Mountain Cur

Teresa Kho-Pelfrey, DVM
By Teresa Kho-Pelfrey, DVM on Aug. 18, 2023
black and white mountain cur dog running through grass in the sunshine

In This Article

General Care

The Mountain Cur is a breed as rugged as the terrain it was bred to navigate. Originating in the United States, the Mountain Cur was the pioneer’s best friend, helping to hunt game and guard the homestead. Frontiersman Daniel Boone relied on his Mountain Curs while exploring the Appalachian Mountains.

This breed is a medium-size dog, typically weighing 30–60 pounds and standing 16–26 inches tall. Their coat comes in a variety of colors, but the brindle Mountain Cur, with its unique striped pattern, is beloved and particularly striking.

Caring for a Mountain Cur

Mountain Curs are known for their intelligence, tenacity, and high energy levels. Thanks to their history of working side-by-side with pioneers, they have a strong work ethic and thrive when given a job to do.

Their short, dense coat requires minimal grooming, making them a relatively low-maintenance breed. However, their high energy levels mean they need regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. Mountain Cur dogs do best in a home with an active, outdoorsy family who spends their weekends hiking, hunting, or just hanging out in their fenced-in yard.

Mountain Cur Health Issues

Mountain Curs tend to be healthy dogs and regularly live 10–13 years, which is typical for a medium-sized dog. But like most breeds, Mountain Curs can be predisposed to certain health conditions.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common genetic disorder that can affect Mountain Curs. This condition, where the hip joint doesn’t fit snugly into the hip socket, causes discomfort and mobility issues. If left untreated, hip dysplasia can cause arthritis in dogs.

Treatment may vary depending on the severity of the disease—mild cases can be managed with pain medication and joint supplements, while surgery might be recommended in severe cases. Helping your dog maintain a healthy weight can also help manage this condition.

Ear Infections

Mountain Cur dogs have floppy ears. And, like all other breeds with long, folded-over ears, they can be predisposed to ear infections because the ear’s anatomy causes moisture and debris to become trapped.

Clean your dog’s ears regularly with a vet-approved cleaner to prevent infections. If you notice any redness, odor, or discharge in your Mountain Cur’s ears, take them to the vet for an exam.

What To Feed a Mountain Cur

To support their high energy levels, Mountain Curs need a well-balanced diet that’s rich in protein. High-quality commercial dog food that’s formulated for active breeds and meets the nutritional standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is typically a good choice.

Talk to your vet to find the best dog food that meets your Mountain Cur’s needs.

How To Feed a Mountain Cur

To maintain their energy levels, Mountain Curs should be fed two meals a day, typically one in the morning and one in the evening. Mountain Cur puppies need to follow a more frequent meal schedule, eating three or four times every day.

How Much Should You Feed a Mountain Cur?

How much food a Mountain Cur needs depends on your specific dog’s age, size, activity level, and health history. Your dog food’s packaging will provide guidance on portion sizes based on your dog’s desired weight, but talking to your veterinarian will give you the most accurate feeding instructions.

Nutritional Tips for Mountain Curs

Supplements such as glucosamine can support a Mountain Cur’s joint health, which is particularly important given their active nature or for those with hip dysplasia. It’s best to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any supplements to your dog’s diet.

Behavior and Training Tips for Mountain Curs

Mountain Cur Personality and Temperament

Mountain Curs are smart dogs known for their loyalty, making them exceptional hunting companions. They are high-energy dogs that require ample regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent undesired behaviors from forming.

At home, they are well-natured and generally good with children and other pets, especially when they’re socialized as puppies.

Mountain Cur Behavior

Because of their history as pioneer dogs, Mountain Curs are alert. They can be prone to barking, especially if they think anything is amiss—even if that’s just a delivery person approaching your home. Socializing your Mountain Cur puppy early and consistently is important to help your pup learn that new people and experiences don’t have to be intimidating.

Mountain Cur Training

Due to their intelligence and eagerness to please, training Mountain Curs can be fun and easy. Keep training sessions fun and, as with all dogs, always use positive reinforcement training techniques

Fun Activities for Mountain Curs

  • Tracking games

  • Hiking

  • Fetch

  • Agility training

  • Hunting

Mountain Cur Grooming Guide

Mountain Curs have a short, dense coat that doesn’t require a lot of fuss. Though they’re moderate shedders, Mountain Cur dogs are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to grooming.

Skin Care

Outdoorsy Mountain Curs can get dirty and smelly, so monthly baths may be necessary. Use a veterinary-approved dog shampoo to help maintain the health of your dog’s skin and coat. 

Coat Care

Because their coat is so short, you should only need to brush your Mountain Cur once a week to get rid of any loose hair. Brushing your dog will also distribute their natural oils throughout their hair, and it’s good bonding time, too.

Eye Care

While Mountain Curs don’t require any special eye care, pet parents should monitor their dog’s eyes. Any changes, such as redness or discharge, warrant a trip to the vet.

Ear Care

Mountain Curs can be prone to ear infections. Cleaning their ears regularly with a veterinary-approved ear cleaner is important for maintaining the health of your dog’s ear canals.

Considerations for Pet Parents

Mountain Curs are well-loved family dogs who thrive in the right environment, getting along great with kids and other dogs. Their high energy levels make them best suited for an active family where ample exercise and mental stimulation will be provided. However, apartment living is not ideal for this breed due to their energy requirements and tendency to bark.

Mountain Cur FAQs

Is a Mountain Cur a good family dog?

Mountain Curs are known for their loyalty, making them great family dogs.

Is a Mountain Cur a rare dog?

Despite their popularity as pioneer dogs, Mountain Curs are not commonly seen in the United States and are considered by many to be a rare breed.

What kind of dog is a Mountain Cur?

A Mountain Cur is a type of working dog that was bred for hunting and guarding. They are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and high energy.

Featured Image: iStock/Alex Potemkin

Teresa Kho-Pelfrey, DVM


Teresa Kho-Pelfrey, DVM


Dr. Teresa Kho-Pelfrey graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015 and completed her clinical year at Purdue...

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