Can a Blue Lacy be a well-rounded hunting dog?
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With a reputation for knowing just where to be and when, it has won over the hearts of ranchers and hunters alike.
Here are some of the interesting facts about the Blue Lacy. Do you own one? Tell us about it in the comments.
Texans through and through
In 2005, the Blue Lacy was named the State Dog of Texas, an honor that was well deserved. After all, the Blue Lacy is the first known dog breed to originate in Texas.
Prior to 2005, the breed actually suffered, nearly dying out as the demand for working dogs of its caliber dropped along with the prevalence of ranching.
They were named for their breeders
In 1858, the Lacy brothers—Frank, George, Ewin, and Harry–emigrated to Burnet County, near Marble Falls, Texas, and set up shop. Around this time, hogs represented a substantial industry, but the brothers found they were dissatisfied with the dogs available for the hunt. So, they set out to breed exactly what they needed. The result was the Blue Lacy. Not only were these dogs adept at rounding up the hogs, a group of them could herd as many as 300 hogs down a mountain and into their pens in roughly three hours, all without even the aid of a cowboy.
It is no surprise, then, that the word of this remarkable breed spread quickly across the Texas Hill Country. Soon, the breed spread to other counties, booming with popularity as “the perfect all around dog.”
The breeding of the Blue Lacy
It takes a lot to create the perfect dog, and the Lacy brothers thought outside the box. They crossed the English shepherd with the greyhound, but didn’t stop there. In true Texan fashion, they also incorporated some of the wild, native grit by introducing the coyote as well. Risky though it was, this breeding paid off. The Blue Lacy is said to replace the work of a cowboy by five, and is good for treeing raccoons, hunting hogs, and tracking any wounded animal with even the slightest blood trail.
They are fast, durable, and retain the fierce predator instinct a hunting dog needs.
Not always blue
In spite of its name, the Blue Lacy is not always blue in appearance. In fact, many are red, leading some to suspect some red bone may have made its way into the gene pool. All Blue Lacys are solid in color, however, save for white patches on the chest, and have yellow or orange eyes.
An influential breed
The Blue Lacy is suggested to be the inspiration for Fred Gipson’s classic novel, “Old Yeller.” Living in nearby Mason County, Gipson would have been exposed regularly to the unique breed, which is known for its intense loyalty to its owners.
Blue Lacys are incredible smart and meant to work. Whether they’re herding, hunting, working trap lines, or trailing, they instinctively latch onto a new job with a gusto. Better still, they are bred to be fierce, tough, driven, but never aggressive. In fact, the Blue Lacy is often shy in social settings, nervous around new people and fiercely protective of its owner.
All these qualities which make the Blue Lacy the ideal working and hunting dog, however, can make the Blue Lacy a less than ideal pet.
Though they are friendly and do well with children, their high energy means they should not be left alone. They are known to succumb to boredom and destroy the interior of the house. They are also sensitive to yelling, and respond better to firm commands. It’s best to keep them outdoors and busy with work. The popularity of the Blue Lacy since becoming the state dog of Texas has also led to overbreeding, thus diluting many of the qualities that make the breed so great. In the event that a family is looking to adopt, it pays to do your research with this breed. A well bred Blue Lacy is worth the effort.