The Kerry Blue Terrier is one of the most versatile of all terrier dog breeds. This medium-sized dog is equally adept as a watch dog, guard dog, or hunting dog and makes a great retriever. Kerry Blues have a thick, soft, silky, and extremely curly outer coat with no inner coat.
The coat color is light to dark blue. Kerry Blue puppies are born with a black coat that changes color after the first 12 to 18 months. Kerry Blues stand about 18 to 20 inches tall at shoulder height and weigh 30 to 40 pounds.
Kerry Blues are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Terrier Group.
History of The Kerry Blue Terrier
Kerry Blue Terriers are sometimes called the Irish Blue and have become known as the national dog of the Republic of Ireland. The antecedents of the Kerry Blue are unknown, but we do know that it was a multi-purpose dog in 19th century Ireland.
These terriers were used for: guarding, fighting, herding, and hunting. Today, they are used as show dogs, watchdogs, and family pets. Kerry Blues were ranked 108th out of 154 dog breeds in 2004 AKC registrations.
Temperament of the Kerry Blue Terrier
Kerry Blues are high-energy dogs who thrive on human companionship and love to play games. This breed makes a good house dog only if it has sufficient mental and physical exercise. Kerry Blues can be very stubborn and they do not like other animals or strangers.
Therefore this breed needs lots of early socialization and obedience training that is re-enforced during the first two years. Kerry Blues get along very well with older children, especially those who like to play frisbee or ball with them. These terriers make great watchdogs.
Kerry Blues need firm and experienced handling and are not suited for novice or inexperienced dog owners.
These hunting and herding dogs need lots of exercise and sporting activities. They love to play games and enjoy being trained for agility competitions. Kerry Blues should always be walked on-leash as they will pick fights with other dogs and have been known to bite strangers.
The Kerry Blue needs to be trimmed with scissors and a trimmer and brushed weekly. Show dogs need a lot of grooming. Kerry Blues do not shed and dogs that are properly groomed may be suitable for people with allergies. Some people call them “hypoallergenic”.
Kerry Blues should live for 12 to 15 years and generally have no common health problems. Some breed lines have low thyroid, eye and cancer problems.