blue lacy dog breed profile treatment

Blue Lacy

The official state dog of Texas, the blue lacy was bred to work on ranches. These hardworking, dignified dogs have boundless energy and do best with an active family and access to wide-open spaces.
Blue Lacy
Breed Group
Dog Size
Other Traits
Temperament
Blue Lacy
height
  • 18–23 inches
weight
  • 30–55 pounds
life span
  • 12–16 years
breed size
  • medium (26-60 lbs.)
good with
  • families
temperament
  • friendly
  • playful
intelligence
  • high
shedding amount
  • occasional
exercise needs
  • high
energy level
  • hyper
barking level
  • frequent
drool amount
  • low
breed group
  • none
coat length/texture
  • short
colors
  • blue
  • gold / yellow
  • red
  • cream
patterns
  • tricolor
  • bicolor
other traits
  • easy to train
  • easy to groom
  • high prey drive
  • hot weather tolerant

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.

"Highly intelligent, active, and focused, this is a working dog at heart that is best suited for more experienced dog owners," says Jen Jones, a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist who runs Your Dog Advisor.

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.

Appearance

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).

blue lacy running with her tongue out in a backyard
The one thing to know before bringing home a blue lacy puppy: These dogs need ample exercise. Blue lacys thrive best in homes with wide-open spaces where they can run and work.
| Credit: Jessica Lobsinger / Shutterstock

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. 

Temperament

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.

blue lacy laying on grass
You can easily pick a blue lacy out from the dog park pack because of his striking, bright yellow eyes.
| Credit: Courtesy of audis.thelacy / Instagram

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 can learn to get along with other pets as long as they are socialized with them from puppyhood, says Linda Simon, MVB, MRCVS, consulting veterinarian at FiveBarks.  

Families with small children should know that this breed is one that's very high-energy and bouncy. As with all dogs, the blue lacy should be supervised around small kiddos. Simon says blue lacys like children and tend to keep a watchful, caring eye over those in their household. 

blue lacy standing outside wearing a blue collar
Credit: Courtesy of audis.thelacy / Instagram

Living Needs

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.

"If kept as a pet, they need to be exercised daily, ideally twice daily for a minimum of one hour, and you must spend time using their brain in activities such as agility or scent work to use up all the energy they naturally possess," Wigfall says.

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 dog sitting in a red car looking at an ice cream cone
After a long day of hiking or working on the ranch, a blue lacy won't say no to a treat—or a pup cup.
| Credit: Courtesy of sablespeaks_official / Instagram

Really, the blue lacy's living needs are quite niche, and they tend to be a good fit for experienced pet owners. Blue lacy dogs will be happiest with active families who spend a lot of quality time running and hiking in the great outdoors. 

Care

Blue lacy dogs have short fur that requires minimal grooming maintenance, Simon says.

"They should be brushed down every so often to remove dead fur and debris," she says. With sleek and shiny coats, blue lacy dogs do shed, but not much.

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.

blue lacy puppy in a garden
Blue lacy dogs are the epitome of outdoor enthusiasts. They need an active family who will spend lots of time exploring and hiking with them.
| Credit: Courtesy of audis.thelacy / Instagram

Also, pup parents should brush their dog's teeth on a daily (or every-other-day) basis to keep those pearly whites healthy. And don't forget to trim those nails so they don't grow too long.

Training should be easy with these smart, sensitive dogs. Blue lacys are eager to please (especially when it comes to tasks), so bring on the treats and head pats as you lead short and efficient training sessions. You may even want to add some brain-engaging puzzle toys into the mix.

"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.

blue lacy puppy lyinng on a blue cushion
Credit: Courtesy of audis.thelacy / Instagram

Health

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.

Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and hypothyroidism (which can affect your dog's metabolism but be effectively managed) are some other conditions that may also affect blue lacy dogs.

blue lacy sitting on bench with blue cushions
Credit: Courtesy of audis.thelacy / Instagram

History

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.

blue lacy wearing an american flag bandana
As the official state dog of Texas, blue lacys are all-American pups.
| Credit: Courtesy of audis.thelacy / Instagram

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."

Fun Facts

  • 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.