Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier, also known as the Irish Blue Terrier. The breed was found in the mountains of Kerry in Ireland; and with a romantic story of a blue dog swimming from a shipwreck, the official name became Kerry Blue.

The Kerry Blue Terrier is a loving, loyal and smart dog breed that has made its way throughout the world as a companion dog. The Kerry Blue is born black, but don’t let the dark hair fool you, the blue color gradually appears as the puppy grows older, giving the blue tint that the breed was named for.

Kerry Blue Terrier image

As the Kerry Blue Terrier is an active breed, it is important to know that regular daily activity is a must. This means anyone planning to take home a Kerry Blue must be ready and willing to play and exercise with the dog every day. The Kerry Blue Terrier is a naturally healthy dog, but as with most animals, there are potential health risks.

All in all, the Kerry Blue Terrier is an all around good dog for families and brings an extra bit of affection to its owners. Learning fast and being active are its strong points, and owners can be sure to be happy with a Kerry Blue Terrier by their side.


No exact year is connected to the origins of the Kerry Blue Terrier, but the breed has been known in Ireland for at least 150 years. Originally the Kerry Blue Terrier was bred to control different smaller animals such as rats, rabbits, badgers, foxes, otters, and hares. As time went on, the Kerry became more of a general working dog and started doing other jobs such as herding cattle and sheep or acting as a guard dog.

Since the 1900s, the Kerry Blue Terrier has made its name known as a working dog as well as a companion dog. It appears that the Kerry Blue arrived in the United States somewhere around 1922 with the breed officially being recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1924.


The Kerry Blue Terrier is considered a small to medium-sized dog. Male Kerry Blue terriers are usually 18 to 20 inches tall and weigh between 30 and 40 pounds. A female, on the other hand, is usually 17 to 19 inches and weighs between 26 and 36 pounds.


If you are looking for a loyal, affectionate and high-spirited dog, then you found your breed. The Kerry Blue Terrier is gentle with children but can often be more aggressive toward other animals and other dogs. Kerry Blues are fast, strong, intelligent as well as obedient. Many say that the Kerry Blue has a sense of humor as well. So you can expect a fun-loving, sweet breed of a dog to bring home.


Kerries are usually a healthy breed with very little health issues; however, there are some genetic disorders that do exist within the breed. The Kerry Blue Terrier is prone to eye problems such as “dry eyes”, cataracts and entropion. Hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, cryptorchidism have also been reported occasionally. Progressive neuronal abiotrophy (PNA, also known as Cerebellar cortical abiotrophy or Cerebellar Abiotrophy) is also seen but rare in the population. Some health issues have been bred out of the breed such as a skin-related diseases called spiculosis.

For the most part, the average lifespan of a Kerry Blue is 9.5 years. Many live to 14 years of age.


Be ready to play with a Kerry Blue Terrier every day. Being a long-legged breed, the activity level is moderate to high. Kerry Blues need an active owner who can teach early socialization and obedience training. Daily exercise is definitely important. A simple, daily walk will help maintain a Kerry Blue’s muscle tone and keep the dog fit and trim.

The coat of a Kerry Blue does not shed. It is soft and wavy with no undercoat, but a Kerry Blue’s coat continues to grow all year round. This means the Kerry Blue Terrier needs weekly, regular grooming as well as a clipping about every six weeks on average.

Socialization is also very important for the Kerry Blue. Although a Kerry Blue is more apt to be aggressive toward other dogs, start socialization very young to help with this personality trait.


Here is a link to the Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation. Please check your local area for other rescues near you or to learn more about this breed:


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