Skip to content

National Lacy Dog Registry Breed Standards

General Appearance

The Lacy is a medium-sized dog with a light, balanced yet powerful build. Correct Lacy movement alludes to great speed, strength and dexterity. The body is square with a level back and deep chest that extends into well-sprung ribs. The front shoulders should be well laid back and muscular while the haunches have a tight, slightly rounded croup. Their legs are straight and medium in length with firm, cat-like feet. Dogs should appear more masculine than bitches. The coat is short and close fitting. Lacys should be evaluated as a working dog, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dog’s ability to work. Scars should neither be penalized nor regarded as proof of a dog’s working abilities.

Hunting & Working Ability

Proof of hunting and working ability is the overarching standard. Proven hunting and working Lacys should receive breeding priority. The NLDR maintains a database of video proof with our registry database and provides pedigree endorsements for specific proof points. Those proof points are currently, but not limited to: Gun-dog, Water-dog, Retrieving-dog, Retriever, Tracking-dog, Cattle-dog, Hog-dog, and Tree-dog.

Faults – Gun-shyness. Water-shyness. Too much catch versus agility and bay drive to control game and stock. Overly cold nose.


Range of temperaments from stable and outgoing to standoffish to somewhat defensive. Socialization can improve temperament. The role of genetics must be considered when breeding Lacys for registration with the NLDR.

Faults – Excessive timidity. Excessively shy. Overly dog or human aggressive. Submissive or excited peeing. Uncontrollable guarding. Inability to tolerate any other dogs. Inability to take commands and direction from a handler.


Intelligent, intense, active and always alert. Originally created to be hog dogs, the Lacy was developed into an all-around working breed for ranchers, cowboys, hunters and trappers. Accordingly they display incredible drive and determination to work. Bold and tough with tremendous heart, they have enough grit to stop big game and control difficult livestock. They should be silent on track but loud and brave at the bay. They are easily handled and trained, should show great confidence in their owner, but are naturally territorial and may be wary of strangers. Though they make excellent companions, these dogs require a job for proper physical and mental stimulation.

​Head – The head is medium in size. Powerful, keen and carried with pride.

​Skull – Moderately long, medium in width and well built. Slight median line extending back over the forehead with a moderate stop at the foreface.

​Muzzle – Of equal length or slightly shorter than skull when viewed in profile. Foreface should be moderately tapered but not dished, disproportionately short, or overly houndish or bully in appearance.

​Jaws – Strong with even white teeth meeting in a correct scissor bite. Lips cover the jaws completely but are neither loose nor drooping.

​Ears – Drop and rose ears are acceptable ear types as long as they are medium in length, thin, generally triangular in shape with a slightly rounded tip and hanging with a tight construction. While alert yet relaxed,the top of the ear should sit level with the top of the head. When held flat against the cheek parallel to the muzzle, the tip of the ear should align approximately with the inside corner of the eye. Excessively long ears measuring more than 1/4 inch past the inside corner of the eye are a fault. Ears should not be erect or cropped. Pricked ears and hound type ears are a disqualifying fault.

​Eyes – Sharp, alert, and bright. Similar to a wolf in appearance and intensity. Colors range from bright yellow to rich brown. Should be round and set well apart.

​Neck – The neck is slightly arched, strong, very well muscled, and of moderate length. Set well into the shoulders.

​Forequarters – The forequarters should be muscular without excessive bulkiness. Shoulders should be well laid back and muscular. Legs are straight and medium in length.

​Body – Strong, balanced, built for speed, agility, and endurance. Body should be square or just slightly longer than tall. Back should be well-muscled, level, and of moderate length. Deep, moderately broad chest extends approximately to the elbows. Combines with well-sprung ribs to provide plenty of lung space. Abdomen should be small, narrow and moderately tucked-up at the loins.

​Hindquarters – Haunches should be balanced and muscular with a tight, slightly rounded croup. Proportionately angulated stifles lead to straight, low hocks.

​Feet – Cat-like feet are firm, compact, and arched with webbed toes and thick pads.

​Tail – Tail is medium set, reaching approximately to the hocks, and should be carried showing confidence.

​Coat – Coat should be short, smooth, and tight with course guard hairs. Very little or no undercoat. Excessively long or rough coat is a disqualifying fault.

​Color – Though they are often called blue Lacys, there are three permissible color varieties. Blues are any shade of gray from light silver to dark charcoal. Reds range from light cream to rust. Tri colored lacys are blue with red points. Red may appear above the eyes, on the sides of the muzzle extending to the cheeks, front of the chest, on the lower legs and underneath the tail. A melanistic mask on otherwise acceptable colors is also acceptable but less desirable. White may appear on the brisket and may stretch from chin to groin. White may also be present on one or more paws. Excessive white is discouraged and markings on the face or above mid-line are a disqualifying fault.

​Height and Weight – Lightly built but proportionally balanced within height-to-weight ratio. Height at the withers should be between 17 and 22 inches. Dependent on height and working condition, weight should be approximately 30 to 55 pounds for females and 35 to 60 pounds for males.

​Gait – Effortless, nimble, and quick. Their gait is light and free but still powerful. All movement should allude to reserves of strength and dexterity.

​Faults – Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Incorrect white markings. Colors besides blue, red and tri. Dogs measuring under 17 inches or over 22 inches at the withers. Overshot or undershot bite. Pricked or hound ears. Extreme skin issues.