NLDA Forum for Working Lacy Dogs

NLDA Breed Standard
Page 1 of 2

Author:  Julie N [ Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:44 pm ]
Post subject:  NLDA Breed Standard

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. 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.

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.

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 – Medium in length. Thin and hanging with a tight construction. While alert yet relaxed, 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 eye. Excessively long ears extending more than one-quarter inch past the eye or extremely short, pricked ears are a serious 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.

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

Shoulders should be well laid back and muscular. Legs are straight and medium in length.

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.

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

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

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

Short, smooth, and tight. Excessively long or rough coat is a disqualification.

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. The tri combines these colors with a blue base and distinct red markings as appropriate for trim. Blue shading or trim on red dogs is not permitted. White should appear on the brisket and may stretch from chin to groin. White should 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 18 to 21 inches. Because the Lacy is meant to be medium in size, dogs measuring more than an inch above or below these standards will be disqualified. Dependent on height and working condition, weight should be approximately 30 to 45 pounds for females and 35 to 50 pounds for males.

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

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Extreme aggressiveness or shyness. Incorrect white markings. Colors besides blue, red and tri. Albinism. Dogs measuring more than one inch above or below the height standards. Overshot or undershot bite.

Author:  jtslush [ Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard

Blue shading or trim on red dogs is not permitted...What is considered blue shading or trim?

Author:  jtslush [ Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard

Now... who has made the typo, or are there different standards? I found in other parts of the internet "Blue shading or trim on red dogs is permitted". ie,

And does my dog have "blue shading or trim"?
Rosie 2.jpg
Rosie 2.jpg [ 81.9 KiB | Viewed 4260 times ]
Rosie 1.jpg
Rosie 1.jpg [ 151.8 KiB | Viewed 4262 times ]
Rosie 3.jpg
Rosie 3.jpg [ 59.95 KiB | Viewed 4259 times ]

Author:  Julie N [ Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard

Oh man, there has been a lot of discussion on that topic :)

Genetically speaking, a red dog with significant blue shading is different from a solid red dog. Melanistic shading is either on or off, it is there or it isn't, and the amount is affected by a modifier. While very faint shading may happen along the topline in clear red dogs, where you really see the distinction is the face. If the dog has a significant amount of blue on their face, it is a melanistic mask, meaning they carry the Em gene. In the cur dog world, that was a trait used to distinguish Black Mouth Curs, and seems to have been undesirable in Lacys primarily for that reason.

So, all that to say that if your dog has a few dark hairs on their topline, that may be a variation on clear red. If they have a distinct mask that starts to venture into BMC territory, that is a fault. But it is difficult to draw a line in the sand.

If you want to get into the nitty gritty of color genetics in Lacys, check out this page: The C Locus pictures all show the type of clear coloring you'd want to shoot for in a red Lacy. And here's some more literature on melanistic masks:


Author:  Julie N [ Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard

And to answer your question regarding your dog, I would consider that a normal variation on clear red. While there is a hint of blue, it isn't a full on melanistic mask.

Regarding the standards, the NLDA decided to put a more complete and rigorous standard in place when we formed our association. Previous "standards" weren't true breed standards in line with what the AKC/UKC/various breed orgs/etc do. And even that "standard" wasn't enforced, which meant a huge variation of dogs were considered just fine for breeding purposes since they had papers. Our goal was to bring some rigor back into the equation.

Author:  jtslush [ Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard

Thanks for all that. It helps a bunch.

Author:  Betty L. [ Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard


On many reds, you will see a definite black stripe down the back and on to the tail. Some will have a black tip on their tail. Some of them, the tail will be almost black on top. Then, like Court and Julie said, some have too much black on the face and black around the eyes. I see nothing like that in your pup.

Like Julie said, our standards are much more precise. There was a lot of work done talking to old time lacy owners in and around Marble Falls. Many of these people have had lacys forever, altho they may not be registered. Jimmy Brooks had his input, and Jimmy has had lacys since he was twelve and grew up around Marble Falls. All of this was input into the standards, along with Julies and Steves knowledge of genes. Many, many hours were spent putting these standards together. It was not just one person sitting down and writing out what they thought.

Altho everyone wants their dog to fit standards, not all dogs will. They will not be qualified as breed quality and this is uncomfortable for the owner, but the best for the breed. A lacy dog should look like a lacy dog, not a BMC, a hound, or a pit bull. They are lacys and should look like one. They should be on the small side, as it is the general consensus of the many old lacy people that the dog was small and agile.

There were many breeds bred either accidentally or on purpose that were mixed into the lacy breed over the years. It is the hope of the NLDA that those genes will eventually be bred out and we will have a large group of lacy dogs that are truly lacy dogs.


Author:  jtslush [ Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard

Great info Betty. I definitely agree with keeping strict standards. I have seen many dogs that people are calling Lacys, that are huge, have huge floppy ears, and excessive white markings and so on.

Author:  AmberLowMiddleton [ Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard

I don't think she meets should let me take her off your hands. ;) :)) :))

J/K I think the others said it all.

Author:  CAMO [ Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard

I know of a red being breed that has has a mask so dark it looks painted on her face. She looks like a clown. It blows. My mind its being breed. That is why I moved my dogs to the. NLDA they have a standard and they go by it.

Author:  Courtney [ Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard

JT, some red lacys have blue skin, which can result in a darker coat or some darkness around the muzzle. Julie can elaborate as I know she has done a lot of research on these topics.

Again, it's just the full mask, striping, or dark tipped tail we want to avoid.

Author:  jtslush [ Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard

As I read more and more, my curiosity also becomes more and more.

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Extreme aggressiveness or shyness. Incorrect white markings. Colors besides blue, red and tri. Albinism. Dogs measuring more than one inch above or below the height standards. Overshot or undershot bite

I can't help but feel this could lead to interpretation. I have seen that in many breeds, they include a standard number tolerance for the bite, so there is no question what is undershot or overshot.

Example: Doberman - overshot more than 3/16" undershot more than 1/8"


Author:  Betty L. [ Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard


All of your questions have been good ones and I look forward to others input.

We often have discussions about what meets standards and what doesnt. When things are left to interpretation things can and do get messy.

There are things that will not show up on a pup which might exclude that pup when it is older. That is why we have set the age limit of 18 months on the inspections. An over/under bite is a good example. There are other things that do show up as a pup and it is my opinion that these pups should be sold either to people who will never be interested in breeding, or sold as pet quality and along with that, there should be a contract to spay/neuter with the pup. There should also be a letter to the NLDR that said puppy will never be registered as breed quality. The breeder should discuss with the potential buyer that said pup is not breed quality so that the buyer will be able to make the decision as to whether they want to buy that pup, or wait for another.


Author:  jim b [ Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard

O.K. Justin i have read all the post and you have brought up some good points. :-BD When your dog was a puppy she had a little bit of shading but not bad. As she has gotten older the shading has gotten darker. I.M.H.O. she willnot meet breed standared. As for the typo we didnot write the one that said shading was acceptable. ^#(^ As Betty said that is the reason for the 18mo. time fram for inspection. When a puppy shows at 8 weeks that it has too much white or too much shading or anything else that will not meet breed standards i will tell the buyer at that time to spay or neuter the dog. If you have any ?s just call. Thanks Jim. :-BD

Author:  Hard Knocks [ Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NLDA Breed Standard

I hate to resurrect such an old thread, but I am intrigued. My new pup has some blue shading on his muzzle, but no where else.I cant tell if its his skin, or his hair that is blue.As long as its blue, and not black, then why is it considered a fault?

Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group