Kerry Blue Terrier Mobile

Kerry Blue Terrier

Short-coupled, compact and muscular, the Kerry Blue Terrier is a strong, medium sized dog, although one of the larger terriers. The coat has a soft, silky texture, profuse and wavy and comes in a blue-grey colour, with or without black points. This colour fades over time with puppies being born black and fading out to blue-grey as they mature.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Medium dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 13-15 years
Weight:  15-17kg
Height:  46-48cm
Colours:  Blue-grey colour, with or without black points
Size:  Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Terrier


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 3/5
Likes other pets: 2/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 1/5


Described as fierce, intelligent, charming and trust-worthy, the Kerry Blue is still a formidable character even though they are more popular as a show dog than working dog today. Bred to deal with vermin and guard property, the Kerry Blue is an independent thinker, and if left untrained may make decisions by themselves that lead owners into trouble!

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Ireland

Originating from County Kerry in the south-west of Ireland, the Kerry Blue is the National Dog of Ireland. A versatile, hard-working farm dog, the Kerry Blue was and is, excellent as a guard/watch dog, and was originally bred to kill rats and even take to the water after otters.  

Their origins are slightly hazy and may originally have been a cross between existing Irish Terriers and Bedlington Terriers but this is uncertain enough that romantic legends still talk of the Kerry Blue’s ancestor swimming ashore from a shipwreck. 

Recognised by the Irish Kennel Club in 1922, a breed club was formed in the UK that same year and the breed standard formalised - although while they found a niche in the terrier world they have for some reason never been hugely popular.   

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Kerry Blue Terrier

Training Kerry Blue Terrier

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

  • Although they are National Dog of Ireland, the Kerry Blue is on the UK’s Vulnerable breed list, with well under 200 puppies registered in any of the last five years. Despite this, a Kerry Blue, “Torums Scarf Michael” won Best in Show at Crufts in 2000.

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