Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier

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 allpurpose 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-gray 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 socialization, 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.


One reply on “Kerry Blue Terrier”

The Kerry Blue Terrier is extraordinarily bright and full of life. He has a high energy level, is always ready to play, and wants to be wherever you are. This sounds great, and it can be — but it does have its downsides.
You cannot leave a Kerry Blue Terrier alone all day, or stick him in the back yard and expect him to be passive and content. These intelligent dogs insist on being a full-fledged member of your family and cannot just be shunted aside. When bored or ignored, Kerries (like many other breeds, by the way) are likely to get into a world of mischief.
Other important-to-know characteristics of the Kerry Blue Terrier are his pride, his sensitivity, a tendency toward moodiness, and his strong sense of justice. Taken together, this means the Kerry Blue doesn’t meekly accept teasing, unfairness, or rough handling.
That sensitivity can make for a fine line when you’re training him. On the one hand, you can’t push him too far. On the other hand, if you don’t demonstrate firm, consistent leadership, he will walk over you. The Kerry Blue Terrier may be one of the smartest breeds in dogdom, but that definitely doesn’t mean instant obedience. In other words, a Kerry Blue Terrier is capable of learning anything — including how to get what HE wants. Unless you establish yourself as in charge, a Kerry can be headstrong, taking clever advantage of those who indulge him. With his complex temperament, this is not a good breed for a first-time or casual owner.
Toward strangers, the Kerry Blue Terrier may be friendly or reserved, and even the friendly ones are sensibly protective. Some lines and individuals are more wary, and some are overprotective. Socialization is imperative to develop a stable attitude.
A Kerry Blue Terrier is not always the best choice for multi-pet households — he may not go looking for a fight, but he certainly won’t walk away from one, and he can have a high prey drive with cats, birds, and other small animals.

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