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AKC Meet the Breeds: Kerry Blue Terrier

Intelligent and game, the Kerry Blue Terrier is truly an all-purpose dog. Originally bred to hunt and retrieve, Kerries can be found today in the show, obedience, agility, herding, and Earthdog rings. The Kerry's trademark soft, wavy coat can range from deep slate gray blue to light blue gray. Kerry Blues are born black, and, if correct, possess the dominant gene for coat fading. They will fade and acquire their adult color by 18 months.

A Look Back

A native of County Kerry, Ireland, the Kerry Blue Terrier was used as an all-round working and utility terrier, responsible for hunting small game and birds, retrieving from land and water, and herding sheep and cattle. It is thought that the peasantry of Ireland developed the Kerry as an answer to the nobility using Irish Wolfhounds. The Kerry was used to help the peasantry to silently hunt the noble hunting grounds.

Right Breed for You?

Energetic and fun-loving, the Kerry Blue Terrier enjoys being part of a family. They possess a typical terrier personality and require daily exercise and firm, patient training. Families with other pets should beware; as hunters, Kerries may not accept cats or small pets. Their coats are hypoallergenic but still need to be brushed and trimmed regularly.

  • Terrier Group; AKC recognized in 1922.
  • Ideal size is 18 1/2 inches tall at the shoulder and 33 to 40 pounds, with females slightly smaller.
  • Farm dog; small game hunter; retriever.

AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.