Thursday, April 19, 2012

Unusual Breed: Lacy Game Dog

The Lacy Game dog is also known as the blue Lacy, red Lacy, Lacy dog, Lacy hog dog, and Texas Lacy game dog. Though commonly called the blue Lacy, this is a bit of a misnomer as not all Lacys are solid blue. Tricolor and red dogs are also seen.
A red Lacy puppy
Today's unusual breed is a fairly obscure one, despite being the state dog of Texas. The term "Lacy" comes from the Lacy brothers, who first began the development of this cur-type breed. Since the breed can be considered a type of cur, there is a lot of variation in its type. For example, according to the Texas legislature, the breed is eighteen to twenty-five inches tall and between thirty and fifty pounds. Sources are conflicting as to what exactly went into making the Lacy. Scenthound, greyhound, English shepherd, coyote, and wolf are all mentioned when the breed's history is discussed. No matter what the ancestry, they were bred to be tough working dogs. An all around breed, these dogs were used for such purposes as herding, tracking, working trapping lines, and hunting hogs. There is a major emphasis on working ability among those that breed these dogs.

This blue Lacy is a working hog dog
Perhaps the most well-known use of this breed is in hog hunting. Wild boar are a major nuisance animal that frequently destroy crops. This invasive species has to be gotten rid of in some way, but their intelligence can make them near impossible to trap. So, hunting has become the best way to handle a growing problem. For a hog hunter, dogs can be an indispensable tool. One major advantage to using dogs is that they can track down the elusive hogs. However, this isn't an animal that can be easily treed or cornered until the hunter arrives. Hogs can be incredibly aggressive, which could spell death for a dog with the wrong temperament. A hog dog has to be tough enough and smart enough to find the hog and then keep it busy without winding up injured. Frequently, hog dogs will wear protection in the form of reinforced collars to help prevent them from being gored. Lacys may also work with other breeds while hunting hog, including pit bulls, American bulldogs, Catahoulas, and other breeds of similar type.

Lacy game dogs are not for everyone, and the best homes would be with someone who will work the dog regularly. They require a great amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and the easiest way to satisfy both of these is by giving the dog a challenging job to do. Generally, these dogs are not suggested for owners who don't already have a job for the dog to do. They also don't make first-time dogs, so it's best to already have experience with dogs before bringing a Lacy home. This is also not a good dog for an urban environment, as they need room to run.

The Lacy game dog is not currently registered with any of the major kennel clubs, but several smaller registries, including a number of breed-specific ones, accept them. Some groups are working towards the breed's acceptance into such registries as the AKC.

This breed is a rather healthy one due to the need for soundness in a working breed, though I did find evidence of color dilution alopecia and skin allergies sometimes popping up.

Sources are the National Lacy Dog Association, Lacy Game Dog Registry, Texas Lacy Game Dog Association, True Blue Lacys, and Net State. Images are from Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons licenses: one, two, three.


  1. I've met a dog whose owners thought she was a Lacy... or at least part Lacy. Kind of an interesting back story. She was found abandoned at the side of the road in Mt. Shasta, and given the name "Lacy" when taken into rescue, but adopted out as a "hound mix." Her owners had no idea what she was but they saw some Lacy pictures online and were convinced... especially since someone else in the rescue apparently saw the same thing (since they named her).

    I'm not fully convinced, mainly because she didn't seem to have a hog dog's temperament... but that could've been because of her puppyhood trauma. I think I'm still inclined to go with Weimaraner mix. But she truly was a unique shade of blue that the pictures don't adequately capture.

    1. It looks to me like she could have some hunting beagle in her, maybe. They're usually rangier than the show-bred ones, and beagles can come in blue.

    2. Innnnteresting...

      *runs off to Google*

      It doesn't really matter to me what her owners think they have, as long as she's loved. ;)

    3. I am inclined to say there's some Weim in there because of the size of those ears! :) Weim or some other hound type.

    4. I can see some possible Weim too, but for some reason I was just getting a big beagle vibe.

  2. I have so much respect for keepers of this breed after meeting one who adopted a cute 'blue' pup, and found out it was hell on four paws while she tried to raise it. They apparently have hog dog testing and competitions in Texas where its more for sport and not hog control. This gal's Lacy gets its work during the competitions. I don't know if I'd have the grit to do that with my pet, but I sure do have respect for those who do.

    Curs are tough dogs!

    1. I've heard that Lacy's tend to be a major handful unless they're given a demanding job to do on a regular basis. I suppose a serious distance runner or someone who does some other sort of regular, intense exercise could handle such a dog, but not your average family.

  3. In this day and age of alternative occupations, you can consider taking a job that is cool, relaxed and fun. Dog walking is an activity that has no chance show you. If you are a dog lover you can spend time with my dogs, at the same time to ensure that you have a little practice on your own.