Kerry Blue Terrier is an Irish breed that is supposed to have some Irish Wolfhound, some spaniel, perhaps some Poodle, and maybe even a little herding dog in its ancestry. This is all conjecture because the breed’s actual ancestry is unknown. What is known, however, is the versatility of the breed. These dogs were (and still are) used as all purpose dogs who hunt birds as well as vermin, herd livestock, and guard the farm and family.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a long-legged terrier, standing 17 to 21 inches tall and weighing 30 to 45 pounds. He has a long head with a large nose, small dark eyes, and ears that are high on the head and fold forward. The body is sturdy, the chest is deep, and the tail is straight and erect. The coat is soft, dense, and wavy and varies from black on young puppies to blue-grey or even silver on adults. The coat requires specific care. It must be brushed and combed twice weekly and after every romp in tall grass, as the soft coat will pick up dirt, burrs, and grass seeds. A monthly trim or haircut is also recommended. Potential owners should discuss grooming needs with a breeder prior to buying a Kerry.
The Kerry Blue Terrier breed is quite active and needs vigorous daily exercise. A daily run is great exercise, as are canine sports. Many Kerry Blue Terriers have been successful in agility, flyball, tracking, and herding. Kerry Blue Terriers are bright and curious but can also be independent and stubborn. Early training can help teach them household rules, but do expect some challenges, especially during adolescence.
Early socialisation, especially to other dogs, is very important, as Kerry Blue Terrier males can be dog-aggressive. This breed needs an owner who is willing to be the dog’s leader, as this breed is prone to take advantage of a soft owner. Kerry Blue Terriers are great family dogs and enjoy playing kids’ games. The breed can be aggressive toward cats and other small pets. Health concerns include eye and ear problems, hip dysplasia, and immune system disorders.