I am a proud Lacy owner who loves educating others about the breed.
The intense stare of a Blue Lacy before turning out for a hunt. Photo by Julie
Neumann, all rights reserved.
The Basics About Lacy Dogs
The Lacy Dog has an interesting history and a unique appearance and
When the Lacy brothers moved to Marble Falls, Texas, in 1858, they needed a
new dog for new jobs. Shepherds, hounds and collies were no match for the
dangerous feral hogs they rounded up and drove to the Austin meat markets. It
is unclear the exact mix they used, but the proposed breeds include English
Shepherd, scenthound, Greyhound and wolf. They linebred these unique dogs
until they had a dog with the brains, speed and build to work their wild
boars. Today the Lacy breed has developed into an all-around working dog for
ranchers, hunters, cowboys and trappers.
- Height: 18 to 21 inches
- Weight: 30 to 50 pounds
- Build: Muscular but lithe, compact and balanced
- Coat: Short and sleek
- Coloring: Blue, Red or Tri with minimal white markings and yellow to brown eyes
The Lacy comes in only three colors varieties: Blue, Red and Tri (which is
blue with distinctive red tips). Some people have taken to calling the entire
breed Blue Lacys, but just like Black Labs are really black Labrador
Retrievers, Blue Lacys are Blue Lacy Dogs. The proper name is Lacy Dog, as
used by the Lacy family and referenced in historical documents.
- The Lacy is a working dog with a working attitude.
- They have endless heart and drive.
- Lacy Dogs are very intelligent and can pick up tasks quickly, but owners often say they are too smart for their own good.
- They have endless energy and need daily exercise along with a challenging job.
- Lacys tend to be very pack-oriented dogs and need a strong leader that sets clear boundaries.
- In the wrong home, they may develop serious behavior issues such as aggression or anxiety.
- When they have a real job to do, a Lacy Dog will be the best working companion anyone could ask for.
A Lacy Dog works cattle on a hot summer day in Texas. Photo by Julie Neumann,
all rights reserved.
Jobs for Lacy Dogs
Lacys were created to be a working dog in the Texas Hill Country. Originally
bred to work feral hogs and range cattle, they are gritty and tough with
endless energy. The Lacy’s compact, lithe build makes it agile and fast,
allowing them to work in dense brush and elude dangerous quarry. These are
real dogs for real jobs, not pets.
Some of the jobs Lacy Dogs excel at today include:
- Hog Hunting : Strike and bay dogs with short to medium range and plenty of grit.
- Herding : Heading dogs that are tough enough for ornery cattle.
- Blood Trailing : Popular among Texas trophy hunters for recovering wounded game.
- Running Trap Lines : Efficient at tracking and baying varmints in drag traps.
- And More : Treeing squirrels, retrieving birds, flyball, agility, and any job that is challenging both mentally and physically.
A Red Lacy and a Tri Lacy baying a feral hog. In addition to blue, Lacys can
also be red and tri-colored. Photo by Julie Neumann, all rights reserved.
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Lacy Dogs as Pets
Lacy Dogs make great working companions. They do not make great pets. There
are many dog breeds—entire categories of dog breeds—created by man to be a
pet. They include many beautiful breeds that come in blue that would be
perfectly content being a couch potato. The Lacy Dog is not one of them. They
were developed to handle tough jobs, and the skills and instincts that make
them such amazing hog dogs and cow dogs and blood trailers do not blend in
well with suburbia.
The type of person who should own a Lacy:
- Has real work for these real dogs to do. If you have to make up a job to justify a Lacy, this is not the breed for you.
- Is extremely active and loves the outdoors. We don’t mean hiking on the weekends, we mean cowboys, ranchers, hunters, and trappers.
- Lives on land in the country. Lacys do a great job of protecting large properties and thrive in a rural environment.
- Has experience with cur breeds. These dogs are very driven and very pack-oriented, which can be very unnerving for first-time owners.
- Will find great rewards in life with a challenging dog. Lacys pick up on training quickly, but if you give them an inch they’ll take ten miles.
A Red Lacy puppy at Bayed Blue Kennels. Photo by Julie Neumann, all rights
State Dog of Texas
It is believed that Lacys are the only dog breed developed in Texas. In
addition to calling the Hill Country their home, Lacys have the big attitude
and independent spirit of a Lone Star State original. In 2005, the Blue Lacy
was officially declared the State Dog of Texas.
Though the Lacy Dog certainly deserved this honor, the recognition has created
several problems for the breed. Lacys were bred for over a century to be
driven hunting and herding dogs. They were never meant to live in suburbia,
stuck indoors or in small yards. Despite their compact size, they have huge
personalities and endless amounts of energy. Lacys need a real job, not just
daily walks, to be happy and healthy.
Their unique appearance and status as the State Dog are not good reasons to
get a Lacy puppy. In the wrong environment, Lacys can become aggressive,
anxious, neurotic, and depressed. But when given a challenging job and room to
run, these dogs can’t be beaten.
Learn More About Lacy Dogs
National Lacy Dog Association
Lacy Dog history, standards, personality, jobs and more. The NLDA is working
to maintain Lacys as a working breed.
Working Lacy Blog
News and information on working Lacy Dogs. Official blog of the NLDA.
are blue lacy dogs silent on track ? on April 25, 2014:
Are blue lacy dogs known for barking on track ?
MyNameIsNoneOfYourBuissness on June 04, 2010:
I love Lacy dogs!! They are so adorable and atheletic! I didn’t know they were
Texas’ state dog awesome! Cool fact!