KERRY BLUE TERRIER – Long-Legged
What makes the Kerry Blue Terrier Unique?
Kerry Blue Terriers are multipurpose dogs that were originally created to work on Irish farms.
Is the Kerry Blue Terrier Right For You?
These energetic dogs are fun loving, loyal, and somewhat silly at times. These traits make them particularly good companion for older children. However, Kerry Blue Terriers are not a good fit for households that already contain cats or other small animals as they may view these smaller creatures as prey. Members of this breed may also be aggressive towards canines of their own gender, particularly the males, leading to fights. Early socialization is the best way to prevent this trait from becoming problematic. Prospective owners should be aware that some members of this breed may also like to dig or bark.
Learn About the Kerry Blue Terrier
In keeping with their original function as farm dogs, members of this medium-sized breed have compact, athletic bodies. They also posses a sturdy bone structure and long limbs. V-shaped, button style ears are yet another breed features. Kerry Blues also have high-set tails that are often docked to mid-length in places where the practice is not illegal.
Male dogs stand between 18 and 19 inches (46 and 48 centimeters) tall. The females of this breed are naturally shorter at 17 to 18 (44 to 46 centimeters) in height. Dogs of both genders have an average weight of about 27.5 pounds (12.5 kilograms), with the males being somewhat heavier than their female contemporaries.
Kerry Blue Terriers derive their name from their shaggy, blue coats. However, puppies of this breed are born with black fur that eventually turns the blue-grey hue that is characteristic of the breed. These dogs have a thick, single layer that is soft to the touch and has a wavy texture.
Short History of the Kerry Blue Terrier
As is the case with many breeds, the origins of the Kerry Blue Terrier are shrouded in mystery. Members of this breed may even be the descendants of a legendary blue coated dog that survived a shipwreck and went on to produce numerous offspring. It is also possible that there is some Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier and Irish Wolfhound ancestry in the breed as well. However, the fact remains that Kerry Blue Terriers have been in existence since the 19th century, just before the First World War. Since their creation, these dogs have been used as vermin killers, hunters, retrievers, livestock managers, and estate guardians in Ireland. A number of Kerry Blues were even imported to United States around the 1920s. Members of this breed were eventually recognized as part of the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1948.
Most dogs that were bred to work on farms tend to be suspicious of strangers but they get along just fine with the people that they know. Kerry Blues are no exception to this rule. These energetic dogs are fun loving, loyal, and somewhat silly at times. These traits make them particularly good companion for older children. However, Kerry Blue Terriers are not a good fit for households that already contain cats or other small animals as they may view these smaller creatures as prey. Members of this breed may also be aggressive towards canines of their own gender, particularly the males, leading to fights. Early socialization is the best way to prevent this trait from becoming problematic. Prospective owners should be aware that some members of this breed may also like to dig or bark.
Caring for Your Kerry Blue Terrier
Kerry Blue Terriers are a healthy breed, with an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. However, members of this breed are prone to numerous eye ailments that can cause the dogs to go blind if they are left untreated. Young dogs are known to suffer from entropion, a condition that causes their eyelids to turn inward. This ailment generally can be corrected with surgery. Dry eye, a illness scientifically known as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, is another problem in this breed. This condition means that a dog’s tear ducts don’t function properly but it is easily treated with medicines. Cataracts and pigmentary keratitis are other, more serious health concern for members of this breed. Therefore, regular vet checkups are extremely important for Kerry Blue Terriers.
Kerry Blues are lively individuals that need a lot of daily exercise in order to keep them in good health. These dogs enjoy participating in a wide variety of activities. Therefore, members of this breed should be allowed to run about and play in open areas on a regular basis so that they can get rid of excess energy. However, owners should not allow their dogs off the leash in city environments because Kerry Blues enjoy chasing smaller animals and, needless to say, this habit could lead to serious problems.
Members of this breed will need to have their fur brushed several times per week. Their faces will also require regular cleaning because food can easily get trapped in their beards while they are eating. For good oral health, it is additionally important that Kerry Blues have their teeth cleaned on a regular basis. This preventative measure can be accomplished using a pet approved toothbrush and toothpaste, tooth powders, or specially formulated chew toys.
Parasite prevention medications should be administered once a month to keep harmful pests at bay and help prevent otherwise avoidable illnesses.
Grooming & Bathing
Kerry Blue Terriers need a lot of grooming, thanks to their thick coats, but they do not shed much fur. Regular baths are necessary to keep members of this breed looking their best. These dogs should also have their coats professionally trimmed every three to four months.
Exercise & Training
Kerry Blue Terriers are intelligent, energetic animals that can easily adapt to a wide variety of environments and they can even make good house pets. However, these dogs have a high need for mental stimulation and plentiful exercise that must be met if they are to be successful members of society. It is best to give Kerry Blues a task to perform to keep them from indulging in destructive behaviors. After all, they have a broad range of skills that make them good candidates for both farm work and canine sports.
Like most terriers, Kerry Blues can be stubborn individuals. Therefore, members of this breed are probably not a good choice for first-time pet owners. These dogs require firm leadership, consistent rules and a fair hand in order to be at their best. It is very important to make sure that Kerry Blues observe proper leash etiquette and do not tug on the leash as allowing this sort of behavior can lead to more serious problems.
Boredom is another serious problem for members of this breed. Kerry Blues that are not given enough to do may turn their copious energy towards habits that their owners probably won’t like, such as excessive barking or digging. Members of this breed also need plenty of human interaction to be at their best. Therefore, Kerry Blue Terriers should always be part of an active family that spends a great deal of time outdoors and has plenty of time to devote to spending with their pet.