Kerry Blue Terrier
Group: Terrier Group
Height: 18.5 inches (47 cm)
Weight: 33 to 40 lbs (15-18 kg)
Gentility Gem Gaelic Out of the Blue
Photo courtesy of of the Braggadocio
The Kerry Blue Terrier originated in Ireland and was first used as an all around working Terrier, including: hunting small game, ratting, controlling farm pests, retrieving from land and water, herding, guarding and even operating the butter churn. While he was once very unkempt and rough-looking, today he is one of the most well-tailored of the Terriers.
The Kerry Blue is quick to learn, enjoys human companionship, is affectionate and very loyal to his family. His tolerant and good natured temperament make him a great companion for children. Like many of the Terrier breeds, the Kerry may be aggressive toward other dogs. This is especially true between males. He is a true Terrier in that he thrives on activity and likes to be kept busy. As a result, Kerrys participate in many dog sports and activities, including: Conformation, Agility, Obedience, Freestyle, Earthdog Trials, Hunting, and Herding. They are also used to work as Therapy Dogs and in Search and Rescue.
He has a non-shedding coat that is soft, dense and wavy. The Kerry Blue Terrier is born black and the blue-grey colouring appears by 18 months of age. He may also have darker colouring around the muzzle, head, ears, tail and feet.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is known as a healthy breed. However, like all breeds of dogs, certain genetic disorders have been known to occur, including:
- Cerebellar and extrapyriamidal abiotrophy (PNA)
- Factor XI deficiency — A rare clotting disorder of several dog breeds.
- Hemolytic Anemia
- Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (Dry Eye)
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
If you are considering the adoption of a Kerry Blue Terrier puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)
Additional Health Resources:
- Health & Genetics — From the United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club
- Health and Nutrition — Growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website which includes information on several health and nutrition related issues.
- Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) — Providing a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs. CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
- AKC Canine Health Foundation — Working towards developing scientific advances in canine health.
- OFA – Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER)
- Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
- Ontario Veterinary College (OVC)
- University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHip)
- HealthGene — HealthGene Corporation is the leading provider of veterinary DNA diagnostic services in Canada.
- Labgenvet — Laboratory of Veterinary Genetics is a Canadian diagnostic laboratory that offers a comprehensive service of DNA tests for veterinary genetic diseases.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is non-shedding so produces very little dander which potentially makes him a good choice for allergy sufferers. He does not haven any doggy odour, even when wet. The coat does, however, require a lot of maintenance with daily brushing recommended, frequent bathing and monthly trimming.
- Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.
- Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.
- Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation — An excellent resource for information about the Kerry breed.
- Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
- Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.
*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit: www.caninehealthinfo.org
*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.