The Kerry Blue Terrier is
named for County Kerry in Ireland where the unusual blue-coated dogs
originated. The distinctively-coloured Kerry Blue Terrier is believed to have Irish
Wolfhound and Irish Terrier blood
in his veins. He was used by Irish shepherds and farmers as a working and
herding dog to hunt and kill
rats and other barnyard vermin. He was also used as a guard dog, herding
dog, retriever of game, and companion.
The Kerry Blue Terrier
male may stand up to 19 1/2 inches tall at the shoulder and has a soft, dense, wavy
coat. Puppies are born black but their coats change to any shade of grey-blue
with or without darker points by the age of 18 months. Many Kerries retain
their black colouring into adulthood. These dogs are not eligible to
compete in the conformation show ring, but they make fine pets. This dog is a good
choice for the allergy-sufferer as his coat is non-shedding. The coat does
The Kerry Blue is gentle, lovable,
friendly, and intelligent. He is patient and protective of children and
makes a great companion and guard dog. He is a devoted family member and
will not be happy living outdoors. In fact, the Kerry will bond very
closely with at least one family member. Becoming a true shadow, he will
rarely leave that person's side, following him/her from room to room!
Like all terriers, he will
stand his ground against other dogs, and should probably live in a single
dog household. This is not a submissive dog so his owner needs to take
charge. The Kerry Blue will benefit from early training
and socialization. If socialized early, he can tolerate cats. However be
aware that the Kerry's natural instinct is to consider all small animals
as potential prey.
Active as well as self-confident and
stubborn, the Kerry Blue should have early obedience training. He learns
quickly but is an independent thinker and needs a firm but patient hand.
Training may prove challenging! He requires regular exercise consisting of
long walks and should have a fenced yard to run in.