The Kerry Blue Terrier originated in the 18th century from the country of Kerry in Ireland. It derived its name from this mountain region and also because of its blue colored coat. The dog is also known as the Irish Blue Terrier, the Kerry or simply the Blue. The Kerry Blue Terrier served as a working dog to kill vermins such as rats, foxes, hares and many others. It was also a guard dog for the homestead and also while herding cattle. The dog excels in its main functions of being a guard dog, gun dog and also retriever.
This is hardy dog with a stout appearance and athletic frame. Has a flat top head with a slightly long muzzle. Its signature mark is its blue coat. At birth, it is normally black in color but transitions as it grows older to dark blue and eventually a gray blue pigment at about two years. It has dark eyes and black nose with beards below and above the muzzle. Its ears fold forwards towards the edge of its eyes. Its tail is of average length, and it carries it straight. It stands at about 17 – 20 inches and weighs 35 – 40 pounds.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is very inventive, agile and alert. It is an independent thinker with lots of ebullience. It is very friendly and good to keep as a family dog. It has tendencies of digging holes, chasing other pets and occasionally barking. Though it is an affectionate dog, it may not be the same to other pets and may require consistent and firm training to control its rouge personality against them. It does well with strangers and usually does not attack unless provoked. The dog is intelligent with an excellent memory hence is easily teachable.
Requires plenty of exercise as it is an active dog. They are fairly good indoors though will need close attention as they may get destructive. It requires daily work and will be added advantage to have a compound for the dog to pace around. Consistent exercise is good for the dog to maintain good athletic frame.
This is a sturdy healthy dog that may be prone only to what is common to other breeds. Some of the diseases include ear infection, eye problems, thyroid disorder, skin disease and hip dysplasia. Has an average life expectancy of 11 – 15 years
The Kerry blue terrier should be fed on high-quality dog food that is well balanced with all the nutrients. Avoid feeding it randomly in bits but rather have a consistent time twice a day of feeding it. Its portions are also dependent on weight, metabolism and age of the dog.
Coat, Color, and Grooming
The coat is usually black at birth but transitions over various shades of blue until it eventually settles at a gray blue color. Its coat is dense with a wavy or curly appearance and is soft to touch. Its coat is non-shedding but will require daily brushing, regular trimming, and washing every so often. Brush its teeth on a weekly basis and do regular trimming of its nails.
With family and other pets
The Kerry blue terrier is good with people and particularly children. May express aggressive tendencies towards other animals hence it is important to train it and keep a close eye when other pets are around.