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Your best friend  - ARF's blog for all things animal!


Welcome to our ARF blog! Check in for animal rescue news, animal care, training advice and much much more.

By Ali, Nov 3 2014 04:00PM


Curs are another group of dog that you're likely to see everywhere around the South but they're not going to show up on any AKC breed lists.

Black mouth curs are large dogs weighing anywhere from 50-100 pounds. Their coats come in a variety of colors but they're easily recognized by the black mask on their muzzle! They have typical lifespans for anywhere from 12- 16 years.

Black Mouth Curs are atheletic dogs so they fit well in families who like to walk, hike and play outside. But, they are also very affectionate and loyal to their families and will enjoy snuggling and long naps on the couch. People often refer to Black Mouth Curs as "homestead dogs" claiming their origins revolved around creating a well rounded dog that was suitable for a variety of athletic tasks but would also protect the family. They have a strong desire to be with their family!

Because of their popularity in this area, Black Mouth Curs are also commonly found as strays or in shelters. Check out Mixon and Niall. Both these boys are loving dogs that will make awesome family pets. They are up to date on shots, microchipped and neutered and just waiting to go home with you!

Learn more about Mixon:


Learn more about Niall:


By Ali, Mar 7 2014 04:24AM

The south is full of special dogs that are common in our shelters but virtually unknown in other areas of the country. When I moved to Alabama almost 9 years ago, I thought I knew a lot about dogs. I never expected to discover a whole other world of dogs, full of breeds I'd never seen!

In honor of these special dogs, I'll periodically profile them in Spotlight on Southern Dogs.

First up, the Feist. The Feist isn't a true breed of dog that you'll see at a dog show. Really, they're a group of similar looking dogs that have been crossbred from many types of hunting breeds to specialize in hunting small prey. To the untrained eye, a Feist would easily be mistaken for a Jack Russell mix. These small dogs are under 30 pounds with short coats and longer legs than a purebred Jack Russell. They're sometimes called "squirrel dogs". The popular AKC recognized Rat Terrier is thought to be a descendant of the Feist. For this reason, many southern shelter dogs are usually labelled as Jack Rusell or Rat Terrier when in reality, many are actually feists.

These dogs may be small but they're brave. This excerpt from this story from the mid 1800's highlights how a brave little feist can tree much more than squirrels... this one was treeing a panther!

"Father put a sack of shelled corn on our mare, tied to fast and I sat on the

middle of the sack. I called my feist dog to follow and we were off to the

mill. But when we came near White Rock the fiest suddenly met a big cat just

below the trail and barking furiously, scared if so badly that it climbed a

tree near the trail. The old mare was more frightened than the cat; she

whirled about and ran home with me. And to tell the truth I was not sorry

she did so.

Arriving at our home, I quickly told father about the big cat. He unloaded

the corn, took down his old flintlock rifle and followed the trail toward

White Rock where he found the brave little dog still barking at the panther

in the tree. It was easy for father to shoot the beast, which measured

eleven feet from tip to tip.

But I was too badly frightened to go to the mill that day."

Visit a shelter today to adopt one of these special dogs!

Meet Wendy! Jack Russell mix or a Feist? Adopt her today!
Meet Wendy! Jack Russell mix or a Feist? Adopt her today!
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