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Article by Courtney Farris
National Lacy Dog Association
You won’t see them in the show ring, but people with roots in the Texas Hill Country know what they look like and what they are supposed to do, and have for over 100 years. The Lacy Dog, also known as the Blue Lacy or Lacy Hog Dog was created during the late 19th century to work free ranging hogs.
The Lacy family moved from Christian County, Kentucky, to a homestead in Marble Falls in 1858. The brothers were rock masons by trade and George Lacy owned Granite Mountain in Marble Falls which provided the granite used during the construction of the state capitol building in Austin.
The Lacys also raised hogs to supplement their income. During this time, Texans used hog dogs to round up wild range hogs that populated the Hill Country. The first hog dogs were usually hound crosses but the Lacy brothers created their own line of dogs to gather the family’s hogs and drive them to livestock markets in Austin. It appears they crossed an English Shepherd with a Greyhound and a wolf, resulting in a fast herding dog with the intense prey drive and fearlessness necessary for working dangerous hogs.
Also revered for their speed and intelligence the breed has become an all-around working dog for ranchers, cowboys, trappers and hunters. Though they can be trained to do almost anything, lacys make great hog dogs, cow dogs and trackers and most will make a serviceable tree dog. In fact, Lacys are gaining popularity in the West because of their versatility. A rancher can catch a mountain lion on Monday, check traps on Tuesday and push cows around on Wednesday. A hard-hunting dog capable of tracking a variety of predators is instrumental in keeping livestock safe from coyotes and big cats.
Compact and balanced, they are known for their unique blue coloration, though they can also be red or blue with tan points. In 2005, they were named the official State Dog of Texas and, given the tremendous impact the breed had on the Hill Country as well as the Lacy’s ties to the capitol building, they are Texas to the core.
Despite their high working drive and intense personalities, lacy dogs can be wonderful companions, as long as they are exercised and given a job to do. Like other working breeds, lacys require an experienced leader committed to their training and specific needs.
About 2 dozen people and dogs gathered for the NLDA’s first tracking challenge and field day event of 2012.
The weather was nearly perfect for the weekend’s events. After the trials, participants were able to enjoy a delicious lunch and share stories.
Other events included snake avoidance training, trapping, and hog baying.
As always, new friends were made and the bar was set for future NLDA tracking events. We are grateful to everyone who joined us. The success of the NLDA depends upon the gracious support of the working dog community. We strive to provide activities for skilled dogs and their owners to partake in and be recognized for exceptional performance.
Results of the tracking challenge:
1st – Ron Jones & Allison
Time 1m 56s
2nd – Arnie Alexander & Slate
Time 6m 37s
3rd – Jimmy Brooks & Gracy
Time 6m 47s
1st – Jamie Wilhelm & Rein
Time 3m 13s
2nd – Robby Leek & Colt
Time 12m 26s
1st – Ron Jones & Allison
Time 4m 02s
2nd – Betty Leek & Lucy
Time 7m 33s
3rd – Marty Thomas & Bagley
Time 6m 30s
4th- Jim Rogers & Stormy
Time 12m 20s
5th- Robby Leek & Ben
Time 13m 06s
2012 Lacy Dog calendars are here! Thanks to everyone who submitted images for our consideration. It was difficult to choose 12 pictures out of all the great entries we received. Get your copy today at the National Lacy Dog Association online store! NLDA Calendars and cards make great gifts for the holidays!
Purebred doesn’t necessarily mean well-bred and a well-bred Lacy Dog is more than a piece of paper. Though pedigrees will give you important insights into a dog’s lineage, registration does not guarantee a puppy will look or work like a Lacy Dog. When picking out a puppy, these are the things a buyer should expect from an ethical Lacy breeder. Among other things, an ethical breeder should be educated about genetics, structure, anatomy, purpose, animal health, behavior, and training methods.
1.) Breeding for working ability. An ethical breeder will be able to show you their Lacys at work. If that is not geographically possible, they will have videos or numerous photos available for potential buyers. If you want a true working Lacy, you should only buy a puppy out of working parents. Though pet breeders will occasionally produce a good hunting or herding dog, the odds are against it.
2.) Breeding to standard. In addition to being proven working dogs, breeding stock should fit the conformation standard. It is important that the dogs are the right size, ideally 17 to 22 inch and 30 to 50 pounds, so they can perform the jobs they were created for in the Texas brush and heat. Dogs should not look like hounds (long ears or drooping lips) nor should they look like pit bulls (pricked ears or overly heavy, loaded shoulders). Ethical breeders will only use standard dogs in their breeding program.
3.) Breeding for temperament. Lacys are tough working dogs. They should be driven, gritty and capable of getting the job done. Many are protective of their property and people. They also have a strong pack instinct and will correct other dogs. But truly aggressive dogs should never be bred. Dogs who bite people or wantonly attack other dogs have no place in a breeding program.
4.) Places puppies in working homes. Lacys can make great companions, but they are not meant to be purely pets. Ethical breeders not only breed working stock, they sell to working homes. If you don’t have a real job for a Lacy, you should look at another breed.
5.) Emphasizes health and proper care. Ethical breeders only cross healthy dogs from healthy lines. They keep their dogs in a clean and healthy environment. They either feed a raw diet or quality dog food. They give their dogs the best care possible. And they will encourage potential owners to do the same.
All ethical breeders will welcome you to their home and kennel. They will let you meet the parents and prove their working ability. They will also require you prove yourself worthy of a Lacy Dog. It is vital to the preservation of the breed and the happiness of each dog that they end up in the right environment.
Breeders who breed the family pet to any convenient dog of same breed just to have purebred pups “with papers” or produce several litters a year are in it for profit, not to preserve and improve the breed. If you have any questions about litters, bloodlines or breeders, please send us an email.
For the second year in a row, the National Lacy Dog Association was a Bonus Sponsor for the TDHA Hunt For The Hungry. The hunt was a huge success, bringing in 29,176 pounds of meat to feed needy Texans. We also had four NLDA members hunt with their Lacys as part of Team Pork Stars. Mike and Kas Brooks, DJ Middleton and Steve Williams caught an impressive 813 pounds of pork, earning them tenth place out of 68 teams.
The NLDA also took an active role in the Lone Star Hunting & Working Dog Expo. Our booth served as place for members to met while giving us the opportunity to educate the public on Lacy Dogs. Two members were also asked to give presentations in their area of expertise. President Jimmy Brooks put on a trapping demonstrations while Director Betty Leek held an informative seminar on raw feeding.
Thank you to all who supported these events. We hope to see everyone next year in Hallettsville for the 2011 Lone Star Expo and Hunt for the Hungry!
The National Lacy Dog Association is proud to once again be a Bonus Sponsor of the TDHA Hunt for the Hungry. This hog dog tournament has grown into the largest charity hunt in the United States, bringing in over 28,000 pounds of pork to feed needy Texans. It is truly a worthy cause and a great way for Lacy Dogs to give back to their home state.
We’ve made a special Lacy Dog t-shirts to commemorate this special event. We have three short sleeve, two long sleeve and two kids styles now available in the NLDA online store. Show your support for the breed as well as Hunt for the Hungry! Shipping is free on orders over $50 with the coupon code CWIN205, so add a 2010 calendar, Lacy stickers or a few extra tees to complete the package.
We will be working on another design for later this spring, stay tuned!
Just in time for the holidays, the National Lacy Dog Association online store is up and ready for your orders! Now you can show your true blue Lacy pride with calendars, cards and stickers from the NLDA.
Our shop features a 12-month 2010 Lacy Dog calendar of beautiful pictures from NLDA members. We also have a one-page Lacys in action calendar. If you’re looking for a unique season’s greeting, we have blue Lacy holiday cards and Lacy puppy Christmas cards. And there are three different Lacy Dog stickers in three different sizes. Choose from a Lacy Dog bumper sticker, a Texas Lacy sticker and an oval Lacy sticker.
For more details and pictures of all these products, please visit the Lacy Dog Cafe Press store.
The Texas Trappers and Fur Hunters Association is holding their Fall Rendezvous in Junction on Oct. 16 and 17. The NLDA will have a table at the event and our very own Jimmy Brooks will be conducting trap line seminars both Friday and Saturday. So stop by, say hi to fellow Lacy lovers and learn about trapping!
Texas Trappers and Fur Hunters Fall Rendezvous
All day Oct. 16 and 17
Coke Stevenson Memorial Center
440 N. US Hwy 83, Junction, TX
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The National Lacy Dog Association Approved Breeders Program was established to promote quality over quantity. With each litter, our approved breeders strive to preserve the past while planning for the future. Though their individual goals may vary, all approved breeders emphasize working ability, functional conformation and sound temperament in their Lacy Dogs.
To ensure that we only support ethical breeders who share our commitment to purebred working Lacy Dogs, we require NLDA members apply to be listed as approved breeders. The Breeders Committee will review every application, focusing on the desired results and feasibility of each breeding program.
To be an approved breeder, you must:
1.) Be a member of the NLDA in good standing
2.) Have at least one working Lacy Dog who has passed inspection and is registered with the Animal Research Foundation or National Lacy Dog Registry
3.) Submit a completed application, supporting documents, signed Code of Ethics and $25 fee
4.) Following the first year, breeders will pay an annual fee of $10
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In August 2008, we held the first official meeting of the NLDA. After a full year of establishing the organization and building an active community, we are excited to officially open up membership. We encourage everyone who believes in preserving and promoting the Lacy Dog as a true working breed to join the NLDA.
NLDA Mission Statement
Our mission is to maintain the integrity of the Lacy as a true working breed. Our goal is to create and support a community of happy, healthy, functional Lacy Dogs that embody historically accurate breed standards. We work to preserve and promote the working Lacy Dog through public education, open communication, ethical breeding and active ownership. Read the rest of this entry »