The Blue LacyHome » Dog Breeds » “True Texas Breed”
The Blue Lacy originates in Texas, US in the mid 1800s. Today most Lacy Dogs are still found in Texas and while this dog is not yet recognized by the AKC or other major organizations the state of Texas gave it recognition and named it their state dog. Some can be found elsewhere in the US, Europe and Canada but they are low in numbers. It is a working breed first and foremost, very active and intelligent and does well in areas like herding, tracking, treeing and hunting. It can be a great companion too but that should be alongside being kept busy. Other names include the Lacy Dog, Lacy Game Dog, Texas Blue Lacy, Lacy Hog Dog, Red Lacy, Texas Lacy Dog and Lacy Cur.
|The Blue Lacy at A Glance|
|Other names||Lacy Dog, Lacy Game Dog, Texas Blue Lacy, Lacy Hog Dog, Red Lacy, Texas Lacy Dog, Lacy Cur|
|Average weight||30 to 50 pounds|
|Average height||17 to 25 inches|
|Life span||12 to 16 years|
|Coat type||Smooth and short|
|Color||Tricolored, blue, red, white markings, charcoal|
|Popularity||Not recognized by an major kennel clubs|
|Intelligence||Very good – this is a smart dog|
|Tolerance to heat||Excellent – bred to handle Texan weather|
|Tolerance to cold||Very good|
|Shedding||Average with heavy seasonal – will be some hair around the home at all times, and a lot more during seasonal shedding|
|Drooling||Moderate to average – especially after drinking|
|Obesity||Average – always measure food and make sure your dog is well exercised|
|Grooming/brushing||Low to average – brush once or twice a week unless its seasonal shedding time, then brush daily|
|Barking||Occasional – but it has a loud baying bark and once it starts it is hard to stop it|
|Exercise needs||High – very active dog|
|Trainability||Easy with the right approach and with experience|
|Good first dog||Low – best for experienced owners|
|Good family pet||Good to very good with socialization|
|Good with children||Good but needs socialization and best not with young children|
|Good with other dogs||Good with socialization|
|Good with other pets||Moderate – unless raised with them best not in homes with other pets due to high prey drive|
|Good with strangers||Moderate to good - needs socialization and can be wary|
|Good apartment dog||Low – needs room, also needs land as opposed to just a yard|
|Handles alone time well||Low – does not like to be alone|
|Health issues||Robust breed but some issues can include allergies, skin problems and rarely color dilution alopecia|
|Medical expenses||$460 a year for basic health care and pet insurance|
|Food expenses||$145 a year for a good quality dry dog food and dog treats|
|Miscellaneous expenses||$220 a year for toys, basic training, miscellaneous items and license|
|Average annual expenses||$825 a year as a starting figure|
|Cost to purchase||$600|
|Rescue organizations||Texas Lacy Rehome Group, Blue Dog Rescue, Texas Blue Lacy Rescue|
|Biting Statistics||None reported|
The Blue Lacy's Beginnings
The Blue Lacy was developed in the mid 19th century by the Lacy family, Frank, Harry, Ewin and George all brothers who moved from Kentucky to Hill Country Texas in 1858. They bred the dog to work hogs that were free roaming but the exact mix that went into the development is not known. There are some documents though that say that at least a wolf, scenthound, English Shepherd and a Greyhound were involved. There is some possibility that a coyote was in the mix too. As well as herding the hogs the dog would also help the brothers drive them to market.
For over a hundred years the Blue Lacy worked in the southwestern US for colonial Americans on ranches. They were bred to be strong and fast and were used for herding and acting as guard dogs and watchdogs. Some sources suggest that the breed had in influence on Fred Gipson, author of Old Yeller. However as new technologies arrived and ranching went on the decline the Blue Lacy came close to extinction.
New Lease on Life
Thankfully the fact that as well as their herding ability they were also able to track game and retrieve wounded animals from blood drops saved it. Hunters used it to hunt with and they were also used for search and rescue purposes. Their numbers were revived and in 2005 the Blue Lacy was made the official state dog of Texas. The ruling was not just to honor the dog but also to give recognition to the breeders of the Blue Lacy for their contribution to the state. While it is not recognized by any major kennel association the American Blue Lacy Association (ABLA) has applied to have it entered in to the AKC's Foundation Stock. Its promotion and preservation is the work of The National Lacy Dog Association and it is the most common dog used by United States Trappers.
The Dog You See Today
The Blue Lacy dog is medium sized weighing 30 to 50 pounds and standing 17 to 25 inches tall. It is built in proportion to be fast and strong, with balance but power. Its body is muscular but elegant looking and its coat is tight, short and smooth. There are three colors, the blue being a range of greys to silvers to charcoal colors, the reds being light cream to rust color and then tricolored which means the blue, with the red and some white markings. Those white markings should not be too much though. Its eyes are yellow or orange in color and it has a narrow and long head.
The Inner Blue Lacy
These dogs are intelligent, hard working, driven, active and determined. Their working roles means they have to be bold and brave as well as alert. It is a good watchdog and its territorial nature means it is also a good guard dog, it will act to defend its home and its people. These are dogs that need strong and dominant owners who enjoy being active, and are best kept as combined working and companion dogs, rather than just the latter. It needs mental and physical activity, a lot of it, throughout the day not just at certain small intervals. This is not a regular dog for the average person, it needs to live in a rural setting!
That said the Blue Lacy has a big heart and plenty of great qualities. It is affectionate and loyal and likes to spend lots of time with the owners. It needs experienced owners who are around, not always out otherwise it can suffer from separation anxiety. People who describe this dog would use the word intense and devoted. It is focused and driven when it is working and then sweet and calm as a companion. It can be independent minded though and will challenge you if you are not a strong leader. If a Lacy is bored, under exercised and has nothing to do it will become destructive and hard to live with. It is wary with strangers due its territorial nature and does bark occasionally, though that bark can turn into baying that can be loud. It is a sensitive dog and does not like being yelled at.
Living with a Blue Lacy
What will training look like?
The Blue Lacy is intelligent, strong willed and sensitive. It needs firm and confident owners but does not respond well to being physically punished or yelled at. You need to be pack leader and be consistent about sticking to the rules without needing to turn to such techniques. Be positive, patient, use treats and reward success to better encourage and motivate. It is not a good dog with passive owners, it will think it is the boss and become difficult to live with. Obedience training is easy with this dog if you do it right. As well as starting training early you also need to start socialization early too. Make sure you expose it to different people, sounds, animals, places and such so that it can learn to control itself and judge situations better. It would be a good idea to train it to stop baying on command.
How active is the Blue Lacy?
These are absolutely active and hard working dogs who love to be outdoors and would become destructive and hard to control without enough mental and physical challenge. It is definitely not an apartment dog it needs to be in a larger home preferably in a rural setting. It will enjoy taking a couple of long brisk walks with you, and having play time with you too but it also needs jobs on the farm, ranch or home to do. Just walking would not be enough even with an hour to two hours a day. If there are no jobs for it consider training it in some form of doggy event like tracking, agility, herding, hunting and flyball. A well exercised and happy Lacy will still have some energy in the home to play with the children or do errands with you but it is also happy to take a nap at your feet.
Caring for the Blue Lacy
The Blue Lacy coat sheds a moderate amount at usual times and then very heavy seasonal shedding sometimes so there will be some hair around the home in general, and then a lot occasionally. Brush it once or twice a week on usual occasions to help take care of the coat and keep the loose hair away, and then daily brushing during the seasonal times. Only bathe as needed, in between baths you can do dry shampoos or give it a wipe down. Make sure if it is outside a lot that you check for ticks and bugs and such. When bathing only ever use a proper dog shampoo, using anything else or bathing too often can dry out the natural oils in its skin.
Other needs include brushing its teeth with a dog toothpaste and toothbrush every other day, clipping its nails when they get too long, and checking and cleaning its ears. The nails may be worn down naturally with enough activity but if not and you are doing it yourself make sure you know what you are doing. Use proper clippers for dogs and do not go too far down the nail, the quick of the nail is where he nerves and blood vessels are so it will hurt and cause bleeding. Check its ears for infection signs once a week, look for redness, swelling, irritation for example and wipe the ears clean using an ear cleanser solution or a damp cloth. So not use anything to insert into the ear, it can cause real damage and pain.
The Blue Lacy will eat 1 3/4 to 3 cups of a good quality dry dog food a day, split into at least two meals. The amount can vary depending on the dog's size, activity level, rate of metabolism, age and health. Make sure it has access to water that you change often.
How is the Blue Lacy with children and other animals?
This breed is not best homes with families who have young children, but with good socialization and if raised with them it goes better. Make sure young children are taught how to properly stroke and play with dogs, but otherwise with that kind of input it will be playful, affectionate and protective of them. This is also not the best dog to have in a home with other pets. Even with socialization in some Blue Lacy the prey instinct is too strong. They chase small animals and may even kill them. Some can learn to get along with cat if raised with it, but some will not. It likes to play with other dogs and gets on fine with them but less so with strange dogs. Being territorial it would not be happy if a neighbors dog got loose and come onto its space and it would attack to defend it.
What Might Go Wrong?
With a life span of 12 to 16 years the Blue Lacy is quite a healthy dog but a few issues can include skin problems, allergies, color dilution alopecia, joint dysplasia and hypothyroidism.
In reports of dogs attacking people and doing bodily harm over the last 35 years in Canada and the US, there is no mention of the Blue Lacy. It is not an aggressive dog towards people though it does have a high prey drive. Make sure you socialize and train your dog, supervise it when needed, give it enough stimulation and exercise and the attention it needs. The right care can help lessen the chance of an incident though there is no way to predict what might trigger a dog, and all breeds have the chance of having a bad day.
Your Pup’s Price TagAdvertisement
A Blue Lacy puppy will cost about $600 from a decent breeder, and then more than that from a top breeder. You are more likely to find them in and around Texas and is best to find trustworthy and respected breeders rather than turning to easier means such as puppy mills, pet stores and backyard breeders. Another option if you are not set on a purebred is to look into rescues and shelters. Adoption fees will be around $50 to $400 and there will be some medical needs taken care of.
There are also initial costs to factor in, items it needs and health concerns to be taken care of. Items like a crate, carrier, bowls, bedding, leash and collar will cost about $200. Then medical needs like chipping, spaying or neutering, shots, blood tests, deworming and a physical exam will cost about $270.
Taking care of a dog will have its costs that are ongoing too. Giving it basic medical care like flea and tick prevention, vaccinations, check ups and pet insurance costs about $460 a year. Miscellaneous costs like toys, license, basic training and miscellaneous items will cost about $220 a year. Feeding the dog a good quality dry dog food and dog treats will cost another $145 a year. This gives an annual estimated starting figure cost of $825.
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The Blue Lacy makes a fantastic working dog and companion, and can get along well with children with socialization so can be a good family dog too. It is a very loyal dog with a lot of character, drive and determination. It does have some shedding and it needs a lot of mental and physical stimulation to keep it happy. Owners of the Blue Lacy need to be active, it is best when kept as a working dog, and they need to be a clear and consistent leader with it.