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Answers from vets about your dog:

The Kerry Blue Terrier

Posted March 12, 2014 in Dog Breeds

Hailing from the mountains of Kerry, Ireland the Kerry Blue Terrier was a working dog. He’s a dog of many skills including hunting, herding sheep and cattle, retrieving vermin, and tracking small game and birds.

The Kerry Blue Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1922.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 33 to 40 lbs.
  • Height: 17.5 to 19.5 inches
  • Coat: Thin, wavy and soft. Short to medium in length.
  • Color: Gray, blue, blue & gray, slate blue, silver blue, silver, blue & silver, blue & black, or black.
  • Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years

What’s the Kerry Blue Terrier like?
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a loving, smart, and fun firecracker! He is hopelessly devoted to his family. He needs plenty of exercise which could consist of many activities: A nice walk, a jog, a game of fetch, or anything else as long as it’s with you! Kerries should never be left outside alone, unless securely fenced and even then not for long periods of time. He likes to spend most of his time with the family.

Start socializing your Kerry early so that he doesn’t become aggressive towards other dogs. They’ve been known to be a little scared and hostile towards others but you can prevent this with help from a puppy kindergarten class. 

Just because the Kerry doesn’t shed much doesn’t mean grooming him will be a breeze. His coat needs to be brushed daily and you’ll need to trim and bathe him every 4-6 weeks. You’ll also need to run a comb through his coat about twice a week to remove and prevent any tangles or mats. 

The Kerry Blue Terrier is a normally healthy dog with some concerns to be aware of:

Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA)

  • A disease that occurs at a young age and may lead to paralysis

 Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

  • A disease that slowly deteriorates part of the spinal cord, and like CA, ultimately leads to paralysis

It is very important that you get all health documents relating to your pup’s bloodline from your breeder to see if he could develop either of these conditions.

Takeaway Points

  • The Kerry Blue Terrier is on the high maintenance side when it comes to grooming.
  • The Kerry Blue Terrier, with his hunting instincts, will keep your house vermin free!
  • The Kerry Blue Terrier would make a great family dog.
  • The Kerry Blue Terrier should be

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Tori has more than 2 years of experience in the pet health industry and is junior editor of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.