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The Kerry Blue Terrier is a medium sized,
well balanced and muscular dog with a characteristic
wavy coat which can be any shade of blue gray
or gray blue. The name 'Kerry' comes from
the county in Ireland from which the breed
originated - Kerry County. These dogs were
bred to be all purpose working terriers which
included hunting, retrieving, guarding and
killing small rodents.
Exactly when this breed was first developed
is up for debate, however, notes by dog enthusiasts
in the 1800s mention Kerry Blue Terriers.
We also know they were first entered as a
breed at a dog show in Ireland sometime around
1916. From that time, the more shows they
entered, the more they became known and popular
as they made such a favorable impression.
Kerry Blue Terriers are thought to have arrived
in the US in 1918 or 1919. The breed was first
shown in the US at the Westminster Dog Show
in 1922 and they were recognized as a breed
in 1924 by the American Kennel Club. Two years
later in 1926, the Kerry Blue Terrier Club
of America was established.
The height of a Kerry Blue Terrier dogs is
18½-20 inches (46-51 cm) and for females
17½-19 inches (44-48 cm).
The weight for a Kerry Blue Terrier is 33-40
pounds (15-18 kg). Females weight slightly
Coat Type: The Kerry Blue Terrier's
coat is wavy, soft and dense. There is no
under coat. Shedding is very minimal therefore
weekly brushing and a clipping every six weeks
is necessary to maintain the coat.
color of the Kerry Blue Terrier's coat at
birth is all black. Once mature, the AKC standard
is "...any shade of blue gray or gray
blue from the deep slate to light blue gray,
of a fairly uniform color throughout except
that distinctly darker to black parts may
appear on the muzzle, head, ears, tail and
feet." By time the dog is 18 months of
age, the color should have already changed
from all black to the mature color.
Kerry Blue Terriers are determined, fearless,
playful and alert. They make a great family
pet and must be considered part of the family.
Its owner must always be seen - without a
doubt - as his leader. The Kerry Blue Terrier
is affectionate, charming, loyal and very
good with children (they love to play). Kerry
Blue Terriers are extremely intelligent and
quick learners. Training must be firm and
consistent, but never harsh. Kerry Blue Terriers
must be socialized when young to curb aggressiveness.
It is highly recommended there only be one
male dog in the house as Kerry Blue Terriers
display inter-male aggression. These dogs
were bred to hunt small animals which explains
why Kerry Blues love to chase squirrels, cats,
gophers, etc. They also love to dig. The Kerry
Blue Terrier is not an outdoor type and does
not like to be left alone for a long period.
Kerry Blue Terriers will bark at strangers
to alert their owner - which makes them a
great watch dog. They need daily exercise
such as a walk or jogging.
Health Problems: Kerry Blue Terriers
are a very healthy breed. Some ailments which
can affect them include bleeding disorders,
hip dysplasia, eye disorders, hypothyroidism
and allergies. The average life span of a
Kerry Blue Terrier is between 12 and 15 years.
•Kerry Blue Terriers were recognized
by the American Kennel Club as a breed in
•Kerry Blue Terriers are also
known as Irish Blue Terriers in Ireland.
•Kerry Blue Terriers are born
with an all black coat which gradually lightens
to any shade of blue gray or gray blue by
the time they are 18 months of age.
AKC: Terrier Group
ANKC: Group 2 - Terriers
CKC: Group 4 - Terriers
FCI: Group 3 - Section 1: Large & medium