- Irish Blue Terrier
- Common nickname: Kerry
Body: Short, compact, well-proportioned and well-muscled. Back is strong and level and ribs are well-sprung. Shoulders are flat and laid back.
Coat: Soft, dense, wavy, and sometimes curly hair. A non-shedding single layer not suited for protecting them from cold climates.
Color: Shades of blue (slate blue to silver gray). Puppies are born black and begin to show colors of blue between one and two years of age.
Ears: Small, v-shaped, set moderately high, and flop over.
Eyes: Small to medium size, very dark, not prominent, and expressively keen.
Feet: Small, tight, and round with black nails; hidden with thick hair.
Head: Long, lean, and rectangular with a flat skull, slight stop, full muzzle, powerful jaws, black nose and beard.
Legs: Forelegs are moderately long, straight, and well-boned. Hindquarters angulated and muscular Thighs are long and powerful.
Neck: Moderately long and proportionate, strong, tapered and set into sloping, laid back shoulders.
Weight: 33 – 40 pounds
Height: 17.5 – 19.5 inches
Tail: Set high, carried erect, and usually docked.
Recommended for experienced dog handlers
Not recommended with other pets
Can be territorial
Some are diggers
AKC Standard says, “He is adaptable to all manner of farm work, for which he is easily trained. He is an indomitable foe and cannot be surpassed as a watchdog and companion.”
The Kerry Blue Terrier is gentle, loveable, exceptionally bright, highly energetic, and good with people, including children, but can be very aggressive with other dogs. His terrier instinct to chase prey will come out when he is around cats and other smaller animals, including birds. He should be kept on a lead or in a securely enclosed area to prevent him from causing injury to other neighborhood animals.
He is extremely intelligent, considered to be the smartest of the dog breeds, capable of thinking and solving problems for himself. With his strong-will, stubborn demeanor, and quick mind, he is best suited to an experienced dog handler capable being firm, fair, and respectful of him. He won’t appreciate or tolerate harsh methods of obedience training. Early socialization is important due to his territorial instincts and possessive nature.
AKC Group: Terrier Group
Originally used to hunt birds and other small prey, to herd cattle, and as guard dogs, but also used as ratters and are good retrievers from both land and water.
Care and Grooming
Exercise: He is a highly energetic dog in need of rigorous daily exercise. Expert obedience training and agility classes will suit him well.
Grooming: Kerrys have hair, not fur, which requires brushing three to four times weekly to avoid snarling and to remove trapped dander. Keep his beard clean and his ear canals clean and dry.
Life Expectancy: 14 Years
Cerebellar Abiotrophy – poor coordination or lack of balance
Michele Welton, author of Your Purebred Puppy says to ask about “Cysts and spiculosis (hard hair), though usually not malignant, do require attention, so avoid lines covered with them.”
OFA – for the hips