Stephens’ Cur is a breed of medium-sized cur dogs used for hunting squirrels, raccoons, and chasing wild boars. A strong, agile treeing hound, the Stephens’ Stock (as the breed is also called) has a somewhat longer body as compared to its height and long powerful legs allowing it to move swiftly in rough terrain. It is characterized by a broad head, moderate stop, slightly broad muzzle, flat and moderately tapering skull, medium length dropping ears, and low-set, straight tail.
|Alternative names||Stephens’ Stock Mountain Cur, Stephens’ Stock Cur|
|Nicknamed as||Little black dog|
|Coat||Short, smooth/rough outer coat; short, dense, soft undercoat|
|Color||Black or dark gray; white markings may appear on the neck, chest, and feet|
|Breed Type||Mixed breed|
|Group of Breed||Scenthound|
|Size/Height||Medium; 16-23 inches|
|Size of Litter||3-6 puppies|
|Temperament||Energetic, intelligent, friendly, playful|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Barking||Loud when chasing or hunting prey|
|Country Originated in||USA|
|Competitive Registration/Qualification Information||UKC, DRA|
In the Southern US, Cur-type dogs of mixed descent were in use as working dogs for hundreds of years. The Mountain Curs were specifically used by the settlers for guarding and hunting. Unfortunately, their number started declining and by the 1940s, these Curs were on the verge of extinction.
In order to save the breed, four breeders including Dewey Ledbetter, Woody Huntsman, Carl McConnel, and Hugh Stephens established the Mountain Cur Club and started breeding some strains of the Mountain Cur breed. One of these strains was classified as the Stephens’ Stock Cur by Hugh Stephens, who thought that it was different from the other Mountain Cur strains.
Therefore, the SBA (Stephens’ Breeders Association) was founded, and in 1998, the breed got official recognition from the UKC (United Kennel Club).
Being bred as an intense hunting dog, the Stephens’ Cur is lively and somewhat aggressive, but not overly vicious by nature. Since it is accustomed to hunting in packs, it gets along well with other dogs. However, it should not be trusted around smaller pets, as a fast-moving cat or rabbit might trigger its prey drive.
It is typically devoted to its human family and makes a great playing companion for kids, especially if they were raised together. This hound also has great watchdog abilities because of its suspicion of strangers and alert nature.
The smart and obedient Stephens’ Cur can quickly learn what their owner expects of them. Like most scent hounds, they are responsive to kind, consistent, and strict training.
Quality dry foods combined with canned foods provide balanced nutrition to an adult Stephens’ Cur. While the recommended amount of food for the puppies is 2-3 meals per day, the adults need two small servings of food a day.