Kerry Blue Terrier

The Kerry Blue Terrier or the Irish Blue Terrier is a working breed from Ireland. The breed was primarily developed for catching vermin, but eventually was used for herding cattle and sheep as well as for a guard dog. The breed is also often used for deep-water hunting as it is an excellent swimmer. The exact origins of the breed are not known, but it was first observed in the Country Kerry mountains in Ireland. The breed was standardized by the early 1900s.

The Kerry Blue Terrier stands 18.5 inches high and weighs 33 to 40 pounds. The breed has a long head with a flat skull and a deep chest. Its coat is wavy to curly; the coat is black at birth but its blue coloration appears as the puppy ages. The coat is single layered and very soft.

The breed is typically loyal, affectionate, and happy, especially toward its owners. However, it can be bull headed and aggressive toward other animals. The breed is well suited for work and does well in herding, tracking, agility and obedience. It is a fast, strong breed with a higher than normal energy level. It must have daily activity and exercise in order to keep it occupied.

The breed is fairly high maintenance due to the amount of time it needs to spend playing and being trained daily. It also needs a great deal of grooming. Daily brushing is preferable, and trimming is required every 10 weeks.

The breed is relatively healthy, but it can be prone to several genetic disorders, much like most other breeds. The breed may be affected by: dry eyes, cataracts, entropion, cancer, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, cryptorchidism, progressive neuronal abiotrophy, and spiculosis.

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