What Were Mountain Curs Bred For?

Mountain curs, also known as American curs, are a versatile breed of working dogs that have been an integral part of American history. These courageous and intelligent canines were specifically bred for various purposes, making them highly valued in the past and even today.

Origins of Mountain Curs

The origins of mountain curs trace back to the early settlers in North America. They were developed by crossing European hunting dogs brought by immigrants with local Native American Indian dogs. The goal was to create a dog with exceptional hunting abilities adapted to the rugged terrains and diverse wildlife found across North America.

A Versatile Working Dog Breed

Mountain curs were bred for their versatility, making them ideal companions for farmers, hunters, and ranchers alike. Their main roles centered around herding livestock, guarding property from intruders or predators, tracking game during hunts, treeing small game such as raccoons or squirrels, and serving as loyal family pets.

Hunting Skills: Tree Dogs

One primary purpose behind breeding mountain curs was to create skilled “tree dogs.” These exceptionally talented canines possess a natural instinct to track down small game animals like raccoons or squirrels before barking loudly at the base of a tree once they’ve located their prey. This alerts hunters who then proceed to flush out or shoot the targeted animal.

Livestock Herders

Aside from their remarkable hunting skills, mountain curs excel at herding livestock efficiently. Their agility allows them to work closely with farmers while moving cattle or sheep through rugged terrains without causing any harm or undue stress on the animals. These dogs are renowned for being able to handle large flocks independently due to their intelligence and strong herding instincts.

Guardians of Property

Mountain curs are renowned for their protective nature, making them excellent guardians of property and family. Their ability to sense potential threats combined with their loyalty towards their owners makes them an ideal choice for guarding homes, farms, or livestock.

An All-Around Family Pet

While mountain curs were primarily bred as working dogs, they also make wonderful family pets. These dogs have a friendly and sociable temperament, easily adapting to households with children and other animals. They thrive on human companionship and benefit from regular exercise to fulfill their physical and mental needs.


In summary, mountain curs were selectively bred for various purposes that made them indispensable in early American history. From hunting skills as tree dogs to herding livestock efficiently and protecting both property and loved ones – these versatile canines continue to leave a mark today. Whether you’re looking for a reliable working dog or a loyal companion at home, the mountain cur breed is sure to impress with its rich heritage and invaluable traits.