OVERVIEW OF THE MOUNTAIN CUR
The Mountain Cur is an athletic medium breed with a short coat that comes in black, brindle, tan, brown, and yellow with possible white points on their coats.
These dogs are intelligent and confident hunters and farmer assistants. The dogs played an important role in the lives of early settlers in Kentucky and Tennessee. They herded livestock, assisted as watchdogs on farms, and helped with hunting. Due to their active nature, these working dogs are not suited for apartment living. They need a lot of exercise and space and are best suited to experienced dog owners.
Adult Curs reach between 16 and 26 inches in height and weigh between 30 to 60 pounds. Despite their rugged and tough nature, they can be very affectionate with kids and make great family dogs. Make sure your children know how to interact with dogs and approach them safely. They are also good watchdogs and very protective of their territory and family. They are generally wary of strangers until they know newcomers aren’t a threat.
Mountain Curs need early training and socialization. They need an owner who can be an assertive yet gentle leader while being consistent with obedience training in a positive and encouraging manner. They’re likely to see any smaller home pets as something that appeals to their prey drive and doesn’t always get along with other dogs.
With their deep bark and high energy needs, these loyal and affectionate dogs are a good match for active families, hikers, runners, and farm living where they can have a job to do. Better yet, they will enjoy life with a weekend hunter.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know when welcoming a Mountain Cur to your home.
MOUNTAIN CUR FOOD AND HEALTH
Mountain Curs are generally strong and healthy dogs that live long lives. It is recommended that you get general health clearances from the breeder before getting your pup. Specific recommended health tests for the breed are Degenerative Myelopathy, Collie Eye Anomaly, and Ichthyosis. Common health problems to look out for are ear infections and skin dryness, infections, or sensitivity. If they spend a lot of time outdoors they can also be prone to fleas, ticks, and parasites.
Ensuring that your dog gets a well-balanced diet is vital to keeping them healthy. There is a range of healthy food options in dry and home-cooked varieties. Lean meat such as fish and chicken are generally good cooked options with sweet potatoes and peas. You can also opt for a good quality dry food formula with pet gravy. The amount of food an adult Mountain Cur needs will depend on its weight, age, and activity level. It is important to consult your vet when determining this and adapting it as needed.
Puppies have different nutrient needs to ensure healthy brain, bone, and muscular development. It’s important to never give your puppy dog food designed for adult dogs. Get food specifically formulated for puppies and follow the recommended feeding guidelines.
If you are feeding your dog home-cooked food, be aware that there are many human foods that are toxic to dogs. These include simple items like onions, garlic, raisins, chocolate, grapes, xylitol, macadamia nuts, and caffeine, among others. High fat, high sodium, and sugary foods should also be avoided.
Additionally, be aware of foods that may cause skin allergies or stomach upsets. These include items containing wheat, gluten, or dairy products. Always introduce new food types in small quantities.
LEASHES AND COLLARS FOR YOUR MOUNTAIN CUR
Mountain Curs are trainable enough to become therapy dogs, however, some are easier to train than others. Be prepared to be the pack leader when training your pup but never use aggressive training methods. These dogs need to be trained with positive reinforcement, patience, and consistent practice. They are highly intelligent and desire to make their pet parents happy. Despite this, their strong prey drive will likely send them chasing cats up trees and running after squirrels (whether you like it or not).
Although they are great hiking and running partners, these dogs are not the type to take to dog parks. They are skeptical of other dogs and despite early socialization, they don’t always find interacting with other dogs enjoyable and may cause more trouble than tail-wagging.
Curs are highly agile and curious explorers. They require lots of physical and mental exercise daily. Always keep your Cur on a leash when outside your fenced property. Since they are strong dogs you’ll need an effective leash to keep them at bay, but never something that will hurt them. A collar can place a great amount of pressure against their neck and trachea, which can cause permanent damage and health problems. Instead, use a harness with a leash that clips on. These are generally adjustable, so you’ll be able to use them during different growth stages.
You will however need to upsize their walking or running gear from puppy to fully grown adult stages. A collar should only be worn for pet identification. Check it daily when they are puppies and teens to ensure it is not too tight and upsize as necessary. There should be space underneath the collar to fit two fingers. Remove it in the evenings or when your pet is at home. Leaving the collar on can cause rashes, infections, or bald patches around the neck.
BEST CRATES, BEDS AND DOG HOUSES FOR MOUNTAIN CURS
Although Mountain Curs love being outdoors, they are loyal and affectionate and will likely want to spend nighttime inside with their human family. Having said that, you’ll probably want to give your dog an option and see what they prefer. Ideally, when they are house trained, give them access to move indoors and outdoors as they like.
A dog house can be a great place for them to retreat when they feel like taking a nap or if they are left outside during the day. When choosing a dog house, you need to consider that the size should fit your pet pal when they are fully grown. This means that your adult Cur needs to be able to stand, stretch out and turn around comfortably inside. Keep in mind that a blanket or dog bed will also be placed inside the dog house which will take up additional space.
Choose a house with a removable roof. This makes it easier to clean and air out the interior. You’ll also want a unit that is slightly lifted off the ground to prevent cold and dampness.
Be mindful of where you place the dog house. You don’t want it in an area that receives full sun all day, nor in a spot that doesn’t get any sun.
A dog bed is a must for your Cur. A good night’s sleep is just as important for your pet as it is for
you. If your dog is elderly or has any joint problems, an orthopedic mattress or memory foam bed will support its joints. For a young, healthy dog you could also opt for a slightly elevated dog bed. Something with a removable cover that can easily be washed in the machine will be the best option.
BEST TOYS FOR MOUNTAIN CURS
Mountain Curs have a need for lots of mental and physical stimulation. This means that there is a wide range of toys they will love!
While they are puppies, teething toys are a must. These textured or flavored toys can help ease itchy and achy gums. They also give your puppy something to chew on rather than furniture, their bed, or your shoes. As they mature, switch to slightly bigger and more durable chew toys that will last long past the first chewing session. Toys such as flavored ropes and teeth cleaning toys are good options. Even though they are good for your dog’s teeth, they do not replace the need for brushing.
An outdoor agility training kit will keep your pet pal physically and mentally engaged and make training a lot more fun. These sets can include a mix of hoops and tunnels for them to jump through as well as jump poles and weave poles.
Erratic balls and Kongs are fun for playing fetch since they bounce in unpredictable directions. Some snowman-shaped Kong toys can hold a treat inside. Once your furry pal retrieves the toy and returns it to you, they can receive the hidden treat as a reward. A ball launcher will give you extra distance and require your pet to spend a little more energy retrieving the ball.
GROOMING INSIGHTS FOR MOUNTAIN CUR OWNERS
Mountain Curs have a double coat with a bottom insulation layer of smooth hairs and a thick top coat of short hair. Their coat keeps them well protected from the elements.
They are pretty low maintenance as far as grooming. They do shed twice a year, generally in spring and fall. This means they are not allergy-friendly dogs. They may need extra brushing during shedding season, especially if they spend a fair amount of time around your furniture.
In general, however, they only need to be brushed once a week. During their weekly brush time, check their eyes, mouth, skin, and ears for irregularities. Mountain Curs generally have fairly sensitive skin and can be prone to ear infections. Catching infections, sores, or rashes before they become serious is important to save your pet pal pain and keep your vet bills down.
Too much bathing can cause skin irritations, so only bathe your pet pal when necessary and use a gentle shampoo formulated for dogs. If they don’t wear their nails down naturally they will need to be clipped.
If you are doing the nail clipping, make sure you know how since dogs have blood vessels in their nails. This can make a slightly wrong clip bloody and painful. You may prefer getting a professional groomer to do this once a month.
Your dog’s teeth need to be brushed daily as far as possible to prevent gum disease and tartar build-up. Make sure to use toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs since human toothpaste is harmful to them.
Get your Mountain Cur accustomed to being groomed and having their paws handled from the puppy stage. Always make grooming a positive experience with encouragement and praise. Not getting your puppy used to being checked can make grooming and vet visits unpleasant for both of you when they’re older.
BEST MOUNTAIN CUR ACCESSORIES
With such an adventurous pet pal, there’s no limit to dog accessories to stock up on.
If you have a hiking or camping lifestyle, get your Cur their own hiking gear that won’t add much load to what already needs to be carried. Foldable water and food bowls are great to keep your pet hydrated and fed while adding hardly any weight to your backpack. They can even carry it themselves if you get them their very own dog backpack. These are similar to a harness so your pet pal can move, run and jump comfortably without any obstruction. They are lightweight and generally have waterproof zipper pockets on both sides. You can also attach a leash on either the back or front. Get one with reflective strips for low-light conditions and don’t forget an inflatable dog bed for overnight hikes!
Mountain Curs enjoy the water and will have a great time with you at the lake or beach. Although their coats are protective to keep them warm, getting your pet a drying coat will keep your car upholstery from getting wet after a swim. The dog drying coat is made from absorbent toweling and wraps comfortably around your dog like a dog jacket. Opt for a coat that is machine washable.
To learn more about medium breeds like the Mountain Cur, check out our breed hub page.