Black Mouth Cur Dog: Characteristics, Origin, Temperament & Lifespan

The Black Mouth Cur dog is a breed of hunting and cattle dog. It is energetic, fearless, and strong and is valued as an all-around working dog bred to help farmers and hunters. It is also known as Southern Black Mouth Cur, and Yellow Black Mouth.

The Black Mouth Cur dog, as a breed, have varied historical documentation depending upon region. The breed is believed to have originated in Alabama, although there are Southern Black Mouth Curs in Florida and Tennessee as well.

The Howard Line of the Southern Black Mouth Curs were the first registered line of Black Mouth Curs, with a legitimate, and well 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.[1]

They were used as multi-purpose 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.

The United Kennel Club later recognized the bred, through the efforts of several Black Mouth Cur breeders. Some of the first dogs originate with the Howard family. Mr. J.D. Howard can be found as being a descendant of Howardtown and the Southern Black Mouth Cur heritage. Mr. J.D. Howard carried on the long family tradition for many years. His legacy is being continued by family member Mr. Steve Howard, who is still actively improving and breeding the Southern Black Mouth Cur.

Black Mouth Cur Dog Characteristics

The Black Mouth Cur dogs are well muscled rugged herding, hunting and all around utility dog. Their coat comes in a number of colors and shades, generally all shades of fawn from nearly white to mahogany.

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Solid white and piedbald colors are not allowed in Black Mouth Cur dogs, and in rare occasions may appear in a litter due to recessive genes.

Their coat is short, either coarse or fine, and a combination of the two types may appear in the same litter. They come in many colors. All shades of red, yellow and fawn; black; brown; buckskin; or brindle; with or without black muzzle or mask.

Very small amounts of white are allowed under the chin, around the nose, on the neck, chest, legs, and tip of tail (provided that no more than ten percent total of the dog’s body may be white)

Dilute coat colors are acceptable and may be identified by the following traits: green, yellow, or light brown eyes; white toenails; red or yellow coat without any trace of black hair. Never spotted, mottled, merle or with white collar.

The muzzle of the Black Mouth Cur dog 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 of the Black Mouth Cur dog are medium in size and hanging. The ears may either be melanistic like the muzzle or the same color as the coat. Their tail can be of any length; long, medium, bob tailed or none at all.

Their feed are of moderate size, compact and well arched. Pads are large, tough, and well cushioned. Toes may be webbed, and single or double dewclaws may be present.

The Black Mouth Cur dogs are medium in size. Average body height of the mature dog is between 16 and 18 inches at the withers. And their average live body weight is between 16 and 23 kg.

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The Black Mouth Cur dogs are great social dogs if trained properly, and they are also great family dogs. They are extremely smart breed who by nature need to bond a few weeks with their owner/trainer before training can begin.

They are sensitive dogs that are attuned to their master’s voice and should never by yelled at in anger or spanked. They make good family dogs as long as they have at least an acre of yard which they can access throughout the day.

The Black Mouth Curs are very social dogs and need a human companion. They will not be happy spending the day on the couch alone. They must have access to several hours of exercise daily to avoid anxiety and depression.

The Black Mouth Cur dog was bred as a homestead dog that would protect it’s family and home against intruders. This means that, a well-bred Black Mouth Cur dog is territorial. Most Black Mouth Cur dogs 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’.”


Average lifespan of the Black Mouth Cur dog is between 12 and 18 years.


How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food.

The Black Mouth Cur dogs are medium in size. So, their diet should be formulated for a medium-sized breed with high exercise needs. You can consult with a vet in your area for better recommendations.


Taking good care of the animals is very important for raising Black Mouth Cur dogs. It’s very important to care for their ears, as they can trap dirt, water, and debris, leading to ear infections and other complications. This is especially true of dogs who like to play outdoors in water or in humid areas. Frequent, thorough ear cleanings are a must to prevent infection.

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The Black Mouth Cur dogs should also regularly have their eyes and bone health checked during routine vet visits to spot signs of cataracts, hip dysplasia or other eye and skeletal conditions. Their teeth should be brushed regularly and professionally cleaned as needed.

The Black Mouth Cur dogs were bred to have a high energy level appropriate for long days of hard work. So, it is very important for these dogs to get a good deal of exercise. They don’t do well in apartments or sitting on a couch all day. A yard to round around and at least one long walk per day are essential, as anything less can lead to boredom, anxiety and destructive behavior.

The Black Mouth Cur dogs are stubborn, when it comes to training. But an overly harsh approach doesn’t work for this sensitive breed. These dogs need a trainer who will be firm and lay down the low, but also won’t raise their voice in anger or frustration. They are generally eager to please, but they will also get bored if training sessions are too long or repetitive, and their attention may drift. Short and focused training sessions are best for them.


The Black Mouth Cur dogs are generally healthy. But like all other dog breeds, they are also prone to certain health conditions.

Their common health problems include ear infections, epilepsy, mange, cataracts and hip dysplasia. Always keep good contact with a vet in your area.

Breed Name Black Mouth Cur
Other Names Also known as Southern Black Mouth Cur, and Yellow Black Mouth
Breed Size Medium
Height Between 16 and 18 inches at the withers
Weight Between 16 and 23 kg
Good as pets Yes
Climate Tolerance All climates
Color Red, yellow and fawn; buckskin; or brindle; with or without black muzzle or mask
Lifespan Between 12 and 18 years
Good for children Yes
Rarity Common
Country of Origin United States