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Red Lacy and Leopard Catahoula team up on a hog.

Red Lacy and Leopard Catahoula team up on a hog.

When it comes to working style, Lacy Dogs most closely resemble Catahoulas and Blackmouth Curs. They work in a completely different manner than the European herding dogs developed to move sheep across hill and dale or the Continental livestock guardians created to protect their flock. Curs have the ability to work much rougher animals in much tougher conditions. And the Lacy is no exception. Developed to gather and move range hogs, Lacy Dogs herd with a gritty, loose eyed, upright, heading style.

Hog Dog Origins
When discussing Lacy stock dogs, it is important to acknowledge that they developed their style and instincts primarily on feral hogs. They had a specific purpose that was dangerous and difficult. It required great intelligence, independence and an aggressive approach. Lacys without these traits would not have survived the rank animals they faced.

“I was fortunate enough to help my father, John Henry Lacy, round up hogs on our ranch when I was growing up in the Depression days. We didn’t drive the hogs, we just followed as the dogs led them to the pen. One rider could round up a large number of hogs with just he, his horse and his two dogs. There was a pen in the pasture which the dogs knew to take the hogs. We would go into the pasture, this one being about 1,000 acres, with the dogs and they would locate the hogs and round them up into an area. The dogs would nip the hogs and begin their run toward the pen. The hogs would chase the dogs and when the hogs no longer ran after the dogs, the dogs would return and nip a hog again to begin more chasing by the hogs. This continued until the dogs reached the pen and ran through the open gate with the hogs in wild pursuit. There was a hole in the pen on the opposite side of the gate which was too high for hogs to go through but which the dogs could jump through and escape the hogs. The riders just followed the hogs to the pen and shut the gate, thereby penning the herd with no trouble or danger to the horsed or riders. This is still very vivid in my mind’s eye even 65 years later. This is the same way the hogs were taken to Austin to the packing house — led by the dogs, followed by the riders.” – Helen Lacy Gibbs
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The Kemmer Mountain Cur got top billing at ESPN with Curs and ‘Coons: Good old boys love their mountain dogs. Developed by Robert Kemmer to tree small game in the Tennessee mountains, these raccoon and squirrel specialists have a lot in common with Lacys. And Kemmers aren’t the only curs that have shown up on ESPN. Last year they ran a story on Uncle Earl’s Hog Dog Trials, the most famous bay competition in the United States.

Despite being a true American tradition, hunting with hounds faces steep political opposition. Currently, Virginia dog owners are fighting to keep the right-to-retrieve, which allows them to fetch dogs that hunt their way onto private property. During a Oct. 23 hearing, the state agreed to take recommended retrieval restrictions into consideration. No matter where you live or what you hunt, stand up for rights of other dog hunters. This type of legislation can set a precedent for other states to restrict what we can do with our Lacys.

But hunters, don’t forget to be safe! A man in Oregon was shot by his Labrador Retriever while duck hunting. When the dog jumped into their boat, he set of the 12-gauge shotgun, resulting in some painful but treatable injuries.

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