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Kerry Blue Terrier Mobile

Kerry Blue Terrier

A native of County Kerry, Ireland, the Kerry Blue Terrier is an intelligent working and utility terrier bred for hunting, retrieving and herding. Playful, loving and energetic, the Kerry loves being part of the family. This breed requires daily exercise and firm, patient training. As hunters, Kerries may not accept cats or small pets. The breed’s coat is hypoallergenic but needs regular brushing and trimming.

DID YOU KNOW? It is thought that Irish peasants developed the Kerry as an answer to the nobility using Irish Wolfhounds to protect their hunting grounds from poachers. The Kerry was used to help peasants silently hunt the noble hunting grounds.

ALSO KNOWN AS: Irish Blue Terrier

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Medium dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids
Kerry Blue Terrier

Pet Card

  • Living Considerations: Good with children, hypoallergenic, suitable for apartment living
  • Size: Medium
  • Height: Males – 45.5 to 48 centimetres at the withers, Females – 43 to 48 centimetres at the withers
  • Weight: Males – 15 to 18 kilograms, Females – 12.5 to 17 kilograms
  • Coat: Short
  • Energy: Medium
  • Colour: Deep slate gray-blue to light blue-gray
  • Activities: Agility, Earthdog Trials, Obedience, Rally Obedience, Conformation
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both

Key Facts

Lifespan: 13-15 years
Weight:  15-17kg
Height:  46-48cm
Colours:  Blue-grey colour, with or without black points
Size:  Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Terrier

Ratings

Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 3/5
Likes other pets: 2/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 1/5
Kerry Blue Terrier posing in front of the camera

Personality

Described as fierce, intelligent, charming and trust-worthy, the Kerry Blue is still a formidable character even though they are more popular as a show dog than working dog today. Bred to deal with vermin and guard property, the Kerry Blue is an independent thinker, and if left untrained may make decisions by themselves that lead owners into trouble!

Kerry Blue Terrier standing on the grass

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Ireland

Originating from County Kerry in the south-west of Ireland, the Kerry Blue is the National Dog of Ireland. A versatile, hard-working farm dog, the Kerry Blue was and is, excellent as a guard/watch dog, and was originally bred to kill rats and even take to the water after otters.  

Their origins are slightly hazy and may originally have been a cross between existing Irish Terriers and Bedlington Terriers but this is uncertain enough that romantic legends still talk of the Kerry Blue’s ancestor swimming ashore from a shipwreck. 

Recognised by the Irish Kennel Club in 1922, a breed club was formed in the UK that same year and the breed standard formalised - although while they found a niche in the terrier world they have for some reason never been hugely popular.   

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • Although they are National Dog of Ireland, the Kerry Blue is on the UK’s Vulnerable breed list, with well under 200 puppies registered in any of the last five years. Despite this, a Kerry Blue, “Torums Scarf Michael” won Best in Show at Crufts in 2000.

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