Blue Lacy Dogs

A Texas Original

Texas ranchers are hard workers and, back in the day when modern technology was not available, an extra pair of ranch hands went a long way.

How about a few extra … paws? A family of hog ranchers is responsible for breeding the blue Lacy dog, a pooch that by all accounts is a very serious, intense herder.

While industrial machinery may have all but reduced the need for the blue Lacy’s presence on the ranch, the breed itself has worked its way into the hearts of many hunters and families across the nation.

Riley, a blue Lacy dog

The blue Lacy dog is the only dog known to be an original breed from the state of Texas.

In the mid-1800s, brothers Frank, Ewin, George and Harry Lacy settled in Burnet County, Texas, and began breeding working dogs in order to herd their farm-raised hogs.

Although there is limited information on the history of the breed, Lacy family records indicate that the first dog used to begin breeding was a mix of greyhound, English shepherd and a domesticated mixed-breed coyote.

The blue Lacy faced near extinction in the early to mid-1900s due to new ranching technology that reduced the need for canine herding support. However, canine advocates found a new job for the blue Lacy: hunting companions. The breed quickly adapting to working in the field, retrieving pheasant, hare and other small game, as well as accompanying trappers.

By the late 1900s, the blue Lacy was a popular choice amongst hunters and families. In 2005, the breed was officially recognized at the state dog breed of Texas.

With their working dog mentality, blue Lacys are a very driven breed, with high intelligence and focus that thrives best under a stimulating environment.

Blue Lacys can be easy to train under the right guidance. According to the Texas Lacy Game Dog Association, the breed is family oriented and gets along well with children. The TLGDA suggests using a firm but easygoing approach while training your blue Lacy, as the breed has a gentle nature and can be sensitive to loud noises and yelling.

Getting your blue Lacy involved in a routine activity such as agility courses, field training or hunting will help balance your dog’s energy levels.

Blue Lacy dog

While the breed is called “blue” Lacy, not all blue Lacys are actually blue. A blue Lacy may have a fur coat in the color of blue, red or a combination of blue and red.

Blue Lacys can vary in shade from gray to pale silver to charcoal. A red Lacy’s coloring can vary from cream to a rusty red. The combination of the two colors can produce a coat that has a blue base with red markings, typically called “pumpkin.”

No matter which color your blue Lacy may be, its coat will be short and smooth. The breed is born with blue eyes, which mature to an amber hue.

The breed is considered to be medium-sized, weighing an average of 25 to 50 pounds, depending on the gender.

A cream-colored blue Lacy dog

While these medical conditions are generally uncommon they are known to occur in the breed. Your blue Lacy dog will not necessarily develop any of the conditions listed below. Choosing a reputable breeder from which to purchase your pet will help minimize the risks.

  • Color dilution alopecia is an inherited type of follicular dysplasia, mostly affecting dogs with blue or fawn colored coats, that causes the hair shafts to easily fracture. Signs include hair loss over the whole body and recurrent skin infections on the dog’s back. Usually affecting dogs between the ages of six months and two years, treatment is available for the condition as well as the skin infections.
  • Food allergies occur when your dog has a systematic reaction to certain foods he or she eats. There is an allergy test your veterinarian can conduct to help you determine to which food(s) your blue Lacy is allergic. Typical food allergy symptoms include excessive licking of the paws, itchy skin and tearing eyes after eating.
As with any pet, be sure to regularly consult a veterinarian for routine care and medical advice for your four-legged friend.