Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Breeds of the Week: Southern Dogs!

I saw a few of these dogs this week so I thought I'd share them with you. They are NOT common breeds and even I rarely see one so I figured some of my readers may not be aware they even exist.

Of course these are not the only "southern" breed dogs but just a few of them.

Treeing Walker Coonhound
Yeah, leave it to the southerners to come up with names like this. This is what these dogs look like. 

They are pretty typical hound dogs: healthy, high energy, prone to ear problems but they make wonderful family pets as well as hunting dogs. As the name implies they track their prey till it's "treed" and then alert the handler. However, some dogs apparently track but do not "tree" and others "tree" but don't track. They will need training as they can be (like most hounds) head strong.  They can live 12-14yrs. I've seen a few over the years and haven't seen major health issues. 

This is actually a whole grouping of dogs. The other day I saw a Black Mouth Cur, which looks like this:

Kinda reminds me of a skinny mastiff.  A list from lists these as part of the group:

Black Mouth CurBlue Lacy
Camus Cur (photo needed)
Canadian Cur
Catahoula Cur
Florida/Cracker Cur
Henderson Cur (photo needed)
Kemmer Stock Cur
Kemmer Stock Hybrid Squirrel Dog
Leopard Cur
Mountain Cur
Mountain View Cur
Original Mountain Cur
Parnell's Carolina Cur
Southern Blackmouth Cur
Stephen's Stock Cur
Tennessee Treeing Brindle
Treeing Cur

Here is how they describe this unique grouping of dogs:
Cur dogs are specialized multipurpose working / hunting dogs from the southern USA. Each Cur breed or type is unique. Usually not recognized as show dogs, but developed solely for their hunting ability.  As a result, most of the cur breeds are types rather than breeds; i.e. one of these dogs can be recognized as a certain type of Cur but the appearance standard is extremely flexible, enough so that a complete breed appearance standard is difficult to create. The name "Cur" means a mongrel dog, and since Curs were developed from a large variety of dogs, that is how they got their name. Cur dogs are not the result of random cross breeding. You cannot "Make" a cur dog. Curs are specialized working dogs bred for ability by breeding the best to the best", based on individual performance and usually regardless of the actual breed. Several kennel clubs do however, register various cur breeds based on their ancestry (bloodlines), and several lines are recognized within each breed. The United Kennel Club has an active registration program and competition hunting program for these dogs. This is a list of Cur breeds and types that have developed over the years.

I have seen Catahoula Curs (also referred to as Lousiana Catahoula Leopard Dog)

 and Feists (of which there is a list!) as well:

Again, these dogs are easy keepers, get along with most everyone and most other pets (of course each dog is an individual) and are healthy overall. They face the same common diseases that all dog breeds and mutts do. Some of the larger ones are more inclined to have hip issues, either congenitally or later in age. 

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