Brahma Bull the Western Mountain Cur—Courtesy of Groaner's Kennels
Western Mountain Dog
The Western Mountain Cur is bred for its working ability. They tend to resemble their stock dog and mastiff/bull dog ancestors more than their hound and terrier ancestry compared to other cur types.
The Western Mountain Cur is a rugged, working dog that has good tree instincts. It is loud mouth but silent on track, and makes an excellent all round farm dog. A lot of times they are hunted from or worked with horses or mules. This is not a submissive, easygoing dog. It is a serious game dog with the toughness and courage to confront a very angry, very large cat, these Curs have learned to be decisive and dauntless. It is typically used as stock dogs, guards, and predator and varmint hunting dogs. It has good tree instincts is loud mouth but silent on track, and make excellent all round farm dogs. It can be used as a cow dog that rounds up, leads, and catches cattle. It is a predator dog that fights, catches, kills and keeps predators away. As a tree dog on trails, trees, and kills varmints. As a Hog dog that trails, bays up, and catches wild boar and as a ranch dog watching over the ranch, farm (or camp) and family. It has a strong desire to please its master. Very protective of the property and family; without an owner who is more dominant than itself, it can become over-protective. The Western Mountain Cur is noted for his courage. The objective in training this dog is to achieve pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in its pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. Because a dog communicates his displeasure with growling and eventually biting, all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. The humans must be the ones making the decisions, not the dogs. That is the only way your relationship with your dog can be a complete success.
Height: 20 - 30 inches (50 - 76 cm)
Weight: Females 45 - 60 pounds (20 - 27 kg) Males 50 - 75 pounds (22 - 34 kg)
Western Mountain Curs in general are usually larger than a lot of other cur types.
The Western Mountain Cur is not recommended for apartment life. It is bred for work and will be happiest with a job to do. They are not ideal for suburbia, where there is no call to work.
The Western Mountain Cur is a very active working dog that needs a lot of daily exercise. When not hunting, it needs to be taken on a daily, long, brisk walk or jog. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. In addition, it will benefit from a large, safe area where it can run free. This breed enjoys outdoor activities and sports.
The short hair of the Western Mountain Cur is easy to groom. Occasionally comb and brush to remove dead and loose hair. Bathe only when necessary as bathing can dry out the skin, causing skin problems. Keep the ear canal free of excess hair and the toenails clipped.
This type of dog has been in the West since the settlers moved here in the 1700s. These dogs are being preserved in the original form and can be pretty different from the other "types" of Mountain Cur. This breed of dog is a favorite among cowboys and ranchers who and will always stay this way. Originally more associated with cattle work than hunting, but the breed needs to be capable of both. The name is given to dogs being bred and used for all their old hunting and ranch work abilities, not just a specific target game, like squirrel or coon or hog. There's no official breed association yet for the Western Mountain Dog but is instead an informal name for working ranch dogs still in the mountains, many outside of the breed registries or formal pedigrees. Most people with these Western dogs don’t see the use in papers for a working dog. So long as the blood is good and the dog does its job. Many breeders believe that the modern breed as a whole is too far removed from the original type, and continue to breed the pure old type. The breeding stock of these dogs goes back to the dogs originating in the Southern Mountains and specialized in the West and hasn’t changed much at all over the past 250 or so years. There are people who have had these dogs for 7+ generations, and can trace back to when their families came over to the West with their Mountain Curs from the South.
DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
Speck the Western Mountain Cur at 11 months old—Courtesy of Groaner's Kennels