The Mountain Cur breed originated in the United States, specifically in the Southern Appalachian and Ozark mountains and states like Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. These dogs were brought to America by settlers from Europe, who needed dogs that were versatile and capable of hunting game, protecting property, and herding livestock. As the settlers moved westward during the 19th century, the dogs they brought with them eventually became what we know today as the Mountain Cur. The Mountain Cur is a type of working dog that's known for its courage, strength, and versatility. These dogs were bred to be rugged and persistent to help in the survival of their families. They nearly became extinct around the mid-20th century, but through the dedicated efforts of a few breed enthusiasts who formed the Original Mountain Cur Breeders Association (OMCBA) in 1957, the breed was saved.
Mountain Cur Dogs are generally healthy dogs, but can be prone to conditions common in many breeds, such as hip dysplasia, hyperuricosoria, degenerative myelopathy, and eye problems such as progressive rod-cone degeneration and cataracts. There's also a risk of obesity if their active lifestyle is not maintained.
Mountain Curs are intelligent, brave, and hardworking dogs. They are known for their tenacity and courage in the hunting field. They can also be quite protective, making them good watchdogs. These dogs are energetic and need plenty of exercise, so they are not well-suited to apartment living. They do best with a job to do, whether that's hunting, herding, or participating in dog sports.
Mountain Curs are generally good with children and can get along with other dogs if they are properly socialized. However, due to their high prey drive, they may not be suitable for homes with small pets like cats or rabbits. This breed is often reserved or wary around strangers, but they are not typically aggressive without provocation. Training a Mountain Cur can be a rewarding experience, as they are eager to please and quick to learn. However, they can also be a bit stubborn at times, so a consistent and firm approach to training is often required.
"Cur" in their name comes from the term "curs", which was used to refer to the lowest class of mixed-breed dogs. But don't let the name fool you; these are highly specialized working dogs!
Mountain Curs played a significant role in the frontier days of the United States, helping settlers by guarding the homestead and hunting for food.
They are known for their sharp treeing instinct, a hunting technique where the dog chases prey up a tree and then signals to their human by barking or howling.
There are common "strains" of Mountain Cur dogs, including the McConnell, Stephens, Ledbetter, Arline, and York strains. These categories are named after the owners of the dogs.