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Mountain Cur
Updated on January 20, 2023
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Mountain Cur

The Mountain Cur belongs to the hunting dog family. Pet experts and owners describe them as highly intelligent and easy to train—traits that make them great watchdogs.

Mountain cur dogs make lovely companions because they are fond of human interaction. They also respond best to training through regular and plenty of human contact.

Mountain Cur 3

The Mountain Cur dog breed was declared in 1957, during the establishment of the Original Mountain Cur Breeders of America (OMCBA). But before this, Mountain Curs had no organized breeding records—you could only find them in highly remote and rural areas.

These dogs have been a part of American families since frontier times. Early settlers in the Southern mountain area relied on them to watch over the livestock and guard against intruders. They are also good hunting dogs to take on wild game hunts.

This dog breed has several variations, including the following

  • Arline
  • Stephens
  • McConnell
  • Ledbetter
  • York

Appearance and Features

  • Height: 16 to 26 inches
  • Weight: 30 to 60 pounds
  • Body size: Medium
  • Coat length: Short
  • Colors: Red, brown, chocolate, liver, gold, yellow, black, and blue
  • Patterns: Brindle, bi-color, tuxedo, solid,

The Mountain Cur is an active breed with a muscular build. It certainly looks alert and strong with its high-set ears, wide blocky head, and muscular neck.

It has smooth and short hair, but animal experts don't consider it a hypoallergenic breed since it sheds loose fur twice a year. In terms of color, its coat pattern can be solid colors with white or tan markings or brindle points.

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Mountain Curs are friendly dogs, and they warm up to people once they get to know them. Despite their large size and intimidating bark, they get along well with young children.

They work hard to protect their families and resources, making them great guard dogs. They are very loyal, and sometimes they become overprotective. Training them properly and vigilant supervision around kids is essential.

Their high prey drive makes them see smaller animals as prey. It may become an issue if you have small pets. But with consistent training, they'll understand that they aren't meant to chase your other pets.

Mountain Curs are known for their tendency to be strong-willed and stubborn, but they are not difficult to train. However, you need to put in time and effort with their obedience training, so they become well-rounded.

Bored or underworked Mountain Curs can be destructive, so ensure they're getting enough activity. With the right amount of exercise and stimulation, they can be very manageable and a great addition to your family.


Mountain Curs are highly trainable. They can be versatile, and pet owners can teach them to do just about any task.

They work hard for praise, responding best to positive reinforcement in training. Despite being intelligent, some tend toward stubbornness. Their trainability may vary for each dog, but owners can train and socialize them well.

They are happiest when they have a well-defined job because they crave work. If you can't take them outdoors, they'd be content with puzzle toys or feeders—anything to keep them mentally stimulated.

Mountain curs also love the following activities:

  • Jogging
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Any dog sports
Mountain Cur 4

Living Needs

Mountain curs are natural explorers. They love to roam around safe, wide-open areas, so a home with a spacious fenced-in backyard is perfect for them.

You must keep them in a fenced-in yard to prevent them from chasing after small animals like squirrels.

Apartments may not be ideal for them. If you have a small home, take them for long walks or bring them to dog parks.

Mountain curs are high-energy, social dogs. You must ensure they meet their exercise needs so they won’t feel overwhelmed and bored. They also love being around people, especially family members. You shouldn’t leave them alone for hours.

Grooming and Care

The grooming and care needs of Mountain Curs include dental hygiene and nail care.

Ideally, you must brush their teeth daily to avoid tartar and bacteria build-up. They need regular nail trimming unless they spend much time walking on concrete.

Curs have a double coat with a thick topcoat. They don't require a lot of grooming for their coat, but you'll need to brush them at least twice a week, if not daily.

You must brush them with a shedding comb to remove dead and loose hair during their shedding season.

Mountain Curs often have sensitive skin. Since water and shampoo tend to dry their skin, it's better to bathe them less frequently. You only need to bathe them when they've gotten into dirt or something that smells bad.

Use a moisturizing shampoo designed for sensitive skin when bathing them.


Mountain Curs are a relatively healthy breed with an average lifespan of 14 to 16 years. Inbreeding in their lineage is rare—one of the reasons why they face fewer health problems than other dogs.

But, they may still experience some health issues, like the following:

Skin infections and irritations

Mountain curs are prone to skin infections and irritations because of their dry, sensitive skin. Humid environments can worsen their skin problems. 

Ear infections and deafness

Mountain Curs have a risk of deafness.1 Their long, soft ears tend to develop wax and serve as a breeding ground for bacteria and mites. It puts them at risk of ear infections, which can eventually lead to deafness.

Hip dysplasia

As they age, they may start to show signs of hip dysplasia. Canine hip dysplasia is a common bone problem resulting in loose hip joints. Your vet may prescribe supplements to help ease their joint pains.3

Providing your dog with a healthy diet and plenty of physical activity ensures it lives as healthily as possible.


Your Mountain Cur may have higher calorie needs than other dog breeds because they are very active dogs. They should always have access to fresh and clean water to help them stay hydrated.

An adult Mountain Cur needs to eat about two (2) cups of food daily. You should portion it into two (2) meals for easier digestion.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Mountain Curs should be good with high-quality dog food.2 You can feed them with commercially-prepared dog foods.

Should you decide to prepare their food, consult your vet on what kind of human food is safe for your dog. Ask your veterinarian for age-appropriate food for your Mountain Cur.

How Do I Know If I Have a Mountain Cur?

You may analyze your dog's appearance and temperament and compare them to others to determine its breed. The United Kennel Club has the breed standards for Mountain Curs. You can find useful information there.4

But since many breeds are similar, these aspects may not be the best way to learn their breed.

A dog DNA test is one way to know if you have a Mountain Cur for a pet. DNA testing can tell you the breed and the percentage breakdown in case your dog is a mix of different breeds. It analyzes your pet's genetic makeup.

What To Expect When You Have a Mountain Cur

Getting yourself a pet like a dog is more of having responsibility than the privilege of owning one. When you welcome them into your home, you must understand that you’re making a lifetime commitment.

A dog will depend on you for its food and shelter. Pet ownership also entails looking after their well-being.

To keep your Mountain Cur happy and healthy, make sure you are providing them with the following:

  • The right amount of exercise and mental stimulation
  • Proper grooming to keep their coat clean and their skin, teeth, and nails healthy
  • Daily caloric needs

You can also try dog DNA testing to gain perspective on their future health risks. It can prepare and guide you in giving your pet a long and happy life.

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Updated on January 20, 2023
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4 sources cited
Updated on January 20, 2023
  1. What You Should Know About Canine Deafness.” American Kennel Club.
  2. Mountain Cur.” American Kennel Club.
  3. Canine Hip Dysplasia.” American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
  4. Mountain Cur.” United Kennel Club.
Kelly Jamrozy
Kelly Jamrozy
Content Contributor
Kelly has experience working with clients in a variety of industries, including legal, medical, marketing, and travel. Her goal is to share important information that people can use to make decisions about their health and the health of their loved ones. From choosing the best treatment programs to improving dental and vision health to finding the best method for helping anyone who is struggling with health issues, she hopes to share what she learns through informative content.
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