NLDA Forum for Working Lacy Dogs

Cow working
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Author:  TJ Mitchell [ Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Cow working

I just came across the Lacy breed and I'm very intrigued by them. My biggest question is what type of cowdog is a Lacy? I currently live in South Carolina but come from Florida and I'm accustom BMC's and Catahoula Leopard's. These dogs are what is known to me as "hold up" dogs. So my question is are Lacy's that of dog or are they like a Collie or Shepard? If they are like a collie can they also learn how to be like a cur or leopard?

Author:  Betty L. [ Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cow working

Lacy's are headers and round em up dogs. I cant speak too much as I really dont use my dogs on cattle very much, but they will go get the cows and bunch them up. My dogs dont have a good trainer, but Lucy will ball the cattle up something terrible. A calf that is laying away from the mother drives Lucy crazy and she will go get the calf up and move it towards the herd. There are others here on the forum that really use the dogs on cattle, maybe they will jump in and give you some good info.

Author:  TJ Mitchell [ Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cow working

Thank you very much for the insight and I hope to hear more on this! I'm very interested in the Lacy breed as they seem too be a very hard working and well minded dog.

Author:  robby [ Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:55 am ]
Post subject:  Cow working

The lacy naturally balls up the cattle to be pushed. They can be trained to work like a "sheep" dog but it kinda goes against what they do naturally.

Author:  TJ Mitchell [ Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cow working

So they "ring" the herd once they are bunched up? If that's the case then I'm sold on them for sure!

Author:  Betty L. [ Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cow working

They just naturally ball the cattle up. If a cow breaks out of the herd, the dog will go get it.

When Lucy was young, I had a Border Collie trainer that tried to teach me and Lucy, but Lucy just wouldnt do the Border Collie thing. Part of it was because of me, I suspect. Lucy is very hard headed and would do what she wanted as I didnt have a good handle on her. But, even for the trainer, she would not 'go down'.

I have used Lucy to help me move a cow and 2 calves back down to the pens. I was on the 4 wheeler and Lucy and Ben kept the cow moving out from behind the brush, etc. The dogs were a great help and I could not have gotten them back to the pens without them. I only have 10 to 12 cows at a time and they are pretty feed sack tame, so only when we are working the calves, do we have much trouble with them. My dog Abe is much better at working the cattle and moving them like we want them. He watches us and wants to do what we want, where Lucy will work by herself, so both of them have their advantages.

I know a couple in Alpine that use their lacys all the time and they will tell you that they could not work without their lacys. The dogs go and get the cattle in places that they cant go on a 4-wheeler.

You can contact Bob Lacy at and discuss the breed with him. He uses his dog on Coriente cattle. Just put lacy dog in the subject line so he will know what you are wanting. He will probably be breeding his dog in Sept. so it might be good for both of y'all to discuss the breed. He's a rancher out by San Angelo, TX.

Author:  Courtney [ Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cow working

First of all, welcome to the forum!

This article was written by Aaron Low and was part of our lacy dogs at work series. The Lows use Lacy dogs to work their Beefmaster cattle and hunt hogs.

"The Lacy Dog has the perfect combination of agility, speed and grittiness for herding. They are also adaptable to all types of cattle. On more gentle and responsive cows, they are softer. If they are working wilder, ornery cows, they will bite a nose or ear to make the cows behave.

When Lacys herd livestock, their instinct is to work as headers. While heelers focus on boundary control and circling their animals to keep them in a designating area, heading dogs take a more aggressive approach. They take advantage of livestock’s natural instinct to seek protection in the herd by barking, taunting and harassing. Lacys work in a style similar to Catahoulas and Blackmouth Curs.

When I’m working cows with Lacy Dogs, I want them to be constantly baying in front of the cows. The dogs work a half-circle back and forth in front of the cows, while people on ATVs or horses push the cattle from behind. The Lacys’ job is to maintain control of the herd while keeping them together and moving in the right direction.

My dogs only know three commands, but they are the only ones I ever need. The commands are “get ahead,” “back up” and “get out.”

“Get ahead” tells the dogs to get out in front of the cows to start herding them. It can also be used to tell the dog to look “out” away from the rest of the herd in case a cow has strayed. When this happens, the dog should get in front of her and bark in her face or bite her on the nose to stop her. Then the dog can push her back to the herd.

“Back up” tells the dogs to back away from the cattle a little bit. It is useful if the dogs are baying too close or if you’re trying to get the cattle through a gate.

“Get out” is used when you get the cows where you want them and the dogs’ job is done. The dogs should leave the cattle and come to you."

Author:  TJ Mitchell [ Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cow working

Thank you all so much for all the insight and information everyone! The Lacy breed seems to be just what I'm looking for!

Author:  Courtney [ Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cow working

Aaron Low is a NLDA- approved breeder and I think he is planning to have a litter this Fall or Winter.

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