A Texas native like the Texas longhorns, the Blue Lacy was developed in the Texas Hill Country by the four Lacy brothers (Frank, George, Ewin, and Harry). These brothers immigrated from Kentucky to Burnet County, Texas, in 1858. Traditional wisdom, as well as Lacy family history, holds that Lacys are the result of Greyhound/scent hound/coyote cross. There are several theories of which breed of scent hound and native wild dog was used, but the main point is the cross most assuredly worked.
Multiple sources also suggested that the presence of Lacys in the Hill Country strongly influenced Fred Gipson, who was raised in adjacent Mason County and was best known for his novel Old Yeller.
The Blue Lacy Game Dog filled the needs of colonial Americans for well over a century on ranches in the Southwestern US. With the Blue Lacy being considered the all-around ranch dog, some have said that one lacy could do the work of five cowboys. The decline of the family-owned ranching industry, as well as the introduction of technology such as all-terrain vehicles, brought the Lacy breed near extinction; however, its re-discovery as a masterful hunting companion has dramatically increased the demand for Lacys.
The Blue Lacy is intelligent, eager to work, energetic, and fast. They are easy to train and handle when it comes to working as herding, baying, tracking, and hunting dogs. The need for its abilities to bay the fiercest of hog, pick up the trail of any game animal, or find a wounded animal on the slightest of blood trails is on the rise in the commercial hunting industry. Blue Lacy owners claim they are the perfect universal dog… They know just where to be at just the right time. They are now the most common breed used by United States Trappers. They are also currently excelling in taking on the role of search and rescue dogs.
As of June 18, 2005, the 79th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designates the Blue Lacy as the official State Dog Breed of Texas. *Senate Resolution 108
Brown, D. (2008). About the breed. Retrieved from http://bluelacydogs.org/about-the-breed/
The Blue Lacy or Lacy, is a well-balanced dog of medium size and bone. Lacys are poised and alert; strong, muscular and active; intelligent in expression and symmetrical in outline. The Lacy mingles great looks with a confident air and fine hunting talent. The Lacys conformation must be functional to endurance and speed in the field. Movement must be free and smooth and cannot inhibit the ability to perform work.
Lacys are easy to handle, and can be spectacular working dogs. They are energetic and dedicated, capable of handling the meanest Longhorn cattle or most jittery of hens, and they take to the job instinctively. The lacy is a working breed and does much better when given a job, which allows them to burn off excessive energy. They are known to replace the work of a cowboy by five times. This breed is also used for hog hunting, blood trailing, treeing, bird hunting, agility, and search and rescue. They are also suitable as watchdogs. Temperament is stable and outgoing, yet dignified. Shyness in a Lacy is considered a major fault.
Height at the withers is 18 to 23 inches for males and females. Females are ideally smaller than males. Weight is approximately 30 to 55 lbs.
Disqualifications: Under 18 inches or over 23 inches in height at the withers.
The origin of the unusual slate blue coat and nose is a genetic rarity. All Lacy dogs have minimal to full white markings on their brisket and most of the time on the paws
* The light gun-metal gray to almost black Lacys are classified in color as Blue
* The red, yellow to cream colored Lacys are classified in color as Red
* The tri-colored Lacys are blue with red points over their eyes, on muzzle, under tail and down the legs are classified as Tri
Both the red and tri colored Lacy hold the name Blue Lacy due to the blue color gene they possess.
Disqualifications: No white above the second joint of the legs, above the chin, on the head, or top and sides of the body.
They are smooth, tight, sleek and exceptionally clean in appearance, and not known to shed. Their coat is neither wooly, long, nor rough in appearance. The tail and hocks should be free of flagging or longer hair. The coat is sleek, glossy and healthy in appearance. Dogs with alopecia will exhibit a dull, rough coat which is sparse and balding, and the skin can be seen readily under the coat. Generally on the tail, ears and across the spine is the most prominent area for alopecia. A non-typical coat is a severe fault.
Disqualifications: Overall long coat, with flagging on tail and hocks. Dogs with Alopecia or Demodectic Mange.
A Lacys head be proportionate to the body. The top of the skull is flat to slightly rounded, but not domed. The stop is moderate, but defined. The flews should be tight and not noticeably droopy. The muzzle tapers to a rounded tip. The nose leather should be completely pigmented.
All Lacy eyes are a very bright and distinctive orange to yellow color, which adds a unique touch to their appearance. A brownish eye is a fault. The eye set is slightly to an oblique position, is almond shaped, moderately sized, and expresses intelligence. It is neither prominent nor sunken, but well defined and perfectly positioned with dark pupils. A round eye is considered a fault.
Set is just off the skull at the side of the head, triangular and slightly rounded and 4 to 5 inches in length. Length is measure by bringing the tip of the ear across the eye to the bridge of the muzzle. The ears, at full attention, break slightly forward and lay to the side of the head. Pricked ears, long and/or heavily leathered ears are a severe fault.
The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. A level bite is a fault.
Disqualifications: Undershot and overshot bites exceeding 1/16 of an inch, and all wry bites for dogs born after January 1, 2012.
NECK AND BODY
The neck is of medium length, firm, elegant and muscular, clean and arched at the crest; setting well into the shoulders. The body is firm and muscular. The top line appears level at a natural four-square stance. A roach back or sway back must be penalized. The chest is deep and comes to the elbow, with ribs that are well sprung, but are not slab sided or round. The loin is strong and broad when viewed from the top. The bottom line is carried well back with apparent tuck up. The croup moderately slopes to the tail. The tail is straight and can curl upward when the Lacy is on alert. A natural bobtail, crook tail or excessively curled tail is a fault.
Smooth, free and easy; exhibiting agility of movement with a well balanced, ground covering stride. Fore and hind legs move straight and parallel with the center line of the body; as speed increases, the feet, both front and rear, converge toward the center line of gravity of the dog, while the top line remains firm and level.
Their shoulders are well laid back, measuring about three fingers apart at the tips of the withers and are well muscled. The legs are vertical when viewed from the front and from the profile. The elbows are close to the ribs and are without looseness. The legs are straight and powerful. Pasterns are straight and strong, but are still flexible. Feet are spoon shaped, compact with close knit and well arched toes. Pads are thick and resilient; nails are strong. Dewclaws may be removed or left natural.
Thighs are strong and well muscled. Angulation of both stifle and hock joint should achieve the optimal balance of drive and traction. When viewed from the rear, the hocks are parallel to each other and low to the ground.
Lacys are generally very healthy dogs, some known to be 16 years old and still working. Developed for generations to meet the requirements of ranchers and hunters, they are sturdy enough to withstand tough terrain, difficult working conditions, and both hot and cold weather by Texan standards. However, skin problems and food allergies can occur. Color dilution alopecia is very rare, but has occurred in Lacys.
Note: Any diagnosed genetic disorder is a disqualifying fault, even after LGDR Breeding Prospect Form has been submitted and is on file. Diagnosed genetic disorders must be reported to the LGDR when discovered.
Handling and Care
The lacy dog can be a dominant breed. Very pack oriented, they need to know who is the leader and may need to be reminded throughout their lifetime. The lacy is very energetic and dedicated to the job that they take on automatically. A stable and dominant owner is needed with a balanced touch, for a heavy hand can send a dog to anxiety or lack of dominance and can result in undesired behavior.
This breed is incredibly intelligent, easily trained, active, and highly driven. Most respond better to stern or soft commands for they can be sensitive to yelling. They are naturally territorial and will protect their property and family. Though Lacys make excellent companions, they don’t do well with passive owners. This breed needs a calm yet assertive leader who establishes clear rules. They should be socialized at an early age around people and other dogs. They should also be exposed to firearms and livestock. Every lacy needs a job, therefore not every person needs a lacy. They are so energetic, active, and intelligent that without the proper daily activities they can become bored and destructive.
While the lacy is highly intelligent and naturally dives into a job, training is needed to excel. They will naturally herd cattle, bay hogs or varmints, and follow a trail; yet proper training can make a good dog, great. No animal is naturally born with manners and obedience, and a Lacy can be very independent. If not taught something, they will think for themselves. In other words, they need to have direction and shaping in behavior and activities.