The Black Mouth Cur

A “cur,” as a rule, isn’t a specific breed, and in the United States, it’s usually thought of as a type of dog acknowledged by the job it performs.  The Black Mouth Cur, however, is most decidedly a breed and was recognized in 1998 as a member of the Herding Group by the United Kennel Club, its original job to herd livestock (and hunt game).

The Black Mouth Cur’s exact ancestry is subject to speculation, but what is know with certainty is that the breed was developed in the southern US as a general purpose farm dog sometime in the 19th century, if not earlier. There are several lines within the breed, most named for the kennel or the family that developed them. The best known of the lines is the Ladner yellow Black Mouth Cur line named for the Ladner family of Southern Mississippi which has been breeding Black Mouth Curs for over 100 years (and still do to this day). The Alabama Black Mouth Cur and the Florida Black Mouth Cur are two other lines known for their red and yellow coloration respectively.

If you read Fred Gipson’s novel, “Old Yeller,” you’ve already met a Black Mouth Cur, though to our knowledge, the dog used in the movie was a Lab/Mastiff cross (still, many have suspected that the dog did, in fact, have had some Black Mouth Cur blood).

Needless to say, the name “blackmouth” refers to the dark pigmentation in the dog’s lips that extends to the roof of the mouth, to the gums and inner cheeks. Except for the tongue, the interior of the dog’s mouth is darkly pigmented.

“Savannah” by Tracy – find and support this artist’s work here: www.shubinartstudio.com

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