The Kerry Blue Terrier, called An Brocaire Gorm in Irish, is a breed of medium-sized dogs famous around the world today for its versatility and working ability. Originally bred for hunting vermin, such as rats, badgers, hares, rabbits, and otters, it has now become an all-purpose dog used for different types of jobs like herding sheep and cattle. It is characterized by long, well-balanced head, dark, small eyes, V-shaped ears, flat skull, moderately long neck, broad chest, long, fine shoulders, muscular hindquarters, and a high-set tail carried erect.
|Other Names||Irish Blue Terrier|
|Coat||Soft, dense, wavy|
|Color||Black, blue, silver, gray, slate blue, silver blue, blue and gray, blue and black|
|Weight||Females: 22-29 lb
Males: 26-33 lb
|Height||Females: 17-18 in
Males: 18-19 in
|Temperament||Smart, alert, people-oriented, lively, loyal|
|Litter Size||5-8 puppies|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Country Originated in||Ireland|
|Competitive Registration/Qualification Information||ACR, ACA, ANKC, AKC, APRI, DRA, FCI, CET, CKC, NAPR, KCGB, NZKC, NKC, UKC|
First spotted in the mountainous regions of County Kerry in Ireland, the Kerry Blue Terrier is believed to have evolved from the Portuguese Water Dog during the 1700s. It is also speculated that the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Irish Wolfhound, Irish Terrier, and Bedlington Terriers might have played a role in the foundation of the breed. In rural Ireland, its usage pertained to a farm dog and house guardian.
As dog shows were held in the 19th and 20th centuries, the Kerry Blue Terrier was standardized for the different events. During the early 1900s, an Irishman Michael Collins tried to enact a law to declare the Kerry Blue Terriers as the National Dog of Ireland. However, he was assassinated before the law could be passed.
The United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club was established in 1922 while the AKC acknowledged the breed in 1924.
The Kerry is a great family companion that likes to be involved in household activities, enjoying the most when it is close to its people. It gets along well with children and adults alike. Like all terriers, it has a high chasing instinct and a love of digging.
It is naturally watchful of its surrounding and is always ready to warn its family of anything suspicious. Although it can behave calmly around strangers, it will not hesitate to attack when provoked.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is not good-natured with other pets and can be aggressive towards other dogs, resulting in attacks and fights.
The Kerry, being stubborn by nature, needs a strong-willed trainer who can consistently show leadership.
You need to safely introduce your Kerry Blue Terrier puppy to other well-socialized dogs that can greet your pet calmly. Take your Kerry Blue out for a walk on a leash and allow it to interact with friendly and gentle dogs, which can give signals to pacify your Kerry’s excitement or aggression. Signals like sniffing the back before face-to-face greetings can be beneficial.
Since your Kerry can be resolute and mischievous, you should teach it to obey some voice commands so that you can easily stop some of its bad behaviors including digging, chasing, and excessive barking (occasionally). Commands like sit, stay, come, heel, leave it, and stay are commonly taught to puppies at about 12-16 weeks of age.
Being an energetic working breed, it needs 1.5-2 cups of quality dry food on a regular basis.