The Kerry Blue Terrier is a medium-sized dog, which has the typical temperament of terriers; it is a dog which hunts badgers and foxes. The abundant blue wavy coat is its distinctive feature. Puppies are born black.
They come from Ireland, from the Kerry region, hence their name. There are no literary references of this breed until the nineteenth century and it is said that its ancestors are the same ones that gave rise to the Irish Terrier, but the Kerry blue was isolated, maintaining the purity of its breed until the time of discovering its combat dog skills. Therefore there were crosses with the Bedlington Terrier, which gave the texture and appearance of the coat to the present Kerry Blue, and with the Bull Terrier, determining the current temperament of the breed, as a brave and determined dog.
On its origins it was called “Irish Blue Terrier” and was destined to take care of farms and to hunt foxes, badgers, otters and rabbits. It later turned into a companion dog. Towards 1920, the breed had a big boom in Ireland, representing the 25 percent of all records of the Irish Kennel Club in 1924, thus becoming the pet of the Irish Patriots who were seeking for the independence from England. American Amateurs presented the breed for the first time at the Westminster in 1922.
It has a short back and a long head, proportional to the body size. The V-shaped ears are small. It’s got thick eyebrows and a pretty long beard and mustache. Its coat is soft, thick and wavy. The gray-blue color is quite uniform throughout the body, and in the adult can be any shades of gray blue, from deep slate to light grey blue.
It is a badger and fox hunter, and thanks to its surprising characteristics as a swimmer, it has also been used in the hunting of otters.
It has a height of 46 cm to 49. It weighs 15 to 20 kg, the ideal is 16 kg.
The Kerry Blue Terrier’s level of activity goes from moderate to high. It is a dog which does not like being alone, it needs company and not being separated from its master. Therefore, it must have an active, skillful owner who can provide an early socialization and obedience training because they need daily exercise. It is a dog of strong temperament, excels its great bravery and intelligence, reflected with a proper training. It is noble and affectionate with its own; with the children it is kind and protective. They do not release hair, which is why they are ideal dogs for allergic people.
It is essential to pay attention to the placement of the ears of the Kerry; in puppies when the cartilage of the ears begins to harden (approximately when they are three months old) it is made the glue of the ears until the cartilage has hardened. Without glueing, the ears may be too high set. The breeder shall recommend the proper way of fixing the ears.
But the Kerry’s most frequent care is the care of its coat, it needs to be brushed at least twice a week and a haircut every month and a half or two months. The technique of the hair arrangement is an art and it is advisable to leave it in the hands of the breeder or groomer.
It is a very healthy breed and they are quite long-lived, between 12 to 15 years. It is almost never sick, few are the visits it needs to make to the vet. It is practically enough with the usual vaccinations, deworming of the dog and with the official rabies vaccine.
You can download the FCI (International Cinological Federation) standard at the following link: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/003g03-en.pdf