the back and connecting to your seats during drives. Best of all, this harness is ideal for those who enjoy jogging or running.
It comes in three different colors and four sizes, so it is simple to customize. You can even order this harness in a harness and leash combo!
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dog Food
Though overall a healthy breed, the Mountain Cur can be prone to skin issues and allergies. As such, we recommend a quality dog food that is rich in protein but otherwise has a limited list of ingredients. The above dog food by Blue Buffalo is a limited ingredient diet dry dog food that contains salmon, which is rich in DHA.
This helps to support a healthy heart, skin and coat. However, this dog food is also grain free, and there has been some speculation on whether or not grain free diets are truly the healthiest option for some dogs, so just keep this in mind.
Earthbath Hypoallergenic Pet Shampoo
Although the Mountain Cur does not need regular bathing, there will be times when he needs to get clean. When choosing a good shampoo for this breed, make sure it is free of any additives, parapbins, or other ingredients that could strip your Mountain cur of the natural oils his skin produces.
One of our favorite shampoos for dogs with sensitive skin or who are prone to suffering from skin issues is the Earthbath Hypoallergenic pet Shampoo above. This shampoo is rich in vitamin E and contains aloe vera. It is free of fragrances, DEA, dyes, sulfates, soap and other ingredients that could irritate your dog’s sensitive skin and coat.
You may use this shampoo on puppies as young as six weeks old.
MIU Pet Deshedding Brush
The Mountain Cur’s short coat sheds minimally, but he still needs routine brushing to reduce doggy odor and skin issues. One of our favorite brushes for the Mountain Cur is the above MIU Pet Deshedding Brush.
This brush is ideal for dogs with shorter coats and helps to remove loose hair, increase the natural production of healthy skin oils, and improve the look of your dog’s coat over time. It can also help reduce excessive shedding by up to 95%!
The head of the comb is detachable and the brush is easy to clean and store. It is made of non-toxic material (in case your dog gets a hold of it and tries to chew it) and can be used as often as needed during routine grooming.
The Natural Dog Company Skin Soother
Last, we have an all natural, organic skin soother balm by the Natural Dog Company. This soothing ointment comes in a 30 ml container and helps to alleviate a plethora of skin issues including infections, wounds, hot spots, bee stings, rashes, abrasions and more. It is made with all natural ingredients like chamomile, cocoa butter, vitamin E, lavender and frankincense.
This balm not only heals wounds and skin issues but also soothes and reduces itching, redness and swelling. Best of all, it is perfectly safe for your dog and is fine if ingested.
And there you have it – everything you needed to know about the Mountain Cur dog. So, what do you think? Is this the right dog breed for you and your lifestyle? Leave us your thoughts about the energetic, intelligent, and affectionate Mountain Cur dog in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.