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Kerry Blue Terrier

The Kerry Blue Terrier breed profile is sponsored by visit PetWear to custom design your Kerry Blue Terrier's next designer dog collar, leash or more and then let PetWear hand make it and then ship for free!

A passing glance at a Kerry Blue Terrier could easily leave the uninitiated with the impression that this is some gorgeous, fluffy, dramatic Teddy Bear of a dog.  Woe to that person if they should spend much time with a Kerry Blue without being properly re-educated.  The Kerry Blue is a serious worker that was entrusted with very serious work, that of going into the badger's den to remove the badger from the farm.  On their slow days, they would go into ponds and lakes to do battle with otter.  For those who may not be familiar with these wild creatures, otters and badgers are well known for their ability to do serious battle and that ability would only be heightened when in their own element and cornered.  So this dog, the Kerry Blue is stalwart and quick and intelligent and confident and independent.  After all, he couldn't be looking over his shoulder for a treat or a good boy from his owner while he was going at it with a badger, now could he?  Yes, they are gorgeous and devoted and loyal and great watchdogs.  Yes, they possess an uncanny, Irish sense of humor and a certain presence and joie de vivre, but mostly when properly reared, they trust their own judgement and offer respect to those that have the good sense to return that respect.  With the Kerry Blue, you may not have to exactly earn their respect but you will find that you will have to work to regain it if you should ever take it for granted.

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General Information
Group(s): Terrier Height: 17.5-19.5 inches
Weight: 28-40 pounds Longevity: early to mid teens
Colors: Distinctive slate blue though black or tan markings are acceptable until the dog is 18 months Coat type: soft, plentiful and wavy
Recognized Registries: Irish Kennel Club, AKC, FCI, NCA, UKC and others
Overall Appearance: Well knit, well proportioned and muscular. Very clearly Terrier by the compact, clean and powerful lines and presence.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: high
General Nature: A Terrier among terriers, vigilant and alert as it must be for the work it was intended for
  with Children: variable; generally dependent on the skill and commitment of the one raising the dog and the behavior of the children; the Kerry Blue will not suffer mistreatment, disrespect when a lesson must be taught to the illmannered (by they child or otherwise)
  with other pets: Not reliable, they are vermin hunters after all
  with dogs: variable dependent on general nature of the individual, socialization and life experience
Socialization requirements: Relatively high; the Kerry Blue is an intelligent, powerful and confident dog that must be provided with an excellent sense of the
Ideal home characteristics: One that recognizes the remarkable personality and power of this breed. Taking the time to nurture and develop this dog early in life will determine whether this is the best dog they've ever known or a heartache.
Temperament Notes: Intelligent. generally confident of their own judgement, independent but devoted to family, suspicious of strangers, intense, focused, quick, strong, reactive, agile
Training requirement: Moderate to high: heavy socialization and basic manners are often enough but this dog would enjoy an ongoing hobby to maintain mental and physical acuity.
Trainer notes: Despite all the coverage on "dominance and submission" regarding dogs currently available, it would be a mistake to think that you would ever be something other than a training partner to the Kerry Blue Terrier.  They are devoted but do not suffer mistreatment.  They are trusting but they also trust their own judgement and should you fail to live up to their definition of fair and just care and training you will see this dog shut off as simply as a radio.  The Kerry Blue Terrier was developed to hunt independently.  They will not fawn upon their trainer.  While they will love you unconditionally and think nothing of putting themselves between you and any harm, they will also not comply to any sort of harsh treatment or unfair correction.  With that said, the Kerry Blue will respect you far more by developing their skills and abilities through fun and play than by force.  A bit of creativity on your part in your training methods will unleash an entertainer and the comedian that lurks under the surface of every Terrier and maybe most particularly the Kerry Blue.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: Likely hundreds of years but first documentation is early in the 20th century
Country of Origin: Ireland
Original Function: Going after Otter in water and Badger in their den, QUITE the undertaking!
History: The popular and common farm dog of the county Kerry. All around companion, watchdog and vermin killer probably for hundreds of years. Only recognized as a breed in its own right since the early 20th century.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: oversized, black or tan in coat after 18 months,
Health Notes: blood disorders, eye problems, hypothyroidism, myleopathy, PNA, hip dysplasia,
Health Testing: Blood Panels, CERF, OFA, Thyroid Panel,
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Kerry Blue Terriers?
  • Why do you have Kerry Blue Terriers (show, performance, hunting, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of an Kerry Blue Terrier?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you sent your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Kerry Blue Terrier?
  • How would you describe the ideal Kerry Blue Terrier home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training an Kerry Blue Terrier?
  • How do you assist or help Kerry Blue Terriers in need of rescue?
  • Web Sites: - Rescue by the Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation

    Other Resources
    Breed standard: - Irish Kennel Club page on Kerry Blue Terriers UKC Standard for the Kerry Blue Terrier - US Kerry Blue Terrier Club Standard

    Breeder Ethics: - United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club Code of Ethics - Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation Code of Ethics - Code of Ethics for the Empire Kerry Blue Terrier Club

    Other: - The Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation is the MOST phenomenal resource for a purebred fancy online that DigitalDog has ever seen!  From support services to groomers, trainers to a strict code of ethics from breeders (with the wherewithal to agree to them) and rescue support, it is clearly a resource that EVERY breed deserves and few (if any) others have.  Prior to getting a Kerry Blue, even before you worry about the information on the US Kerry Blue Terrier Club website or talking to a breeder or anything, you MUST visit the Kerry Blue Foundation if you are remotely serious about loving this breed.

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