Hailing from the mountains of Kerry, Ireland the Kerry Blue Terrier was a working dog. He’s a dog of many skills including hunting, herding sheep and cattle, retrieving vermin, and tracking small game and birds.
The Kerry Blue Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1922.
What’s the Kerry Blue Terrier like?
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a loving, smart, and fun firecracker! He is hopelessly devoted to his family. He needs plenty of exercise which could consist of many activities: A nice walk, a jog, a game of fetch, or anything else as long as it’s with you! Kerries should never be left outside alone, unless securely fenced and even then not for long periods of time. He likes to spend most of his time with the family.
Start socializing your Kerry early so that he doesn’t become aggressive towards other dogs. They’ve been known to be a little scared and hostile towards others but you can prevent this with help from a puppy kindergarten class.
Just because the Kerry doesn’t shed much doesn’t mean grooming him will be a breeze. His coat needs to be brushed daily and you’ll need to trim and bathe him every 4-6 weeks. You’ll also need to run a comb through his coat about twice a week to remove and prevent any tangles or mats.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a normally healthy dog with some concerns to be aware of:
Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA)
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
It is very important that you get all health documents relating to your pup’s bloodline from your breeder to see if he could develop either of these conditions.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
Hailing from the mountains of Kerry, Ireland[T1] the Kerry Blue Terrier was a working dog. He’s a dog of many skills including hunting, herding sheep and cattle, retrieving vermin, and tracking small game and birds.[T2]
The Kerry Blue Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1922.[T3]
Weight: 33 to 40 lbs.
Height: 17.5 to 19.5 inches
Coat: Thin, wavy and soft. [T5] Short to medium in length.
Color: Gray, blue, blue & gray, slate blue, silver blue, silver, blue & silver, blue & black, or black.[T6]
Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years
What’s the Kerry Blue Terrier like?
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a loving, smart, and fun firecracker! He is hopelessly devoted to his family. He needs plenty of exercise which could consist of many activities: A nice walk, a jog, a game of fetch, or anything else as long s it’s with you! Kerries should never be left outside alone, unless securely fenced and even then not for long periods of time. He likes to spend most of his time with the family.[T7] [T8] [T9]
Start socializing your Kerry early so that he doesn’t become aggressive towards other dogs. They’ve been known to be a little scared and hostile towards others but you can prevent this with help from a puppy kindergarten class. [T10]
Just because the Kerry doesn’t shed much doesn’t mean grooming him will be a breeze. You’ll also need to run a comb through his coat about twice a week to remove and prevent any tangles or mats. [T12]
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a normally healthy dog with some concerns to be aware of:
Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA)
A disease that occurs at a young age and may lead into paralysis
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)[T13] , a disease that slowly deteriorates part of the spinal cord, and like CA, ultimately leads to paralysis
[T14] It is very important that you get all health documents relating to your pup’s bloodline from your breeder to see if he could develop either of these conditions.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is on the high maintenance side when it comes to grooming.
The Kerry Blue Terrier, with his hunting instinct, will keep your house vermin free!
The Kerry Blue Terrier would make a great family dog.
The Kerry Blue Terrier should be socialized before coming into contact with other dogs.
[T1]“The Kerry Blue terrier was first observed in the mountains of Kerry in Ireland.” (WIKI)
[T2]“The Kerry Blue Terrier originated in Ireland, having been noticed first in the mountainous regions of County Kerry….the Kerry is an all-round working and utility terrier, used in Ireland and England for hunting small game and birds, and for retrieving from land and water. He is used quite successfully, too, for herding sheep and cattle.” (AKC)
[T3]“AKC recognized in 1922.” (AKC)
[T4]weight, height & life span (VETSTREET)
[T5]“It is soft and wavy with no undercoat. The texture is similar to that of fine human hair” (WIKI)
[T6]“Black, Blue, Blue & Black, Blue & Gray, Blue & Silver, Silver, Silver Blue, Slate Blue, Gray” (AKC)
[T7]“Kerry Blue Terriers are active and athletic, and they enjoy long walks, jogging, and hiking on leash, unless you’re in a safe, traffic-free area.” (VETSTREET)
[T8]“She loves to run, chase, hunt, explore, play and dig.… The Kerry blue needs a good amount of exercise, but her needs can be met with either a long walk on leash, a vigorous play session or a chance to explore off leash in a safe area.” (PETFINDER)
[T9]“While you might think of him as an outdoor dog, nothing could be farther from the truth. Kerry Blue Terriers are devoted to their people. A Kerry Blue Terrier should have access to a securely fenced yard, but when the family is home, he should be in the house with them." (VETSTREET)
[T10]“Early, frequent socialization is essential to prevent a Kerry Blue Terrier from becoming overly suspicious or fearful of anything new or different... Continue socializing your Kerry Blue Terrier throughout his life by taking him to puppy kindergarten class... Begin training as soon as you bring your Kerry Blue Terrier puppy home" (VETSTREET)
[T11]"Kerry Blue Terriers are strong-headed and highly spirited. They have always been loyal and affectionate towards their owners and very gentle towards children but were often considered downright mean toward other animals including other dogs." (WIKI)
[T12]“Though he doesn't shed much, the Kerry Blue's coat is high maintenance. It must be brushed daily and trimmed and shampooed every four to six weeks. Plan to comb a Kerry’s coat twice a week to prevent or remove any mats or tangles.” (VETSTREET)
[T13]“Health conditions that have been seen in Kerry Blue Terriers include a neurological disease called cerebellar abiotrophy (or cerebellar degeneration), a disease that affects puppies and can progress to paralysis. Another neurologic condition, degenerative myelopathy, also occurs in the breed.” (VETSTREET)
[T14]“Degenerative myelopathy of dogs is a slowly progressive, non-inflammatory degeneration of the white matter of the spinal cord.. Signs slowly progress to paralysis” (PETMD)
At The Barking Boutique, we offer a number of financing options available to help make it easier to bring home your perfect pup. Click on the graphic below to start your puppy financing approval process!
Once approved for financing you can pay off your pet in 30 days with the same as cash option if your budget allows, or you can continue to make payments until your purchase is paid off. You can also finance part of your purchase and pay the difference with cash or credit card. Income, bank statements, state issues ID, and other documents may be required in the approval process.
The Blue Kerry terrier pet dog is one of the most mysterious breeds of terriers. This is because even though the breed has been known by the Irish for at least 150 years, nobody really knows where they came from or how they were first bred.
Various legends are told to explain the appearance of the Kerry blue terrier breed. Some say that the peasants bred them for hunting purposes since noblemen monopolized the use of wolfhounds. Thus, noblemen hunted with their wolfhounds while peasants poached with their Kerries.
Another legend speaks of a wrecked Russian ship that contained a blue dog. This dog swam into Irish shores and there, mated with the local terrier population. This, of course, started the genetic pool of blue Kerry terriers.
Whatever the case, the blue Kerry terrier sure has a colorful history. It started as a working dog, helping hunters bring in prey. It would also be trained as a police dog by the English. Today, it is considered to be one of the best breeds of dogs that one can own. This is in part of its excellent abilities as a watchdog.
One thing that is so cool about owning a Blue Kerry terrier pet dog is the fact that this breed is adaptable to every situation. It can be a hardworking hunter’s dog. It can become the vigilant watchdog. If you want companionship, it can also provide that. People who are fortunate to have a Blue Kerry terrier pet dog even say that once you are a Kerry lover, you are forever a Kerry lover.
Some terrier characteristics may cause a bit of trouble for your dog. Like all terriers, the Blue Kerry terrier pet dog can get into fights with other dogs. To prevent this, you need to make sure that the Blue Kerry terrier pet dog is properly socialized. Usually, this is done by the breeder.
Most people, when they are getting a pet often ask the question of whether or not a pet can be housebroken easily. Thankfully enough, the Blue Kerry terrier pet dog has a disposition that is easily house trained. The Blue Kerry terrier pet dog is actually quite eager to learn. This means that you will be able to train it very quickly.
Although a Blue Kerry terrier can become an excellent playmate for children, it must be taken that the children do not show any cruelty to the dog.
The Blue Kerry terrier is also one of the more hardy types of terriers. This is because the Blue Kerry terrier has very few genetic problems. Before buying one, however, you need to ask for eye certifications and hip x-rays. These are the most commonly afflicted parts of the Blue Kerry terrier.
A Blue Kerry terrier is not really for everyone. Some people may find it a bit too playful. Some people may not really get used to the Blue Kerry terrier’s curiosity. People may not really understand its habit of following everyone around. Today, the fate of the Blue Kerry terrier dog lies in the hands of the breeders who care for them, nurture them, and make sure that they have great homes to stay in.
This article first appeared in the 1992 Kerry Blue Terrier Handbook.
The Kerry is a striking dog, projecting nobility-and he knows it! Take him for a walk down Main Street and watch people turn admiringly in your direction. In fact, before you know it, complete strangers will “talk Kerry” to you.
But beauty is only skin deep. The Kerry’s real values lie below the surface. Known in Ireland for some 130 years as the Irish Blue Terrier, Kerries were used as farm and herd dogs, as well as ratters and retrievers, on land and in the water. Without losing any of his early talents and hardiness, this rugged working terrier has been refined to become the sophisticated house pet of today-alert and intelligent, game but controlled, protective yet friendly-full of love and life. The late George Proctor once wrote in “Popular Dogs”: “The Kerry is a human dog, a dog dedicated to the proposition that all mankind is a subject of adoration.”
Your children will find him a gay, lovable inquisitive companion, always ready for play and armed with patience. Instinctively, the Kerry seems to know that children do get rough, and doesn’t mind. Even during play he will be vigilant and act as guardian when necessary for the Kerry is a watchdog “par excellence.” By alerting the household to callers, yet calmly accepting them if you do, the Kerry demonstrates his sense of responsibility to his home. (Properly trained, there should be no unnecessary barking.)
The Kerry is a clean dog he never sheds a hair and has no doggy odor. Because he does not shed, his coat requires extra care to keep neat. He is an ideal size for any home or apartment-compact, sturdy, just right! However because of his energy level, he is best suited for homes with a private yard.
One of the Kerry’s outstanding characteristics is his wonderful sense of humor-with a touch of blarney. Breeders from the “auld sod” used to say that the Kerry communes with the “little people.” After you and your Kerry have come to know each other, you will realize the empathy between the two of you-marvel at his uncanny intuition when in conscious clownishness he tries to brighten your darker hours. You and your Kerry will undoubtedly become a mutual admiration society. Again quoting the late George Proctor: “Once a Kerry convert, always a Kerry lover.” Now let us look at the few things you owe this Kerry who is ready to give you so much.
Feeding Your Kerry
Kerries are such agile dogs that they should have plenty of nourishing food. Of course you should not overfeed them, but health demands a good diet. The correct quality to feed depends on the individual dog.
Puppies may generally be given all they will eat at each meal. At 12 weeks of age, they should get 3 meals a day. By the time they reach 4-6 months, you will notice their appetites decrease. Feed them 2 meals a day at this time. Your Kerry, above one year, needs only 1 meal a day. Always keep water within easy reach.
When Kerries reach the age of 12 months, they should be fed enough to keep them healthy and agile, but not enough to “fatten them up.” A simple gauge in telling if your dog is putting on too much weight is to observe his ribs If they can be felt with noticeable ridges between them, your Kerry is underfed. If you have difficulty feeling them through the “upholstery,” he is overfed. You should just be able to feel his ribs.
What you feed your Kerry and particularly your growing puppy is of course as important as how much you give him. If you purchased your puppy from a reputable breeder, you no doubt were given the formula used in feeding the puppy. There are so many good dog foods on the market today, and competition is so keen, that companies are constantly improving their products. You will hardly go wrong with any of the better known brands. There are even foods for the youngsters that are fairly complete in your dog’s basic requirements. We feel, however, that your dog needs the bulk and ingredients in dry dog foods (meal) as well as added meats, eggs, milk, etc. It is a fallacy that raw beef and milk give puppies worms. They need foods rich in calcium and proteins.
If you are a one dog family, there is nothing wrong with feeding leftovers to your dog. A diet of only tablescraps, however, is not sufficient for your Kerry’s growth and development If used, give them as a treat or mix them with a dog meal.
Preventive vaccination is your surest means of avoiding illness. By the time you bring your puppy home, the breeder should have started it on vaccinations. At 9-10 weeks of age, the puppy should be given its first vaccination of the attenuated live-virus type. If the puppy is beyond that age, make sure that the breeder has vaccinated it. At 14 weeks, it should get its second, “permanent” vaccination, preferably repeated annually. These are your best guards against distemper, a disease that takes many forms, much as viruses in ourselves. Your veterinarian is your best guide as to which vaccines to use. Ask for and follow his advice. Do not wait for your puppy to get sick before checking with a “vet.” While you are at his office, ask to have your puppy checked for worms. In spite of precautions, it is quite common for puppies to have them. Don’t worm it yourself with patent medicines. You may give it too strong a dose, even worm it unnecessarily.
It is most important that you realize your puppy is still a baby needing plenty of sleep. If there are children in your home, impress upon them to curtail playtime and to stop before it gets exhausted. During its teething period, a puppy has the natural tendency to gnaw on something, possibly your own hand. Do not encourage this mouthplay it could lead to an undesirable nipping habit.
Trimming Your Kerry
The Kerry is drop-dead gorgeous when properly groomed. To keep this image, requires almost daily brushing, frequent bathing, and monthly trimming. Few dog groomers know how to properly scissors a Kerry. Often your Kerry may come back from the groomer looking like a Poodle or a Schnauzer.
You can however learn to do it yourself. Be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars on the right equipment. The learning curve that may stretch over several years. If you know of a Kerry groomer, or if you live close to your breeder, you are a step ahead.
The Catahoula Leopard Dog and the Kerry Blue Terrier might be a little bit spunky. They can be an inquisitive little fella so keep on the lookout for that behavior! All dogs need attention and don't want to be left alone. That's why you have a pet, right? Plan on putting forth effort to socialize her as this will reap dividends in the long run. Please use always use positive reinforcement even though they can have a mind of their own. Enjoy being with your new mixed breed and love the relationship you will have with them.
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems as all breeds are susceptible to some things more than others. However, the one positive thing about getting a puppy is that you can avoid this as much as possible. A breeder should absolutely offer a health guarantee on puppies. If they won’t do this, then look no more and don’t consider that breeder at all. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur. We obviously recommend that you look for a reputable animal rescue in your area to find your new mixed breed. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.
The Catahoula Leopard Dog mixed with the Kerry Blue Terrier might be prone to hip dysplasia, deafness, eye problems, among others.
Note that these are just common problems in both breeds.