Mountain Cur.jpg
Breed Group Group 7: Scenthounds and Related Breeds
Sub-group 7-D: Scenthound Related Breeds
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 30-60 pounds. Females: 30-60 pounds.
Height Males: 18-26 inches. Females: 16-24 inches.
Breed Type Pure
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Mountain Cur

Breed Group Group 7: Scenthounds and Related Breeds
Sub-group 7-D: Scenthound Related Breeds
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 30-60 pounds. Females: 30-60 pounds.
Height Males: 18-26 inches. Females: 16-24 inches.
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

The ancestors of the Mountain Curs were imported to the United States by European settlers hundreds of years ago, and it is believed that the brindle hounds with bobtails brought to the New World by the Spanish contributed to the breed as well. Although the name implies that the breed originated in the mountains, the dogs were used by settlers throughout the Ohio River Valley area, then spreading westward and down throughout the Southeast. The dogs were a crucial part of the cultures of early pioneers, settlers, and homesteaders.

They were capable of tracking and treeing game for food and fur trade, as well as protecting the property from vicious animals, thieves, and pests. These dogs were staples on homes, farms, and ranches throughout the countryside of the central and southeast United States for nearly two centuries, until World War II. During the war, many homesteads were abandoned as men were shipped off to war and women worked in factories to replace them. As a result, the dogs declined in popularity throughout the country.

However, a handful of dedicated breeders were determined to save the breed, and they managed to bring it back from the brink of extinction. They formed the Original Mountain Cur Breeders Association and settled on the name, saving the breed and allowing hunters to continue to enjoy the hardworking dog to this day. Today, they are used primarily for hunting squirrel, raccoon, and many types of large game. In addition to the Mountain Cur, several strains evolved into their own varieties, including the Stephens’ and Kemmer Stocks.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Somewhat mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, forming somewhat of a blocky, wedge-shaped head that is in proportion to the rest of the body. The topskull is broad, adding substance and breadth to the head, and it may be flat or just slightly arched when viewed from the front or in profile. The head tapers slightly toward the muzzle when viewed from above. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle. It should never appear narrow.
Eyes: Moderate to large in size; somewhat round, oval, or almond in shape; and amber to dark brown in color. 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 to somewhat large in size, broad, and drop. They may be close to the head, or with some lift from the base. They should never appear semi-erect.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. The base is broad and tapers just slightly toward the nose. 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 strongly muscled with a slight 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.
Body: Compact, solid, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters. The body should be capable of agility, speed, and stamina.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads. Not required but preferred with one or two on each rear leg, placed low on the leg, giving a wider ease of the foot. Ideally, dew claws function as extra toes.
Tail: May be set low, or may be set neither high nor low on the croup but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapers toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked. Tail may be naturally long or naturally bobbed. Natural long tails are of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. Natural bobbed tails may be medium to short in length. Preference should not be given to either tail type. Long tails may be sabered, straight, or gently curved.
Movement: Energetic, effortless, efficient, and smooth, 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 Mountain Cur is a strongly instinctual hunting dog. The dogs are intelligent and require a high degree of mental, physical, and instinctual stimulation. For this reason, it is recommended that these dogs be reserved for working and hunting homes that will ensure that their talents and instincts are utilized and exercised properly, or else they can develop problem behaviors. In well-suited homes, they make fiercely loyal pets. The can be protective and aloof with strangers, but well-socialized they are friendly and accepting of friends and other animals.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 7: Scenthounds and Related Breeds

Proportions: Slightly off-square to somewhat 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. The body is well put together, with sturdy substance and medium bone.

Head

General Appearance: Somewhat mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, forming somewhat of a blocky, wedge-shaped head that is in proportion to the rest of the body. The topskull is broad, adding substance and breadth to the head, and it may be flat or just slightly arched when viewed from the front or in profile. The head tapers slightly toward the muzzle when viewed from above. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle. It should never appear narrow.
Expression: Intelligent, alert, active, and friendly.
Stop: The stop is definite, but not overly abrupt.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is between 1:1 and 2:3, with the topskull being equal to or just longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is parallel.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. The base is broad and tapers just slightly toward the nose. 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 fairly clean and fit well over the teeth and jaws. They should never appear pendulous, or fall below the plane of the lower jaw.
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, well-muscled, and somewhat prominent. They should not appear 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.
Eyes: Moderate to large in size; somewhat round, oval, or almond in shape; and amber to dark brown in color. 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 to somewhat large in size, broad, and drop. They may be close to the head, or with some lift from the base. They should never appear semi-erect.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, solid, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters. The body should be capable of agility, speed, and stamina.
Neck: Moderate length allows for good head carriage, it is strongly muscled with a slight 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: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Topline: Straight and level from slightly prominent withers to croup, or with a slight (almost imperceptible) slope from withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, being flat and level or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached. The topline should never rise toward the croup.
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.
Tail: May be set low, or may be set neither high nor low on the croup but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapers toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked. Tail may be naturally long or naturally bobbed. Natural long tails are of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. Natural bobbed tails may be medium to short in length. Preference should not be given to either tail type. Long tails may be sabered, 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 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 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 equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderate bone, and 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. Not required but preferred with one or two on each rear leg, placed low on the leg, giving a wider ease of the foot. Ideally, dew claws function as extra toes.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The Mountain Cur comes in two coat varieties: the smooth coat and the rough coat. Both coat types are double coats with a short, dense, soft undercoat.
Smooth-coat variety: The coat is short, smooth, and close to the body throughout. The texture is harsh and glossy. The coat may be slightly longer on neck, forming a light ruff and a light brush on the tail. No fringe or feather permissible.
Rough-coat variety: The coat is shorter on the face, forehead, and front of the forelimbs and hindlimbs. The texture is harsh and rough to the touch. The coat is longer on the neck, ears, and rear of the forelimbs and hindlimbs, feet, and tail, forming slight fringe and furnishings and a brush tail. It should never appear woolly or curly.
Coat Color or Pattern: CKC recognizes two color varieties of the Mountain Cur breed: the standard color and nonstandard color variety.
Standard coat color variety: Black, blue, liver, and brown, with or without tan or brindle points or markings; black, blue, liver, brown brindle; fawn or buckskin; blonde, buttermilk; tan, gold, yellow; or red; all with or without melanistic mask; all with or without white markings that extends to no more than 1/3 of the dog’s coat, including the feet, legs, underside, chest, neck, muzzle, and head.
Nonstandard coat color variety: White markings extending to more than 1/3 of the dog’s coat. Any color not included in the standard color variety.

Movement

Energetic, effortless, efficient, and smooth, 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 Mountain Cur is a strongly instinctual hunting dog. The dogs are intelligent and require a high degree of mental, physical, and instinctual stimulation. For this reason, it is recommended that these dogs be reserved for working and hunting homes that will ensure that their talents and instincts are utilized and exercised properly, or else they can develop problem behaviors. In well-suited homes, they make fiercely loyal pets. The can be protective and aloof with strangers, but well-socialized they are friendly and accepting of friends and other animals.

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.