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Irish Blue Terrier
aka The Kerry Blue Terrier Dog

irish blue terrier, kerry blue terrier dog The Irish Blue Terrier, also known as the Kerry Blue Terrier dog, is the national dog breed of Ireland. He is a good-humored fellow as you might well imagine, but not without a dose of pepper in his personality!

The breed origins can be traced back over a hundred years to the Kerry Mountain region in Ireland where they were used as a general working dog. Their skills range from hunting and retrieving both on land and water, to guarding the flocks and the homestead.

Likely breeding stock included the Bedlington and the Bull Terrier. It is a very sturdy and well-balanced looking dog with unmistakable Terrier characteristics. It has a full and beautiful dark coat and a dominant square-shaped head.

Personality and Traits:

The Irish Blue Terrier, as he is known in Ireland, is very charismatic, smart and bold. He is an affectionate and loyal dog to his entire family - not a one person dog. Like most terriers, he is confident and independent, except in his case, these traits are more dominant.

These terriers need strong owners who can unequivocally establish their leadership. Otherwise, they may end up with a boisterous dog that can be a handful. Training needs to be challenging and creative to hold their attention.

Early socialization is recommended to balance their protective traits and potential dog-aggressiveness.

An ideal owner should have a sense of humor, be firm and fair in training, but not domineering, and enjoy a challenge of wits with this clever canine. This is not a dull dog!

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Appearance, Coat And Care

Height: 17-1/2 to 19 inches
Weight: 33-40 lbs.
Color variations: Blue gray, light blue gray, gray blue, deep slate

Single coated, soft and silky, though very plentiful and quite dense. The breed does not shed and has no odor.

Grooming is a top priority in owning a Kerry to prevent the coat from becoming matted. Frequent brushing and regular trimming is needed, as well as monthly bathing.

Activity Level:

The Irish Blue Terrier is quite an active dog that enjoys long walks, vigorous games and definitely some mental stimulation.

Space Needs:

With sufficient exercise, the Kerry Blue dog adapts well to either house or apartment, though there is no doubt that a fenced yard would be useful.


The Irish Blue Terrier is very playful and seems to have a natural affinity with children. Although they are patient and gentle with kids, their sometimes rambunctious behavior may make them better pals for bigger children.

As always, when it comes to interaction between pets and children - no matter what the breed - activities should be supervised by an adult.


Elderly or more sedentary owners would most likely find this breed more dog than they need!

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Reading Resources:

Kerry Blue Terrier (Comprehensive Owner's Guide)Kerry Blue Terrier (Comprehensive Owner's Guide)

Kerry Blue Terriers

Covers breed history, description, grooming, selection, nutrition, housetraining, general health care, breeding, and owner responsibility. A good resource for the novice or someone considering the breed. Good color photos.

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› Irish Blue Terrier



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