There are many theories on the origin of the Black Mouth Cur breed, but it is known that they were developed in Europe and were brought to the Southeastern United States when European settlers arrived. The breed name is believed to come from the black mask that these Curs tend to have or because they have darker dark-rimmed gums and lips than the usual pink of most other breeds. Black Mouth Curs acted not only as an all-purpose farm dog but also as hunters of hogs and cattle in addition to protecting their families and guarding property. These dogs were also very important in the settlement of the Southern United States and it is thought that it would have been impossible without the assistance of the Curs. One of the most recognized novels, Old Yeller by Fred Gipson, was about a loyal, attentive, and protective Black Mouth Cur.
The Black Mouth Cur is a sturdy, muscular, medium-sized breed that comes in all shades of red, yellow, fawn, and many others. They have a square-shaped body with long legs that enable them to move quickly and with agility in rough terrain. Their coat is short and close-fitting; some individuals in the breed may be born with heavier coats, while others can be born with lighter coats. Curs have medium-sized eyes ranging in color from green to brown, short-to-medium length ears, and a powerful, moderately broad muzzle with a black or brown/red nose. The breed's smooth to slightly feathered tail can be quite lengthy or some dogs may be born with a short tail.
The Black Mouth Cur is an avid hunter, yet can also work alongside cattle and other large livestock out in the field. As relentless and overpowering as these dogs appear at work, they are kind, loyal, and very protective of their family, especially children. Curs sometimes seem aloof towards strangers and can be territorial when it comes to their families' property, making them a potential watchdog. Since these hard workers are highly driven and have a lot of energy, they could be problematic if they are placed in a non-hunting or non-active household and may become destructive when bored - daily mental stimulation and physical exercise are needed in order for them to stay healthy and out of trouble. Also an independent thinker, this strong-minded dog requires a firm and consistent owner for obedience training and are known to be trained for a variety of purposes such as herding, hunting, and even search and rescue operations. Non-canine pets should be supervised around this high prey drive breed, but Curs do tend to get along well with other dogs because of their pack mentality. Even today, the Black Mouth Cur is used primarily as a hard-working hunter and farm dog, but have earned their reputation for being a great pet that forms very strong bonds with their families.