Blue Lacy

Sarah Mouton Dowdy
By Sarah Mouton Dowdy. Reviewed by Barri J. Morrison, DVM on Mar. 21, 2024
blue lacy dog standing, looking up, and wearing a red collar

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In This Article

General Care

The Blue Lacy was first developed in Texas in the mid-1800s by four brothers—George, Ewin, Frank, and Harry Lacy—who needed a working dog to help them herd their family’s cattle and hogs. The breed was reportedly a mix of Greyhounds, scent hounds, and coyotes, according to the Texas Lacy Game Dog Association (TLGDA).

Excellent herders and hunting companions, Blue Lacys became a mainstay on Texas ranches, where it was said that each dog could do the work of five cowboys. But as demand for ranch dogs declined over time, the Blue Lacy’s population followed. Their numbers dwindled nearly to extinction, but thanks to a concerted effort to preserve the breed beginning in 1975, the Blue Lacy has rallied and was even made the official state dog of Texas in 2005. 

Blue Lacys are medium-sized dogs (18–25 inches tall and 30–50 pounds) that carry a rare blue-color gene. Their short, glossy coats can be classified as blue (ranging from gun-metal gray to almost black), red (includes red, yellow, and cream), or tricolored (blue with red markings).

Caring for a Blue Lacy

The Blue Lacy’s ranch-hand past is core to the breed’s personality and needs. The Lacy Game Dog Registry describes them as “spectacular working dogs” that are “energetic and dedicated.”

This doesn’t mean the Blue Lacy can’t do well as a family pet, but they’ll need accommodations to help them thrive, including considerable mental and physical exercise every day. A home with room to run outside is ideal. Blue Lacy dogs can be prone to barking (a useful talent as a working dog but not as popular for house pets) and may not be best for an apartment setting. 

Lacy dogs can be reserved around strangers but remarkably gentle with children they know. They enjoy learning and respond well to training with positive, rewards-based methods. As with most working dogs, grooming a Blue Lacy is a breeze. They need only an occasional brushing to keep their coats healthy and clean. 

Blue Lacy Health Issues

The Blue Lacy is a rare dog breed, and therefore there isn’t much data on their health issues. But at this point, the Blue Lacy is considered a generally healthy breed with a lifespan of up to 16 years

However, like all breeds, some predispositions have been observed in the Blue Lacy.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis (atopy) is a common allergic skin disease in dogs in which the outer layer of the skin doesn’t function properly, so contact with allergens like pollen, mold spores, dust mites, and dander triggers an inflammatory immune response. Dogs can even be allergic to fleas, both their bites and their dander.

Itchiness is the most common sign of illness, and while it’s often seasonal, it can become a year-round problem. In response, dogs will lick, chew, and scratch their skin, which can cause irritation, discoloration, and hair loss. It can also lead to secondary skin infections

Atopic dermatitis cannot be cured, but topical therapies, immunotherapy, oral medications, and injections can greatly enhance an affected dog’s quality of life. 

Food Allergies

Dogs with a food allergy experience an inflammatory immune response to an ingredient in their diet—typically a type of protein. This inflammation can lead to skin disease, including itchiness, swelling, and redness, as well as increased tear production and increased fluid production in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that can cause diarrhea and/or vomiting

Food allergies can’t be cured, but they can be managed. Avoidance through a diet change is the most common treatment for dogs with food allergies, but some may also benefit from allergy medications. 

Color Dilution Alopecia

Though rare, color dilution alopecia (CDA) has been seen in some Blue Lacys. The condition is more common in blue-colored dogs and is associated with a color-dilution gene

Signs of CDA include:

  • Patches of thinning hair

  • Bald spots

  • Flaky, red, irritated skin

  • Itchiness

  • Skin discoloration

  • Red spots, pimples, or hives

CDA is a lifelong condition, but treatment options like certain shampoos, ointments, and medications can help manage the disease. 

What To Feed a Blue Lacy

Every Blue Lacy is different, so it’s important to partner with your veterinarian to determine the best dog food that will be nutritionally complete for your pet’s age, size, and health history.

How To Feed a Blue Lacy

Most adult dogs should eat two meals a day: in the morning and in the evening. But because Blue Lacy puppies have a higher metabolism than adult dogs, it’s generally best to add a midday feeding for a total of three meals. Your vet can help you determine the best feeding schedule for your dog’s age. 

How Much Should You Feed a Blue Lacy?

The nutrition label on your dog’s food bag includes a feeding guide that gives a general idea of how much you should feed your Blue Lacy pup based on their weight. But for a more precise answer, ask your veterinarian. Your vet will tailor their recommendation to your dog’s age, weight, body condition score, lifestyle, and health needs.  

Keep in mind that dog treats should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie requirements. 

Nutritional Tips for Blue Lacy Dogs

If your Blue Lacy is eating a complete and balanced diet of dog food approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), they shouldn’t need supplementation.

However, certain nutritional supplements may be recommended by your veterinarian to treat or prevent certain health conditions, including allergies (to which Blue Lacys are predisposed). Talk to your vet before adding anything new, including supplements, to your dog’s diet.

Behavior and Training Tips for Blue Lacy

Blue Lacy Personality and Temperament

The Blue Lacy is the ultimate working dog. Intelligent, energetic, and adaptable, they’re both easy to train and eager to work. As such, they need copious amounts of physical and mental exercise, along with close companionship with their humans, to flourish as family pets. 

The Blue Lacy’s ranch-hand past is core to the breed’s personality and needs. The Lacy Game Dog Registry describes them as “spectacular working dogs” that are “energetic and dedicated.”

Despite being bred to herd large animals, well-socialized Blue Lacys can be gentle with children and can get along well with people of all ages—though they may need time to warm up to strangers. 

Blue Lacy Behavior

Barking and boundless energy are great traits for a herding dog but are probably less desirable in a family pet. Because of this, your Blue Lacy puppy needs constant guidance on how to channel their working-dog instincts into safe, appropriate activities. Bored and lonely Blue Lacys with energy to burn are more likely to engage in unwanted behaviors, such as excessive barking and destructive chewing

Blue Lacy Training

It’s important to safely expose your Blue Lacy puppy to various animals, people, environments, activities, and objects during their first 16 weeks of life. Socializing your pup during this crucial learning period can help them feel comfortable in a variety of settings. Ask your veterinarian to suggest age-appropriate activities for your pet.  

Blue Lacys like to put their brains to use during training. Calm, consistent, positive training that uses rewards instead of punishment is the best approach for training the Blue Lacy dog breed. If you use treats as a reward during training, be sure to factor them into your dog’s daily calorie count. Play, toys, and other things your dog enjoys can also be used as rewards.

Fun Activities for Blue Lacy Dogs

Blue Lacy Grooming Guide

Blue Lacys are incredibly active dogs, so it’s fortunate that they don’t have to sit still for a lot of grooming. Their short, smooth fur needs very little attention.

Skin Care

Blue Lacy dogs are prone to developing skin issues, so it’s important to monitor them for signs of disease, such as hair loss, itchiness, and redness. Reach out to your vet if you notice any problems. 

Ask your veterinarian how often you should bathe your pet. Keep in mind that giving your Lacy dog too many baths can strip their skin of healthy oils. 

Coat Care

The Blue Lacy’s short coat needs only an occasional brush session to stay clean and healthy. 

Eye Care

The Blue Lacy’s eyes aren’t prone to problems. Talk to your vet if you notice changes in your dog’s eyes, such as redness or discharge

Ear Care 

Blue Lacys have floppy, triangular-shaped ears that can invite infection. Talk to your veterinary team about how and how often you should clean your dog’s ears. Call your vet if you notice signs of infection, such as redness, odor, pain, itchiness, or head shaking. 

Considerations for Pet Parents

Here are some questions to consider before adding a Blue Lacy pup to your family:

  1. Can I provide enough space for a dog that needs room to run?

  2. Do I live in a location where some barking would not be a problem?

  3. Do I have the time and energy to exercise a highly energetic dog every day?

  4. Do I have the time to properly socialize a dog?

  5. Do I have the skills, patience, and dedication to consistently train a dog using positive reinforcement?

  6. Am I home enough to give a dog companionship?

  7. Am I financially prepared to provide veterinary care?  

  8. Can I provide a dog with a loving home for their lifetime, which could be 16 years or more?

If you can answer these questions with an enthusiastic “Yes!” you may be ready to parent a Blue Lacy. 

Blue Lacy FAQs

Is a Blue Lacy a Pit Bull?

No, the Blue Lacy is not a Pit Bull. The Blue Lacy is a distinct breed of herding dog that originated in Texas. 

Are Blue Lacy dogs rare?

Yes, Blue Lacy dogs are very rare. The breed was once in danger of extinction, but its population is now estimated at over 1,000.

Can a Blue Lacy be a house dog?

Blue Lacys aren’t recommended for apartments—in part because they’re prone to barking—but they can do well as house dogs. Due to their working dog instincts, they will need lifelong training and both mental and physical outlets for their energy and skills. Homes with large yards are ideal. 

Are Blue Lacy dogs easy to train?

Blue Lacy dogs are relatively easy to train, thanks to their intelligence and eagerness to please.  

Sarah Mouton Dowdy


Sarah Mouton Dowdy

Freelance Writer

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