Welcome to the BarkPost guide to dog breeds where we belly flop straight into the depths of dog breed origin, evolution, and purpose. Follow along each week as we publish new guides that highlight the strangest, most interesting, and most surprising stuff about these creatures who have been our best buds the last 30,000 years.
Intro / Overview
(All dogs are individuals, which means any single dog from any breed can be any number of ways, both good and not so good. Keep that in mind as we discuss breed generalities!)
Meet the Blue Lacy, the official state dog breed of Texas! The Blue Lacy is a medium-sized dog who falls into the Working Dog breed category. This relatively recent breed was developed in the 1800s to be the ultimate ranch working dog. This resulted in a breed that is extremely energetic, hardy, and trainable. Read on to learn more about more about the Lone Star State's official dog breed!
Also Known As…
Lacy Dog. Lacy Game Dog. Texas Blue Lacy. Lacy Hog Dog. Lacy Cur. "That dog? It's the Energizer Bunny of dogs. It just keeps going and going and going..."
During the 1800s, this breed was developed to help with hunting, herding, and ranch work in Texas. The Lacy family needed a well-rounded working dog who could herd, track, hunt, and guard. Such a dog must be fast, hardworking, trainable, and hardy against Texas’s harsh weather. According to DogTime, the Lacy family developed this ideal dog by combining wolf, Greyhound, English Shepherd, and coyote.
The Blue Lacy is as Texan as Tex Mex, barbecue, and Willie Nelson. In fact, the Blue Lacy was designated the official state dog breed of Texas in 2005. The breed is, however, uncommon outside of the Lone Star State. The American Kennel Club has yet to recognize the Blue Lacy as one of its official breeds.
The Blue Lacy typically stands at 17 to 25 inches at the withers (shoulders).
Female Blue Lacys usually weigh 25 to 45 pounds while male Blue Lacys usually weigh 35 to 55 pounds.
Blue Lacys are loyal pups who are committed to protecting their families! They are devoted to their families and make excellent watch dogs. Blue Lacys are also very smart and trainable.
The most significant aspect of this breed's personality is their energy. Blue Lacys are very energetic pups who are always ready for some playtime. They'll never get tired of having fun with you!
It is extremely important that the Blue Lacys high energy needs are not ignored. DogTime notes that the breed's combination of intelligence and intense energy can "either cause them to be well-trained working dogs or destructive forces of nature depending on how much mental and physical stimulation they get."
Intelligence / Trainability
Training and socialization are very important to help Blue Lacys manage their energetic nature, strong prey drive, and territorial nature. Thankfully, this breed is very trainable. Bred as working dogs, Blue Lacys have the intelligence, energy, and quick-learning capabilities ideal for training.
Blue Lacys responds best to rewards-best training. So be sure to shower your Blue Lacy with treats and praise when she performs the desired behaviors. A Blue Lacy trainer should be firm, confident, and assertive - but never harsh. This breed is quite sensitive and does not respond well to punishment or scolding.
This dog was bred to roam in wide, open spaces. Blue Lacys do best in a house with a yard for them to run and explore in. Because of this breed's strong prey drive, Blue Lacys are often tempted to follow a scent and pursue any potential "prey." Therefore, it is important that they are kept on-leash during walks and only let loose in securely fenced yards. This is especially important if a neighbor has a smaller pet that could wander into your own yard.
Because of the breed's high energy needs, Blue Lacys may not be well-suited for apartment dwellers, first-time pup parents, or families with demanding schedules. Blue Lacys need plenty of daily playtime and exercise to stay happy, healthy, and well-behaved.
Good For Families And Kids?
The Blue Lacy is a great family dog! They are very loyal and protective of their human pack. This breed is committed to watching over the family.
Blue Lacys are usually good with kids and non-aggressive. However, due to their intense energy level, they may not be well-suited companions for very young kids. The energetic Blue Lacy tends to play roughly, which could accidentally hurt young children.
This breed typically lives 12 to 16 years.
This athletic and hardy breed is generally very healthy! Like all breeds, however, the Blue Lacy is prone to certain health conditions. Among these conditions are hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, skin conditions, and food allergies.
While some health conditions are not preventable, optimizing your Blue Lacys health with a nutritious diet, routine veterinary care, and sufficient exercise can help protect your Blue Lacy from developing certain conditions.
As we mentioned before, the Blue Lacys energy rivals that of the Energizer Bunny! This active breed often requires multiple runs and walks daily to meet their energy needs. Having a Blue Lacy is like having an adorable fitness buddy who encourages you to embrace an active lifestyle! With a Blue Lacy, you'll never have to run, hike, hunt, or walk alone.
Blue Lacys were bred to fulfill multiple working dog roles. Understandably, Blue Lacys are busy bodies who like to be preoccupied with a task, whether it’s hunting, agility training, herding, or standing guard. This breed grows bored and restless easily, so sufficient exercise is necessary to avoid destructive behaviors.
Friendly With...(Dogs? Strangers? Cats/Other Pets?)
Blue Lacys are naturally territorial. While this makes them excellent guard dogs, this also makes them wary of strangers. Early socialization is very important to help Blue Lacys get along with strangers, other dogs, and other pets. Blue Lacys live best with pets they have been raised alongside with.
Given their hunting background, Blue Lacys also have a very strong prey drive. Because of this, they pose a risk to smaller animals when not properly socialized to other species. Blue Lacy parents should avoid exposing this breed to small animals and use great caution when doing so.
Coat & Grooming
Despite their name, not all Blue Lacys are not blue. While all Blue Lacys carry the gene for blue coats, they can be any of three color varieties: blue, red, and tri-colored. The blue coat ranges from grey to nearly black. Red Blue Lacys can be colored anywhere between a light cream to a brownish rust. Tri-colored Blue Lacys have a blue base coat with red and white markings.
The Blue Lacy coat is short, smooth, and low maintenance. This breed sheds an average amount. Minimal grooming is needed - weekly brushings and occasional baths should suffice!
Toys Blue Lacys Would Like Best
Toys that encourage physical activity are ideal for providing Blue Lacys entertainment and exercise. For example, fetch toys tap into the Blue Lacys chase instinct. Your Blue Lacy will have a ball running and jumping after Fetch Toys like the "Lady Liberty Ball" or the "Sledgehog."
And of course, let's not forget the nigh-indestructible Super Chewer Toys. These things can withstand even the toughest of Lady Dogs teeth, and many of them - like the "Magnum Can Toy" - can be filled with treats as well!
Recommended Diet Or Supplements
Like with all dogs, Blue Lacys should be fed a high-quality dog food that is age-appropriate (e.g. puppy, adult, senior).
Because of this breed's susceptibility to hip and elbow dysplasia, a supplement is recommended to bolster the health of your Blue Lacys bones and joints.
This supplement is veterinarian-formulated, made with all natural ingredients (glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid), and comes in the form of 150 soft chews. Basically, it looks and tastes just like delicious treats, and it could really help your canine companion with their hip and joint issues. ($32.99.)
For Lacy Dogs with joint issues - or any dog who just loves to lie around! - a nice comfortable bed with orthopedic support is probably a good idea.
This ultra plush orthopedic dog bed provides support for even the most active of dogs! The combination ergonomic memory foam and gel foam relieves pressure points, and helps ease body aches caused by hip dysplasia, arthritis and other orthopedic issues. ($27.99-64.99.)
Notable Rescues To Find The Blue Lacy Of Your Dreams
It is a common misbelief that uncommon breeds can only be found through a breeder. However, there are plenty of deserving and adopting Blue Lacys eager to find a home! Check out these notable rescues to find the perfect Blue Lacy for you:
Notable Instagram Blue Lacys
Looking to add some cuteness to your Instagram feed? Check out these photogenic Blue Lacys that are major #goals! Be warned, these accounts may induce an intense longing to adopt a Blue Lacy!
***Looking for a gift to blow your Blue Lacy's mind? Spoil them with a Super Chewer BarkBox! Every month Super Chewer delivers 2 super-durable toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and 2 (!!!) meaty chews. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month.
Featured image via Rusty_The_Lacy_Dog/Instagram