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Black Mouth Cur 101: History, Personality, Grooming, & More!

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Breeds By Ben Team 10 min read November 16, 2021 138 Comments

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black mouth cur

Although they aren’t as well-known as golden retrievers, poodles, or any of the other breeds often seen in dog parks and pet stores across the country, black mouth curs are wonderful dogs who deserve more attention than they typically receive.

Fun-loving, energetic, loyal, and brave, black mouth curs have a lot going for them. They are excellent working dogs and, when matched with the right owner and living situation, they can make good companions too.

We’ll talk about the basics of the black mouth cur breed below – including their history, physical characteristics, personality, and health – so that you can decide if a black mouth cur is a good fit for your home and family.

History of the Black Mouth Cur Dog

The history of the black mouth cur dog is relatively muddled.

They’re known to have lived in the southeastern United States since the 1800s, but nobody knows exactly where or when the first ones were produced. Many breed advocates point to Tennessee or Mississippi in the southern United States as the most likely birthplace of the breed, but details of the black mouth cur’s origin remain elusive.

They were likely developed to be a multi-purpose working dog, and they excel at most of the basic tasks farm dogs are expected to perform.

black mouth cur facts

Black mouth cur dogs are capable of herding livestock, they make excellent tracking and hunting dogs, and they are courageous and capable guardians who won’t hesitate to defend their home and family from perceived threats.

The black mouth cur accompanied the pioneers who headed west to settle new lands and eventually became relatively common throughout the country. In fact, Old Yeller is often thought to have been a black mouth cur (although the author never explicitly states such, and the dog who played Old Yeller in the movie was a retriever mix).

Despite their popularity in the U.S., black mouth curs have never become very popular overseas – they tend to be a stateside favorite. Ironically, these all-American dogs aren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

This is likely due in part to the back mouth cur breed’s variability and the fact that different breeders often strive to produce dogs with different characteristics. For example, black mouth cur dogs bred as pets or for protective purposes usually reach the upper end of the breed’s size range, while those bred to tree raccoons and other prey are usually less than 60 pounds.

The United Kennel Club does recognize the black mouth cur, placing them in the scenthound group.

Black Mouth Cur Physical Appearance: Size, Coat, & Build

The black mouth cur is a medium to large dog, who varies pretty significantly in terms of size. Some are little more than 16 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh around 40 pounds, while large individuals may be nearly 10 inches taller and approach the 100-pound mark.

The black mouth cur has a short coat, but the coat comes in a variety of colors. Most have black markings on the muzzle (hence their name), but their body coloration can be yellow, brown, red, or black. Some black mouth curs even have a brindle pattern. Some have very coarse hair, while others are coated in softer, finer hair.

As a working dog breed, the black mouth cur is lean, muscular, and athletic-looking. They appear as though they’re ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice, and their legs are relatively long – a fact that helps them travel long distances.

These dogs have a very endearing expression, and their medium-sized ears tend to fold over in a pretty adorable manner. Sometimes, their ears also feature a black or dark-colored wash, which looks very handsome in conjunction with the black muzzle markings.

facts about black mouth cur
Image from Wikipedia.

Black Mouth Cur Personality & Temperament

An increasing number of people are keeping black mouth curs as companions, but most members of the breed are expected to work for a living.

And the way in which black mouth cur dogs are kept can significantly affect their personalities.

Working black mouth curs tend to be all business. They are very smart, they’re reasonably easy to train for experienced owners, and they can learn a variety of skills, commands, and tasks. They have an amazing work ethic, and they’ll gladly spend all day in the field before clocking out for dinner. They love their people, but they probably love working more.

But black mouth curs kept as pets are often quite different.

Black mouth curs kept as companions are typically very loyal and loving dogs who bond strongly with their families. They’re usually fantastic with kids, although you’ll need to supervise any interactions with young children, as this breed can be a bit rambunctious. Given their size, this can lead to accidental injuries with kiddos. They may also “herd” young children, so consider finding an alternative outlet for their herding tendencies (dog sports like agility and treibball are a great idea).

Black Mouth Cur

Black mouth curs are relatively sensitive, so their owners must employ firm yet gentle training techniques. They should be provided with copious amounts of praise and positive reinforcement throughout the process, but most will enjoy learning new things and pleasing their person.

The black mouth cur is an extremely energetic dog that needs an outlet for his or her drive to work, so frequent exercise is required to keep them happy. They’ll need at least one (very) long walk per day, and frequent trips to the lake or dog park are also a good idea.

Black mouth curs do not always get along well with dogs who already live in the home, so if you intend to keep more than one dog, it is wise to purchase them both at the same time (and while both are young) or be ready to work with a professional dog behaviorist to ensure that the two dogs get along together.

The black mouth cur can also be a bit distant with unfamiliar people, and they’re quite protective and territorial.

Black Mouth Cur Health and Grooming

Black mouth curs are typically very healthy dogs, and they don’t suffer from many common diseases or disorders. This may be due in part to the large genetic pool from which the breed originated.

Nevertheless, the black mouth cur breed appears predisposed to a few health problems, including:

  • Epilepsy
  • Mange
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Ear infections
  • Several eye disorders, including cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and ectropion

The black mouth cur is a dream dog for owners who don’t want a dog with a high-maintenance coat. They don’t require any elaborate grooming services – a weekly brushing to get out loose hairs and a bath every month or so should keep their coat healthy and looking great. They don’t shed or drool very much either, so they may be a good option for allergy sufferers.

Black mouth curs can, however, be pretty filthy pups if provided with lots of time outdoors. Like many other breeds, they seem to love coating themselves in dirt, mud, and anything disgusting they can find lying around on the ground.

And if they are allowed to do so immediately before coming inside and jumping on the couch, all the better!

You will need to trim your black mouth cur’s nails regularly and provide him with an appropriate preventative flea treatment, as you would any other dog breed.

Some owners note that black mouth curs seem very susceptible to mange, but, rather than being a tendency of the dog breed, this may have more to do with the way working black mouth curs are often kept outside, in outdoor kennels.

This further illustrates the importance of implementing good flea-prevention practices.

Ideal Living Situations for the Black Mouth Cur

The black mouth cur can thrive in a variety of living circumstances and familial situations. The primary things you need to be able to provide a black mouth cur include:

  • Plenty of Space – Black mouth curs are quite energetic, and you must give them plenty of room to run, jump, and play, or they can develop a variety of destructive behaviors. Ideally, you’ll want a large, securely fenced yard (they’re often escape artists who like to wander) so they can burn off energy regularly.
  • Early Socialization – While loving with their families, black mouth curs can be territorial and occasionally overprotective. To avoid this, you’ll want to socialize early, introducing your pup to as many people and pets as you can while he’s young.
  • Lots of Attention – Black mouth curs kept as pets rarely enjoy being left home alone for long periods of time. In fact, doing so can unleash a host of destructive behaviors. They like a lot of interaction with their owners and thrive best in homes where somebody is home all day long.

If you can satisfy the above criteria, a black mouth cur may be a great choice for your family. On the other hand, prospective owners in either of the following categories should probably opt for a different dog breed.

Not Best For First-Time Dog Owners

The black mouth cur can certainly make a great pet, but they aren’t well-suited for novice owners. While they are pretty intelligent dogs and relatively eager to please, they can be slightly difficult to train. They need an owner who can assert calm leadership, while still providing all of the support and positive reinforcement this sensitive dog breed requires.

Not Great For Apartment Dwellers

The black mouth cur is a poor choice for those who live in apartments, primarily because of the breed’s energy level and need for space.

They may also bark and howl quite a bit as your neighbors come and go. Even if you’re willing to put up with the noise these dogs can create, your neighbors are unlikely to be as understanding.


The black mouth cur is a pretty neat breed that can make a good pet for some families.

Just be sure that you carefully consider the amount of space you have available, as well as the amount of time you have to spend with your new pet, before deciding to add one of these black-muzzled beauties to your home!

Do you have a black mouth cur? What has been your experience with this breed? Share your stories in the comments!

FAQ About the Black Mouth Cur Dog

How big does a black mouth cur get?

Black mouth cur puppies grow quickly, and the average adult is 16-27 inches tall at the shoulders and can weigh anywhere from 45-100 lbs.

What color is a black mouth cur?

A black mouth cur has a black nose and lips with white or tan markings on its head and legs, and an array of colors in its coat.

Is a black mouth cur hypoallergenic?

No, this dog breed sheds an average amount and has a normal amount of dander, so it is not hypoallergenic.

What type of coat does a black mouth cur have?

A black mouth cur’s coat is short, coarse and straight.

How much grooming is required for a black mouth cur?

The amount of grooming a black mouth cur requires depends on its owner’s preference in regard to whether or not it should have a slicker brush cut. A slicker brush cut will require more frequent brushing and coat maintenance than if it does not have a slicker brush cut.

What type of dog is a black mouth cur?

A black mouth cur is considered a sighthound, meaning it hunts by sight rather than scent. It is believed to be related to the Catahoula Leopard Dog.

Is a black mouth cur aggressive?

A black mouth cur dog is a hunting breed known for being very intelligent and independent. It can be aggressive if not properly trained or socialized, but it is not inherently aggressive as a breed.

How does a black mouth cur behave around children?

A black mouth cur is a generally friendly breed with no breed-specific issues with getting along with children. That being said, it is important to teach both the child and dog how to properly interact with one another so as not to instigate any fights or scrapes. Since these dogs are energetic and rambunctious, they are at risk for knocking over small children.

How much exercise does a black mouth cur need?

A black mouth cur is a high drive dog, and will benefit from rigorous walks or jogs, multiple times a day. Due to their high prey drive, they may also get additional exercise from chasing squirrels and other small animals around its owner’s yard. However, owners will need to devote time and energy into tiring their black mouth cur out physically as well as mentally through enrichment games, as these dogs are clever and need their brains’ exercised as well as their bodies.

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Written by

Ben Team

Ben is the senior content editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. Ben’s had the chance to work with hundreds of different species, but his favorite animals have always been dogs. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his spoiled-rotten Rottweiler named J.B. Chances are, she’s currently giving him the eyes and begging to go to the park.

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138 Comments

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Jennifer Sutton

Hi! I love this post. I have a ~6 year old BMC named Sam, and he is just the sweetest dog. I adopted him from the pound back in April 2019, and from the second I laid eyes on him, I knew he had a heart of gold. He is so loving, gentle, kind, smart, athletic, and hilarious. He lives to play fetch, and if I’m home all day, we go outside once an hour or so so run him out of gas. No matter how much we play, he always wants more. He’ll do anything I ask of him as long as I tell him he’s a good boy, and that’s so easy to do. His eyes just pour out love when he looks at me. My Sammy is a once in a lifetime dog, and I would 1000% recommend this breed to anyone with a yard and lots of time for play.

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Ben Team

Sammy sounds wonderful, Jennifer! Thanks for telling us about him.
🙂

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Lindley

I just adopted an almost six year old BMC and he’s insanely smart! His name is Echo and I want to do scent training with him because he seems to love using his nose but is a bit too lazy for agility! I’ve tried to do some with him but he gets too frustrated. But he loves his puzzle toys and is actually the worst guard dog. He barks at car doors down the street but when someone shows up at the door he greets everyone like they’ve been friends forever. He’s so much fun and I’m glad I have him even if I’d never heard of the breed before. He’s such a fantastic dog.

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Ben Team

He sounds wonderful, Lindley!
And I love the name “Echo!”
🙂

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Lucie Caslavska

I rescued my BMC Billie a year ago from Texas. She was in shelter between 2 and 4 month old, so when I got her, she was terrified of everyone and everything as she was not socialized. Now, a year later, she can’t wait to go to doggie day care, hike or a dog park. She is super loyal and she watches me while I work, goes to bed when I go and sleeps with her head on a pillow while touching me with her paw. She is excited when people she knows well come over, but I have to introduce new people to her outside as she barks and growls if stranger comes in. She has so much energy so I turned my yard into agility course, but all the work is worth her love.

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Ben Team

Billie sounds great, Lucie!
And we give you a standing ovation for making your own agility course to provide a constructive outlet for her energy!
Please give that good girl some scritches from us.
🙂

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Kent Beam

I’ve been blessed with a Black Mouth Cur. She was a year old had been beaten and abused really bad. Took me 3 weeks before she would let me pet her She wasn’t aggressive but she hid or turned away. Today, 5 years later she’s like a leach. They say I saved her but truth be she saved me. I strongly recommend this breed So from Harper and I may you all have a great day and remember if u feel u got to abuse a dog or beat a dog cause it’s not doing as asked u may not need one. Love, patience. Im sure as a child u had to learn as well and so do they. Thanks. “Asesino”

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Ben Team

We’re glad Asesino seems to have blossomed under your care, Kent!
Thanks for sharing.
🙂

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Simone

Ben, thank you for this article. A black mouth cur showed up in my life and stole my heart just a few days ago. He’s just as you described — WICKED smart, ultra athletic and energetic, fearless, filthy(!), sweet, a sight hunter (thanks for providing that crucial detail – I was actually wondering what was up with him when he couldn’t find the treat I threw for him). He’s also the most trainable dog ever! Within 30 minutes of his arrival, he learned his name, sit, wait, “sit pretty” (beg), catch. It took me longer to figure out why he was whining then it took me to teach him not to whine. He even allows me to dig ticks out of his tiny ear canals without complaint.

I’m trying to figure out what he might be mixed with. He has a slightly shaggy tail and stalks lying down like my border collie-pit mix. Are theses also cur characteristics?

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Ben Team

Hey there, Simone. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the article and found it helpful.

The “lying down stalking” behavior doesn’t sound very cur like, but the only way to know for sure is to use a dog DNA test.

Let us know what you find out!

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Tonya Henderson

I had my Chula a Black Mouth Cur for 15 yrs. I will always believe she was my soulmate! She knew me as well as I know myself & we were each others shadow. She slept on her pillow next to me from the day I brought her home @ 14 wks old. I know she was my once in a lifetime dog & was my best friend, she loved kids & if there was a infant around she watched every move of every person & would lay next to the baby as it slept & not move. She protected me when needed also let me know when a person was not good! Two different people that come around were not welcome by her & I knew they up to no-good so I had to watch her closely the few times they were around @ different times in our life, she would have hurt those 2 & they were not allowed back! She also would not bark if someone come up after bedtime, she would wake me with a low growl & lay over my body until I told her it was OK! She absolutely loved people & our cats but she did not welcome other dogs @ all! She loved to ride on my 4-wheeler with me & loved to hunt critters but she did not like a bath or storms, she was hit in the hip @ 7 mths old by sparks when lightening hit & had to be sedated when storms come up! We lived on the coast in Alabama so the storms were plenty & full of lightening & thunder. I would love to have another but my Chula has been gone 18 yrs & I still cry almost everyday & the heartbreak is just too much but I did inherit a yellow lab & she’s a great dog but there will never be another Chula! Black Mouth Curs are the greatest dogs of all time!

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Ben Team

Thanks for sharing, Tonya! Chula sounds like she was quite a special pooch.

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Tom Hanson

We have had a Black Mouth Cur for about 3 years now and love her to death! She is about 3 years old and loves everyone although she is slightly nervous around strangers until she is introduced.

I wouldn’t want to be a burglar coming into our home, I think she would react very protectively.

Once introduced to children and adults she shares the love she does with us maybe not quite as much.

Great dog overall but she tries to eat us out of house and home, maybe because she’s 71 pounds.

Her name is Allie and we would highly recommend her type dog to all dog lovers with the room and money for the food!

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Ben Team

Allie sounds like one awesome pooch, Tom! Thanks for telling us all about her.
😀

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Lynne Rasmussen

We rescued our BMC Josi in early May. She was born with 9 sibling’s end of March, and her momma passed away in Louisiana. We live in Mn. We have rescued b4 but wow she is so full of energy its mind boggling!! She is teething and bites alot. Shes learning gradually about soft/hard bites. She cant or wont learn to stop jumping on anyone, when i do get her attention she gets mad and does try and bite me or pull on my clothing. She listens to my husband better but im home all day and need to gain leadership. If left alone for a minute she is into something, destructive. She is so sweet when she wants to be, about 25% of the time, otherwise she is a very full time puppy. Hoping for advice about jumping, misbehavior and hope she will settle down some.

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Ben Team

Hey there, Lynne.
Josi sounds like a handful!

For starters, check out our article about stopping a dog from jumping up on people — that should get you started.

But overall, it sounds like you just need to provide more mental and physical stimulation. Maybe set her up with some puzzle toys, consider jogging with her (assuming your vet says that’s OK), or taking up a sport together.

Best of luck!

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Debby Ayers

I got my bmc a few months ago. She is a wonderful buddy to my 14 yes old terrier.
We love her so much. She will be a year next month. She is great with our grandkids.
We will always get this breed.

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Ben Team

She sounds great, Debby! Thanks for sharing.

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Amanda

I just adopted a dog from a local shelter – he was listed as mixed breed, but after looking at photos I’m pretty sure he’s mostly BMC. He’s 6 months old and is the sweetest little ham ever! He’s already learned some commands and as long as he’s on a regular routine he does great. Loves our big yard a ton and his big brother, Luke, a black lab mix.

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Ben Team

Hey there, Amanda. Glad your new pooch is working out so well!
We would caution that you can rarely (if ever) determine a dog’s ancestry by his physical appearance, so you may want to check out some doggie DNA test kits if you want to be sure of his breed makeup.
🙂

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Kristen

We live in Mississippi and got our BMC as a puppy! We named him Deuce. He was so easy to train and is so intelligent. He is now two years old and is so well behaved. He loves to run after squirrels, barking at the turtles in his Grandma’s pond, and going on boat rides. Black Mouth Curs are an awesome breed and truly underrated in my opinion!

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Ben Team

Deuce sounds great, Kristen! Thanks for sharing.
🙂

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Dana

So neat to see an article about these awesome dogs! I adopted a sweet little girl from Rescued Pets Movement in Houston, TX as a result of Hurricane Harvey. She is the best dog I have ever had! She is a mix, but mostly Black Mouth Cur. Over the last 3 years she has earned her Canine Good Citizen Community Canine (CGCA) and Urban Canine (CGCU) distinctions! She always knows she’s in a class and is very quick to learn and eager to please. She is a sweet and wonderful companion.

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Ben Team

Glad you enjoyed the article, Dana! Your pooch sounds like a wonderful little lady!!!

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Nick Orlando

I live in N.Y. state up state in the Hudson valley I have a black mouth cur the pound told me he was a shepherd mix well he came from Georgia and his name was Hunter very odd I told my friend he’s a dog person one look he said that’s a black mouth cur I looked it up and there he was. My wife renamed him max because he had huge paws he was only one year old. Boy was she right well it’s 12yrs now and max is 115lbs 25in at the shoulder’s I love him so much I will always get a black mouth cur when Max goes to the rainbow bridge . Black mouth curs are a great breed . Nick Orlando

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Ben Team

Thanks for sharing your story, Nick! Max sounds wonderful.
🙂

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Mark Shay

We never knew the other half of our pointer mix. We do NOW! He 100% has to be a black mouth Cur on his dads side. Wish I could post a pic here

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Ben Team

Hey, Mark.
You should grab a dog DNA test and find out for sure!
Let us know what you learn.
(And you can share photos of your dog here.)
🙂

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Michelle Parker

I’ve had my BMC for 5 years and I can’t imagine my life without him! My Scooby has been a loyal protector and steadfast companion, while also acting as a registered service dog (I suffer from PTSD and related anxiety and panic attacks). He can sense whenever I am becoming distressed and immediately takes action to help me regain my calm and focus. His loving support has literally saved me. I can’t say enough good things about this breed and wish more people were aware of the love and supportive companionship they are so eager to give their humans.

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Ben Team

Scooby sounds great, Michelle. We’re glad you found each other and appreciate you sharing your story!

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Lee

Hey, our BMC is Scooby. Most family-compatible dog we’ve had. For exercise we free run him up the canyon.

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Gina Marcou

We recently adopted a BMC from the shelter. She is 1 yr 5 months. She was rescued from the streets of Miami with her litter of pups. It’s been told to us that she was pretty much feral. America completed 6 weeks in the cell dog program working with the inmates to learn to leash walk, be socialized, etc. She then went to a foster dad before coming to us. America is super smart. Knows a good majority of commands and is learning to listen very well to my husband and I. The issue that has arisen is territorial aggression. She is very close to us and I am aware that her breed is known to be very protective and guard. With this said we are having trouble with her allowing people into the home or even walking up to us on our property. She has not bitten anyone but she does bark a bit ferociously and has gotten mouthy with one or two people. This is causing me a great deal of stress as we recently just moved out of state and my daughter is planning a visit in May. I have spoken with the vet, her shelter trainer and we are starting training with a certified behavioral trainer next week. Everyone is telling me that this behavior can be remedied. We have 4 months till my daughter arrives. She has not been labeled an aggressive dog. She is just being protective. With all of this said, I am a nervous wreck. I love her so much. She is such a great companion to us. FYI She is not our first rescue. Our previous rescue was a boxer pit who came with many many more issues than America. And we had Bella with us for over 10yrs. We are doing everything we can to help America with this behavior ad my hope is that she will eventually be trusting enough to allow people into the home and I will be able to relax a bit more. I’m not going to lie. I’m not there yet.

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Ben Team

Hey there, Gina. Sorry to hear about your struggles with America, but it sounds like she provides you with a ton of love and joy too!
Best of luck with the behaviorist — let us know how it works out!

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Winchester Debra

A three month old black mouth Cur showed up at my son’s work. He sent me a picture of her and asked if I wanted a puppy and I told him I’d be right down to get her. I already own a Great Dane/Catahoula who is five years old and just lost his companion, a black Pomeranian. I had to put him down because he had diabetes and other complications. Anyway I brought home this little puppy and I let Diesel (GD/C) and Daisy (Cur) stick their noses through the gate at each other and both tails were wagging so I went inside our fenced yard with the puppy and those two got along perfectly. I had always heard you need to take your dog off your property to introduce them to a new dog, which is true. But since both dogs are Curs, I guess they were happy with each other. Anyway, Ms Daisy is a chewer. She has chewed the steps in my house, the wall of my house, every piece of cardboard, plastic, garden tool handles, anything that girl can get her paws on she chews. And she has plenty of toys and a huge backyard to run in. Other than that she is the best dog I have ever had. Whoever dumped her at my sons work probably dumped her because she is destructive but they trained her first . Also black mouth cuare known to not like cats in the very first timeshe chased the cat in the baby gate was open and she stopped the cat ran through the gate and Daisy stopped. That’s how trained she is. We never said a word to her.

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Ben Team

Daisy and Diesel both sound wonderful, Debra! Glad they’ve gotten along so well.
🙂

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Tre Pickel

My name is Tre, I have a 18 month Black Mouth Cur. I have him since he was 8 weeks old. I don’t own him, he stays with me because he wants to stay. We are truckers. He has been in the truck, except when we go home, since I got him. He is a joy. He is very smart, too smart really, and loves so roll down the window and stick his head out, yes, HE rolls down the window. This is the best dog. Loyal protective, relatively easy to train, but not for first timers. Stubborn damn dog. Couldn’t have a better friend!!!!

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Ben Team

He sounds wonderful, Tre! Thanks for sharing.
🙂

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Dutch

I have a Cur who did have puppy mange. I was told they contract it often through their mothers milk. Since he was a puppy, he has had black bald spots on his hind legs that have only gotten larger as he has aged. He is just over a year now and all mange hair loss was on his chest and head, all of the fur grew back tho. Does anyone know what these bald patches could be a result of? Also, your description is spot on. Loving yet barks when the door rings. Sensitive to discipline, smart and fairly easy to train. Well, outside of that separation anxiety you spoke of…. it is significant and he will tear something up fierce if left alone for but 2hrs or more. Great dog! Full of mischief and energy.

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Ben Team

Hey there, Dutch. Glad you enjoyed the article.
Regarding the bald patches on his legs — it’s impossible from us to tell from afar. Have you asked your vet about them yet?

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Tami

We adopted our Trixie when she was approx. 18 months old from a shelter – about 4 years ago. We were told she was a greyhound mix: not that we really cared. We were just hoping to save another dog from a shelter and that she would be a good companion for our other rescue, a GSD who was 3 years older. The shelter did ask us to bring our GSD to their location so the dogs could be introduced on neutral ground, and they seemed to get along. They would play, alternately try to be alpha, then seemed to work it out. (Given that Trixie was a “teenager” and our GSD is basically a big wuss, we should have seen this battle-for-alpha as a warning sign, in retrospect) We did this 3 times before bringing Trixie home. All was great for the first 3 weeks – then things got dangerous. Trixie attacked the GSD – without any obvious provocation – three times. The only common denominator we could determine was that it only happened when PEOPLE were present – not when they were just by themselves in the yard. We tried to find a trainer, but after hearing the history they labeled her as “aggressive” and refused. Trixie is on the larger side – around 76 pounds – which didn’t help. Trying on our own landed me in an urgent care center after trying to separate the 2 dogs. Since then, we’ve had to keep them separated: they “live” in different parts of the house, go outside on rotation, get walked separately, etc. Not fun for any of us… BUT, if it’s just Trixie and a human, she is the BEST dog ever! She LOVES to snuggle on the couch (she is potentially the one couch potato of her breed!), she “plays” for only short stints, then is content to lay on the ground a chew a branch, explore the yard – anything is fine as long as she’s in the presence of a human. She’s never met a human she didn’t like (since being with us, anyway). She’s better behaved than the GSD, walks better on a leash, kennels easily and barks WAY less. We’ve tried re-introducing the dogs, and it has never worked. She quickly and skillfully bests the GSD, nearly ripping his ears off in most cases, even though is he is a bit larger (but older). She attacks other dogs (at the vet, for example) if they get too close. Even a puppy – who completely submissed – was not acceptable to Trixie and the puppy’s leg was injured in that altercation…

We’ve tried to re-home her, talked to countless trainers, read countless pages online, etc. – and have yet to find the solution. Would love your thoughts/suggestions!

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Ben Team

Hey there, Tami. We’re so sorry to hear about the problems with your pupper, but we applaud you for continuing to work to improve the situation.

Honestly, given the fact that you’re dealing with a dog who’s exhibiting some aggression/reactivity issues and you’ve already been injured at least once, your best bet will be to obtain professional help. But that doesn’t mean a trainer — trainers are great for teaching basic obedience and similar skills, but anything in the aggression/reactivity arena is best addressed with the help of a certified dog behavior consultant.

But also, it’s important to understand that some dogs just don’t get along with other dogs no matter what you do. In these cases, you simply need to turn to management solutions (keeping her separated, etc.). It sounds like this is already what you’re doing.

Sorry that we don’t have a quick-and-easy solution for you, but we wish you the very best of luck.

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Courtney

Like so many here, I adopted my BMC (I think she’s almost 4 months old) from a local rescue. I’d never heard of the breed before. It took her a couple of days to trust me as she and her littler mates were dumped by some loser as young pups. She’s the sweetest dog I think I’ve ever had. She greets me with giant tail wags that wiggle her whole body. She’s extremely intelligent and is now discovering her roots as a hunting dog. We’ll have some training work ahead of us, once she’s onto something, it’s hard to break her focus.

Reading through the comments here and on YouTube about the BMC, it seems like most people get their BMCs through rescues or shelters. What gives? Why are people breeding these dogs (or simply failing to spay and neuter) then neglecting or all out dumping so many?

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Ben Team

Hey, Courtney. Thanks for telling us about your pooch — she sounds wonderful. 🙂

It’s really not clear why so many BMCs end up in shelters.

Part of it may be the breed’s high energy level — it’s a lot more challenging to care for a high-energy canine than many owners initially suspect, which can result in them being relinquished to shelters. But also, there’s likely a bit of misidentification going on. It’s impossible to positively identify a shelter/rescue dog based on looks alone (even those who look like purebred dogs may have other breeds in their family tree).

This obviously isn’t limited to BMCs; lots of breeds suffer from the same issue. This is part of the reason we encourage owners to consider doggie DNA tests. This way, you can be certain of your dog’s ancestry, giving you the best chance to give her the best life possible.

Best of luck with your little gal!

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suzanne

I adoped a 7 year old BM Cur after my 12 year old pitty bestie passed over that rainbow bridge about a year ago.
I was on my way to actually check out another pitty who was abandoned at the shelter by his owner. He ( the pitty) was a very adoptable boy that the owner couldn’t take care of anymore and after my boy passed, It wasn’t long untill I needed to fill the doggy love void.
I don’t do well without my pooch companions in my life and I’m sure they’d all agree to pass the loving on and share the good times..
So..As I’m on my way to check out this recently abandoned pitty boy, I asked the shelter if there were ANY other dogs that might fit what I was looking for…
Tentively, they text me about this 7 year old Black Mouth Cur they have had for 2 years. Taken from a abusive, neglecful , horder backyard breeder situation along with several other curs in the “breeding program” this individual was doing.
The description I received was, He was now 7 years old. We got him 2 years ago from a very bad situation. He was neglected, abused and used for breeding. He is terrified of adult men, not aggressive but not great with children. Prefers calm energy and women, does get along with other dogs great but have no idea about cats, and livestock. However, is so scared of everything (lived in a cage for 5 years when not used for breeding) they have had a hard time getting him adopted to the right home. He is kennel stressed and basically they are giving up hope he will ever be adopted due to his fear and anxiety.
I knew I found my next pup…I love my pitty rescues..but this boy needed me as much as I needed him. I took him home that day.
I renamed him Danny, He was so emotionally spent and checked out he slept for 3 weeks and fairly emotionally checked out. Since I live on a farm in rural Idaho, I slowly introduced him to farm life in the dead of winter 2020 to the chickens , goats and turkeys and one horse. He showed no aggression, interest or anything but retreating to a safe place from the livestock and fowl.
Win Win …
He hated walks on leash out of the house at first. The back yard space was free off leash space for him…but I had a hard time catching or petting him off leash. I could invite him inside from outside ( fenced backyard), but, He was basically almost feral at first actually…but he has come a long way in a year.
He now loves his daily hikes and walks. I can actually hike with him off leash now on the trails and I’d say almost 99% of the time he comes immediealtly when called. He is a Cur..and sometimes a scent overrides his immidiate loyalty. However , all I have to do is stop walking and his attention shifts to where I am and how fast he can get to me.
My silence speaks volumes, be it footsteps or verbal cues..I learned from all my past dogs is that if I go stelth, they come to find me especially if I called, heard me walking and then nothing.
I’ve never owned a Cur but have since read up on the breed. My boy Danny seems true to the breed..energetic, loyal now that I have earned his trust. He is very very intelligent..spooky smart. I lucked out that he respects the semi feral barn cats space. He doesnt chase them or even LOOK at their food. I leave their daytime kitty food out and he wont even smell it. He leaves the chickens and turkeys alone..no chasing or prey drive towards them. He respects the goats and horse area..doesnt go in unless I invite him in and them keeps a wide berth from them.
He is now game to go out and wander the trails or town. Several shops in my small rural town are dog friendly and have invited him in with me to do my shopping to help him get used to noises and people. It is like they have adopted to become apart of his human interaction therapy sessions and it has paid off.
He might not be the most outgoing dog in town…but he is now actively walking into shops with me with other people around and quietly sitting at heal.
It’s only been one year..but what a great year it has been for Danny. And what a great year it has been to healing my broken heart with the loss of my pitty rescue Hooch.
Hooch would have loved Danny as a buddie as much as I do now.
Cheers to great buddies of all breeds…and now I love the Curs as much as I do the Pitties…
🙂

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Rebecca Guzman

I didn’t realize at first that my dog, Abby, now three, is a black mouth Cur. We live in an apartment in an urban setting. Your info on the breed is spot on. She is the best family pet for my me and my daughter. Loving, sensitive, energetic and protective. She keeps me active because she does need long walks. But she has adapted quite well to living in a small space. Hopefully one day I can get her a yard. Although she has never been aggressive towards a person, her relationship with other dogs isn’t always great. I don’t take her to the dog park anymore, which is sad because it was a good source of expertise. Part of that is my own anxiety and fear of a potential dog fight. I used to have a geriatric chihuahua that she lived with harmoniously for two years. After he died, Abby appeared to mourn him, she wasn’t herself for two weeks. Fortunately she has bounced back.

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Ben Team

Hey there, Rebecca.
Yeah, unfortunately some dogs just don’t get along well with other dogs (my own pooch is definitely in this camp).
But you can still give most four-footers a very high quality of life, even if they can’t enjoy socializing at the dog park.
Thanks for sharing!

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Mike

We rescued a female BMC (and possible German Shepherd mix) in April 2021. She was 14 weeks at the time and she is the best dog! She was already house and crate trained when we got her. She learned her name in no time as well as all the basic commands. She never nibbled on the furniture, pillows or shoes. So, when she was just shy of 5 months we’d leave her home for small stretches of time when we went to a place where dogs aren’t allowed. Since we let her come and go from her crate we left her alone with access to the entire house and she never gets into trouble. We can now leave her home alone for hours at a time if need be.

Otherwise, this pup is with us all the time. With COVID I’m fully remote so I can take her on 4-5 walks a day. She will follow me around but she isn’t clingy; as I write this she is downstairs by herself on our couch looking out the window between naps. She loves to explore her neighborhood so these aren’t vigorous walks but they do let her release her puppy energy. Like some else commented about their BMC, she loves to pick up sticks and carry them around proudly… even thought she has a ton of toys waiting for her at home. She loves rope toys and Nylabones she goes through a rope toy every 1.5 weeks and Nylabones probably 1 per week.

She loves meeting other humans and dogs. However, I’d say in general she will fall back and hide a bit when she is unsure of something whether it is an object or something else. She still doesn’t like the vacuum but doesn’t run at the first sight of it anymore and she no longer is afraid of lawn mowers. I tease that her security she’d give us is, at the first sign of an intruder by running away instead of protecting… then we’d follow her to safety. LOL. Also, like another commenter posted at night, she sleeps with us in bed and is always physically touching my wife or me. She has no concept of how big and heavy she is (62 lbs at 9 months) or personal space but we don’t mind one bit!

I had never heard of this breed until recently and they really are special dogs! There is nothing I would change about our girl and she is so very incredibly smart and a breeze to train. She is the perfect size for us and therefore we can take her anywhere. It is too bad they aren’t more well known. When we rescue another puppy BMC will be at the top of our list.

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Ben Team

She sounds absolutely wonderful, Mike!
Thanks so much for telling us all about her.

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Sherie

I got a black mouth cur dog from an abusive family my best friend lived next to, they sold me her for $200 non fixed, no shots nothing but a kennel and toys COVERED in poop, dog was so timid, underweight, no confidence. No training, no nothing. I had her potty trained in two days… she was 1 1/2 when I got her and now she’s 2 1/2. She strongly dislikes little boys, men and women. But hair slightly more confidence and she’s gotten to know so many people and she’s so loved. She’s still dog reactive I can’t seem to get that under control. But she’s learned many many tricks, very very smart dog. Extremely loyal and protective. She’s became my emotional support animal for we share so many anxieties, she feels my emotions and when she hears me crying she comes running and makes me pet her and everything. I love this dog so much. This breed is amazing. Not to mention they love love love to be outside and play. Great noses for smelling too!

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Ben Team

We’re so glad you found your pooch and got her out of that terrible situation, Sherie!
It sounds like you two make a great pair.
🙂

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Bree

Hey Ben, Thanks for this article! I came across it while looking for info on what my mixed breed shelter dog could be…this was super helpful. I don’t know what she was like as a pup and she is super chill in my apartment but the rest of the details seems to match up with her. I look forward to getting a DNA test and seeing if she is part BMC!

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Ben Team

So glad you enjoyed the article, Bree! Let us know what the doggie DNA test says!

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Erin

I have an amazing 8 year old black mouth cur named Buttercup (Butter). She was a lot to handle as a puppy but I have never bonded so close with a dog as I have with her. When she was a year old I also got a kitten and she has mothered that cat and in the winter you can usually find them sleeping snuggled up together. She will gently play with the cat as well which is something I have never seen another big dog do. In her life I have had two children and she has been nothing but gentle, loving, and protective of them. She is such a sweet soul and has helped me through such dark times in my life. Butter is very in tune with my emotions, always wanting to help. My only issue is that I now can’t imagine life without her and she is getting older. Breaks my heart.

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Ben Team

Butter sounds absolutely wonderful, Erin.
Congrats on finding her and thanks for sharing her story with us!

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Naomi Tidmore

My husband and I got our Black mouth cur when he was 6weeks old he was born on Valentine’s day. He is 2 year’s old now. He is the best dog. Loving and protective. They are easily trained.

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Ben Team

He sounds great, Naomi! Thanks for sharing.
🙂

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Ashlyn R

My husband adopted our BMC, Stetson, when he was 6 weeks old. He had never had a puppy before and didn’t know the amount of time and energy spent towards having one! Boy did he find out real quick. When Stetson was a puppy he would play with water bottles on the floor all night while we tried to sleep and would impatiently whine at the edge of the bed because he wasn’t big enough to jump onto it. We stopped letting him sleep in the bed with us after a few nights and he decided that he was bored of his water bottles and started playing underneath the bed. We found out soon after that he had been chewing the bottom of the box spring and had broken two of the wooden cross beams! He quickly became a kennel puppy after that night lol.

Once he had all of his puppy shots and was old enough to be an outside puppy, my husband sent him to the back yard during the day. We quickly found out that Stetson really really likes wood! He will pick every piece of wood out of the pile and scatter it across our half acre yard, never playing with the same piece. Once we moved the wood pile where he couldn’t reach it, he started pulling off the wood paneling of the house!

He’s definitely a stinker and is very sensitive to negative responses. He is a total cuddle bug and loves being lazy and laying on the couch with his stuffed squeaky bear.
Stetson is now 8 months old and starting to calm down a little bit, but ultimately he is still a puppy and a rambunctious one at that! He’s a great family dog and very protective of us but we’ve never seen him be aggressive towards anything.

BMC are definitely a lot of work but I wouldn’t have it any other way, he’s my best bud♥️

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Ben Team

Stetson sounds wonderful, Ashlyn.
Thanks for sharing!

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Ellen

We have an 8 month old Black Lab/BMC mix. He is the funniest puppy we have ever fostered and/or adopted. He loves to play with our 2 yr old Yellow Lab puppy even though she kicks his butt all the time. She can out run him which frustrates him and he chases her barking the entire time.

He is VERY vocal both inside and out. He thinks barking at his toys or in the faces of our other puppy or our cat will get them to play with him. He will bark at bugs, frogs, birds, etc outside and get upset when they won’t play with him. He does love the other dogs in our neighborhood but his barking whining at them doesn’t always sit well with the other dogs.

I do agree that he would not be a good fit for an inexperienced dog owner. He is very loving and affectionate but does not do well with any negativity. He is so sensitive that if we tell him he is a bad boy, he comes right over to us for love and to apologize. He doesn’t like being left alone. He will howl if the other puppy goes for a walk without him. He gets jealous very easily and wants whatever the other dogs have. He definitely needs an owner who uses positive training techniques and is home more often than not. However we totally love him and are so very happy we decided to keep him. He keeps us laughing!

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Ben Team

He sounds wonderful, Ellen.
And I am now chuckling at the thought of your dog barking at a frog to get him to play.
🙂
Thanks for sharing!

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Ashley

I have a 6 year old male BMC. We rescued him. He is very energetic and a “spaz”. He has chased and killed a rabbit and possibly a cat? He does not have very good recall. Especially if there is an animal walking down the street or in the backyard. He is the sweetest thing ever when he’s inside the house. He is very protective over us and my 4 year old. He actually went after another dog that was off leash one day and running towards us when we were walking. Although, I will say that he has also ruined 2 couches (with his nails), ripped right through our screen door trying to get to an animal outside, has pulled our drapes down by trying to get to an animal outside, has broken 1 TV by trying to attack the animal that was on the screen, and has eaten numerous dinners that I have just made (not for him); steaks, hotdogs, sausages, my Subway sandwich that I just brought home. They are a very trying breed. I feel that his animal instinct is very strong and once it kicks in, it’s over and he won’t listen or care about anything he’s doing. I have taken him to numerous training classes. I have even had a professional dog trainer tell me that he’s the most stubborn dog she has ever worked with and he’s going to need a lot more rehab and training than the normal dog, which I can’t afford. I also can’t walk him on the long walks that he needs. He has pulled me down numerous times and has even pulled me sideways one time to the point where I had to have surgery on my knee because he tore my meniscus. I don’t have much more patience with this dog, but he really is loving. He just needs a bigger place to run and things to chase.

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Ben Team

He does sound like a handful, Ashley!
We hope you get things worked out, but you may want to check out some indoor exercise activities — that may help wear him out some.
Best of luck!

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Carrie

We had this problem as well especially with a vacuum and the neighbors dog. He has jumped our six foot fence to get at cats or dogs walking down the street. Then I discovered a miracle. I trained him on a gentle lead along with a muzzle for times we have to take him around other dogs or small children and he is like a different dog. He sits at my feet, doesn’t jump or lunge or even pay attention to anything else. I spent 1 day training him on the gentle lead with treats and about 2 training him with the muzzle on treats. He now puts either on enthusiastically and calms right down and snuggles.

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Lynn Neal

I was just giving a bmc who is 4 years old
For just the few days with her she is great. See no issues at all. Took her for a walk and she let admires pet her. I see the attention she likes so my question is leaving her home alone for 4 hours a day of work. Will she destroy the house.

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Ben Team

Congrats on the new pooch, Lynn!
It’s impossible to know how she’s is going to react once you start leaving her alone at home. You’ll just have to pooch-proof the house as best you can and try it out!
Four hours isn’t a terribly long amount of time to be away though, and if you exercise her before leaving, she may snooze for most of that time.
Best of luck!

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Christopher

I am currently fostering a female that someone dumped on the side of the road. We put her in a kennel at bedtime or whenever we leave. She is a great pup (approximately 8 months old). She is very smart and loves our two Golden Retrievers and our two young grandchildren. She is very energetic so she spends a lot of time running around outside playing with our two Goldens.
The only negative thing about her is that she terrorizes our cats. They pretty much just hide under the bed when she is not in her kennel or outside. Otherwise she is fantastic.

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Seth Tanner

I have what I suspect is a black mouthed cur. She showed up in the woods behind my house at 6 weeks old. I suspect someone left her because she had an impacted vagina that she needed surgery for. At any rate, this dog can chase and kill just about anything. The other day I had trouble getting her inside. She had caught, killed and was eating a great barred owl! She is energetic. She loves running with other dogs, but she is so strong that they often get tired of her running them down as they tumble across the lawn. She barks a lot at strangers but eventually warms up after the third or fourth time she meets them. She has never bitten anyone, rather keeping a 4 or 5 foot distance warding them off with her deep bark. She’s not a snuggler, but since she was a puppy always lies at my feet with her muzzle touching at least one of my feet. She is sensitive to discipline. On the 2 occasions she has wet the floor all I had to do was point at the puddle and she slowly slid off the couch with her ears down in shame. I have taken her to 3 six-week trainings and she still won’t come when I call her! UGH. But I am retired and live on the lake so she shows up for supper and I don’t let her out off leash at night. (I mean, she killed an owl.) I love her, but couldn’t figure out what she was or is mixed with. She doesn’t have the smooth coat. She is double coated but the water rolls right off her and she is dry within 20 minutes even without a towel. She definitely needs exercise. She will chase a stick but keeps running once she has it. If you live in the country and hate rodents, she is your dog.

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Ben Team

Hey there, Seth.
Sounds like you two are figuring things out, but we’d recommend keeping her contained or on some type of tether if she doesn’t have a reliable recall — you don’t want her to pick on something larger than an owl or get into any other kind of trouble!
Best of luck!

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[email protected]

Our BMC was a rescue from Corpus Christie. She was so tiny and sick. I doctored her and when she was 6 months old, I trained her basic commands. She is very smart and a tease with my other 2 girls, an Aussie and a Border Aussie mix. When we play balll or Frisbee with the Aussie Girl, our BMC will eventually get it and lay on it and chew a bone so Aussie can’t get her toy. Lol I think Miss BMC likes to make her big sister cry. All our girls have a great sense of humor, but BMC takes it up a notch. She’s a prankster and a goofball. She twinkletoes (like she’s prancing), she will be broken and you have to fix her (down on her head doubled over sideways with her butt almost on her head). The only real annoying habit she has is she is a licker. She’ll get you no matter how hard you try to not get licked. She’ll do fly by licks. There’s no escape. She will be 2 in October and we will have had her 2 years in November….she was 5 weeks when we got her. She’s a great girl. Loves to ride and meet people but I also believe if need be. She’d be someone’s nightmare if needed. Anyway, sorry this was long. We have no regrets being foster failures with this BMC Girl.

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Ben Team

She sounds fantastic and “fly-by licks” gave us quite a chuckle!
Thanks for sharing.
🙂

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Blake Mcinerney

We rescued a black mouth cur when she was about 2 years old, she was never properly socialized with humans or dogs and now is super reactive and sometimes aggressive, we’ve been working with her usually positive reinforcement for about a year and she’s been doing a lot better, we also discovered she’s only reactive and aggressive when I’m around and doesn’t do it with any other family members when they take her for walks

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Ben Team

Huh. That’s an interesting issue, Blake.
It may be worth discussing with a canine behaviorist to get to the bottom of things.

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NAOMI TIDMORE

My husband and I got our BMC when he was 6weeks old he is 2 now he is very protective very loving and loves to make sure when My sister-in-laws goats get out he puts them back in the field He’s name is Buddy and we are very proud he is part of our family.

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Ben Team

Buddy sounds great, Naomi! Thanks for sharing!

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Andrew

We just adopted a BMC. She is really great with kids, off leash etc. The only problem we are having is with her walks. She remembers every single place she seen a rabbit, duck or squirrel and will stop and sit down in that spot on the next walk. I had to pick her up 2/3 times because she gets obsessed and won’t move. Treats worked for a little bit but not anymore. Sometimes I have to wait it out and other times try to distract her as I don’t want to be yanking too hard on the leash. Any suggestions on how to correct/change this behaviour? Also, she does the same thing if I don’t go the way she wants. She will stop and bite the leash and attempt to pull me in the direction she wants

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Ben Team

Hey, Andrew. What an unusual habit!
I have to admit, I chuckled at the notion of your doggo just sitting there patiently, waiting for some critter he saw months ago to reemerge from the bushes.
But I’m sure it’s not so funny to you anymore — it’s probably pretty annoying.

Is he food motivated? If so, I’d just lure him away from the area (or back to your walking route) with super-high-value treats. Over time, I’d try to encourage him to just keep walking right by the area (by using the treats) without stopping.

As for the leash biting, I’d (personally) be inclined to just try a chewing deterrent first.

Best of luck!

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Jessica

Hello everyone! My name is Jessica and my family and I have the most wonderful Black Mouth Cur named Jackson. We adopted him from a rescue agency that goes around to kill shelters in the south and brings the dogs north to be adopted. Our Jackson was from Natchez Mississippi and brought to New Jersey with his other 2 littermates. He and his littermates are the brindle color BMC with nice black muzzles and ear tips. Jackson was 3 and a half months old when we adopted him. Very energetic, friendly, loving puppy.

He loves long walks and playing ball in the yard. He was very easy to train and house break. We used a crate to train him. Intelligent dog. He doesn’t like to be alone too long and did do his fair share of chewing as a puppy. Now that he is 5 years old he has calmed a bit and can be home for longer periods but still doesn’t like it. He still gets so excited when you come home and enthusiastically greets you at the door. Jumping up was an issue but he doesn’t do that much anymore. Just a good natured well behaved boy all around.

He grew up with our 2 cats and they are best buddies. They do like to play and chase each other around the house. He is an attention hog and doesn’t let the cats get more pets or love than he does. He Needs to be by me at all times. He is my constant companion following me wherever I go. He has to keep a watch on me I guess. Jackson gets along great with our kids and pretty much anyone he meets. If Jackson doesn’t like you then I know something is not right. He is protective over our family and the house. He will bark at strangers or anything that approaches the house but he isn’t aggressive. That being said though I do think if given opportunity he would protect and defend me and my family from harm. He also plays and gets along with other dogs pretty well. Best if they are close to his size so he can’t accidentally hurt them with his energetic play. He is 24inches tall at the shoulder and weighs about 70 pounds. I think he is a very handsome boy. People always ask me what kind of dog he is. It is a shame there aren’t more dogs like Jackson around here. They are a great breed and we are so lucky to have him. We love him so much and hope he is a part of our family for many years to come.

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Ben Team

Jackson sounds like a wonderful canine companion, Jessica!
Thanks for telling us about him.
🙂

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Rob Pettis

Hi Ben, Hi Everyone,
This was a great read and I like the site very much. I signed up for the newsletter of course. Sorry my story is so long, but I am a newly proud Dogfather.

My wife and I of nearly 38 years are working professionals and decided to use the pandemic and our working from home situation to rescue a dog. All these years we felt that whatever doggie we got, they would feel neglected because we worked regular jobs eight hours a day and it wasn’t in us to do that. We decided though that we could use this situation to slowly accustom a dog to being alone, if we slightly increased it a little at a time. So we began our search. Using Pet Finder, I located a rescue nearby and they specialized in the breed we so much adored. The American Pit Bull Terrier. One thing that immediately sparked a fire in us is how a fenced yard was not a requirement for some of the dogs. We live on 2.5 acres in the country and the property is completely sloped. The part that the house sits on was graded flat but that’s it. It’s mostly wooded and there is a lot of shale, and brush so a fence was never an option because of cost, or how it would detract from the natural setting or be impossible to install. So we set our criteria to specifically require a dog that was accustomed to our type of lifestyle. We work 40 hour weeks not including the time to commute, we do chores weather permitting, we are not young although young at heart, and most certainly not in the best shape.

One day the rescue had an adoption available by the name of Phoenix. She was a beautiful twelve and a half month old “Pit Bull Mix”. Her listed behavior, traits and character seemed perfect for us. I grew up with the occasional dog, and have some first hand experience but my wife had none so we knew we wanted something that had the basics, and we would learn the rest. It also had to be willing to let us love and spoil it because we have been dog lovers since we met. People that didn’t know us, that met us thought we had dogs.

On paper and based on the foster Moms word, Phoenix seemed perfect for us. She ticked all our boxes and we ticked hers, so we filled out the adoption form, were accepted, and we picked her up January 1st, 2021 and our home (quite literally) became hers.

The foster only had her for three weeks and all we were told was that she was from West Virginia (we’re in Maryland, and picked her up in Delaware) and that she was kept outside on a chain her entire life. We were told she was good with other dogs (the foster had two of her own and another rescue when we were there), children, adults, liked car rides but liked to be in your lap during if she could, belly rubs, she was crate trained, and house broken. We asked the foster if she worked, exactly what her schedule was and how the dog spent its day. This was the most important thing to us. We were told she got an early time in the yard after breakfast with the other dogs, then in the crate for approximately 10 – 11 hours a day while she worked, then dinner and more yard time then bed. We figured this would be perfect for our professional lifestyles and work schedule. Of course, her day with us would include a walk in the morning and at night because we had no fenced in yard, but it would be on a leash, and only until we were confident she could be trusted otherwise. We had to agree to all of this of course and we meant what we said, it was not just something we said to acquire a dog.

We showered her with Love from the moment she entered our home, and hearts. She was immediately allowed on the couch but was hesitant to jump up. I had to pick her up and place her on it between us. That was day one. Day two she jumped up, and we praised her for that. She found my lap with her head and that was her spot. By day three some of the stress during day one and two had subsided and we were all on the couch just relaxing and I thought I heard my wife snoring, but it was Phoenix. Then, it was my wife. So now, I had two girls snoring beside me and the sound was identical.

As the days went on, we were amazed how minimal her shedding was. We also found it odd she never barked. She walked well on her leash and kept her nose to the ground pulling some. It wasn’t that concerning because I knew the woods had so much to offer an animal that relied on their nose as much as dogs do. We have a lot of critters here.

Phoenix has been with us since the 1st of the year so that makes four months and a week now.

First, let me say Velcro Dog is putting it mildly. She is quite the companion. Meaning, she has to be involved with everything you do. If a package comes and we bring it in to open it, we let her smell the box, the inside of the box, and then the contents of the box. She has 5 beds now counting the raised cooling bed on the deck. I built gates for the deck and then installed a doggie door in our french door sliding screen door. She has pretty much the run of the house but as it warmed up we wanted her to be able to relax in the sun on her own accord. She does. We finally let her into our bedroom and she immediately jumped up on the bed and the affectionate gratitude she showed us for letting her was adorable. Ultimately we see her sleeping in there with us. However, she doesn’t mind being in her crate while we’re home. In the evening when we turn off the tv she jumps off the couch with us and goes right in on her own. If I wear her out on her nightly walk she goes in early, again, on her own. I added an indoor security camera to our system that is aimed right at her crate so we can watch her when we go someplace she isn’t allowed. The longest so far was 4 hours. She only cried for 4 minutes and napped on and off the rest of the time.

I can sit on the couch with her along side me while I eat chips and salsa or a pop tart and she will express interest but not beg, and will just settle in and put her head down. Because we want her to understand there is absolutely no begging, we crate her during our main meals for now, and will reward her with her own treat so doesn’t feel left out. We feed her after her walks, and a reward for finishing her entire meal. She eats a cup and a half of dry kibble, and a variety of other healthy dog treats. Mostly lower calorie food. Dentastix are her favorite, but she enjoys flavored milk bones too. We never feed her human food, nor will we ever. Sure I might buy her doggie ice cream but not the human version. Her vet said she needs to around 44 lbs and she weighs 48 – 50 depending on the time of day [wink wink]. We both walk her, but mostly independently. But of course we do it together when our jobs permit, or for my wife, the weather allows. My steps have increased to nearly 14k a day. My A1C is the lowest it has ever been. She is literally saving my life. Phoenix loves the snow and will slide her head and body on the frozen, slippery stuff like an otter. She tried to scratch through it to eat it. I break it up to make it easier for her. She always makes me laugh no matter what. She is not a fan of the rain and likely due to the fact of her upbringing. I have a raincoat for her. Of course it matches mine. She does not like the air nozzle of my compressor, or the garden hose. My guess is, these were used to torture her somehow. As a matter of fact, her aversion to water has us worried. We have a pool. Yesterday I had to meet a co-worker to pick up a device for work and at the spot we met there was a stormwater drainage facility. It had about 6″ of clean water in it and the bottom was all leaves. She was super curious and after about 15 minutes decided to walk the 10′ across it! You would have though a father was watching his baby take it’s fist steps or saying da da. Then she got scared, whimpered as if she wanted me to come and get her (which I could/would have) but then she came back on her own! Of course all this took place while she was on a leash but there are creeks and streams near us so that will be the next step. We are water people so it is promising. No pushing though, she will have to see us in it and decide for herself to join us. She doesn’t mind the vacuum but doesn’t hate it either. That’s good because we are using it more often now. That non-shedding thing ended with the season change. Now if she shakes you can see the hair come off. We brush her as much as possible. I’m buying a sign or door mat that reads “Hope you don’t mind dog hair”.

With the change of the season I have cut more trails through the woods on and off our property in the woods and she enjoys walking them a lot. She gets to see the squirrels and deer and that sends her into a frenzy. I am working on HEY!, Nooooo, and Calmmmm, while rubbing or petting her. Without my touch she is completely fixated and it’s so very obvious she is more BMC than APBT. She will let chickens walk very close to her, and enjoys the cows kissing her on the farm next to us (I think she thinks they are big dogs since they are Guernseys and have the same coloring as her). Unfortunately, she thinks baby goats are food, and luckily we are a second quicker than her or we would have definitely found out. We’ll work on that. Haven’t tried pigs or ducks yet. Moles don’t stand a chance. She had one in her mouth and laid at my feet in seconds the other day. She didn’t kill it though and we released it back into the woods. She got to see (I suspect) her first turtle the other day. That was cute. The wonderment and curiosity is amazing and fun to watch. Ultimately though she tried to pick it and bring it to me so she had to put it back. She likes the taste of the (17 year) cicada larvae that are starting to break the surface of the ground here. Maryland is the epicenter for this even so we are not at all excited about it. We will have billions. I hope she gets to see them again in another 17 years.

She plays well with our neighbors Lab Tucker (2.5 years old) and Heeler Gunner (5.5 years old) but they play really rough. Tails wag the entire time but it gets questionable. A lot of snarling, growling, biting, but also chasing, catching, kissing and licking. Gunner is older and has less tolerance, and Phoenix is the best thing to happen to Tucker because Gunner is no fun anymore. He’s her boyfriend. We had her at my nieces house and she has two female dogs Phoenix’s age. The ran around non-stop for 4 hours straight. Again, it seems a little aggressive to me and my wife but they do not seem to be mean towards each other. Phoenix and I will play chase in the house too. I chase her and let her think she is chasing me. Her tail wags the entire time and she barks the entire time. We both do the submissing chest down stance. I hide from her in darker places of the house and get her to come to me by making noises to build her confidence. She enjoys this play time immensely and I mostly am laughing the entire time when she tucks her tail and runs. As soon as I stop, I will hold my hands together like an open book, down low and tell her to come, and tell her Good Girl and she immediately calms down and sits near me. It’s a game we play, one to get her some additional exercise, and two to get out some of the energy she builds up napping during the day. I believe it makes our bond stronger too.

Her vet initially asked what her key words were. I said Good Girl and it stuck. We say it for every good thing she does, over and over.

With summer approaching when I’m not cutting new walking trails for us, I am clearing dead fall or other debris so that I can ultimately install a 5′ high wire fence to contain a portion of the back yard. I found out there is a type that the vertical and horizontal joints are not welded and instead have wire wound around them into a knot. This allows the fence to remain rigid and traverse hilly terrain. I will add wood posts at the corners and at gate openings. I am buying a 6′ high version of this fence but I will bend a foot of it inward at the bottom so it lays flat, then add stakes to hold it. I will till ground under it and will plant a vine type of plant like honeysuckle so it forms a natural screen, provides containment for her, and something she won’t be able to dig under so easily. I also have a 200′ Tumbo Trolley Extreme system to install. I want her to experience as much off leash freedom as possible and provide a place she can fetch balls and frisbee’s or whatever else I throw. I also plan on constructing an agility course for her as soon as lumber prices come back down. During our walks she really enjoys walking along fallen trees, both laying on the ground or elevated. She’s a natural at it. I tested her on some quickly set up ramps and with my encouragement and positive reinforcement, she trusted me enough to walk up to height of approximately four feet. I have a tactical harness with a handle I use to help her jump out of my truck to minimize the impact to her joints so that will come in handy on the course. I want a lot of elevated structures, and of course a baby pool.

All in all, for us, and in our eyes, she’s the perfect canine. She has become our furbaby. Is she perfect? No, she has had a couple #1 accidents but we can’t pin down a pattern so we are calling them just that, accidents. It’s obvious she regrets doing it though. She is definitely the sensitive type and we are never harsh with her. At the most, stern. All three of us are learning this lifestyle together. When I look into her amber eyes as she sits under my desk while I work, waiting for me to walk her in the evening, or when at the end of the day, her head is resting on my shoulder on the couch and I hear that deep sigh of contentment then feel her warm breath on my ear, or when I hug her head and neck area, tell her I love Her then kiss her muzzle and she makes that noise as if to say “I Love You Too” my heart melts and I thank the man above for intertwining our lives. Would I have liked things to be better for her growing up and her to never become a rescue? Of course. There’s no part of me that is happy how that life was for her. For any dog that has to endure that.

We have put that behind us though, and hopefully over time the love and kindness we give her will completely erase any of the bad memories she may have. We intend to try to replace every one of them with a positive version so as she grows older, all her existing fears become happy moments with us.

To us, and why we could absolutely not change her name, like a true Phoenix she has risen from the ashes reborn with us!

From Wiki:
The phoenix is a long-lived bird associated with Greek mythology (with analogs in many cultures) that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.

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Ben Team

What a wonderful story, Rob! We’re so happy that you and your wife found Phoenix and vice versa!
We love hearing from owners who’re doing everything possible to make their four-footer’s life the best it can possibly be.
Please give her some scritches for us next time she’s hanging out on the couch with you (and maybe a doggie ice cream treat too).
🙂
Thanks for sharing!

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Liz

We adopted our sweet girl at age 1.5 years from a Texas shelter that provides dogs to the NW. We were looking for a hound under 40 pounds. We had never heard of BMC’s. We fell in love with her picture and were sad when she got adopted by a family before we could get our application in. Lo and behold her picture popped up again as the family did not work out – she was trying to herd and roughhouse with their twin 5 year olds. She is now 3 years old and on the smaller side at 35 lbs. She is athletic and usually the fastest one at the dog park despite her size. She is very attached and protective of me, less so with my husband. On leash she can be suspicious of other dogs but does great in off leash areas loves bigger dogs. Not into fetch but loves her toys – especially squeakers. Loves riding in the car. Very snuggly. Loves to sunbathe- not crazy about the rain here. Minimal shedding. Slow to warm up to our friends and neighbors but now has a trusted circle of them that she is comfortable with. Love this breed!

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Ben Team

She sounds great, Liz! Thanks for sharing.
🙂

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Gayle Hudert

We rescued our Black Mouth Cur from a shelter that called her a “pitt mix”, but she is definitely a BMC! She is loving, sensitive to scolding, and eager to please. It took only one day to teach her to ring a bell when she needs to go out. She loves her chew toys, but they have to be “indestructible”. She very rarely barks, even when she spots a squirrel to stalk. The first time we heard her bark was the 3rd month we had her, and that was to warn us that someone was on our porch at midnight. She is friendly at the dog run park, and loves to wrestle with bigger dogs. At 50 lbs, she is incredibly strong, sleek, and beautiful. We hear compliments about her every time we walk her. From our experience, the BMC is an awesome breed.

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Ben Team

She sound wonderful, Gayle! Thanks for sharing her story with us.
🙂

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Dave

Black Mouth Cur facts. I have several full bloods. I love them.
They do shed. Sometimes a lot.
Need to know dog behavior, and management well as their prey drive makes it hard to handle with small animals and small dogs.
As NKC standard describes them: A good bred one will not back down. are often not accepting of new dogs. Very territorial, thus at maturity more than likely won’t do well at doggy daycares, and dog parks. If they are challenged they won’t run.
They have no fear.
If their nails have to be cut they aren’t getting enough exercise.
Those with a more dominant nature won’t take well to a stranger handling them. (ask my vet and staff)(yes they was very well socialized).
They have no fear.
Obedience training is necessary as they won’t quit if they have their mind set on something.

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Ben Team

Hey, Dave.
We get your point — black mouth curs are often brave. But all dogs can feel fear. Also, a variety of things can determine how quickly your dog’s nails wear down, and even with copious amounts of exercise, you’ll likely still find it necessary to trim your pup’s nails.
These seem like pretty pedantic points, but we wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.
We appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

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Carla

We adopted Bella at about 4 mo from a young family who lived in an apartment. Bella is definitely not suited to an apartment. We added her to our already large pack of 2 Aussies, 2 ferrets, a cat, and 6 chickens. She did kill one chicken but quickly learned it wasn’t acceptable. One thing I haven’t seen anyone on any site mention is how vocal BMC can be. Is she unique in this? Obviously she barks when a stranger is at the door. But she has a huge range of other vocalizations. She has a whistle, whin, and shrill nasal noise she uses when she is trying to get our other dogs to play. She is goofy, loving, playful, sassy, mouthy, protective, overall pleasure.

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Ben Team

Hey, Carla.
You are correct — black mouth curs can be pretty vocal, and that’s something that is important to consider.
We’ll add a mention of that! Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

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Emily

Our BMC, Laffa, is SO vocal! I oftentimes say that he has so many things going on in his mind that he tells me stories a few times a day. Sometimes it sounds like he is performing at the Opera, other times like he is blowing a Shofar (Jewish term… essentially a horn). I am so glad to know he is not alone, because sometimes I feel like he is trying to tell us something is wrong, but I really think he just enjoys making noises. Haha!

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Carrie

Ours will let us know it’s dinner time by barking (8pm on the dot) and also howls when he wants to play and get our attention. Barks at anything that goes down the street and watches our security cameras lol.

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Sandy

I adopted my BMC from the humane society when she was 3 or 4 months old. I couldnt have ever expected such a perfect dog! Shes very loving, likes to hug, that’s when she snuggles into me, she is so flippin smart! Shes a very quiet dog, except when I get her riled up with play time. She loves car rides. She just loves being with me. I live alone since my husband passed almost 4 years ago, and abbey picked me. I Love her so flippin much. Shes a great companion
I leave her alone during the day so I can go to work. I come home for lunch, and she won’t go outside till I give her loving first. She has ccx a big fenced in yard and shes really fast! She doesnt run she sprints she’s an awesome watch dog. I couldnt ask for a better dog…. I would highly recommend a black mouth curr. Shes my baby….

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Ben Team

She sounds fantastic, Sandy! Thanks for sharing.
🙂

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Christina

We adopted a BMC from a shelter in MN. They passed her off as an Aussie mix. I had my doubts but figured they knew since mom gave birth in the shelter. Mom came up from Texas pregnant. After all the pups were adopted I asked for a photo of mom…Pitbull mix for sure! So, our Dessa was born in foster and at 8 weeks was taken to another foster for 2.5 weeks. When I first went to see her, I wanted to take her that night; I was not excited about this fosters arrangement for the dogs. She kept our girl separate from the other dogs in the house and when I asked how potty training was going she said the dog had never been outside, but kept in a room with a tarp on the floor and potty pads. She was also left alone for 8-10 hours a day due to their work schedules. 🙁
So, even though we got her at nearly 11 weeks old, I fear she did not get proper socialization with dogs or people and what she did get was a bad experience for her. We have now had her for 15 month. She has fear based aggression and anxiety about many things (even the outlet cover on the wall that she suddenly noticed one day). We learned quickly that she has to stay on leash or runner because she wants to chase down anyone who passes our house. We no longer take her to the dog park because she plays too hard with other dogs and does not read the signals to back off. She has also taken to thinking she needs to go after any adult with a child as if she needs to protect the child. She has even bit a few people 🙁
That being said, with our family and people she knows, she is a big sloppy lover! Sometimes I think she acts more like a people than a dog. She is so smart and loves scenting. With the very cold weather and limited outdoor time right now, we play a lot of hide-n-seek with her toys. She could do it all day. We used to take her to work with us, but realized it was her too much stress with people coming around corners or delivery people showing up and she thought she needed to protect us. She actually doesn’t mind being in a crate during the day. We have a puppy cam and every time I check in on her she is just chilling. The most she has been left alone is about 6 hrs. We are lucky to have our own business and flexible hours plus our adult children come and go and take her out for potty breaks.
It’s true that this is not a dog for first time dog owners! We would have returned her if we had not had 2 dogs prior. We also have 2.5 acres to play on (not fenced), but since her recall is close to zero when she has her sights on something or someone, she has to stay on leash or we find a very secluded places to run free. I know not everyone has that option. We are having success with an e-collar that beeps. It seems to distract her enough to hear us call her back. It also helps that she is very treat motivated.
Our vet suggested putting her down because of the fear based aggression and biting, but we are not giving up on her just yet. We’ve committed to doing all we can to keep her out of high stress environments and resolved ourselves to the fact that she just won’t be the dog we can take everywhere we go. The hardest thing is what to do if we leave town as a family and need a sitter; I’m sure a border will not take her.
We love this girl so much and are not ready to give up on her.
I really appreciated the information in this article and it helped solidify what I was already suspecting in our pup. Wish I could copy a picture of her here. She’s a beauty!

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Ben Team

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Christina!

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Dave

Christina,
Please don’t call a pitbull mix a black mouth cur.
People doing so is starting to give them a bad name due to the increase of bite statistics of dogs being erroneously labeled BMC, or BMC mix.
I have several pure bred one of which I took to rehab after suffering extreme abuse, They are not fear aggressors. If a BMC is a fear aggressor it would be rejected as a BMC by any reputable breeder.
Even the rehab who suffered so much abuse has no fear.
I love the breed and would like to see it maintain its dignity.
Thank you.

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John carberry

Adopted a 6 yr old black mouth cur from Naples Humane Society shelter- had a black lab and a 16 yr old cat. Cur, Abby, has been a great addition – 60 + lbs of energy – loves walks and chasing rabbits and squirrels- never catches anything- sleeping on couch. Great addition to family- good traveller/ not wild about rain or snow. Would gladly pick another cur.

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Lyndsey

We have a 1.5 yr old BMC who we rescued from a high kill shelter down South. I was originally told she was a boxer mix, but a doggy DNA test determined she is a BMC. Our girl Maren LOVES to be outside, roll in the dirt, play with her ball (she often throws it to herself and chases it), loves long walks and does amazing with our 10 year old Catahoula. She was so easy to train, listens to her commands so well, is very intelligent and affectionate. She rarely barks, but when she does, there’s often a howl involved. She loves to chase squirrels but is great with our two indoor cats. She was crate trained within a week of bringing her home and loves her “bed”. I am SO happy with the rescue mix up bringing us our BMC instead of the boxer mix we thought she was!

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Ben Team

Maren sounds great, Lyndsey!
Thanks for telling us about her.
🙂

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Maggie Nickleson

Hi Lyndsey! Could you tell me what dog DNA test you used please? I have had a hard time finding one that covers this breed or have just looked in the wrong placed. I have really been wanting to get one for my dog who my husband and I are fairly sure is predominantly a Black Mouth Cur. She looks like one and has almost all the personality traits. We got her from a kill shelter in southern Georgia.
Thank you for your time!

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Heather

we have a suspected BMC. We got him from a shelter that claimed he was a German shepherd lab cross. He has black in his muzzle and 1 floppy ear and 1 ear that sticks up straight. He is an 80lb lap dog that loves people and walks. Sadly he was probably not socialized well as he is extremely territorial and can have problems with other male dogs, especially intact male dogs. However we are working with him to improve that and he is super smart. Otherwise he is an awesome family dog and I’d love to get another.

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Ben Team

Hey, Heather. Thanks for telling us about your pooch! He sounds great, despite having issues with other boys.
If you’re ever interested in finding our more about his genetic background, be sure to check out our article about the Embark Dog DNA Test.
🙂

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Kara C.

We have a BMC, Cooper, who was adopted almost 8 years from a southern high kill shelter, and brought up north. His shelter papers guessed at his breed mix to be shepherd mix, but at 8-9 weeks old it’s hard to tell. We already had a shepherd mix at home, so we thought we knew what was in store for us. Ha! The very first night he was home with us, we got him into his crate for bed, turned off the lights, and out of him came the craziest sound….hound dog bay!! Now that he’s grown, we know he’s all hound (you know, the high prey drive, treeing type). He actually ran head first through our wooden fence gate to chase a squirrel.

Your article describes Coop to a T. He’s incredibly intelligent (he watches television). He’s actually watched entire movies. If he sees animals on a small TV screen, he’ll run to our larger TV to see if the animals are on that screen, too.

He’s incredibly sensitive (he loves to be hugged), and strives to please us.

Grooming-wise, the easiest dog we’ve owned. He almost never needs to be brushed, but loves it when it happens, and he hated to get dirty, so he hardly ever needs to be bathed.

He’s protective of us and our property, and was a stubborn ox to train. He isn’t food motivated, so positive reinforcement was our method. Coop isn’t a little guy, standing 25″ at the shoulders, and weighing about 90 lbs. He’s incredibly selective when it comes to other dogs, even our late dog. When we adopted our newest dog (who looked like a cur in her shelter photo), we had to evaluate his behaviors and found a smaller, younger, submissive female for him, and they love each other. Phew!!

To sum up Coop, he’s our heart. His personality and behaviors are what make him, and we wouldn’t change a thing about him

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Ben Team

Thanks for sharing, Kara!
Coop sounds fantastic, and this: “If he sees animals on a small TV screen, he’ll run to our larger TV to see if the animals are on that screen, too” is hysterical.
Give Coop some scritches for us!

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Nancy Marston

We adopted the most adorable puppy 7 years ago. And like many here, we were told he was a lab mix. He is full BMC and on the large side of large. As someone that has had dogs my entire life, I was not prepared for the amount of work involved with him. We socialized him often as a puppy and he accepts those people easily. Other people not so much. We brought in a golden retriever puppy 4 years ago and he accepted her and protects her like he protects me. He grew up with male weimeriener and turned on him when they were both 5 years old because the weimer got too close to playpen that my grandson was in. The BMC is always near the kids when they are here. He is very patient with them but he still never gets left alone with them. We no longer let him be around family dogs.
Loyalty and intelligence are incredible. I fully intend to have another in the future. We will go in more educated and prepared. If you are not fully prepared and understand these dogs are different than an average companion dog. Please pick an easier breed. Rehoming after they bond will not work out.

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Ben Jedlicka

I had an old hermit friend who lived in a log house and raised plotts and black mouthed currs. They got away from him and he had 40+ dogs and his SSI didn’t cover the feed. He put an ad in “full cry” to sell pups with nothing more than a PO box to get back to. Yes he lived in the “old days”. I tried to help him find homes and there was one little petite quite female BMC who caught my eye. I had to put an X in magic marker on the top of her head to keep track of her as there were 3 litters on the ground. I found her a home in another town with instructions to bring her back if she didn’t work out. When I grabbed her my friend protested and said “why the hell are you takin’ her?, I like the way she sits back and watches all the s__t going on in here”. I told him I wanted her to have a good home and he let me take her. 3 days later I got a call and the new home she went to returned her to me. She had been abused and wouldn’t cuddle anymore. I decided she was coming home to me for good. My wife didn’t speak to me for 3 weeks afterwards. Two months later the Fayette county animal control came in and took most of the dogs and destroyed them that very night. It was awful. She would have died a horrible death if it wasn’t that black X on her head. That was over 16 years ago. I just put Maggie down on Monday August 17th after struggling for weeks to finally be brave enough. She was terrified of the vet and I did not want her to die afraid. I was terrified of losing her. We gave her 3 xanex from the vet and calmed her down enough to put her to rest. She died eating a McDonalds double cheeseburger in my hands. She was 3/4 BMC and 1//4 Plott. She was the most loving little dog we have ever had and at 60 years of age I wish I was young enough for another one but a BMC is not the kind of dog that would get over the loss of their owner easily. This is to you my miss Pie….my Maggie Pie. See you in heaven I hope.

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Ben Team

Hey, Ben. Sorry to hear about Maggie’s passing, but we’re glad you were able to be together when it was her time.
Thanks so much for sharing her story with us.

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Sue

We have a Black mouth cur/ Shepard cross. Abbie will be two in September and is a wonderful dog. We have had four other dogs in the past and I must admit that I love this breed. They are everything that you said they are. Abbie is very sensitive, loving, loyal, active dog who loves everyone. We call her our social butterfly, she wants to visit everyone whether it’s a dog, cat, people or other animals. Wonderful pets!!!

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Vanessa A Webb

My husband and I adopted a BMC named Liam. The shelter told us that he was a lab mix from North Carolina, but he’s actually a small black mouth cur. He’s also our first dog together and we live in an apartment, but usually one person is home with him during the day. He was extremely easy to train, probably the easiest dog in my experience. He’s intelligent and food motivated. I agree that BMCs are very loyal and affectionate, he hates being alone and is very attached to us. He does get protective of me and is quite sensitive. Overall he’s an amazing dog and it’s really interesting learning more about his breed.

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Barbara A Wheeler

I just got a cur brindle so have been reading about her. She is very smart, I’ve had her3 days and shes about house broke. She loves the grand kids.

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MK

I’m a first-time owner and live in an apartment. I got 2 yr old BMC from the shelter. The shelter told she was an Australian Shepard and Lab mix, but based on her personality, she is not. Since I got to know she is BMC, I feel very sorry for her because she is not an apartment dog and needs space. I take her for 60-90 mins walks, and on top of that, she self entertains herself with the toys and is very goofy. I have not seen her bark. She is a beauty, gets a lot of looks from people during walks, needs lots of back rubs, scared of the elevator. She doesn’t jump on countertops, doesn’t chew on cables hanging from my work desk or on furniture, she doesn’t get on the couch and doesn’t get on my bed without calling her, gets excited about cats, squirrels and want to say hi to every person walking. I love her a lot, and I feel bad that she can’t have a good home experience with me. I will also be working from the office and will be away for 6 hrs from October and not sure how to handle her then. I hate to use a crate. I’m in a fix, not sure to keep her or find a right home for her. I don’t want her to be in the shelter again. Any tips?

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Ben Team

Hey, MK. That’s a tough one, and we’re sorry about the shelter’s misidentification — that’s a bummer for you and your pooch
(Also, as an aside, that’s part of the reason we’re pretty big fans of canine DNA tests.)

On the one hand, you’re right: A BMC will probably benefit from having a big yard. She needs plenty of room to run, jump, play, and explore.

But on the other hand, it sounds like she’s doing really well with you! And we’d hate to see her have to start all over in a new home with a new pup parent.
Also, you said: “I feel bad that she can’t have a good home experience with me.” That doesn’t necessarily sound like the case — you paint a picture of a pretty happy doggo, who’s enjoying a pretty awesome, if imperfect, life.

Ultimately, you’ll just have to weigh the pros and cons and make the best decision you can for both of you. The most sensible option is probably to try things out once you have to return to work and see how she handles it. She may surprise you and just hang out all day waiting for you to get home. If she starts going stir crazy of becoming destructive, you may have to find her a new home, but a wait-and-see approach is probably best for all parties.

We wish you the very best of luck! Let us know how it goes.

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Mk

Thanks Ben. Yes, I have decided to try before giving up on her. I’m also looking for some training for both of us :-). i also need training to communicate with her. I giving myself and her 2 months to see how things workout.

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Dana

I have a BMC myself, and yes, they can be bit much at times, but they make up for it in SO many ways. Buster is sweet, a GREAT doorbell, but he digs to China when he gets a chance to, LOL! I have had dogs all of my life and there is just something different about a BMC that you can not put your finger on. Mine is loyal to a fault, VERY protective of my family, when he is off leash he sticks around me like glue and he does not like his “mom” to get out of his sight for one minute! He was a rescue.

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Cathy

Buttons was labeled a “shephed mix” when I rescued her from the humane society. She was just a tiny little handful <3 after seeing a pic IDENTICAL to her— thinking BMC is what she is! I'd attach a pic if I could. The resemblance is uncanny, as well as many of the characteristics mentioned. Thanks!

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Ben Team

Hey, Cathy.
We’d love to see Buttons!
Just check out our photo uploader.
🙂

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Sonja Harman

We adopted Jaine from a Kentucky kill shelter, delivered to us in Md. She was online as a boxer, lab mix. The vet said she’s a mutt; pit bull for her ears, shedpherd for her black mouth, hound for her tail, ridgeback for her hair that stands up. Lo and behold after 6 years we stumbled upon the black mouthed cur online and there was Jaine, royalty after all. She is very loyal, protective, intelligent and sensitive. She does mope if not enough attention. She has a nice big yard, and is beside herself when we go on frequent hikes. They have to be exercised. She does not do well with little kids. She doesn’t do well with other dogs, but our fault for not socializing her. When with a pack they let her know to back off, but I don’t think she’d do well if we brought another dog in her territory. She is very sweet and I feel safe with her around.

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Laurie

Thanks for the great article Ben. We got our Black Mouth Cur from a local Colorado shelter as a puppy. If you can dedicate the time and energy needed to raise this majestic breed, you will not be disappointed. Our gal is happiest when ‘working’ and we can travel anywhere outdoors and always feel protected w/ her by our side. She’s smiley, loving and with lots of training — great with kids too. #CurLife

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Erick

We love our BMC. She a great family dog smiles all the time, but she is protective. Nothing walks by our house with out us knowing rabbit person leaves I mean nothing lol. They are great dogs and your description is to the tee.

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Danny Cordoba

I have a pure bred BMC and totally agree with all of this. He is on the larger side, one year old and already 80 pounds and 24 inches at the shoulder.

They most definitely need plenty of socialization, as a very young pup he would protect me and my space from anyone or anything, even deer. They are fearless and don’t know what it means to back down. People thought it was cute but you have to understand that if you allow that behavior to continue you may run into problems later on.

He loves people but if he senses something off about a stranger he will go into a high alert mode, in which he seemingly turns to stone and watches them very closely. If I tell him that it everything is okay he trusts me and relaxes.

Due to his eager to please nature I was able to get him to control his barking and apartment life is possible. If you plan on having one in an apartment you need to go on long walks throughout the day and find places to let them run around, like a big off-leash dog park. Tug of war is very good for tiring him out as well.

Keep in mind they can be very strong and adore attention. In my case it seems to be that his goal is to feel like I approve of him and his behavior and to get all my love.

I could not have chosen a better dog and if you are considering one you can’t go wrong!

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Ben Team

Thanks for sharing, Danny!
🙂

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Mary H

We think our dog Hella is a black mouth cur. She was a stray puppy, so we didn’t get any information on her. She is a very energetic young lady who takes her job of running off any squirrel that gets in our yard very seriously. She is incredible with my grandchildren. When we had a guy in to work on the cable, she herded them into a corner and stayed between them and him. She usually sleeps with them. She is so smart. When I first got her a Kong toy and stuffed it with treats, it took her about an hour to figure out that if she dropped it off the back of the couch, it bounce and the treats would come out. Can’t imagine life without her!

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Mickey Davis

I have 2 BMC. You honestly could not ask for a better dog. My female is 2 yo and didn’t get socialized much as a pup, so she’s a bit aggressive toward strangers. My newest pup is 12 weeks old and is being taken everywhere we go so he can meet as many people as possible. They both are working dogs and live in the house. Your article is spot on about them.

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April

I adopted my sweet Nellie from a local pet store hosting shelter dogs. They said she was a lab mix so I prepared for her to get fairly large. It never happened… a year and a half later, I find out that she is a beautiful, energetic black mouth cur. I am so glad though that I understand her needs now that I know what breed she is. Thank you so much for creating such a detailed article on her breed. I understand why she loves being off leash and running into the woods to romp around. She is always good and checks in with me before going off and playing again. She is very loving, sweet (giving me lots of kisses!) and is protective of her home. Even though, I am not the ideal candidate to be her owner, (We live in an apartment and she is my very first dog.) she is the best dog and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. ^_^

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Ben Team

Glad you found the article helpful, April!
Also, we commend you on adapting to your dog’s needs, even though you guys may not be the ideal match on paper.
Best of luck!

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Dimitri Chappas

Our sweet Sandie girl came from the animal shelter. We weren’t super familiar with BMC until we did the “identify your dog” app using a scanned photo. She hits all the characteristics. She is, without a doubt, the most loving, loyal and protective dog I have ever had. She is always at my feet and craves companionship- happiest when someone is home. She is wary of strangers but never aggressive. Other dogs and any animal, bird, insect or reptile is fair game for chase. She needs a long walk twice a day. Would get another in a heartbeat.

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Lee Fairchild

Why not show pictures that are a black mouth cur instead of a leopard Cur in this article

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Ben Team

Hey, Lee. Huh — I don’t know how those photos ended up here. Must have just been an uploading mistake.
At any rate, I’ve swapped them out for photos of black-mouthed curs.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

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Ann

Doogal is a rescue dog we were told he was boxer/lab mix we took him home at 8 weeks
He grew quickly He has so much energy we walk. Him 3x a day and he would play ball all day with three minute breaks all that he needs to recoup He is very smart but also stubborn and wants it his way so a strong person needs to train him He has proved to be extremely loyal and protective but not in an aggressive way he just knows who his family is He makes us laugh he knows when he is in trouble and is so sorry if told he has been a bad dog he will put his front legs around your neck and hug you until you admit he is good and we love him and we do e can see a squirrel in the front yard and races to the back door knowing that squirrel will run the fence line to the tree in the backyard He has the memory of an elephant and the “nose” of a bloodhoundHe is asleep on my bed at 8:30 Pm just like clockwork every night

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Theresa

We have a BMC mix. He is awesome, very loving and super smart. I had never heard of a BMC until we were searching up possible breeds that he could be. The shelter told us he was red lab and doberman mix. But he didnt act like either of the breeds. We did a dna test and now his behaviors all make since. He was a handful in the begining but we were first time dog owners. We hired a professional trainer who helped us understand him and taught us how to train him. He is a cuddle bug to our family but he is very protective and absolutely doesn’t like other dogs. He is good with our small pets which is suprising because they are prey driven. He was learning experience but he rescued us almost 3 yrs ago and I wouldn’t change him for the world.

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Kathleen

I rescued our dog from an agency. He is from Mississippi. They found him abandoned in the woods and said he was s bloodhound/lab mix. He acted like a boxer using his arms to grab and clutch you when playing. But, when I discovered the BMC breed recently, I am convinced this is what he is. He is lovable, high energy, a very good watchdog, and loves the outdoors. He isn’t that big, maybe 45 lbs., but very powerful- big head, thigh neck, but fairly agile legs and paws. He takes off running in super fast spurts of energy and loves to track and chase squirrels and deer. Very docile to my grandkids but can be rambunctious. He is quite the character and very loyal. Doesn’t like to be corrected and can be very independent, but will comply once he gets his way!

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JJ

Our BMC is a dream. Her parents were hunting dogs, and a friend of mine recused her mama when the “owner” wanted to shoot her because she would not hunt (she was pregnant, idiot).

I took a pup from her, and our “pup” is now two. She is a house dog, beautiful tan with black mouth and eye marking. You do need to give them lots of exercise, house dog or not. They have perfect form with great long legs.

All true about the breed description above. Note: they DO need to be socialized. They are VERY protective of their family and home.

They will also think its their job to heard other dogs in the family, kids in the family etc (but the are also protective of them too.)

Get me right on this – they are not evilly aggressive to strangers or others – just protective, and they literally crave attention and support/approval of their “human”. More than any other breed I have seen, and I have had dogs all my life.

My Good Girl has never bitten anyone, don’t think she ever would. But to be sure when the Fedex Man comes, she does give a very deep jucy growl and bark. The guy hears this, throws the package at the door, and takes off running.

The Good Girl also loves to get under the bedcovers when its cold. All 70 pounds worth. ==)

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Meghan

I love your response. We just got a BMC, she is 10 weeks and will be a house dog woth some hunting. She is very loveable and rambunctious. How much exercise is a lot? Im expecting 3 mile daily walks and some backyard playing. Will this be enough or do you think she will need more?

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Debbie

We were rescued by a BMC in July, although the organization thought she was a young Australian Shepherd/Hound mix. My husband discovered she was a BMC and she hits every characteristic and adjective on the nose. Super smart, chews on everything she can reach, but she is the sweetest girl! We’re in classes now and she’s so quick to pick up on things. We just adore our Nala. Can’t imagine how we lived without her! I’ll tell anyone I come across how wonderful this breed is.

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Genevieve

The Humane Society said they thought she was Staphaschire Shepard mix we didn’t quite see it, thought maybe Shepard Boxer.. but now… this ticks all the boxes. We love her no matter what breed she is but it’s always good to understand their lineage. Thank you.

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Corrie

I have a BMC and she’s wonderful, she has the black mouth with dark ears and a dark tipped tail. She’s very loving. And great with my daughter. She is very protective of us and the home. She was easy to train. But I’ve had dogs my whole life. I would highly recommend a BMC. I swooped this one out of a county shelter and will definitely look for another when that time comes.

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Ben Team

She sounds great, Corrie. Thanks for sharing!

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Alexis Chambers

I got my black mouth cur almost 2 years ago now from a shelter and he is an anomaly. He is 40lbs with the tan coat, dark ears, white on the chest and black face. He is a total sweetheart and definitely a dog that loves to be kept busy. He is actually my service dog. We did all his behavioral testing and have been training for almost 2 years and I’m excited for him to help me through my daily life. He is actually very quiet and is okay with the fact I have to have a slower lifestyle, as long as he gets his time at the dog park a few times a week. I can’t ask for a better companion and savior.

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Rich

We have a BMC too. She was a rescue dog from the local shelter. Shes is an absolutely amazing dog. We have noticed that she does tend to herd my kids smaller friends. Shes also very protective of my kids when I rough house with them. My son will rough house with the dog, and she loves every moment of it. I would definitely buy another BMC again! Great article. Thanks.

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