Kerry Blue Terrier Breed History
Some say that the dog got its curly coat from the Portuguese water dog, while some experts believe that the breed was a cross of numerous dogs including the old black terriers, Spanish or Russian "blue dog", soft-coated Wheaten terrier and possibly Irish wolfhounds. It was generally used as a companion, but the Kerry blue terrier was known for its talents in hunting and trapping barnyard vermin, hunting and retrieving prey in water, and herding sheep and cattle. It is also capable of assisting in police work. The Kerry blue terrier’s intelligence stems from these hunting and gaming skills. Known as the national terrier of Ireland, the Kerry blue terrier has become a significant figure in Ireland. Its name was derived from Kerry County, located in southwestern Ireland, and from the color of its coat, which is a blue or steel color that continues to lighten with age. It did not take long for this curly-coated breed’s popularity to spread throughout the world, especially once they entered American dog shows in the 1920s. Initially, the Kerry’s coat was not groomed, but as more attention was focused on “cleaning up” its appearance, the dog’s popularity soared. Just two years after its showing at the 1922 Westminster Kennel Club show, the AKC officially recognized this breed. Today, the Kerry blue terrier is an ideal, fun-loving family pet and home guardian.
Kerry Blue Terrier Breed Appearance
The medium-built Kerry blue terrier is muscular and possesses outstanding athletic skills that make it a well-rounded companion, especially to farmers. It is able to run, herd, trail, swim, and trap vermin. The breed has strong bones and muscular, well-balanced legs. Its long head includes prominent facial features, such as V-shaped ears, whiskers, eyebrows, and beard. Possessing terrier-like style and characteristics, it is independent and active, as its body allows it to move freely. A Kerry blue terrier puppy is generally born blue-black. As it ages, one will notice that its coat progressively lightens to shades of silver, red, brown, gray, or Kerry blue. Its coat is thick and full and can be curly or wavy and sheds very little. The coat is odorless, even when it is wet.
Kerry Blue Terrier Breed Temperament
A Kerry Blue Terrier has an array of pleasant personality traits; it is bright, playful, and strong-minded. It rarely barks without provocation, and its determination allows it to conquer many challenges. Without being challenged, the Kerry blue terrier may develop stubborn traits. It is protective of its family, especially children and is very affectionate with people. It is known for giving lovable, slurpy kisses. When it comes to children, the breed is especially unique. It is patient, likes to rough-house, and is a great pet for those who suffer from allergies. The Kerry blue terrier is very enthusiastic in greeting friends, but may be reserved around strangers. The breed can be a fun-loving family pet if it is raised in a highly-socialized environment. The breed can be aggressive toward other animals, particularly male dogs. Young pups socialize well with cats.
Kerry Blue Terrier Breed Maintenance
Kerry blue terriers need to be brushed or combed at least twice a week with either a steel comb or a slicker brush. Bathe your Kerry monthly. Use scissors or clippers when grooming and pay special attention to trimming around the ears. Kerry blue terriers are especially prone to ear infections due to long hair, wax, and dirt build-up in the ear canal, so always keep the ears clean and trimmed. Also, pay close attention to eyes, teeth, and nails. Clean and trim these areas when necessary. It is a good idea to have a professional pet groomer show you how to groom your dog before taking on this habitual responsibility. Regular exercise is important for Kerry blue terriers, as they love to explore. Long walks and yard play are ideal, however, indoor activity – even in an apartment – are acceptable. This breed can live outside in temperament climates, but are much happier with access to a house.