The Kerry Blue Terrier is probably the most versatile members of the Terrier Group. These dogs are loyal guardians, focused hunters, loving companions, and will even herd when given the chance. They make fun pets to have for outside fun and exploration, yet are obedient and well-mannered inside the house.
Kerry Blue Terriers have many sides to their personality. A fun-loving playful dog, they are great around children and are very affectionate. At the same time the Kerry Blue will stop at nothing to ward off intruders and protect its family at all costs. And when it comes to other pets in the house, it may be difficult for the Kerry Blue Terrier to share the same space, as they are a bit territorial.
A Brief History Of The Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier originated from Ireland and has been around since the 1700s. They could be found in both the northern and souther regions of the country and were first noticed in the Ring of Kerry, making its use as an all-around companion and trusted servant.
Here the Kerry made an excellent farm dog and an avid hunter of small animals, birds, and rodents. They could retrieve in water and on land, while herding cattle and sheep. Amazingly enough, with all of the qualities that this terrier had, it remained a quiet little secret inside Ireland for two centuries. It wasn’t until the mid 1920s did the Kerry Blue Terrier get noticed outside of Ireland, both in England and the United States.
The American and English show rings made the Kerry popular. In 1924, the AKC officially recognized the breed. The early Kerry Blues were not quite as attractive, but as grooming practices and standards improved, the dog became more appealing, making it one of the most striking terriers we see today.
Upkeep Requirements For The Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue must have plenty of daily exercise, but not to the extreme. A few brisk walks on the leash and some outdoor exploring will be plenty. They love to stay busy so having a large property is ideal for these dogs to roam around on. And when it comes to indoor living, the Kerry enjoys lounging around with the family.
Kerry Blue Terriers can tolerate both hot and cold climates so long as the temperatures are not extreme. It is not recommended that they sleep outside as they are very closely bonded with the family. They prefer to be inside the house at night, living up to its names as a devoted guardian. Grooming requirements call for a heavy brushing twice each week, with a monthly scissoring and shaping.
The Kerry Blue Terrier has an average lifespan of between twelve and fifteen years. The only major health concern in the breed is cerebellar abiotrophy. Minor heath issues include otitis externa, spiculosis, CHD, KCS, entropion, and hair follicle tumors. Veterinarians suggest that the Blue Kerry get specifically tested for hip and eye problems.