The Kerry Blue Terrier has had several different names, including the Irish Blue Terrier and Country Kerry. It has always been a working dog, mostly herding sheep and cattle and work as a guard dog.
The Kerry Blue Terrier has a long muzzle and is quite muscular. It is proportioned well and has a terrier look to it, but also unique characteristics that depart form the breed’s style. They are about 18.5 inches in height with long legs. The eyes are dark and small. The ears are triangular shaped and fold slightly. The neck is long and gets thick as it approaches the shoulders. The legs are generally muscular and move freely.
The Kerry Blue Terrier has a soft coat that be harsh and bristle, as well. They are mostly a blue color with a black muzzle and black markings on the ears, tail, head and feet. All pups are born black despite what their coloration will be as an adult.
The Kerry Blue Terrier has a grey colored coat. The coat is short and smooth. Pups are born black and some adults may have black colorations around their body.
The Kerry Blue Terrier comes from Ireland. It was developed in the 1700s. First used as a mountain dog, it soon was bred as a working dog to herd cattle and sheep. It may be a decedent of the Portuguese Water Dog, Irish Wolfhounds and the Wheaten or Classic Terriers.
The Kerry Blue Terrier has held many jobs and been used in a variety of situations. They have been work dogs that have been used by police, farmers, hunters and families. They learn well and can be taught almost anything.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is lively yet gentle. It is loyal and loving, but can be willful and determined. They may not react well to smaller dogs. They are athletic and love to compete. They are aggressive by nature and can also be vocal. They need to be handled in a strong manner but without harshness or they can become timid.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is fine for indoors and outdoors. They are commonly sheep or cattle herders and love to work hard. They listen well and learn quickly. Anything that keeps them busy is a welcomed activity to this breed.
They can be hyper at times and need to be kept busy. They are not going to be fine with lounging around. They like to socialize and love to be around people. They can be protective and need good obedience training in order to behave. They can be bored easily and may do their own thing if not directed.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is generally healthy and has a rather long life span. They still have some genetic conditions to be aware of. They can be prone to hip dysplasia, PNA, cataracts, spiculosis, hair follicle tumors, entropion, narrow palpebral fissure distichiasisme, CHD and retainal folds.
The Kerry Blue Terrier need regular grooming. It is important to make grooming a natural routine for this breed. Every six weeks the dog should have a complete grooming session. The coat should be kept short. Excess hair should be removed from the ears. Fortunately, the Kerry Blue Terrier sheds very little due to the short coat. However, dry skin can be a concern with too frequent bathing. Once a week the dog should be bathed and completely brushed out to prevent a rough coat. The beard should be kept neat, as well. The grooming of the Kerry Blue Terrier should not be too demanding, but is important for maintaining good health and a good appearance.
As mentioned, the Kerry Blue Terrier is full of energy and needs a lot of activity. They do well with long walks and running exercises. They also need to have toys and be played with often since they crave interaction and stimulation.
The Kerry Blue Terrier trains very easily and this is actually a strong point of the breed. They need to learn obedience skills at an early age. They pick up skills quickly and without much work. They are a natural at figuring out things and this makes them good at learning tricks and other complex skills. They need consistency to learn the best. They also learn best with encouragement and being told they are doing well.
Training should be kept fun and allow for the dog to mix play with learning. They can be taught quickly so moving through lessons can go fast. Watch out for boredom which is common when they have learned something and wish to move on. They respond to unspoken clues from trainers. It is important to stay positive and not let frustration or stress show through. The dog will pick it up and may not respond well.
They do best with shorter sessions. This helps them not be bored and also allows them to retain what they have learned. Incorporating exercise and activity into training will be the most successful approach.