Saturday, July 4, 2015


It's Independence Day, and that is when I like to write an entry about a made-in-America dog breed.  This year it is the Blue Lacy, which comes from the Hill Country of Texas.  Other names for this breed are Lacy Dog, Lacy Hog Dog, Blue Lacy Game Dog, Texas Blue Lacy Game Dog, and Texas State Dog. Whew!  That's a lot of names!

Anyway, Blue Lacys were invented by the Lacy brothers, Frank, George, Edwin, and Harry.  The brothers moved from Kentucky to Texas in 1858 and settled in Burnet County.  Then they set out to develop a type of dog who could work the family's free-roaming hogs.

If you have ever read the book Old Yeller, you will know all about Texas families with wild hogs, and about why it was good to have a dog to help round up the hogs whenever you had to do that.  The Lacy brothers said that the Lacy dogs they created were a mixture of English Shepherd (or maybe coyote), greyhound, and wolf.  Plus there might have also been a little bit of scenthound thrown in.

In June 2005, a bill was signed by the governor of Texas that declared the Lacy "a true Texas breed" and named it "the official State Dog Breed of Texas."  The biggest number of Blue Lacys is still living in Texas, but the breed can now be found in other states, in Canada, and even in Europe.

Lacys are medium in size with a light, but powerful build.  They were bred to be strong and fast for ranch work or hunting.  Males weigh 35 to 55 pounds, and females weigh 25 to 45 pounds.   Their coats are short and sleek, and they come in three colors:  blue, red, and tri.  "Blue" means any color from light silver to dark charcoal, and "red" ranges from light cream to rust.  It's okay for Lacys to have white on their paws and chests, but they should not have excessive white.  Eye color can be any shade from bright yellow to rich amber.

Blue Lacy dogs were developed as an all-round working breed for ranchers, cowboys, hunters, and trappers. This means they can be very intense and energetic.  They have a strong prey drive and the determination needed to work difficult livestock.  Because they are so smart, Lacys are easy to train, but if they don't get enough exercise, they can be destructive in the house.

Photo:  Lacy Game Dog Registry

If you don't have any hogs for your Lacy to round up, some other activities you might consider are agility, herding tests, stock dog trials, tracking, and hog bays.

Generally, this is a very healthy breed.  They can withstand difficult working conditions, including rough terrain, heat, and cold.  A few dogs have skin problems and allergies.  Some have lived to be as old as 16.

If we lived on a ranch in Texas where we had some cattle or hogs, we might want a Blue Lacy dog.  But since we don't live there, we don't really need one.   At least that's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it!

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