The Kerry Blue Terrier is a medium-sized muscular dog. The coat starts out black and turns a silvery slate or bluish color as they mature at about 18 months. They resemble the Schnauzer with the bearded muzzle and traditionally docked tail. The coat is soft, wavy and dense. The head is long with a flat skull. The chest is deep. Puppies are born black.
The Kerry Blue Terrier was originally bred to hunt rats, rabbits, badgers, foxes, otters and hares. Eventually, the Kerry became a general working dog used for a variety of jobs including herding cattle and sheep, and as a guard dog. Today the Kerry has spread around the world as a companion and working dog. They are often called the Irish Blue Terrier in Ireland. This breed is fairly rare.
The Kerry Blue Terrier has a reputation for being a clown. They are intelligent, active, but can be suited to apartment living if properly exercised. Originally this dog was developed to be loyal and affectionate with humans but aggressive to other animals, including other dogs. This trait has been downgraded in modern breeding programs, but care should be taken to socialize them with both canine and non-canine creatures. This dog is generally friendly and eager to please, but as an intelligent dog, he will not respect a meek owner. Calm, confident, assured training will be productive with this highly trainable dog.
Breed Club Links: United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club
BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: Top Performance Top and Tail Wipes to keep that beard free of food and debris!
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Photo courtesy of M Glasgow.