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Kerry Blue Terrier

 

Kerry Blue Terriers (or “Kerries” as their fans call them) got their start by working all over Irish farms — they herded cattle and sheep, hunted and retrieved birds and small game, and kept the barns free of vermin. Today, they're prized as showdogs ; comparatively few are pets. This versatile breed also works as a guard dog.

Named for its homeland, County Kerry in Ireland, this medium-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 33-40 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Terrier group. Kerry puppies are born black; they develop their blueish tint over their first 18 months.

 

AKC RecognizedY
Breed's original pastimeHunting
OriginIreland
Breed groupTerrier
Average lifespan12-15 years
SizeMedium
Bark FactorModerate
AKC Ranking105
Family Terrier
Date of origin1700s
Original function Ratting
Today's functionRatting
Average size of maleHeight: 17.5-19 Weight: 33-40
Average size of femaleHeight: 17.5-19 Weight: <33-40

 

Other nameNone
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Very playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Shy
Friendliness toward other pets Shy
Friendliness toward strangersShy
Ease of training Easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Very protective
Grooming needs High maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Low tolerance

BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS A KERRY BLUE TERRIER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

Kerry Blue Terriers are intelligent and alert. They adore their chosen people and enjoy making them laugh. Like many terriers, they often don't get along well with other dogs or small pets. They'll play best with older children.

WHAT IS KERRY BLUE TERRIER BEHAVIOR LIKE?

The Kerry Blue Terrier is lively and adventurous, and they will need time and space to run and explore. These are active, athletic dogs. Some Kerry Blue Terriers can be a bit barky.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A KERRY BLUE TERRIER?

Kerry Blue Terriers are definitely independent-minded and can be somewhat resistant to training. These smarty-paws tend to lose interest quickly, so keep your training sessions interesting and brief. They respond well to food, play, and praise rewards.

Socialize your pup early and often to discourage timidity or suspicion of new people or animals.

Their strong prey drive means they're not good candidates for off leash play outside well-fenced areas. And we do mean well fenced — this dog will laugh its way over anything shorter than five feet and right through underground electronics.

Kerries excel in earthdog, herding, agility, and obedience competitions, as well as in rally and tracking.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO KERRY BLUE TERRIERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

Kerry Blue Terriers are infrequent shedders. Those wavy, soft coats need a fair bit of tending, however. Plan for weekly brushing and trimming every month or so and bathe as needed.

It's worth noting that these dogs can be a bit messy. Those fuzzy faces will drip after every trip to the water dish and collect food debris after every meal. Her cute curls also pick up dirt, twigs, leaves, and anything else she can find while digging in the underbrush, so plan for regular combing to prevent tangles and mats.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO KERRY BLUE TERRIERS HAVE?

Kerry Blue Terriers are usually fairly healthy dogs. Some experience eye disease or hip dysplasia.

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