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Kerry Blue Terrier

Size: Medium

Weight: 33 - 40 lbs.

Height: 17" - 20"

Life Span: 14+ years

Health Problems: Kerry Blue Terriers are generally a healthy; long-lived breed. However some lines have experienced the following: hip dysplasia; progressive neuronal abiotrophy; fatal nerve disorder; cataracts; allergies; spiculosis: the formation of coarse hair and correlating hair follicle tumors; entropion; keratoconjunctivitis sicca; distichiasis; narrow palpebral fissure distichiasisme; heart disease; elbow dysplasia; sebaceous cysts; ear infections

Origin: Ireland (1700s)

Also Known As: Irish Blue Terrier, Kerry

Group: Terrier

Category: Companion Dog, Hunting, Field Trials

Exercise Needs

No special exercise requirements.

Grooming Needs

It is recommended that Kerries be professionally groomed every 6 weeks. Make sure that excess hair in the inner ear is trimmed to reduce the risk of ear infection.


This breed is fun-loving and alert. Kerries like to roughhouse, and their resilient nature makes them a good fit for active children. This breed can live peacefully with other animals if properly introduced, but it usually tends to show aggression toward other dogs. Kerries should be kept on a leash when in public to avoid dog fights. While the Kerry is a load of fun, it also can be a handful. Stubbornness can make training difficult. Consistency and patience is key. This breed is popular in competition field trials because of its high energy and athleticism. Kerries that do not really enjoy the sport will begin to show it by misbehaving over time. Don't be a "stage" Mom or Dad. Most Kerries trained for competition enjoy the challenge, but it is not wise to force it on those that don't because they'll begin to rebel. Firm obedience training is required for show dogs."

Compatibility with Kids

Good with children.


It is unclear how the Kerry Blue Terrier came into existence. Its unique color suggests that the Portuguese Water Dog or the Spanish Blue Dog may have played a role in its development. Some believe these breeds were crossed with Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Terriers or the Wheaten Terrier to develop its unique coat and other traits. Originally used to hunt fox and pests, today the Kerry Blue is a popular pet and field trialist.