Mountain Cur: Dog Breed Characteristics & Care

History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Brindle and White Mountain Cur Laying Down

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The Mountain Cur is an intelligent, hardworking, and loyal dog breed, making it a dependable addition to many families. They love the great outdoors and are the ideal dog for owners who like to explore nature and stay active. However, their need for physical exercise—and their tendency to be reserved with strangers—means they aren't for everyone. Learn more about this sweet and under-the-radar dog breed.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Hound (United Kennel Club); Foundation Stock Service (American Kennel Club)

HEIGHT: 16 - 26 inches

WEIGHT: 30-60 pounds

COAT: Short

COAT COLOR: Black, Blue, Brindle, Brown, Red, Yellow; Either a solid color or with white markings, tan markings, or brindle points

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10–13 years

TEMPERAMENT: Intelligent, courageous, active, companionable, lively, loyal


ORIGIN: Europe

Characteristics of the Mountain Cur

Mountain Curs have energetic and adventurous personalities, making them a great dog choice for owners who are always on the go exploring. Originally bred for hunting, they love having a "job" or task to do and thrive when properly trained. They're affectionate, low-key, and surprisingly not as common as their sweet personalities would suggest.

Affection Level Medium
Friendliness Medium
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly Low
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness Medium
Energy Level High
Trainability Medium
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark High
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Mountain Cur

In the early days of settlement of North America by the Europeans, Mountain Curs were a vital part of a frontier family, especially those settling in the more mountainous regions of the countryside. They were utilized in the hunting of small game such as rabbits and squirrels, but have also proven helpful in hunting larger game such as wild boar (as well as being an all-purpose farm dog).

For these early settlers, the true heritage of the Mountain Cur wasn't as important as the breed's ability to hunt. Therefore little is known about the breed's true origins. In 1957, the Original Mountain Cur Breeders of America was formed and, in doing so, the Mountain Cur was formally recognized as a breed. The United Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1998 and, although the Mountain Cur is a member of the American Kennel Club's Foundation Stock Group, Mountain Curs are not eligible for AKC registration.

Mountain Cur Care

Mountain Curs are protective of their owners and constantly want to please. Due to their protective nature and their fierce loyalty, the Mountain Cur can be reserved with strangers. However, once they warm up to a stranger they are just as friendly with them as they are with their family. Mountain Curs, being avid hunters, have a high prey drive and as such, they may not be suitable for families with other small pets or small children.


Mountain Curs require vigorous daily exercise in order to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing. Aim to give your pet at least an hour (or more) of active play a day, including running, hiking, swimming, or fetch. Additionally, outdoor sports and hunting can provide well-rounded stimulation, provided your dog is properly trained in those types of environments.


Mountain Curs have a short coat of fur. They shed a low amount throughout the year but most heavily in the spring and fall. They should be bathed and brushed occasionally, especially if time outdoors leaves them particularly muddy.

A Mountain Cur will need their nails trimmed regularly, about once a month or so. A fractured nail can be painful for your dog and a bloody mess for your home. Keeping your Mountain Cur's nails short will prevent them from breaking their nails on anything in your home or outside.

Additionally, good oral hygiene can help prevent dental disease. Even if you can't brush your dog's teeth once a day, brushing every other day or a few times a week can go a long way in keeping your Mountain Cur's teeth clean and healthy. Giving your Mountain Cur something for power chewers can help deter them from chewing up your furniture but be aware that it is possible for your dog to break a tooth on hard rubber or plastic chew toys, antlers, or hooves. Only give these to your dog when you are able to supervise them.


Mountain Curs are highly intelligent and as such require daily mental stimulation. This can be by way of a job or task, such as accompanying hunters while they are out searching for small game, chores around the home or farm, or even puzzle toys and feeders. Despite being smart, they can also be stubborn, so their trainability may vary from one dog to another. They are able to be well trained and well socialized, though.

Common Health Problems

The Mountain Cur is generally a healthy dog breed. That being said, there are some issues that seem to occur more frequently with them.

  • Mountain Curs can be prone to skin infections and irritations as well as ear infections. Keeping their skin and coat clean and using any commercially available ear cleaner can help keep skin issues at bay. Fish oil supplements can also prevent skin irritation from dry skin and can be especially important if you spend a lot of time with your dog outdoors in a cold environment.
  • As a Mountain Cur ages, they may start to exhibit signs of hip dysplasia or arthritis. Starting your Mountain Cur on a glucosamine chondroitin supplement can help keep their joints happy and healthy.

Diet and Nutrition

Mountain Curs are very active dogs and as such have a higher caloric requirement than other dog breeds. If feeding a commercial dog food, ensure that it's suitable for your dog's life stage. Currently AAFCO, the governing board that oversees all commercial pet food, only recognizes 'Growth', 'Adult Maintenance', 'Gestation/Lactation', and 'All Life Stages'.

Generally, an adult Mountain Cur will need to eat about 2 cups of food a day. For easier digestion, this should be divided into at least two meals a day. If you have concerns about the possibility of overfeeding your dog, your vet can help you calculate exactly how many calories a day your dog needs.

Where to Adopt of Buy a Mountain Cur

Check with your local animal shelter, rescue groups, and your veterinarian for Mountain Curs in need of a good, active home. You can also visit the website for the Original Mountain Cur Breeders Association to find reputable breeders near you. If you're planning on purchasing a Mountain Cur, you can expect to pay between $500 and $1000.

Mountain Cur Overview

  • Loyal and dependable

  • A hardworking watchdog

  • A loving family companion

  • Requires daily exercise and activity

  • Reserved with strangers

  • May not be good around small pets or children

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

Before you bring a Mountain Cur into your home, it's important to do your research. Talk to other owners of the breed, speak to reputable breeders, and consider if your lifestyle and/or living situation would be suitable for a Mountain Cur.

If you're interested in similar breeds, check out:

There are a variety of dog breeds out there. With the right research, you can select the one that is perfect for your family.