Black Mouth Cur.jpg
Breed Group Group 10: Pastoral and Stock Dog Breeds
Sub-group 10-E: Multi-Purpose Stock Dogs and Curs
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 40-60 pounds. Females: 35-55 pounds.
Height Males: 18-26 inches. Females: 16-24 inches.
Other Name(s) American BlackMouth Cur, Black Mouth Cur, BlackMouth Cur, BMC, Ladner BlackMouth Cur, Ladner Cur, Southern Cur, Yellow Black Mouth Cur, BMC
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD
meet the...

Black Mouth Cur

Breed Group Group 10: Pastoral and Stock Dog Breeds
Sub-group 10-E: Multi-Purpose Stock Dogs and Curs
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 40-60 pounds. Females: 35-55 pounds.
Height Males: 18-26 inches. Females: 16-24 inches.
Other Name(s) American BlackMouth Cur, Black Mouth Cur, BlackMouth Cur, BMC, Ladner BlackMouth Cur, Ladner Cur, Southern Cur, Yellow Black Mouth Cur, BMC
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

Although there are many hypotheses regarding the origin of the breed, the history of the Black Mouth Cur remains slightly murky. Stories of the dogs are well documented throughout the South by families who have kept the dogs for generations. There are as many highly regarded bloodlines of the breed as there are origin stories, including Ladner, Southern, Weatherford’s Ben Texas, Foundation, and Howard, to name a few. Many families have kept these dogs for well over 150 years.

It is believed that the ancestors of these dogs were originally brought over with European immigrants, including the all-purpose dogs used by the Irish and Scottish people who settled throughout the Southeastern United States, as well as the old European hounds and molossoid-type dogs brought by the English and French. Like many in the cur family, these dogs were all-purpose homesteader dogs. They could trail game for meat and fur, pen or catch hogs and cattle, and protect their family and property.

The namesake of the Black Mouth Cur is believed to have come from the black mask on the muzzle that many dogs have, although they can come in many colors other than fawn with the black mask. However, others claim that the name is due to the pigment of the lips and gums often appearing darker than the traditional “bubble gum” pink of most dogs. Instead, the Black Mouth Cur’s lips and gums appear brownish pink to dark grey, giving them their “black mouth” moniker.

Black Mouth Curs are used to this day as working dogs, hog-catching dogs, herding dogs, and hunting dogs. They are also gaining popularity as companion dogs with families that are active in dog sports and events.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Somewhat mesaticephalic skull type, moderately large in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle. The head is of sufficient bone and muscle to denote strength and power. The topskull is broad, being equal in width (measured across the top of the skull in front of the ears) as it is long, giving the head breadth. A median furrow, starting at the stop and disappearing toward the occiput, may be accentuated by well-developed temporal muscles, although the temporal muscles should never be overly prominent. The head and skull should never appear overly narrow or lacking in substance. The head is flat to slightly arched when viewed in profile.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and ranging from green or amber to medium or dark brown in color. Mismatched (or, bicolored) eyes are not uncommon. Blue eyes are not preferred. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Medium in size, set high on the skull, and drop. The ears are broad across the base. Preferable ear carriage results in an inner edge that lies close to the head. The ears should never be overly long and pendulous, semi-erect, or fully erect.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Neck: Moderate length allows for good head carriage, it is powerfully muscled with a good arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well-developed.
Body: Compact, solid, deep, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined, but capable of stamina, agility, and power. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads. Toes may be webbed. Single or double dewclaws may be present.
Tail: Set low or neither high nor low on the croup, always as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked. Tails may be naturally long to naturally bobbed in length, but are never surgically docked short. Naturally full-length tails are of a moderate length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. Medium and bobbed tails can fall at any length less than the hock joints. The tail may be sabered, sickled, pump-handled, straight, or gently curved.
Movement: Smooth, effortless, efficient, and energetic, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Black Mouth Cur is still primarily utilized as a working dog to this day. They are bred to be exceptional hunters and catch dogs; consequently, they tend to be highly driven to perform these duties, which can become problematic if matched to non-working or non-hunting families that do not allow the breed to exercise its natural instincts, drives, and energy. When properly matched to suitable homes, BMCs are loyal, even-tempered, and predictable. They are known to bond strongly to their families, becoming especially fond of “their” children. They can be aloof toward strangers, and they also have a tendency to become territorial and protective of property. Early obedience training, socialization, and a regular “job” is a must for this breed, or else behavioral problems could arise. Black Mouth Curs are finding a new following in dog sports such as agility, search-and-rescue, and obedience. Their eagerness to please their owners, coupled with their high intelligence, makes them great candidates for these activities. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 10: Pastoral and Stock Dog Breeds

Proportions: Off-square to slightly rectangular, with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump being just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The length-to-height ratio is between 5:4 and 10:9. Females may be slightly longer. The body is well put together, with sturdy substance and moderate (yet sturdy) bone. Males should appear masculine, being more substantial in size and mass, while females should appear more feminine and slightly less substantial. Neither should lack overall type. The BMC is not a dog of extremes. A large, heavy, giant-sized dog lacks agility and stamina. A light and weedy dog lacks power. This breed draws its strength from balance.

Head

General Appearance: Somewhat mesaticephalic skull type, moderately large in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle. The head is of sufficient bone and muscle to denote strength and power. The topskull is broad, being equal in width (measured across the top of the skull in front of the ears) as it is long, giving the head breadth. A median furrow, starting at the stop and disappearing toward the occiput, may be accentuated by well-developed temporal muscles, although the temporal muscles should never be overly prominent. The head and skull should never appear overly narrow or lacking in substance. The head is flat to slightly arched when viewed in profile.
Expression: Confident, intelligent, alert, watchful, and expressive.
Stop: The stop is somewhat definite.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is between 4:5 and 1:1, with the topskull being equal to or just longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is parallel or may be just slightly convergent.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak.
Lips or Flews: Lips are clean and fit tightly over the teeth and jaws. They are often well-pigmented according to the coat and may be black, dark brown, or blue. They may also be dark gray in diluted dogs.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Cheeks: The cheeks are well-developed and well-muscled. They add breadth to the face and head. The cheeks should not appear flat or chiseled.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, scissor, or reverse-scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors. Missing or broken teeth as a result of routine work is not to be penalized. The gums and soft tissue of the mouth (except for the tongue) are often well-pigmented according to the coat. The pigmentation can range from black to dark brown, and blue to gray.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and ranging from green or amber to medium or dark brown in color. Mismatched (or, bicolored) eyes are not uncommon. Blue eyes are not preferred. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Medium in size, set high on the skull, and drop. The ears are broad across the base. Preferable ear carriage results in an inner edge that lies close to the head. The ears should never be overly long and pendulous, semi-erect, or fully erect.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, solid, deep, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined, but capable of stamina, agility, and power. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderate length allows for good head carriage, it is powerfully muscled with a good arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well-developed.
Topline: Level from withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Broad, powerful, and gently sloped.
Underline: Slight to moderate tuck-up present. The underline is taut and firm without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set low or neither high nor low on the croup, always as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked. Tails may be naturally long to naturally bobbed in length, but are never surgically docked short. Naturally full-length tails are of a moderate length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. Medium and bobbed tails can fall at any length less than the hock joints. The tail may be sabered, sickled, pump-handled, straight, or gently curved.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are fairly long and approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of moderate (yet sturdy) bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are fairly long and equal in length with strong and moderate (yet sturdy) bone. They are well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads. Toes may be webbed. Single or double dewclaws may be present.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The coat is short, smooth, and close to the body throughout. The texture is rough to fine and glossy. The undercoat is dense and soft. The coat may be slightly longer on the neck, forming a light ruff, and on the tail, forming a light brush, although a smooth tail is equally acceptable.
Coat Color or Pattern: CKC recognizes two color varieties of the Black Mouth Cur breed: the standard color and nonstandard color.
Standard coat color variety: All shades of tan, red; all shades of brindle; all with (preferred) or without a melanistic mask. Masked dogs are referred to as “fawns” or “buckskins.” Masks often extend to the eyebrows and darken the ears, giving the BMC its characteristic keen and expressive appearance. Solid colors black, liver, blue, Isabella, and silver. All with or without small amounts of white permitted on the chin, nose, neck, chest, legs, and tail tip. White must not account for more than 10% of the overall coat color.
Nonstandard coat color variety: White covering more than 10% of the coat.

Movement

Smooth, effortless, efficient, and energetic, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Black Mouth Cur is still primarily utilized as a working dog to this day. They are bred to be exceptional hunters and catch dogs; consequently, they tend to be highly driven to perform these duties, which can become problematic if matched to non-working or non-hunting families that do not allow the breed to exercise its natural instincts, drives, and energy. When properly matched to suitable homes, BMCs are loyal, even-tempered, and predictable. They are known to bond strongly to their families, becoming especially fond of “their” children. They can be aloof toward strangers, and they also have a tendency to become territorial and protective of property. Early obedience training, socialization, and a regular “job” is a must for this breed, or else behavioral problems could arise. Black Mouth Curs are finding a new following in dog sports such as agility, search-and-rescue, and obedience. Their eagerness to please their owners, coupled with their high intelligence, makes them great candidates for these activities. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.