Kerry Blue Terrier

Breed History / Description

Place of origin and colour of coat give the breed its name. The Kerry Blue was used to cull rats, and was adept in hunting in rivers to kill otter. Like most breeds, the origins of the breed are disputed, but there are records of a black/blue type of dog native to Kerry – another example of a 'type' of dog with local popularity being developed and it is thought that this might be the basis for the development of the breed as we know it today 

First shown in Ireland in 1913 as as Irish Terrier (Blue), the name Kerry Blue Terrier was used for the first time in 1916 at a dog show in Killarney, County Kerry. The breed was recognised by the Kennel Club in 1922. 

Interestingly the puppies are born black changing to shades of blue by around 18 months of age. Its coat is silky in texture. Despite the glamour of its coat and colour, the Kerry retains his feisty terrier spirit. The Kerry Blue is part of the Terrier breed group.


Compact, a powerful Terrier, showing gracefulness and an attitude of alert determination, with definite Terrier style and character throughout. 


Disciplined gameness.

Club, K., 2018. The Kennel Club's Breed Standards. 5th ed. London SW1V 2SA: Ebury Press.

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