The Kerry Blue Terrier is native breed to Ireland and is also called Irish Blue Terrier. It is a versatile dog. Originally it was bred to kill vermin, birds and rodents. Eventually this breed was also used to carry out variety of jobs like herding cattle and sheep and guarding the property and farm.
Today most people own this dog for companionship. The dog is loyal and dedicated towards its pack. The unusual attribute about this breed is its unusual look. No breed is close to its appearance. It has blue-grey color coat and bangs of hair falls over its face which further gives it a unique look.
This breed is amiable and affectionate towards children. It is a people loving breed. However, it is not an animal friendly breed which isn’t surprising because it is a common trait of all Terriers. The dog has closely packed curls which should be brushed daily, though it doesn’t shed much. The dog is strong-willed and needs experienced owner to domesticate it.
Kerry Blue Terrier Origin
The Kerry Blue Terrier belongs to County Kerry which is a mountainous region of Ireland. This breed was developed by crofters who wanted an all-purpose dog. It is used as hunt dog in small games. The breed is proficient in killing badger, rats, rabbits, squirrel etc.
It is also all-purpose farm dog. The dog can be used to herd and guard farm animals and crops. Expert believes that the dog has Irish wolfhound and Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier in its bloodline.
Kerry Blue Terrier Characteristics
- The breed belongs to Ireland and is a working dog.
- Life expectancy of this breed is 12-15 years.
- It is a loyal, lovable, bold and strong minded dog.
- Height of the breed is 46-51 cm.
- It weighs around 15-18 kg
- Dog comes in blue, black, grey, silver and blue-black color.
- It is a hypoallergenic breed.
- They are suitable breed for apartment. An average sized yard is best for them.
- They adore kids and are playful with them.
- It is a working class dog. It needs great deal of exercise and mental stimulation.
- Its coat shed less but requires high maintenance. It should be brushed daily and bath at least twice a month.
- The dog is highly trainable but it requires confident and strong leader.
- The dog is naturally protective towards its family. It makes reliable guard dog.
- It is always alert and makes excellent watch dog.
- The dog is aggressive and quarrelsome towards other animal.
- Other Terrier behavior like chewing, chasing, digging and barking is intact in this breed also. Comparing to other Terrier breed it is less vociferous.
- Price of the puppy is $500 – $600 USD.
It is a medium-sized unusual looking dog. The dog has a long face and has eyebrows, beard and whisker which give it unique look and character.
Its eyes are small, black in color and expressive. Ears of the dog are v-shaped and tend to fall towards its eyes. It has black color nose with wide nostrils. Its tail is small and carried upwards.
Size and Weight
Average height of the male is 18-19.5 inches and female stand at 17.5 – 19 inches from the withers. Average weight of the male 40-50 pounds and female should weigh around 30 to 40 pounds.
Coat and Color
It is a single coated animal. The dog has tightly packed curled hair. Its hair is dense and soft to touch. The texture of the hair is similar to mixture of human hair and wool. The dog changes its color many times in lifetime. Dogs are generally born black and eventually get lighter in shade. They come in various shades of blue and slate.
Kerry Blue Terrier Temperament
- Personality – The dog has a mischievous sense of humor. It is energetic and rambunctious in nature. Being a companion dog, they love to be with their family members always. They are bestowed with agility and endurance and love to accompany people on adventurous tour, long walk, hikes etc. They are especially affectionate towards children. You can trust Kerry Blue Terrier with children of all ages. They even approach toddlers with great caution. They also make excellent watch dog and reliable guard dog. They are fearless dog and wouldn’t mind risking their own life for the security of family.
- Behavior – The dog makes the best choice for experienced dog owners. They tend to think themselves as leader and this myth can be destroyed by a strong experienced owner only. They are aggressive towards other dogs and shouldn’t be trusted with small animals. Like other terriers they have a habit of digging. It is impossible to teach the dog not to dig so it is advisable to allot the dog place where he can dig and satisfy its inner desire. Prey drive is high in this breed.
- Activities Requirement – You need to exhaust its mind as well as body on daily basis if you want a level headed breed inside home. The dog loves to accomplish challenging task where it has to use its mind. Minimum one-hour exercise is must for them. Give the dog space to romp and jump else he will make the house a messy place.
- Trainability – The first and foremost thing which you have to do is to establish your supremacy in dog’s mind. The dog should be taught that not all strangers are bad people. He should be socialized with other animals so that it can co-exist peacefully with them.
Dog’s food should be rich in proteins and calcium. Apart from meat and bones, the dog may also like cottage cheese, boiled eggs and fruits.
Life expectancy of this breed is 12-15 years.
It is a hypoallergenic breed. Generally, they are healthy dogs but they might get affected by few heredity diseases like dry eyes, cyst in skin, cryptorchidism, hypothyroidism etc.
The dog sheds negligible but you need to daily brush its coat. This will distribute the oil found on its body and make the coat mats and debris free. You are supposed to trim its hair and bath the dog after every 4 to 6 weeks.
You can take professional help for its grooming. Check the dog’s ear daily and clean it with vet approved solution. Trimming its nails and brushing its teeth should also be a part of grooming regime.
The dog is suitable for apartment with an average sized yard. The dog can tolerate hot temperature but not extreme. They thrive better in cool temperature.
- Jagdterrier – The German Hunt Terrier
- Labrador Retriever – Well-mannered Gun Dog
- Kuvasz – A Flock Guarding Dog
- Tosa Inu – Japanese Fighting Dog
Things To Consider Before Buying
- A true companion dog that will be with you like your shadow.
- The dog is versatile. It can be guard dog, watchdog, working dog etc.
- It is a hypoallergenic dog
- Grooming the dog is a tedious process.
- It is not animal friendly and is aggressive towards them.
- The dog is not suitable for busy people who cannot devote time to their dog.