All About the Breed Kerry Blue Terrier

Have you recently fallen for the Kerry Blue Terrier or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: Breed History, Personality Traits, Train-ability, Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed, and Common Health Concerns.

Also known as the Kerry Terrier or simply the Kerry, the Kerry Blue Terrier is a confident and genuinely happy dog.

But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the Kerry Blue Terrier can be traced back to 19th century Ireland. Enthusiasts believe this breed to be the descendent of the Portuguese Water Dog, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Irish Wolfhound, and the Irish Terrier, though none of this has been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the Kerry Blue Terrier has been most commonly used to hunt and retrieve small game and birds and to herd cattle and livestock.

The Kerry Blue Terrier was first introduced to the United States in 1922, and two years later, were recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Today, the Kerry Blue Terrier has developed an underground following, yet remains rare outside of its native Ireland.

Personality Traits

Best known for its spunky and feisty personality, the Kerry Blue Terrier is full of character. This breed is intelligent and highly trainable, but can be stubborn and overly confident at times. As a pet, the Kerry Blue Terrier is loving, affectionate, and loyal. These dogs are energetic and love to play games such as fetch and frisbee.


Due to its intelligence and energy, the Kerry Blue Terrier loves to stay busy and generally responds well to basic training and commands. This breed has the ability to perform most any task its trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate dominance and trust is key to successfully training the Kerry Blue Terrier. These dogs respond best to a stern yet gentle approach and positive reinforcement.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Kerry Blue Terrier. These feisty dogs are full of personality and often entertaining to watch when at play. This breed responds well to ongoing training and can learn to perform most any impressive trick or task. The Kerry Blue Terrier gets along well with children. These dogs are loyal, affectionate, and loving, making excellent family pets and companions alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Kerry Blue Terrier. This energetic breed requires large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so.

A Kerry Blue Terrier not receiving the proper amount of exercise will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

This breed is very territorial and dominant when it comes to other pets (including dogs and all other pets) and often shows aggression, even when properly socialized. It is not recommended to place a Kerry Blue Terrier in a home with any other pets.

Due to their instinct to hunt, the Kerry Blue Terrier will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, this breed can be difficult to keep up with and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Kerry Blue Terrier must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

The Kerry Blue Terrier's distinctive coat requires almost constant attention, brushing, and grooming.

As previously mentioned, the Kerry Blue Terrier remains rather rare outside of its native Ireland. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such difficulties as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Kerry Blue Terrier is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, dry eyes, cataracts, cysts or cancerous growths, entropian - folding inward of the eye lid, hypothyroidism, skin allergies, and cryptorchidism - the failure of one or both testicles to descend.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Kerry Blue Terrier?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.