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Kerry Blue Terrier… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

If you’re looking for one really tough dog, wrapped up in a medium package, then you may have just found the dog your looking for because the Kerry Blue Terrier is all that and more!  But be warned while these guys are certainly loyal to a fault, they are also very much a “Terrier” at heart, which means that these dogs may not be “right” for everyone.

This is why…

In this article, we wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own one of these incredible animals, as well as discuss some of the pros and cons of this breed.  This way,, if you are on the “fence” about whether you want to adopt a Kelly Blue Terrier puppy or rescue dog, you’ll hopefully have a better idea if one will be right for you!

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Kerry Blue Terrier Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Ireland

Breed Group: Terrier

Height: 17.5 to 19.5 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 33 to 40 pounds

Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Origin of the Kerry Blue Terry

The Kerry Blue Terry or Irish Blue Terrier is from the Kerry County of Ireland, hence the name.  There in Ireland, the Kerry Blue earned a reputation for being a “do everything” dog.  Whether helping out on the farm with the livestock, huntingg vermin and small game,, or even working as a land and water retriever for hunters, this dog can do anything!

That said, however…

It wasn’t until after World War I that this breed became famous across Ireland and England, mainly because that was when they made their first actual appearance in the Westminster Kennel Club show, where they stole the spotlight!  So much so that their new-found fame could not be contained in just one continent, which is why they were soon afterward “officially” recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1924, which was followed by the formation of the first Kerry Blue Terrier club in New York City.

Oddly, though, while the Kerry Blue Terrier is a loyal family dog and is certainly well known, his popularity has never quite overtaken in the U.S. However, the dog owners who have adopted him know about him and are more than happy with this breed.

 Physical Characteristics

Kerry Blue Terrier is a mid-sized dog. Males of the breed stand at 18 to 19.5 inches in shoulder height, while females are between 17.5 to 19 inches tall. They don’t weigh much, only 30 to 40 pounds, but you can bet all 30 to 40 pounds of him will be muscle!  This bears repeating that Kerry Blue is a very muscular and strong dog – after all, a working dog. He has a thick and wavy coat that covers most of his body, which, you guessed, is usually blue-gray.

These guys also have…

He has a long head and sports big whiskers and a thick beard. His eyebrows are thick, too, which looks all the more powerful when matched with his V-shaped ears and a large black nose.  And while Kerry Blue does not shed much, you should know that brushing his coat every week is essential to prevent any tangling or matting of the hair and remove the dirt or grime.  You’ll also need to trim or sheer his coat once a month if you want to keep him looking his best!

Personality and Temperament

The Kerry Blue Terrier is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. He is full of life, energetic, and playful. These are the “kinds” of dogs that will want to follow you everywhere and want to be involved in everything you do.  Which, as we all know, can be good and evil. It’s good that your pet loves you so much and is eager to please. However, the dog can start sulking and whining whenever he starts feeling ignored in any way.  And when the Kerry Blue gets bored, he resorts to mindless mischief. He can be destructive sometimes, jumping at people, barking unnecessarily, or tearing up the sofa cushion.


This is not a dog that likes being teased or mistreated. He reacts to that; he can snap. That’s why you should not trust a small child or a toddler with him. You know how badly kids treat dogs at times!  Also, it would be best to establish yourself as Kerry Blue’s leader sternly and early in the relationship. This is a dog that respects authority and wants to be led. He is a clever dog; if you’re too soft, he will take advantage of that.

That’s why this…

The dog may not be ideal for an inexperienced or first-time dog owner. He is also unsuitable for a multi-pet household as he has a strong prey drive. He is likelier to hunt cats, small animals, and birds rather than make friends with them.  However, once trained, your Kerry Blue Terrier will become a loyal dog that is highly protective of his human family and who will protect your household like no other.

Potential Health Concerns

Like all purebreds, one must always be concerned about a particular breed’s potential health risks.  And while all in all, the Kerry Blue Terrier is a reasonably health breed, it is susceptible to specific health conditions, such as…

And while this may seem like a long list, the truth is this is somewhat typical when purchasing a purebred dog.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies, we encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance.

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