Exactly when the Kerry Blue Terrier was developed is up for debate, however, notes by dog enthusiasts in the 1800s mention the breed. 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.
Height: The height of a Kerry Blue Terrier dogs is 18½-20 inches (46-51 cm) and for females 17½-19 inches (44-48 cm).
Weight: The weight for a Kerry Blue Terrier is 33-40 pounds (15-18 kg). Females weight slightly less.
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: The 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.
Temperament: 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 1924.
• 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 sized Terriers