Mountain Cur: Is This The Perfect Hunting Dog?

Mountain Curs are hardy and strong, bred by settlers to survive the harsh environment of the Southern Mountains.

They are hound dogs with a strong prey drive and a heart of gold.

Not suited for urban areas and small houses, they will want to run around and chase squirrels all day!

They are bright and friendly with people they are familiar with, but very cautious of strangers.

Interested in this energetic breed? Keep reading to find out more about them and what makes them happy and healthy.

With a heart of gold, this hound dog could be the perfect addition to your home…

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What is a Mountain Cur? (Overview)

A Mountain Cur

The Mountain Cur is a working hound breed.

No one really knows where this breed comes from, however it’s likely they were brought over by immigrants from Europe around 200 years ago.

The Mountain Cur was used to guard family, livestock and property. Their sturdiness was perfect for settlers in the Southern Mountains.

They have a natural instinct to chase things up trees, this is called treeing. This instinct descends from when they used to help their owners hunt game.

This breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and has been assigned under the Hound Group.

This is not an easy-going breed – they need a lot of care and attention. Daily exercise is a must for this active pooch!

Mountain Cur Appearance

This is a medium sized dog that is strong and hardy – they have the typical hound appearance!

They have a broad and blocky head shape, with high set ears that drop down their face.

Their big brown eyes are expressive and alert.

There is no breed standard for this pooch, but the ideal dog is in proportion with long legs and a sturdy frame. Being a working dog, they are well defined and muscly.

Mountain Curs can have either a long or short tail.

Mountain Cur Size

This is a medium sized dog that can weigh anywhere between 30-60lb. You can expect them to stand between 16-26 inches tall, with males being generally larger than females.


Mountain Curs have a large range of colors. The most common colors are:

  • Brindle
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Yellow
  • Red

They can also have different markings. They can have white markings, tan points or brindle points anywhere around the body.


Their coat can be short and rough, or short and smooth depending on their parent’s genes. These dogs will shed throughout the year and twice a year (spring and fall) will have a shedding season.

Mountain Cur Temperament

Full Grown Mountain Cur

The Mountain Cur is a friendly companion, who loves the outdoors.

They are happiest when around their owners and are fearlessly protective of their family.

Their history is protecting livestock and property so they make great watch dogs. They are suspicious of strangers, so it will take a while for them to warm up to new people in their house, but once they do, they couldn’t be more friendly and welcoming.

Your pooch will have a strong prey drive – this is an instinct which they inherited from their ancestors, who would be used to hunt and chase game for their owners.

This prey drive means they chase small animals and maybe even children. They have a great sense of smell and will run long distances to catch a squirrel. They do not do well with other family pets, as they see them as competition and can be unpredictable around them.

Mountain Curs need a firm owner, as they can be dominant with their strong personalities.

They won’t be aggressive but can be destructive when bored. It’s best not to leave them alone for too long.

These dogs need a lot of activity and mental stimulation throughout the day!

They need the right family who complement their personality and will love them, regardless of their flaws.

Is a Mountain Cur a Good Family Dog?

This dog will be very protective of your family and will show deep loyalty, however they are not the best for families with smaller children. They have a strong prey drive and can be unpredictable when around small children.

They can be good with older children, if trained and socialized correctly.

How to Train a Mountain Cur

Mountain Cur Pup

The Mountain Cur can be stubborn and strong willed so make sure you are consistent in training them. They need a gentle but firm leader. They also will need a confident pack leader, by letting them know you are the leader, they will respond better to training.

As working dogs, they are obedient and dependable once they have your trust and respect. They are extremely hard-working dogs and love to please.

Positive reinforcement is the way to go when training this breed, they will respond best to treats and praise.

As said before, this breed has a strong prey drive and will chase anything that moves. To prevent this, you can distract them with a toy or a treat.

Do not use punishment as this can cause unwanted behaviors.

Mountain Curs are very cautious around strangers and can present behaviors that can be perceived as aggression, but they are just trying to protect their owners from a potential threat.

To prevent this, you can socialize them from an early age. Introduce them to new people and let them know this is a good experience by giving them positive reinforcement.

Socialization is key to good dog behavior – the earlier the better!

Mental stimulation is vital with a breed like the Mountain Cur, who can become frustrated and destructive when bored. Give them a puzzle feeder to challenge them. This hound dog will love to track things, you can use this to your advantage and play hide and seek with their toys or treats.

Caring for a Mountain Cur

This breed is not laid back – be prepared for a highly energetic and intense dog. They will love an active family who takes them for regular long walks.

They prefer rural areas as they are the outdoorsy type. They are happiest in the wild and will not like being in urban areas.

Big houses and yards are best for this breed!

Exercise Requirements

This is a working dog so they are very active.

They will need a lot of activity during the day time; otherwise they will become hyperactive and destructive.

Around 90 minutes of activity each day is needed for this breed.

Take them hiking, jogging or running.

It is best to keep them on leash as their prey drive will make them chase everything.

You should also avoid dog parks, unless you are absolutely confident they are okay around other dogs and people. They love to play as well, you could play tug-of-war with a sturdy rope or fetch.

Grooming and Shedding

Grooming is fairly easy with this breed.

They will only need occasional brushing to remove loose and dead hairs. However, they can have a shedding season twice a year; this is when brushing will need to become more regular.

Only bathe them when they need a bath, as excessive bathing will cause them to lose their natural oils and will damage their coat.

Be sure to trim their nails regularly to prevent overgrowth, brush their teeth once a week and clean the inside of their ears to avoid wax build up.

Feeding and Diet

Mountain Curs are highly energetic, meaning they need a lot of food – 2 cups of kibble will be needed each day.

Divide this food into two equal meals a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

They need a balanced diet with lots of protein – this gives them energy and essential amino acids. In fact, dogs prefer meals with high amounts of protein. Omega-3 is also something you must consider, this keeps their coat shiny and healthy!

Finding the right commercial dog food can be a confusing task, make sure to always read the label and ingredients in the food. Avoid kibble that has high concentrations of corn and wheat.

Mix up your dogs’ meals by adding the occasional fruit and vegetable. Be sure you are giving them ones their stomachs can digest!

Mountain Cur Hunting

Known Health Problems

Mountain Curs are generally healthy breeds, bred to survive the hard life of the mountains. However, they are prone to developing some health issues.

It is common for a Mountain Cur to suffer from skin irritations and infections. They are best suited for outdoors, so if they are kept inside for too long where there is no air circulation their skin can become dry. If they have dry skin, they are more susceptible to skin infections.

Ear infections can also develop. To prevent this make sure you clean their ears regularly to avoid wax buildup.

Hip dysplasia can also develop in a dog that is frequently active – this can cause pain in joints and arthritis.

How Long Does A Mountain Cur Live?

A healthy Mountain Cur can live for up to 14 years.

How Much Does a Mountain Cur Cost?

Mountain Cur puppies can cost anywhere between $300 to $500.

When buying a puppy finding a reputable breeder is a must. Always ask to see the litter before you buy. Seeing the mom with the puppies gives you a good idea what kind of care they are receiving.

Breeders should provide you with health certificates on the pups and the parents. They should also let you know what vaccinations the pups have had and what you need to get after you take them home.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size:16 to 26 inches tall
Weight:30 to 60lb
Lifespan:10 to 14 years
Coat:Short, rough coat
Color:Black, blue, brown, yellow, red and brindle
Do They Shed:Low amounts, shedding seasons twice a year
Temperament:Friendly, protective, energetic and prey driven
Intelligence:Very intelligent
Socialization:Needs lots of early socialization
Destructive Behavior:Can become hyperactive and destructive
People Skills:Cautious around strangers
Good with Children:Good with older children
Activity Levels:Highly energetic – at least 90 minutes a day


This breed is not for laid back families, they need an experienced owner who is active and loves a long walk!

Mountain Curs are loving with people they know and cautious of strangers, this makes them very protective. Not the best around smaller children, but great with older kids. They are best suited for families where they will be the only pet.

As a working dog, they have a lot of energy, meaning their owner should be prepared to match that energy and give them at least 90 minutes of activity each day.

Grooming requirements are fairly easy – the trick is to keep to a routine.

Let us know your questions in the comments section below…