Mountain Curs are an American breed of treeing hound. Developed in the South—particularly Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee—Mountain Curs are an all-American breed that has been prized for years as excellent hunting companions and loyal pets.
Mountain Curs are not as old as some of their American counterparts. While it is likely that they have been around for at least a couple hundred years, the breed association for Mountain Curs wasn’t formed until 1957, and they weren’t recognized by the United Kennel Club until the late 1990s. They were brought over by European immigrants who settled in the mountainous Appalachian regions of the United States, where they were used primarily as hunting dogs. They are especially good at “treeing”, which is a technique used mostly while hunting raccoons: The dog chases the animal up a tree and alerts the hunter to its whereabouts. They were relatively rare by World War II, but they made a comeback in the 1950s.
In modern times, Mountain Curs are primarily still used as hunting dogs in the Southern states where they originated. They can also make good pets provided they are given enough exercise and time outside—they are still working dogs and will suffer if not given a job to do. In fact, it isn’t a good idea to keep a Mountain Cur as a pet unless they have plenty of space to run and explore, or they are used as hunting companions. They will not fare well if kept simply as house pets. For these reasons, they are not suitable apartment dogs and will be happier in a suburban or rural home.
Mountain Curs are good with other dogs—a necessity because they were often kept in groups—and are good with larger animals, such as horses and livestock. Because of their high prey drive, they really shouldn’t be trusted with cats unless they are socialized with them from a young age. They do love children and their family, however, and will be gentle and playful with kids. They are relatively obedient dogs—known for their extreme loyalty—and are easy to train.
Mountain Curs were well loved and very popular with some of the earliest American pioneers and are credited with helping them to survive in a new land. They were great hunters and protectors, which made them indispensable to the brave families who settled in otherwise uninhabited portions of the United States.
Explore some Embark dogs that share Mountain Cur ancestry.