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Kerry Blue Terrier Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue

Kerry Blue Terrier

The origins of the Kerry Blue Terrier, like so many of the terrier breeds in Ireland is obscure, though there are references to a blue-black dog native to County Kerry who may have been at the root of the breed. The coat is the real point of interest and it is possible that a Portuguese Water Dog swam ashore from a shipwrecked vessel, possibly at the time of the Armada when many vessels were lost on the rocks of south-west Ireland and introduced this feature. Once the Kerry Blue was being developed the Bedlington was introduced, which would have reinforced the soft and silky quality of the coat plus introduced blue genes to help fix the colour.

Like the Wire Fox Terrier, in the show ring the Kerry Blue is a real showman’s dog; to produce the typical outline requires great skill and many hours scissoring; don’t expect your pet to come back from the grooming salon looking like a show winner. The soft and silky coat which

is naturally curly has the advantage, like the Poodle, that it does not shed. His single colour is blue, though the true colour may not develop until 18 months and puppies may be tan. They are medium in height at up to 19″ and weigh around 16kg, so they make quite a big dog for a terrier.

When not looking glamorous the Kerry Blue is a real terrier; he loves being outside and is very happy in water, which reinforces the possibility of the Portuguese Water Dog playing a part in his make-up. A description of the Kerry in 1922 said, of his temperament that it was “well nigh faultless, if a slight tendency to demolish the cat population be excepted”.

He is easily trained and doesn’t have such a fondness for a scrap as other terriers and makes a good pet; an excellent guard but kindly natured and happy with his family; although his coat has the advantage of not shedding it will need regular care to keep it free from knots and professional grooming.

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