5 Common Squirrel Dogs Used for Hunting

5 Common Squirrel Dogs Used for Hunting
Black-mouthed cur. (Shutterstock image)

Here's a look at five breeds of squirrel dogs commonly used in small-game hunting.

To many people, the words "cur" and "feist" equate to the word "mutt."

In the world of squirrel hunting, however, curs and feists are registered dogs of pure breeding. Veteran dog trainer Jim Rhea details five of the most popular breeds.


  • Coloration: typically brindle, black or yellow.

  • Weight/info: usually 35-40 pounds. Once known as the Ledbetter cur, this old breed originated in the mountains of Tennessee. Ears must be short, cur-like. Normally silent on track, barking only when a squirrel is treed.

squirrel dogs
Black-mouthed cur (Shutterstock image)


  • Coloration: typically yellow with black areas around the mouth.
  • Weight/info: 35-40 pounds and up. These dogs are more "open-mouthed" on track, similar to hounds, barking while tracking a squirrel. Differ from mountain curs in having longer ears, a trait attributable to their hound ancestry. One of the newer breeds.


  • Coloration: a spotted or striped pattern combining gray, black, yellow, other colors.
  • Weight/info: typically 40-45 pounds. Can be trained for wild hog hunting, cat hunting, and working with livestock.


  • Coloration: black and white, black with tan.
  • Weight/info: typically 20 pounds, cannot exceed 27 pounds. Often confused with rat terriers, but the ears of feists break over rather than sticking straight up. Usually bark only when treed, unless running a squirrel seen on the ground.

Recommended for You


Get Ready for Summer with Cordova Coolers

May 23, 2019

Memorial Day sale offers 15 percent off everything website-wide.

Fishing How-To

Why You'll Lose Your Next Big Bass

Larry Larsen

Now that you know you might screw it up the next time a big fish bites, let's fix it.

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor Hoody

John Frazier of Simms Fishing Products helps OSG's Lynn Burkhead understand the new features of the new Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor sun protection hoody.

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?


Catfish Night & Day: How to Catch 'Em Both Ways

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the...

Other Freshwater

3 Deadly Bait Rigs For Stripers

J.B. Kasper - April 21, 2005

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers.

See More Stories

More Small Game

Small Game

Shooters Recall Youth at Squirrel Masters Classic

November 13, 2017

The fourth annual Squirrel Master Classic was sponsored by Gamo Precision Airguns and...

Small Game

5 Common Squirrel Dogs Used for Hunting

Keith Sutton - October 04, 2017

Here's a look at five breeds of squirrel dogs commonly used in small-game hunting. To many...

Small Game

2 Ways To Successful Rabbit Hunting

Mark Fike - October 13, 2017

Rabbit hunting is a sure-fire way to have some fun, do some shooting and take home

See More Small Game

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.