The Blue Lacy is the only dog breed to originate in the state of Texas. Sometimes called the Blue Lacy Game Dog, it was declared the official state dog breed of Texas in 2005.
Four brothers with the last name of Lacy, who moved to Texas in 1858, developed the breed. According to the Lacy Game Dog Association, the brothers crossed greyhounds, scenthounds and coyotes. The purpose of the dogs was to work free-roaming hogs.
Blue Lacys are considered intelligent, active and alert. This working breed is known for its tracking and herding abilities. It has a gentle nature and usually only needs a soft-spoken command to do its job. Ranchers, cowboys, hunters and trappers use the all-purpose Blue Lacys. Bold and brave, they can handle the meanest of cattle and are effective at helping a hunter pursue wild boar. In fact, this is the breed most used by the United States Trappers.
It is widely believed this breed influenced Fred Gipson, who was raised in Texas and is the author of the novel Old Yeller.
Blue Lacy dogs possess a short glossy coat that is often slate blue but may also be red or tri-colored. The dog’s name derives from the blue gene it carries, not the color of the coat. Gunmetal gray and charcoal shades are also considered blue. Red-coated dogs may be rust or lighter, and the tri-colored variety comes in blue with red markings. White may appear on the feet and sometimes on the chest. The bright orange or yellow eyes add to the distinctive coloring of these dogs. They possess a long head and tail and a deep chest.
Although energetic, Blue Lacys do very well with children and are devoted; therefore, they make good family pets as well as good watchdogs. They are persistent workers and can handle cows, hogs, even chickens. They take to the job instinctively, requiring basically no training. They are also used for hunting wild boar and other large game animals, often following blood trails. Lacys possess a strong drive and determination and do well in herding, tracking, agility and flyball competitions. They are sensitive to yelling so a firm but gentle voice works best.
Although not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Blue Lacy is recognized by the National Kennel Club (NKC), an organization that helps dog owners register their purebred dogs. The NKC has been around since 1964 and hosts show and hunt competitions in which rare breeds may participate.
Medium-sized but powerfully built, the breed ranges in size from 18 to 25 inches (46 to 64 cm) tall and from 25 to 50 pounds in weight (11 to 23 kg).
Because of its working breed heritage, a Blue Lacy needs plenty of physical and mental exercise. These dogs can become destructive if bored, so ensure you provide plenty of stimulation if a Lacy graces your home. This is a long-lived breed, 16 or more years. These dogs often perform their job function well into their senior years.