Pictures, Info, Origin & More – Dogster

The Stephens Cur or the Stephens Stock Cur is a medium-sized scent hound. They were developed in Kentucky by the Stephens family to be agile hunters. They are highly intelligent and adaptable dogs that make great working dogs. However, they also make loyal canine companions for active families that can cater to the breed’s high energy levels. Despite the name “Cur” meaning mongrel, Stephens Curs are indeed purebred dogs.

This article will discuss all the fascinating information, facts, and traits of Stephens Cur.

Breed Overview


Black, white, or dark grey

Suitable for:

Active families looking for a lively and enthusiastic breed


Loyal, easygoing, lively, adaptable, enthusiastic, and intelligent

Stephens Cur descended from a line of Mountain Cur, a type of working dog that hunted small game in the United States. They became a separate breed of Cur in the late 1900s because of distinctive traits that set them apart from the others.

Stephens Cur are characterized by their muscular, rectangular bodies with defined heads and ears that hang. Their athletic bodies make them agile hunters, while their lively and loyal temperament makes them great family pets. They usually stand between 16 to 23 inches tall and can weigh up to 55 pounds. This breed has short, black coats with white on the extremities.

Stephens Cur Characteristics



High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.



Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.



Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.



Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.



Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Stephens Cur Puppies

Stephens Curs are not a very common dog breed outside of the United States. If you are looking for a purebred Stephens Cur puppy, then an ethical breeder is the best route to go through. It’s uncommon to find purebred Stephens Cur puppies up for adoption or rehoming. However, you should still contact local shelters and rescue organizations to see if they possibly have one up for adoption.

When you bring home your Stephens Cur puppy, you will quickly notice how playful and lively they are. This breed has high energy levels as puppies and enjoys exploring and playing. Stephens Cur puppies start to show their hunting instincts from a young age. They can often be seen chasing smaller animals or objects that resemble them, such as sticks and leaves blowing in the wind.

It is important to start training and socializing with this breed from a young age, as they quickly learn new things while they are still young. It can be difficult for this breed to break bad habits they have grown up doing when they are older. Early training helps prevent these bad habits from forming.

Stephens Cur Origin & History

Stephens Cur are scent hounds and one of the several varieties of Curs. This breed started as a line of Mountain Cur before becoming a distinct breed in 1970. The Stephens family was responsible for this breed’s development, hence their name.

The Stephens Cur was originally developed in Southeast Kentucky to be working dogs. They were used to hunt small game such as raccoons and squirrels. However, Stephens Curs can hunt larger game too. They have been known to encounter bears and mountain lions that they take on in packs rather than alone.dogster paw divider

Temperament & Intelligence of the Stephens Cur

Stephens Curs are rugged, adaptable, and lively dogs. They do their work with enthusiasm and are always happy to please their owners. Stephens Curs are highly intelligent which makes them easy to train and learning new things is never an issue for this breed. They are active when outdoors, constantly sniffing the ground in search of small animals they could hunt. When inside with their families, Stephens Curs are laid-back and affectionate.

This breed can handle a lot and isn’t easily phased by much. Stephens Curs can handle a variety of environments and has adapted to farm lifestyles, noisy households, and active families with busy schedules.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Stephens Curs can be amazing family dogs for those with both young and older children. They can easily blend into most families and easily become part of the daily routine. Stephens Curs doesn’t mind being part of families that frequently have guests over. They tend to socialize well with other people although they can be wary of them at first.

Stephens Curs are eager to accommodate their families on a walk in the wilderness or open land where they can run and explore.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽 

Stephens Curs socialize well with other dogs and cats if they have been socialized from an early age. They get along with dogs much easier than with cats. Small pets and Stephens Curs do not go well together. This breed was bred to be a hunter and see small pets as prey. If you have a Stephens Cur and small pets in the same home, you want to ensure that they are kept away from each other for the small pet’s safety.

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Things to Know When Owning a Stephens Cur:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Stephens Curs require a complete and balanced diet that meets all of their nutritional requirements. They enjoy an omnivorous diet with animal-based meat as a main ingredient. This breed should be eating AAFCO-approved dog food to ensure they receive all the essential nutrients they need.

There is not one specific diet that works best for this breed. The diet you feed them will depend on factors such as their age, weight, lifestyle, and health status. If you are unsure about the right diet for your Stephens Cur, a veterinarian or registered canine nutritionist can help you decide.

This breed isn’t picky about what they eat and readily accepts most kibbles, wet, raw, or freeze-dried diets.

Exercise 🐕

Stephens Curs are energetic dogs that require a minimum of 2 hours of exercise per day. They have a natural desire to roam outdoors and track scents that intrigue them. They don’t like to be kept inside all day and love to have access to the outdoors. You can exercise this breed by taking them on regular walks or hikes. They can travel far distances if the weather is favorable and will eagerly sniff around and alert you to interesting things they find during walks.

Stephens Curs prefer exercises that engage their instincts to hunt and track. Interactive toys can be useful when exercising this breed both indoors and outdoors.

Training 🎾

It is relatively easy to train Stephens Curs thanks to their high intelligence. This breed looks forward to training sessions if they are short and consistent. It’s better to divide the training sessions throughout the day rather than cramming everything into one session. Once trained, Stephens Curs can be well-mannered and social dogs. They eagerly follow commands and new housebreaking rules.

Training will come in handy when allowing these dogs to roam outdoors and a good recall can help get them back inside again.

Grooming ✂️

Stephens Curs are easy to groom because of their short, sleek coats. They mostly require brushing two to three times a week to remove loose hair and their nails trimmed. You should regularly clean this breed’s ear to prevent gunk from building up between the folds. Stephens Curs generally only need a bath when they are dirty and bathing them too often with harsh shampoos could dry out their skin and coat.

It’s easy to groom this breed from home, and they don’t usually require professional grooming.

Health and Conditions🏥

Stephens Curs are a fairly healthy breed with an impressive lifespan of 12 to 16 years. As with most dogs, Stephens Curs can suffer from several health conditions.

Minor Conditions

  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Skin allergies
  • Ear infections
  • Dental issues

Serious Conditions

  • Tick-borne diseases
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy

Male vs Female

Both sexes share the same temperaments and excellent working traits. One of the slight differences between male and female Stephens Curs is that males are larger than females. Both sexes can weigh a similar amount of up to 55 pounds, although males tend to be heavier.

Female Stephens Curs mature faster and go into heat when they start having estrous cycles. You will notice that both sexes have different hormonal behaviors, such as an increased urge to roam or escape.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Stephens Cur

1. Their bodies are well adapted to sprinting and treeing

Stephens Curs have lithe, muscular bodies that make them fast sprinters and agile jumpers. This breed was bred to hunt small animals that would hide within trees. Treeing is a type of hunting technique this breed uses to follow and alert their owners to the prey in trees.

2. Stephens Curs were established as a separate breed in 1970

Stephens Curs were established as a separate breed in 1970 after starting as a strain of Mountain Cur. The Stephens family maintained a strain of Mountain Curs for a hundred years before their line of dogs was so distinctive and became a separate breed.

3. Their ancestors nearly went extinct

Mountain Curs were used by settlers in the United States for hunting and guarding purposes. However, their numbers started decreasing and they almost became extinct in the 1940s. Four breeders were responsible for saving the breed, including Hugh Stephens who classified the Stephens Cur strain.

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Final Thoughts

Stephens Curs are medium-sized dogs from the United States. They were bred to be treeing dogs that hunted small game. Stephens Curs are highly energetic and thrive with plenty of exercise. This breed enjoys exploring and going on long walks and hikes with their families. They are an adaptable breed that can make great pets or working dogs for families and farmers alike.

If you choose to keep this breed as a pet, you will need to ensure you handle their high energy levels and demanding exercise requirements. Stephens Curs don’t get along well with small pets like rabbits, but they do get along with similarly sized dogs.

Featured Image Credit: ooodles, Shutterstock

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