Being a prepper alone can be a lonely thing to do. However, it doesn’t need to be. Dogs have been “a mans’ best friend” for a long time. And for excellent reasons, too. Well, you can consider the Mountain Cur, “a preppers best friend.”
The Mountain Cur is an energetic, loyal, and protective dog breed that will be just the right fit for all preppers and homesteaders. But what makes it such a great breed for you? Well, we will look into all of the qualities in this article. We will look at:
- The Mountain Cur
- How to tell if it is a Mountain Cur
- What they are great for
- How to take care of them
There will be other information throughout this article, so read to the end to see it all.
The Mountain Cur
The name that you may see the Moutain Cur called by is the American Pioneer dog. The reason for that is that the original settlers of the southern states of America bought the Moutain Curs with them to the following states:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
The European settlers who brought the Mountain Cur dogs with them were likely to be very dependant on them for various reasons, of which we will talk about in a while. However, it is for those reasons that they would be very beneficial to any homesteader or prepper alike.
Cur has a specific meaning of its own, too. It means working dog bred to herd, hunt, and guard. There are various other Cur breeds; however, none of them quite as useful for the prepper.
How to tell if it is a Mountain Cur
The Mountain Cur is an easily recognizable dog by some of the characteristics shown below. We have used the United Kennel Club for the descriptions, so a dog fitting all of these features would be an award-winning animal. Therefore, when you see or buy one, they may differ slightly. However, we have used the general appearance guidelines instead of their measurements.
- Medium-sized, powerful tree dog.
- Square body, slightly longer than its undocked tail.
- Relatively long legs allowing agile rough terrain maneuverability.
- A broad shaped head
- Their muzzles are slightly shorter than the skull
- High set, dropped ears
- Dense, but short coat in the following colors:
- A straight, low set tail
The height and weight of a dog will differ depending on age. However, a fully grown will be approximately the following heights:
- 18-26 inches for a male.
- 16-24 inches for a female.
The weight of the dog should be proportionately correct to the height, but around 30-60 pounds.
Why Are Mountain Curs Great?
There are many good reasons for mountain curs brilliance. As I said earlier, they were brought to the south-eastern states by the European settlers because of their qualities. The first uses of the breed were as follows:
- Guard dogs
- General hunting
we will look at each of those qualities, and how it could help you, the prepper.
Mountain Cur For General Hunting
The Mountain Cur are working dogs, bred for hunting small game such as squirrels and raccoons. However, they will also hunt some larger game. So, when you are bugging out, or in for that matter, having a dog help you catch food is essential. You may never know when a squirrel or raccoon may be the only protein food that you can get.
Catching small game such as rabbits, hares, and other, hole dwelling animals, can be a difficult task if they are out in the open. However, a Mountain Curs instinct is to chase them into their holes and make it easier for you to catch them.
Barking Up The Wrong Tree
Much like holing, but with animals such as squirrels. The Mountain Cur will send the animals into the tree where you, the hunter, can evaluate the animal and shoot it. However, be aware that these dogs can even climb trees. Therefore, it may be pretty close to the game!
The Cur will if it can’t climb the tree, sit at the bottom of the trunk and bark at the squirrel, ensuring that it does not come down in a hurry. Therefore, giving you more of a chance to get it for longer. That is where the saying “barking up the wrong tree” originated.
Mountain Cur As A Guard Dog
The original United States settlers from Europe required guard dogs to protect themselves, family, and livestock. The Moutain Cur breed, developed as a guard dog, has incredible protective instincts towards their family, which includes other pets you may have. They are a very intrigued animal, with a curious temperament, making them ideal for checking out any intruders or unwanted animals such as bears.
They are very cautious around people they do not know until they see that there is no threat, too. The Mountain Cur understands the importance of family and home, and they will protect both of them with great vigor. Some of the Mountain Cur dogs have even died protecting family and homes! The Mountain Curs loyalness and courageousness are, and possibly will be for a long time to come, second to none.
While this breed of dog has exceptional qualities of treeing and holing, they are excellent hunters of any game that the owner wants to hunt. With a top running speed of 42kph (26mph) and the agility to match, they are likely to catch anything that you want them to.
How To Take Care Of A Mountain Cur
Correctly taking care of any animal is essential. Knowing how to do it in the right way requires some knowledge of the breed itself, and what they are prone to, or not. In this section, we will look at some of the main issues that you may find with the Mountain Cur:
As the Mountain Cur has short fur, there is not a lot of year-round shedding. In fact, the only shedding that you may see will be bi-annually in the spring and fall. However, even though they only have short fur, they do have two coats. A dense, outer coat, which they will shed, and a soft inner layer that they usually keep. Because of the short fur, and minimal shedding, it could be classed as a semi-hypoallergenic animal.
However, unfortunately, this breed is not hypoallergenic. Dander protein or Fel d 1 is the primary allergen found in animals, and unfortunately, the Mountain Cur does contain a lot of the allergen.
The Mountain Cur does not require too much grooming, and it can be bad for their skin and coats if you do so. Weekly brushing will help keep the minimal shedding under control, and occasional bathing will prevent excess oil on their fur and skin. However, take care not to wash them too much, as it will dry them out and cause their skin to become dry.
All breeds of dogs are prone to fleas and ticks. That fact is especially true for those who love to be outdoors like the Mountain Cur. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep an eye out for them during the weekly grooming sessions, and treat them as soon as you can, should anything be found.
When you are inspecting them for parasites, be sure to do so carefully, as you would with a long-haired dog. That is because the Mountain Cur has thick fur, and it may be difficult to spot them with just a glance.
As you have seen, the Mountain Cur is a very loyal and protective breed. They are incredible hunters and do not tire quickly. However, that is something that you will need to consider. The Mountain Cur will grow bored and anxious if they do not have a lot of space to run around in and play. They are a super curious dog and enjoy work, training, and long walks. Being a prepper, they are sure to love being out and about with you all of the time.
However, one thing that you need to know is that they are very reserved around people that they do not know. If they meet someone new, they will not be shy. Their instinct is to check they newcomers out before warming to them. That is only because they are concerned about their family welfare, though. Once they understand the person, they will warm to them and protect them too.
As you have just read, the Mountain Cur is not a shy dog. However, they are certainly not aggressive either until they need to be. Nevertheless, in the time of need, they are the most courageous dog that you are likely to find. What other dog do you know that is fast, small, and agile enough to catch little game like squirrels and hare, but also brave enough to stand up to bears and boars?
The Mountain Cur has a life span of around 14-16 years.
Feeding Your Mountain Cur
Depending on the age of your Mountain Cur, you will need to adjust feeding accordingly. Here is a guide for how to feed them from 8 weeks old. Anything younger than that will usually be taken care of by the mother and breeder. If you are a surprised owner of a puppy from your female Mountain Cur, you may need to get advice from a vet.
- 8-12 weeks. – Four small meals in 24 hours.
- 3-6 months. – Three meals in 24 hours.
- 6-12 months. – Two meals in 24 hours
- 1-year plus. – A single meal a day is sufficient.
When a Moutain Cur reaches adulthood, they are likely to determine their own feeding schedule, and you may need to adapt to what they want.
High-quality dry food is the best choice for your Moutain Cur, and try to buy the best food that you can afford. You can mix the dry food with broth or canned food if they are fussy. However, limit their human food intake as it will make them fussy and overweight.
One of the greatest things about the Moutain Cur is that they have no known genetic issues. They are generally a fit and healthy breed with no breed-specific diseases or disorders.
Training Mountain Curs
Training your Mountain Cur is one of the critical aspects to ensuring their happiness. Use general dog training methods if you can. However, these are not your typical house dog. They require physical activity to keep them healthy and active. Therefore, if you are planning to gather food from the wilderness, or practice your natural navigation, ensure that you take them with you. If you have the chance to get them to hunt, do so. It will keep their minds active for what they are used to.
Never strike your dog. A stern voice is often enough, especially for the worker breeds of dogs.
If you are a prepper or homesteader and looking for a pet, look no further than the Mountain Cur. They will be by your side no matter how much you travel. They will protect you, hunt for you, and be a friend in the wilderness, too. However, be prepared for a very destructive dog if you live in an apartment and do not exercise them often. The Mountain Cur is typically a farm dog and loves to be in open spaces.
While they are a great companion for all people who are preppers or homesteaders, you do have to take into consideration if you are active enough for them to feel happy and comfortable. It will only end badly for both of you if you let them become bored, frustrated, and anxious.
If you have space, time, and energy to keep up with the Mountain Cur, you will certainly not be disappointed about owning one. They are a beautiful, underestimated breed who have excellent traits ideal for the prepper. They are so receptive to people when they get to know you, that a rescue puppy is often one of the favored methods of obtaining one.