A Texas native, the blue lacy is an incredibly hardworking dog that only recently has grown in popularity as a family pet. In fact, the blue lacy is such a rare breed that, unless you're from the Southwest, you've probably never heard of this unique dog.
The blue lacy, which is the official state dog of Texas, has developed into quite the versatile dog in both his professional and personal life. Not only is he fast, strong, and capable of herding tasks on the farm (he's well-versed at rounding up everything from cattle to hogs to chickens), he's also a skilled hunter and an asset to some search and rescue teams.
But the blue lacy is also a loyal and loving family companion, possessing an easygoing demeanor with children. This medium-sized dog doesn't require much in terms of grooming and he barely sheds, but he does have what seems to be an infinite supply of energy. Because of this, the blue lacy is well-suited for an active family that loves the outdoors.
Poised and muscular, the blue lacy possesses a particularly spellbinding appearance. These medium-sized dogs are 18–23 inches in height and weigh 30–55 pounds. They are strong, speedy, and overall have a confident air to match their good looks, according to the Lacy Game Dog Registry (LGDR).
Though called the blue lacy, coat colors can vary quite a bit. That "blue" can be a light gray to almost black, and blue lacys can also be red, yellow, cream, or tri-colored (blue with red points), according to the LGDR breed standard. Whether you have a blue or tri-color blue lacy, his coat is short, sleek, and easy to groom.
The breed's slate blue coat and nose is considered a genetic rarity, and lacys have white markings on their chests and paws. But perhaps the most interesting trait these dogs possess are their dramatically bright, almond-shaped eyes that range from orange to yellow in color.
You could describe the Texas blue lacy as being a salt-of-the-earth type of dog. They're extremely hardworking and dedicated, and, on farms, they can instinctively handle stubborn longhorn cattle and jittery hens, according to the LGDR.
As an extremely high-energy breed that's intent on working hard, the blue lacy has taken on a variety of roles such as hog hunting, bird hunting, and search and rescue. The blue lacy temperament is outgoing, dignified, and loyal. And, when these dogs are off the clock, they may just give you some loving snuggles.
The blue lacy is a very high-energy, high-endurance working dog who, if given the chance, would run and work all day, says Corinne Wigfall, DVM, BVS, BVM, consulting veterinarian with SpiritDog Training. Because of this, the blue lacy is definitely not suited for apartments—or even homes where he won't have ample land to run.
The blue lacy tends to get along well with other dogs, she says, and puppy playdates are a good outlet for extra energy left over after a hard day's work. (Yes, they will still have energy after a full day on the farm!)
Blue lacy dogs have short fur that requires minimal grooming maintenance, Simon says.
Ear care is an important routine with this breed. Because their ears are floppy and large, Simon says, they may be prone to ear infections if their ears are getting frequently wet and aren't cleaned regularly. Try to dry out the ear canals after a swim or rain storm, and clean his ears every one or two weeks as needed, she suggests.
"They are fairly easy to train but require consistency, patience, [and] positivity," says Sarah Wooten, DVM, veterinary expert for Pumpkin Pet Insurance. "And it's best to start early with training and adequate socialization."
The best exercise this dog can get is by having access to wide open space to (you guessed it) run, Wooten says. This is a breed that will be eager to play a game of Frisbee, fetch their favorite toys, or help you train for a marathon.
Overall, blue lacy dogs are a healthy breed. They have lifespans of 12–16 years.
However, one treatable condition that blue lacy dogs tend to be prone to is atopic dermatitis, Simon says.
"This allergic skin disease causes itching as well as secondary skin infections and fur loss," she says. The dog's reaction is linked to a food or allergen they are exposed to. Finding out what the allergen is and eliminating it is key to successfully managing this condition, Simon says. Symptoms are usually controlled with a combination of anti-itch medicine, antibiotics, and medicated washes.
The blue lacy is the first dog to have originated in the state of Texas, according to the LGDR. The breed is named for four brothers—George, Erwin, Frank, and Harry Lacy—who moved from Kentucky to Texas in 1858 and settled in Texas Hill Country. The family bred cattle and hogs as well as dogs to work alongside them.
For a century, the blue lacy was a mainstay on ranches in Texas, herding cattle, hogs, and chickens and also serving as hunting dogs, according to the Texas resolution that declares the blue lacy the official state dog.
The breed dwindled, almost disappearing completely, with the declining use of working dogs on ranches. However, since 1975, there's been a concerted effort to save the blue lacy. Still a rare breed, most blue lacy puppies are found in Texas.
In 2005, the blue lacy was adopted as the official state dog of Texas, with a resolution stating: "Like the Texas longhorn, the Blue Lacy is a Texas original."
- Blue lacys are noted to be the result of a greyhound, scenthound, and coyote, according to the LGDR.
- The blue lacy isn't recognized by the American Kennel Club.
- As highly capable working dogs, it's been said the blue lacy could do the work of five cowboys, according to the LGDR.