Kerry Blue Terrier | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures

Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier is a dog that cannot be overlooked or not loved. He has a cheerful, often hooligan temperament, but it is impossible to be angry with him for a long time. Each representative of the breed is a bright personality.

The TKB is able to protect the property of the owner, graze livestock, catch rodents and hunt burrowing animals, small game and birds. In the modern world, the Kerry Blue Terrier is in most cases a loyal friend and a reliable companion.

Dog sheet Kerry blue terrier

Other Names: Irish Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier photos

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Physical characteristics

The Kerry Blue Terrier is a medium-sized dog. He has an athletic build in a square format. The muscles are well developed in all parts of the body.

Adults weigh 16-18 kg. Height at the withers 45-49 cm.


Distinctive features

  • Head: The head is small, elongated. In adults, the length from the tip of the nose to the back of the head corresponds to the height of the dog in 1: 2. The stop is weakly expressed. The muzzle extends the skull.
  • Jaws: Scissor cut. The jaws are powerful. Complete dentition.
  • Ears: The ears are triangular with a rounded corner. Set on high, semi-erect. The tips are curved and cover the base, but do not rest on the head.
  • Eyes: The eyes are medium sized, oval. Tied wide and high. The color is dark brown, almost black.
  • Frame: The body is square. The chest is wide, but not deep. Belly picked up. The back is short, the loin is straight and wide. The croup is convex.
  • Limbs: The legs are long, muscular, quite straight. The limbs are covered with thick wool.
  • Coat: The coat is curly, thick, soft, not wet. The dog has a characteristic long fringe that covers the eyes and the beard. Puppies are black in color, only at the age of 2 they become bluish or ash-gray.

Character and behavior

The Kerry Blue Terrier is a friendly, playful and very intelligent dog. TKB owners claim that these pets are capable of cunning at the level of non-canine intelligence.

This dog is able to make decisions on its own in different situations, while it is often stubborn and capricious. But in any case, he is infinitely loyal to the owner and all members of the household. As a general rule, he does not choose a leader. Treat all family members equally.

The Kerry blue terrier always strives to be the center of attention. But he won’t harass, demand a game or encouragement, if he sees that the owners are not up to his standard.

With strangers he is rather reserved, the terrier needs time to recognize people close to the family who often come to visit him. If the kerry blue protects the territory, running freely in the yard, then the stranger will be perceived as hostile, aggressive, especially in the absence of the owners.

With the children

Representatives of the Kerry Blue Terrier breed love children, but can come into conflict with them because they behave inappropriately. The animal should not be pulled by the mustache, tail, ears.

With other animals

Terriers do not like small animals and can be aggressive towards them. Dogs of this breed will only allow their owners to take their things. He tends to fight other dogs and chase small animals that he considers prey.


In order to prevent, detect the disease in time, the owner must know what health problems the kerry blue terrier is predisposed to:

  • Abiotrophy is a neurodegenerative disease associated with impaired functioning of the cerebellum, and, as a result, motor skills.
  • Entropy – volvulus of the eyelids, requires surgical intervention.
  • Dysplasia of the joints – the disease gives the dog unbearable pain, at the initial stage the terrier is limping, at the last stage it can partially or completely lose the ability to move.
  • Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that affects its entire structure without causing a rash.
  • Cataract is an eye disease, in the absence of treatment, the dog’s vision first deteriorates, then complete blindness may occur.
  • Hypothyroidism is an endocrine disorder; it can be congenital or acquired.
  • Keratosis of the nose and feet – a pathology occurs when the body begins to produce too much keratin.
  • Oncological diseases.
  • Knee dislocation – there is a lateral and medial dislocation.
  • Ear diseases – often occur due to the fact that the ears of the kerry blue are close to the head, the auricle is not ventilated, as a result, microbes can develop in the sulfur, which lead to all sorts of infections.

Life expectancy

The average lifespan of a Kerry Blue Terrier is 13-15 years. With proper care, a pet can live up to 16-17 years, since the breed is endowed with strong immunity.


The Kerry Blue Terrier needs brushing once a week, and some owners trim their dogs’ hair. Most of all – hair on the muzzle, which is a feature of the breed.

Nails are cut 3 times a month, ears are cleaned 3 times a week (at least – due to the tendency to ear infections), ear canal waxing may also be required, eyes are cleaned daily. Bathe the dog at least once a month.

Living conditions

It is good if the KBT is kept in a private house where there is a fenced-in backyard area. In this case, in the summertime, the dog can walk in the yard at least all day, having the opportunity to freely access the house. It is important for every terrier owner to remember that such a pet jumps high and knows how, loves to make tunnels.

Fun facts

  • TKB breeders deliberately developed aggressiveness and fighting spirit in these dogs in ancient times. During the first shows, the Kerry Blue Terrier passed a mandatory test. The test involved the use of badgers and rabbits. Terriers with a low level of aggressiveness were not allowed in the show.
  • Due to their pugnacious, combative nature, KBT were called blue devils.
  • The tail of the terrier was docked to make it easier to pull the dog out of the burrow by the tail when it climbed there for prey.
  • Initially, in ancient times, at the first KBT shows, it was not customary to bring the breed representatives in perfect order with regards to their appearance.

History of the breed

The native land of the Kerry Blue Terrier is Ireland. To be precise, the breed originated in County Kerry (mountainous region of Ireland). It is from here that the name of this species comes from – “kerry blue”.

It is not known for certain in what century, in what year the KBT appeared. There is only an assumption – the first half of the nineteenth century. Officially recognized as the kerry blue terrier in the twentieth century (1922).

Since ancient times, terriers have been an integral part of the farmers, villagers in Southern Ireland. The duties of these dogs included the extermination of water rats, domestic rodent pests, guarding the house, the owner’s property, grazing livestock, mainly sheep and goats. Terriers have also successfully participated in hunting birds and small game.

The ancestors, as well as the time of the emergence of the carry blue, are not exactly established. It is known that all terriers in Ireland were called “Irish”. Among themselves, they differed in coat, color, height and weight, as well as in body type.

The first breeders to breed and improve KBT were Irish farmers. Breeding work was carried out using the genes of the Black and Tan English Terrier.

Later, the Irish wolfhound took part in the selection. As a result, Kerry Blue got an exceptional scent and flair. Even in the breed, a gray-blue color was fixed.

The selection of the blue terrier did not end there. It is believed to have been crossed with an Irish Terrier and a Bedlington. From these dogs, KBT received a characteristic coat type.

Although there is a version that the terrier received wavy hair from a poodle that accidentally ended up in Ireland as a result of a shipwreck, there is no exact evidence of this.

In 1922, the Kerry Blue Terrier’s show career began. This type was gaining more and more popularity. The official recognition of the Kerry Blue Terrier breed by the American Kennel Club took place in 1924.


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