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Adopt a Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier Dog Breed

Picture: Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Corbis



Area of origin:


Original function:

ratting, badger and fox hunting

Average size of male:

Ht: 18-19.5, Wt: 33-40

Average size of female:

Ht: 17.5-19, Wt: <33-40

Other names:

Irish blue terrier

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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

Kerry Blue Terrier Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

See more adoptable Kerry Blue Terrier dogs available on Petfinder

Kerry Blue Terrier Dog Temperament

A versatile terrier, the Kerry blue's personality is multifaceted. She can guard, hunt, herd or just be a fun-loving companion. She needs daily mental and physical activity in a safe area. She loves to run, chase, hunt, explore, play and dig. Indoors, She is well-mannered. She can be protective toward strangers yet greet verified friends with great enthusiasm. She is clever and independent, often stubborn. Some tend to bark.

Kerry Blue Terrier Dog Care

The Kerry blue needs a good amount of exercise, but her needs can be met with either a long walk on leash, a vigorous play session or a chance to explore off leash in a safe area. Her coat needs combing about twice a week, plus scissoring and coat shaping every month.

Kerry Blue Terrier Dog Health

Major concerns: PNA, cerebellar abiotrophy
Minor concerns: cataract, spiculosis, hair follicle tumors, entropion, KCS, narrow palpebral fissure distichiasis, CHD
Occasionally seen: retinal folds
Suggested tests: eye, (hip)
Life span: 12-15 years

Interested in the history of the Kerry Blue Terrier dog breed?

The Kerry blue originated in the south and west of Ireland, first gaining notice in the Ring of Kerry. Here the dog had been known for at least a century as a versatile hunter of vermin, small game and even birds, as well as a land and water retriever and even a sheep and cattle herder. How such a talented and attractive dog should have remained unknown outside of Ireland for so long is a mystery, but she only came on the English and American show scenes around the 1920s. She received AKC recognition in 1924. Early specimens were somewhat disheveled, but as more grooming became accepted, the breed caught on and became a popular show dog. Once groomed, the Kerry blue is one of the most striking of all dogs. She has the peculiarity of being born black, the blue coloration not appearing until between 9 months and 2 years of age. She remains a versatile dog, adding police work and trailing to her list of talents. Despite this, she enjoys only modest popularity as a pet.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Kerry Blue Terrier Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Kerry Blue Terriers ready for adoption:

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