Dogs come in every size, built, weight, and height you can think of. However, many are often within predictable colors without any help from us meddling humans. This is why Purebredbreeders.com finds the Kerry Blue Terrier fascinating. Also known as Irish Blue Terriers, these dogs actually do come in some variations of blue (also a term used for gray in dog shows). A dog that usually ranges from slate blue all the way to light gray in color when mature, the Kerry Blue may even be a dark blue to black. We wonder how cool it would be to have a naturally blue dog.
Based on Purebredbreeders.com’s understanding, the Kerry Blue is thought to have originated from the Kerry in Ireland, although some sources argue that they are from Tipperary. What is clear is that they are Irish dogs, and considered the national terrier of Ireland. They have long been used as working dogs both there and in England, but became family companions over time due to their comical nature. The Kerry Blue Terrier was bred to be hunters of small game and birds, and are suited to retrieving catches from water as well as land. They are also used as farm dogs. This breed is thought to have been shown from as early as 1916 at the Killarney Show in Queensland, and became AKC recognized in 1924.
The Kerrys Blues’ coat ranges from curly to wavy in texture. Typically this breed does not shed, but requires detailed and frequent grooming due to the easily matted and ever growing nature of its coat. Kerry Blues are black at birth and as they age their coat transforms into shades of blue, from slate or steel gray to pearl gray with a bluish cast. During the change subtle brown or rust coloring of the coat commonly occurs. This normally disappears by age 2 (24 months).
The mature Kerry Blue has a long head, flat skull and stands at 18-1/2 inches at the withers for a male, slightly less for the female. They weigh anywhere between 33-40 pounds (lbs) and typically or ideally have a fairly good muscular-skeletal frame which should be maintained with regular exercise. Dark spots on the mature Kerry Blue are commonly seen, with darker feet and head than the rest of the body which makes for a nice contrast.
Kerry Blues are strong willed, some might even say “dogged” in their pursuits whether it be chasing a tail or a trail. They are highly spirited and playful dogs who are extremely affectionate and loyal to their owners, but can be unfriendly to other dogs and animals in general if not properly introduced to them. It’s advised that their owners be confident with an authoritative presence since they have the tendency to test their humans, and can be stubborn if they sense that owners are not dominant.
A pack order therefore has to be established from early, and maintained, in order to preserve balance. This ability to be domineering and stubborn is believed to stem from their inbred hunting nature. Luckily, Kerry Blues are trainable, love to please, and are great at sports. They do require variations in play activity since they learn quickly and can easily become bored.