History & Overview
Officially named as the National Dog of Ireland, this breed from County Kerry in the south-west of Ireland is also known as the Irish Blue Terrier. It existed as a working dog for centuries before its striking appearance attracted the attention of the show world.
Its original function was to take to the water in the hunt for otters. This is a versatile, hard-working farmer’s dog, not only able to assist with vermin-control and hunting but also work as a reliable house guard.
The Kerry Blue is an outgoing dog who demonstrates his feelings. He has humor, wit and a blazing temper, with great energy and endurance to match the temperament. Adapting quickly to any climate, he is hardy, healthy and long-lived. He retains his liveliness at an age when most other dogs have shown down. He is not particularly friendly and can bite at times. Kerry blues are loyal to their owners but may not be tolerant of young children. These are very stubborn and assertive dogs. Like most terriers, he suffers from eczema during the summer.
The Kerry Blue displays an attractive pale gray coat with dark, almost black extremities. The puppies are born black, and their color gradually fades until, by the time they are one or two years old, the adult coloring has arrived. His short, wavy, slate-blue colored coat is unique amongst terriers. This is one breed of dogs that does not shed its coat. Nor does it have a “doggy” odor.