How to Identify a Mountain Cur

A Mountain Cur Hunting Dog in Profile
A Mountain Cur Hunting Dog in Profile (Image:

When American was first colonized, many of the settlers brought their terrier-type curs or mutts across the Atlantic ocean with them. These dogs bred with the local Native American dogs to produce the Mountain Cur. This breed was perfect for the needs of the American settler. It was extremely protective of its master's home, was an excellent silent tracker and was capable of treeing small game animals with ease. The book "Old Yeller" was written about a Mountain Cur. Since then, the vast majority of the curs and their offshoots have been refined and delineated into their own breed categories. However, after several centuries of uninterrupted breeding in remote portions of the Appalachian Mountains, many specimens of the original Mountain Cur have been rediscovered and extensive breeding programs have been instituted to preserve this dog’s future. Today, it is mainly used for hunting in the American South. Here are a few a tips on how to positively identify this breed should you come across one.

Begin by assessing the dog’s size and weight and taking note of any other bodily features. This breed can vary between 18 to 26 inches high at the shoulders and weigh between 30 and 60 lbs., which is in proportion with its height. It should be a wide shouldered, square dog of equal length to its height. This breed has a broad body and wide back, the legs should be muscular and widely splayed when the dog stands normally. Roughly half of this breed are born with bob-tails, the other half have very short tails that are held horizontal to the ground and curl upward. Many are also born with dew claws on their hind feet as well.

Examine the dog’s coat. It should be short and rough with an under layer of soft, fine fur intended for insulation. The coat is often heavier than that of most coonhounds and other breeds that tree small animals, though it is still considered a short-haired breed. Colors include the famous tan-yellow, brindled brown, black, and brindle and black.

Conclude by looking at the dog’s head. It should have a thick neck of moderate length. The skull should be wide and flat, vaguely reminiscent of a pit bull. The ears should be wide and rounded at the tip. Supported at the base, the ears should hang half their lengths out to the sides. The muzzle should be thick and off equal length to the skull. Muscle mass should be evident along the sides and underneath the dog’s lower jaw. The tip of the nose should be squared flat as well.

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