Dog Breeds 101: Kerry Blue Terrier

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Dog Breeds 101 – Kerry Blue Terrier
Photo – Wikipedia – lic. under GNU

The Kerry Blue Terrier, fondly called Kerry, is a dog that is so full of life and energy. It has a thick and wavy coat which may be any shade between deep slate to light blue gray. The Kerry can grow up to 19 inches tall and can weigh between 22 to 33 pounds. The breed has an average life span of 12 to 15 years and is prone developing eye problems such as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca or dry eyes, cataracts, and entropion. As a pet, it is known to be quite sensitive and sometimes moody. It loves to be around humans and does not like to be left alone for long periods. These dogs are affectionate towards members of their family and are great with children. However, they are not best suited for a multi-pet household due to their high prey drive especially to cats, birds and smaller animals. Their ideal owner should be someone who is active and will give them early socialization and training. They need regular and daily exercise to keep them satisfied. [1] [2]

The breed originated in the mountains of Kerry in Ireland, hence the breed’s name. It is believed that the breed arrived in the area when there was a shipwreck near its waters and a blue dog was able to swim to shore. The dog then mated with Wheaten Terriers and produced the Kerry Blue. In the early 1800s, the dogs were bred in southern Ireland to work in farms, kill vermin, tend livestock and guard property. [2] [3]

The breed started to appear in the show ring in the 1900s and they were intentionally bred to be aggressive. Because of this, the Kerry Blue Terrier gained the nickname “Blue Devil”. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1924. The modern Kerry is very much like its ancestors, quick and strong-willed. Nowadays, the breed still appears in the show ring and also used by the police and the military. [4]


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