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Kerry Blue Terrier: The Energetic & Athletic Breed

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By Anna Grace

In the world of dog breeds, the Kerry Blue Terrier shines as a true character, both in appearance and personality. With its striking blue-gray coat and an attitude that’s a delightful mix of playfulness and loyalty, this breed stands out as a captivating and endearing companion. 

Whether you’re seeking a spirited partner for outdoor adventures or a loving friend to brighten your days, the Kerry Blue Terrier is ready to step into your life. Join us on a journey to uncover the unique allure of this enchanting canine companion!”

Brief Overview: Kerry Blue Terrier

kerry blue terrier adoption

Certainly, here’s a table with some key information about the Kerry Blue Terrier:

OriginIreland, specifically County Kerry
SizeMedium-sized breed
Coat ColorSolid blue, varying shades of blue-gray
Lifespan12-15 years
Weight Range26-33 pounds
Height Range17.5 to 19.5 inches at the withers (shoulder)
Energy LevelHigh energy, typical of terrier breeds
TemperamentGentle, affectionate, and loyal
TrainabilityIndependent streak but trainable
SheddingLow shedding, regular grooming required
Breed TypeTerrier work dog breed
PopularityUncommon breed status

This table summarizes key characteristics of the Kerry Blue Terrier.

About the Breed

kerry blue terrier

The Kerry Terrier is a breed of medium-sized dog that originates from Ireland. They were initially bred to be versatile working dogs, capable of hunting small game, herding livestock, and serving as guard dog

The breed is noted for its unique coat, which is soft and wavy with a distinctive blue-gray coloration. According to Wikipedia,  Blue Terrier is not as in scary dogs as the other terrier breed, such as to the Sealyham Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, and Skye Terrier. 

Moreover, Blue Terrier require daily exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. They’re great companions for active families that enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and jogging. 

Vital Stats: Kerry Blue Terrier

  1. Height: Typically 17.5 to 19.5 inches at the withers (shoulder)
  2. Weight: Usually ranging from 26 to 33 pounds
  3. Life Expectancy: Averaging 12-15 years
  4. Energy Level: Displaying high energy levels, typical of terrier breeds
  5. Trainability: Exhibiting an independent streak but generally receptive to early training
  6. Dog Type: Classified as a terrier work dog breed
  7. Shedding: Experiences low shedding, necessitating regular grooming
  8. Breed Status: Considered a distinctly uncommon breed

Markings of Kerry Bule Terrier

Kerry Blue Terriers are known for their solid blue coat, which means their fur is typically a uniform shade of blue without any prominent or distinct markings such as spots, stripes, or patches of a different color. 

Instead, the beauty of the Kerry Blue Terrier lies in the richness and depth of its blue coat. which can vary in shades from a lighter silvery blue to a deeper, darker blue-gray. This lack of markings is a characteristic feature of the breed’s coat.

Historical Figure of Kerry Blue Terrier

kerry blue terrier puppies

Initially, people used the Blue Terrier without beard for various purposes, including hunting small game, guarding livestock, and using them as a general farm dog. Farmers and hunters in Ireland highly valued them for their intelligence, loyalty, and hardiness. 

In the early 1900s, the Kerry Blue Terrier began to gain popularity outside of Ireland and was first exhibited at dog shows in the United States. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in, and it has become a famous companion dog worldwide.

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.

The Kerry Blue Terrier originated in Ireland, specifically in County Kerry. This breed is often called the “Irish Blue Terrier” or the “Kerry.” It has a long history in Ireland and was initially bred for various purposes, including hunting small game, such as rats and otters, and as a farm dog. Over time, it became a beloved companion and a symbol of Irish heritage.

Characteristics Of Kerry Blue Terrier

kerry blue terrier.

The Kerry Blue Terrier is a medium-sized breed of dog that originated in Ireland, specifically in the county of Kerry. In addition, dogs with blue hair commonly exhibit some Characteristics.


An intelligent breed famous for quick wit and problem-solving abilities is the Blue Terrier. However, they’re easily trainable and can excel in obedience competitions and other dog sports.


Kerry Blue Terriers are energetic and need exercise to stay healthy & happy. After that, they enjoy long walks, runs, and playing in the yard.


Kerry Blue terrier considered best family dogs. They’ve the instinct to protect their family and property. So, these dogs are famous to be wary of strangers and to bark to alert their owners of potential danger.


Kerry irish Blue Terriers are a separate breed and sometimes stubborn. Therefore, they require an experienced owner who can provide consistent training and leadership.


Kerry Blue Terriers are a versatile breed and can excel in various activities, including hunting, herding, and agility competitions.


They’ve a unique, curly coat that is considered hypoallergenic. On the other hand, this makes them an ideal choice for people who suffer from allergies

First Appearance in the US

Kerry Blue Terriers initially appeared in the United States during the early 20th century. Irish immigrants were instrumental in bringing this breed to American shores. It has since gained popularity for its charming personality and distinctive appearance.

Quick Fun Facts of Kerry Blue Terrier

blue kerry terrier
  1. Born Black, Turns Blue: Kerry Blue Terrier puppies are born with a black coat, gradually transitioning to the iconic blue-gray color as they grow older.
  2. Versatile Athletes: These terriers are versatile athletes, excelling in agility, obedience, and even water sports. Their adaptability and athleticism make them a breed of many talents.
  3. The National Dog of Ireland: The Kerry Blue Terrier is often called the “National Dog of Ireland,” where it originated. It’s cherished as a pet and valued as a symbol of Irish heritage.
  4. Famous Kerry Owners: Many famous figures have owned Kerry Blue Terriers, including the late Senator Ted Kennedy, who had a beloved Kerry Blue named “Splash.”
  5. Natural Rat Catchers: Historically, Kerry Blue Terriers were used as farm dogs to control rat populations. Moreover, their hunting instincts and tenacity made them excellent at this task.
  6. Playful and Mischievous: Known for their playful nature, Kerrys can be quite mischievous. They have a knack for finding adventure and fun in everyday activities.
  7. Eyes that Express: Kerry Blue Terriers are often noted for their expressive eyes, which can convey a wide range of emotions, from interest to affection.

Appearance of Kerry Blue Terrier

kerry blue terrier without beard

The Blue Terrier is a medium-sized breed that is instantly recognizable thanks to its unique coat and distinctive appearance. However, the head of Kerry Blue is broad and flat, with a long, strong muzzle and alert, expressive eyes. The ears are small and V-shaped, folding forward towards the cheek.

The hair is dense and wavy, with a soft, silky texture that gives the dog a distinctively woolly appearance. In addition, the coat ranges from black to blue-gray, with a slight sheen that adds to its appeal. Regular grooming is necessary to maintain Kerry Blue’s coat’s distinctive texture and appearance.


The Kerry Blue Terrier has a soft, dense coat that needs regular grooming to prevent matting. The coat is blue-gray and may have slight variations in shade. In addition, puppies are born black, and the Kerry blue terrier coat gradually changes color as they mature.


Regarding the blue terrier colors, They’re familiar with its distinctive blue-gray coat ranging from a deep slate to a light, almost silver hue. However, a recessive gene present only in certain terrier breeds causes this unique coloration.


The Blue Terrier is a medium-sized dog breed, typically standing around 17-19 inches tall at the shoulder. Therefore, they’ve a muscular and compact build, with a distinctive wavy coat that can come in various shades of blue-gray.


The Kerry Blue terrior is a medium-sized dog, typically weighing between 30 and 40 pounds. However, their weight can vary depending on gender, age, and diet. In addition, proper nutrition and exercise can help maintain a healthy weight for this active breed.

Temperament & Personality Terrier

ungroomed kerry blue terrier
The Kerry Blue is one of the larger ack -recognized terrier breeds. This Irish terrier was born and bred to work, and they have all the typical terrier tenacities, which makes them effective hunters but sometimes challenging canine companions.

Kerry blue terrier puppies are a spirited and affectionate breed known for their unique blue-gray coat and charming personality. 


Kerry Blue puppies are known for having a lively and playful temperament. They’re intelligent and curious dogs that love to explore their surroundings and interact with their owners. However, their loyalty and devotion to their families make them excellent pets. 

While Kerry Blue puppies are generally friendly and outgoing, they can also be stubborn. In addition, they’ve strong-willed personalities and require consistent training and socialization from an early age.


Blue Terrier have a unique and charming personality that differentiates them from other dog breeds. They’re famous for their mischievous and playful nature and love entertaining their owners with their antics. Moreover, they have a great sense of humor and are always up for a good game or a cuddle session with their human companions.

Despite their playful demeanor, doggy Blue Terrier are fiercely loyal and protective of their families. After that, they’re always looking for potential threats and will not hesitate to defend their loved ones if necessary.

Food and Nutrition of Kerry Blue Terrier

kerry blue terrier rescue

When feeding Kerry Blue Terriers, providing them with a balanced diet that meets their nutrient needs is essential. However, kerry Blue Terriers require a diet high in protein to maintain their muscle mass and healthy fats for energy and skin and coat health. 

Choosing a high-quality brand free from fillers and artificial additives is essential when selecting commercial dog food for miniature Kerry Blue Terriers. So, owners should also be aware of any food allergies or sensitivities their pet may have and avoid feeding them any foods that may trigger an allergic reaction.

Space Requirements for Kerries

Kerry Blue Terriers are adaptable to various living spaces. They can thrive in apartments if given sufficient exercise and mental stimulation. 

However, they appreciate access to a secure yard for playtime, making them well-suited for homes with small to medium-sized outdoor areas.

Suitable Accessories For Terrier

To care for a Kerry Blue Terrier, essential accessories include grooming tools like brushes and clippers for their unique curly coat. A durable leash and collar are crucial for walks and training. 

Moreover, providing interactive toys keeps them mentally engaged, and appropriately sized food and water dishes cater to their needs. A comfortable dog bed or crate offers them a cosy resting place.

Care & Grooming of Kerry Blue Terrier

kerry blue terrier breeders

If you are considering adopting a Kerry Blue Terrier, knowing about thier unique grooming a Kerry blue dog needs and how to care for them correctly is essential. Moreover, here is a guide to Kerry Blue Terrier care and grooming.


Kerry Blue Terriers should be bathed every four to six weeks to keep their coat clean and free from dirt and debris. Using a high-quality dog shampoo designed for sensitive skin is essential. In addition, avoid using human shampoo or soap, as it can dry their skin and cause irritation.

Ear Care

Blue Terrier are prone to ear infections, so regularly cleaning their ears is essential to prevent dirt or wax buildup. However, use a cotton ball or pad and a gentle ear-cleaning solution to gently wipe out the inside of their ears. In addition, be careful not to insert anything too deeply into their ear canal, which can cause injury.

Nail Care

Regular nail trims are essential for the health and comfort of your Kerry Blue breed Terrier. Long nails may cause discomfort & even lead to injuries. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, you can take them to a professional groomer or veterinarian to have their nails trimmed.

Teeth Care

They’re prone to dental problems, so it is essential to regularly brush their teeth to prevent tartar buildup and tooth decay. However, you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush and dog-specific toothpaste to brush your teeth at least twice a week. In addition, you can also give them dental chews or toys to help keep their teeth clean and healthy.


They are energetic and active dogs that require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. Moreover, they enjoy long walks, runs, and playing in the yard. So, it’s recommended to give them at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily, depending on their age and energy level. 

Irish Wolfhound: National Dog of Ireland

Irish Wolfhound proudly holds the title of the national dog of Ireland, a recognition rooted in its deep historical significance. These magnificent dogs were originally bred for hunting, including the formidable prey of wolves & Irish elk, reflecting their role as land protectors. Additionally, their colossal size, with males standing at towering heights and robust builds, is a hallmark of their breed.

Yet, beyond their imposing stature, Irish Wolfhounds are known for their gentle and amiable temperament. They’re often described as “gentle giants,” displaying a loving and patient nature that endears them to families and individuals alike. As symbols of Ireland’s rich heritage, these dogs represent strength, loyalty, and warm companionship deeply valued in Irish culture.

In modern times, Irish Wolfhounds may no longer engage in the hunts of their ancestors. Still, they continue to be cherished as beloved pets and enduring symbols of Ireland’s cultural identity, standing as a testament to the country’s profound connection with these majestic canines.

Health Issues of Kerry Blue Terrier

kerry blue terrier puppy

Kerry Blue Terriers can be prone to specific health issues. So, here are a few common Blue Terrier health issues seen in Kerry Blue Terriers:

Skin Problems

They’ve a curly coat that requires regular grooming, and if not correctly cared for, it can lead to skin problems such as dermatitis, hot spots, and infections. In addition, regular bathing and grooming can help prevent these issues.

Hip Dysplasia

This genetic condition affects the hip joint, causing it to develop abnormally. However, this can lead to arthritis and pain in the hip joint, making it difficult for the dog to walk. After that, Kerry Blue Terriers can be prone to hip dysplasia, so it is essential to have their hips screened by a veterinarian.

Eye Problems

Blue Terrier watch dogs are at risk for several eye problems, including cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and corneal dystrophy. Therefore, these conditions can cause vision loss and may require surgery or other treatments.


Like many breeds of dogs, Kerry Blue Terriers can be prone to various forms of cancer, including lymphoma and mast cell tumors. On the other hand, early detection and treatment are essential to successfully managing these conditions.

Thyroid Problems

Blue Terrier can develop hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms may include weight gain, lethargy, and skin problems. In addition, treatment typically involves medication to replace the missing hormone.

Lifespan of Kerry Blue Terrier

kerry blue terrier short hair

When it comes to Kerry blue terrier life expectancy, Kerry Blue Terriers typically live between 12 to 15 years. To ensure a long and healthy life for your Kerry Blue Terrier, it’s essential to provide them with regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and routine veterinary check-ups. 

This breed is generally healthy, but like all dogs, they can be prone to specific health issues such as hip dysplasia, cataracts, and hypothyroidism. Moreover, regular grooming is essential to maintain their distinctive coat and prevent matting. In addition, a Blue Terrier can make a loving and loyal companion with proper care and attention for many years.

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.

Stats at Organizational Level

Analyzing statistics at the organizational level provides valuable insights into the breed characteristics and their place within the broader dog breeding and ownership landscape. Here’s an overview:

Breed Popularity: 

The Kerry Blue Terrier is classified as a distinctly uncommon breed. Its popularity within the organization, such as kennel clubs and breed-specific associations, may provide insights into the breed’s overall demand and growth trends. Monitoring registration numbers and participation in breed-specific events can shed light on its appeal among dog enthusiasts.

Health and Longevity: 

Examining health statistics within the organization is essential for understanding the breed’s overall well-being. Therefore, Data on common health issues & average lifespan can help breeders and owners make informed decisions about healthcare & breeding programs.

Genetic Diversity: 

Maintaining genetic diversity is crucial for the long-term health of any breed. Analyzing genetic data within the organization can reveal trends in the Kerry Blue Terrier’s gene pool. Moreover, strategies to address inbreeding and genetic disorders can be developed based on this analysis.

Show and Performance Results: 

Participation in dog shows, agility competitions, and other performance events indicates the breed’s physical and behavioral attributes. Analyzing competition results can highlight strengths and weaknesses, helping breeders and owners focus on desired traits.

Adoption and Rescue: 

Tracking adoption and rescue statistics can provide insights into the breed’s prevalence in shelters and rescue organizations. Understanding why Kerry Blue Terriers end up in these situations can inform education and outreach efforts.

Regional Variations: 

Examining data by geographic regions can uncover regional variations in Kerry Blue Terrier popularity, health, and breed standards adherence. However, this information can guide regional breeding practices and health initiatives.

Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL): 

Monitoring BSL regulations at the organizational level can help breed advocates address legal challenges or restrictions affecting the Kerry Blue Terrier in different areas.

Breed Clubs and Resources: 

Assessing the presence and activity of breed clubs, forums, and online communities within the organization can provide valuable resources and support for breed enthusiasts, helping to strengthen the breed’s community and advocacy efforts.

In a nutshell, organizational-level statistics analysis of the Kerry Blue Terrier offers a comprehensive view of the breed’s status, including its popularity, health, genetic diversity, and performance in various activities.

This data-driven approach empowers breeders, owners, and organizations to make informed decisions that boost the well-being & preservation of this unique terrier breed.

Training of Kerry Blue Terrier

kerry blue terrier temperament

Kerry Blue Terrier training should start early, preferably when the dog is still a puppy, as this breed tends to be stubborn and can be challenging to train as adults. Training should be consistent, positive, and rewarding to ensure the dog stays engaged and motivated.

You should teach basic commands like sit, come, and heel, as well as leash walking and socialization. However, crate training is also recommended, as the Kerry Blue dog can be prone to separation anxiety. 

Consistency is critical, and training sessions should be kept short and fun to avoid boredom and frustration. Blue Terrier are versatile dogs and excel in various activities, including agility, obedience, and even therapy work. 

Therefore, providing them with plenty of mental and physical stimulation is essential to keep them happy and healthy. In addition, with proper training and socialization, a Kerry Blue Terrier short hair dog can make an excellent addition to any household.

Rarity and Price of Kerry Blue Terrier

miniature kerry blue terrier

If you’re considering getting a Kerry Blue Terrier, knowing the potential costs of owning one is important. However, the initial Kerry blue terrier price of purchasing a Blue Terrier can vary depending on the kerry blue terrier breeders, location, and availability. 

Blue Terrier puppy can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000.In addition to the purchase price, you’ll need to factor in ongoing expenses such as food, grooming, and veterinary care. In addition, kerry Blue Terriers require regular grooming to keep their curly coat in good condition. 

Rescue Groups for Adoption

If you want to adopt a Kerry Blue Terrier, consider rescue organizations like the “Kerry Blue Terrier Club of America Rescue” or local animal shelters. 

These groups often have Kerry Blue Terriers available for adoption, providing a loving home to dogs in need while offering potential owners the opportunity to provide a forever home to a deserving pet.

Kerry Blue Terrier Pros and Cons

kerry blue terrier breed


  1. Blue Kerry dogs are intelligent and easy to train. They’re quick learners & enjoy learning new tricks and skills.
  2. This breed is known for being loyal and devoted to their families. They thrive on human companionship and love to be with their owners.
  3. They’re great with children and make excellent family watch dog. They are patient and gentle with kids and can be great playmates.
  4.  They’re low-shedding dogs, which means they suit people with allergies or those who don’t want to deal with excessive shedding.
  5. Kerry Blue Terrier breeds are active and love to exercise. They enjoy playing and running, making them great companions for busy families or individuals.


  1. They can be stubborn and independent like many terrier breeds. On the other hand, they may require extra patience and consistency during training.
  2.  Kerry Blue Terriers can be aggressive towards other dogs, especially if they are not socialized properly. In addition, early socialization and training are crucial to prevent aggressive behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

 They have an affectionate, loyal, and playful nature but can also exhibit strong-willed personalities and high energy levels. They generally do well with children and other pets.

Kerry Blue Terriers are known for being vocal dogs and can bark a lot if not appropriately trained. They were originally bred as working dogs to hunt vermin and protect their owners, so they have the instinct to bark. 

Kerry Blue Terriers are not as common as some other breeds but are not considered extremely rare. They are recognized by many kennel clubs worldwide, including the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC).

Kerry Blue Terriers have an average lifespan of around 12-15 years. However, with proper care and a healthy lifestyle, some Kerry Blue Terriers have been known to live up to 17 years.

Kerry Blue Terriers are social dogs and should be supervised for long periods. They may become anxious or destructive if left alone for too long. Ideally, they should be supervised for 4-6 hours.

Kerry Blue Terriers are known for their loyalty, affectionate nature, and intelligence. They are also energetic and playful and can be stubborn at times. They are generally good with children and make excellent watchdogs due to their protective instincts.

Kerry Blue Terriers were initially bred as working dogs to hunt vermin and guard their owners’ property. They were also used for herding and as all-purpose farm dogs.

 They are quick learners and can excel in obedience training with positive reinforcement techniques. However, they can also be independent and strong-willed.

Kerry Blue Terriers can get along well with other dogs if they are correctly socialized from a young age. They may be wary of unfamiliar dogs and exhibit aggression towards them if they feel threatened.


In conclusion, the Kerry Blue Terrier is a versatile & intelligent breed that is highly valued for its loyalty, affectionate nature, and playful personality. While originally bred for hunting and working purposes, Kerry Blues have adapted well to life as companion animals and make best family dogs.

Kerry Blue Terrier

Moreover, they’re familiar with their hypoallergenic coat, which makes them a perfect option for people with allergies. However, they require regular grooming and exercise to keep them healthy and happy. With their striking blue-grey coat and charming personality, Blue Terrier are an excellent addition to any home.

Other Terrier Dog Breeds