Black, Blue, Gray-Blue, Blue/Grey, Black Speckles, White Speckles
18.5-20 inches (46-51 cm.)
33-40 pounds (15-18 kg.)
17.5-19 inches (44-48 cm.)
33-40 pounds (15-18 kg.)
Even though these dogs require a high level of activity and exercise, they do fare well in an apartment setting or smaller household. They are fairly active indoors on their own, and a small fenced-in yard is ideal for them. The dog is known to become bored easily, so providing activities and attention is important. These dogs will not do well being chained up all day, and will require some affection and attention on a regular basis.
The Kerry Blue Terrier has been rightfully named after the County of Kerry in South West Ireland. The dog has often been called the Irish Blue Terrier to give it its territorial designation, and has been common in the County Kerry region for centuries. Known to be a working dog, this dog has often been used to herd cattle and sheep, and works as a guard dog in most countryside farms and even households.
The Kerry Blue Terrier has a distinctive look and unique appearance; a long snout and well-developed muscles best describe the upper body, while the dog is well-balanced and evenly proportioned. It has a definite terrier style and strong character, and the low-slung Kerry is not a typical style of breed. The ideal Kerry is about 18.5 inches at the withers, and rarely extends over 20 inches. The legs are long and well proportioned with plenty of bone and muscle. The head is long but not exaggerated, and remains well-proportioned to the rest of the body. The eyes are dark, small, and not prominent; they are well balanced and placed evenly. The ears are V-shaped, and are in proportion to the face with moderate thickness; they tend to fold slightly above the skull level and are carried forward close to the cheeks. This gives them a "dead" ear, almost houndlike appearance and can often be undesirable to some breeders. The foreface is full, and moderately chiseled. There is little difference between the length of the skull and foreface. The cheeks are even and free of bumps, and the neck is moderately long with increasing width at the shoulders.
The hindquarters are strong and muscular, offering plenty of freedom of moment. The coat is soft, dense, and wavy but it can also become harsh and bristly. The Kerry Blue Terrier is usually a shade of blue gray or gray, and is commonly uniform in color except for dark black part son the muzzle, head, ears, tail, and feet. The color can transition into darker colors as the dog matures and increases in age. Interestingly enough, these dogs are born pure black.
Training these dogs is relatively easy, as they have been bred to become sheepherders and can take instruction very well.
The Kerry Blue Terrier has a strong and wiry coat, and can be easily spotted with its dark, blue-gray hue. A smooth coat is common immediately after brushing, and puppies are actually born black.
The Kerry Blue Terrier originated in the County Kerry region of Ireland in the 1700's. Originally a mountain dog, the naturally heavy coat kept them warm throughout different climates. The Kerry is the national terrier of Ireland, and has become Ireland's symbol. The dog's coat may have been derived from the Portuguese Water Dog with its signature silky, wavy coat; it may also have been derived from Irish Wolfhounds, the soft coated Wheaten Terrier, or the classic Irish Terrier.
The Harlequin Terrier has reportedly made an appearance in Irish history, with many similarities and qualities as the Kerry Blue Terrier. The Kerry Blue has been used as a farm dog, house guardian, police dog, and small game hunter. They have consistently been family companions and are often involved with police research and work involving hunting. They are easy to train and can perform a variety of tricks. Today, the Kerry Blue Terrier is most commonly a companion and home guardian.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is strong-headed and can commonly found in high spirits. Loyal, affectionate, and gentle, these dogs can be considered mean to smaller dogs but have very kind hearts. Because of their size and stature, many have been used as competitive dogs and have even been nicknamed "Blue Devils" for their toughness and competitive streak. Modern breeders commonly take advantage of this breed's natural aggressive qualities, and the dog can be very vocal and especially aggressive as a puppy. It is important to maintain a firm but kind tone with these dogs as they can become especially sensitive to feedback and attention.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is especially well-suited for work, both indoors and outdoors. They are incredibly intelligent and work well with tracking, hunting, and of course sheep herding. Naturally obedient and very agile, these dogs will pick up new skills very easily and enjoy learning tricks. They fare well with new activities and will rarely turn down an opportunity to be active.
The activity of the Kerry Blue Terrier is especially high, and they require an active lifestyle to stay healthy. These dogs require daily, intensive exercise and will do well with agility training in a variety of settings. It is important to keep them well-groomed and they may have difficulties with bathing rituals and routines. Training them at an early age will prevent these dogs from thinking they are the master; still, the Kerry makes a wonderful companion and enjoys attention from family members and owners. They are happy to be around people, and can be socialized easily at a very early age. It is important to make sure these dogs are socialized with other dogs as well, since they can come across as intimidating on many occasions. These dogs learn as they play, and this is an important part of training and development at any age. They can be especially responsive to feedback and making sure a consistency during training takes place is a top priority.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is protective, and can be quite the handful if it is part of a large family of pets. Firm obedience training is the best way to handle these dogs, and they have a large range of memory skills and athletic ability. These dogs enjoy a challenge, but can also become very stubborn. If they become bored or restless, they will easily move away from their routines. Combining intensive exercise and relaxing activities with training is a great way for these dogs to become competitive, strong, and mindful. These dogs make wonderful companions after receiving affection from their owners, and are naturally loyal and obedient as a result.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is generally a very healthy dog, and is known to live for extended years above other breeds. These dogs are especially prone to genetic disorders involving a variety of eye problems, and a few notable skin conditions. These dogs do have some special medical conditions to be aware of, including:
Cataracts: common problems with vision and eye movement
Hair Follicle Tumors
Narrow Palpebral Fissure Distichiasisme
Retinal folds: may progress to blindness
The Kerry Blue Terrier needs to be groomed on a regular basis. Ideally, grooming should take place once every six weeks, as this will help keep hair clean, free of dirt, and glossy. Since the coat has a tendency to become bristly or rough, bathing and conditioning the coat is required at least once per month.
The hair of the Kerry Blue Terrier needs to be maintained short and flexible; the hair needs to be pulled out of the ear canal as well, since it can grow to the point where infecions and dirt build up too easily. When hair becomes too long, wax and dirt can be especially disadvantageous to the dog.
Grooming the dog can take some time and training, and patience is key! A professional groomer will make use of the appropriate brushes and combs to make the session successful, and it is a good idea to learn how to do this with an expert's advice or direction. Dogs that require extensive grooming will need professional services on a regular basis. The distinctive blue coat is especially attractive for competitison and shows, and it is relatively easy to maintain.
The Kerry Blue Terrier sheds very little and the dog is odorless, even when wet. Frequent bathing is recommended, and will not dry out the skin as it would in other breeds. Bathing and combing at least once per week is a basic requirement, as this will ensure a high level of hygiene and proper maintenance year round. It is important that the dog's beard is well-maintained at all times, as this an become smelly and lead to infection or buildup.
These dogs do not tend to get allergies easily, and they maintain their rich coat throughout the seasons.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a naturally athletic dog, and requires plenty of long walks. The best exercise for these dogs involves a combination of running, walking, and jogging. Jogging alongside the owner is a wonderful way to bond with the dog, and provides plenty of fresh air.
These dogs require stimulation on a regular basis, so dog toys and other activities indoors will help them stay positive and intelligent. These dogs do not tend to be destructive in the house, and thus are well suited for smaller living spaces. An ideal workout for the Kerry Blue Terrier is running outside in a large, open space. However, these dogs may run off too easily and will need to be restrained, well trained, or simply be held back on a leash.
Tug of war games, Frisbee, and fetch are the best outdoor games for these dogs. Since they are natural sheepherders, providing them with enough grounds to run upon is essential to their growth. These dogs may seem as if they have an endless amount of energy, and elderly owners may have difficulty keeping up! Regular exercise is a natural part of their lifestyle and needs to be incorporated into their routine as often as possible.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is easy to train and socializes well with new owners, companions, an dmasters. They are best trained at an early age and can be taught key obedience skils in a matter of a few weeks. The Kerry Blue Terrier is a natural problem solver and can become very independent quickly. They enjoy challenges, and will pick up new skills and behaviors after only a few trials. They may have difficulty with inconsistency and constantly-changing surroundings; still, these dogs will adapt well and enjoy positive encouragement and attention from their owners.
The first step in training the Kerry Blue Terrier is to make sure obedience is fun; they need to be excited about following the rules, and they will respond well to training that is intermixed with play. They can become quite attached to a favorite toy, ball, or other physical object and will shape and learn behaviors when they can be playful and relaxed. Since these dogs learn so quickly, speed and repetition are only important in the beginning. These dogs will pick up new skills relatively easily and may become bored; it is important that they are offered a wide range of activities to explore, grow, and adapt to.
The Kerry Blue Terrier responds immediately to body language and tone, and it is essential that they are praised outwardly and given plenty of physical affection. These dogs are quick, alert, and attentive; they are naturally agile and will rarely miss an opportunity to prove that they have successfully completed a task or project. Making sure the dog is corrected when it has misbehaved is an important part of training, and they will respond positively with consistency and firmness. A simple 5-10 minute session once or twice per day is the ideal amount of training for these dogs. Mixing play with each training session will ensure that these dogs are given ample amount of variety in their learning process.