The Blue Lacy, also called the Lacy Dog, is an energetic, intelligent and trainable breed that loves to have a job to do and plenty of open space to run. Although the breed has “Blue” in its name, Blue Lacys can also have red or tri-colored coats; although they all carry the blue color gene. The “Lacy” in the breed name does not refer to the appearance of the dog at all, but comes from the name of the family that first created the breed. The Blue Lacy was developed in the 19th century to assist in herding, hunting and ranch work in Texas. These dogs are hardy, adaptable and able to learn quickly, although their high intensity and energy level make them unsuitable for apartment living or novice owners. Blue Lacys can be excellent family dogs and expert watchdogs with firm training, but they are sensitive and do not respond well to punishment. Socialization should begin early, as Blue Lacys are territorial by nature, do not trust strangers too much and have a strong prey drive that can cause them to attack smaller animals and pets if not socialized. With safe, assertive training based on positive reinforcement, dogs of this breed can be loyal, protective and capable family members, eager to please. Experienced pet parents who know how to give this dog a task will find a lifelong friend who will rise to any challenge.
The Blue Lacy was designated the official state dog breed of Texas in 2005. Fred Gipson, author of Old Yeller, grew up in the county next to where the Lacy family lived and raised their Blue Lacys, and this may have influenced him as a writer, although Old Yeller, the actual dog in the novel, was probably a Black Mouth Cur and not a Blue Lacy. Blue Lacys can also have red or tricolor coats, although all carry the blue coat gene. The Blue Lacy breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, although some organizations have petitioned to have the Blue Lacy accepted into the AKC Foundation Stock Service, which helps maintain official records of the breed so that it may one day be recognized. However, full recognition may take many years to come or never come at all. Blue Lacys are very intelligent and respond well to training, but they need an assertive handler who can lay down the law without being overly punitive. This breed is a hard worker and does best when assigned a task. They are capable of hunting, herding, agility training, guard dog work or even search and rescue. Mental and physical stimulation are a must. Blue Lacys need several runs and walks a day to burn off their energy. They appreciate having an open space to run in, rather than small apartments.
The Blue Lacy breed is named after Frank, George, Ewin, and Harry Lacy, who were brothers who moved from Kentucky to Texas in the mid-19th century. They needed a multi-purpose working dog that could help herd free-ranging hogs and cattle, track and tree small game, hunt deer and feral hogs, and guard the farm. The dog had to be fast, hardworking, trainable and able to withstand the Texas climate. According to the Lacy family, the brothers created the Blue Lacy breed to meet these needs by blending the wolf, greyhound, English shepherd and possibly the coyote and another hound. They worked to develop the breed’s natural herding instincts to drive their livestock to market. Since then, the Blue Lacy has remained a true Texas breed and is rare outside the state. In 2005, it was designated as the official dog breed of the state of Texas.