Breed Information Centre

Kerry Blue Terrier


Illustration of Kerry Blue Terrier

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 Terrier Breed Group

Dogs originally bred and used for hunting vermin. 'Terrier' comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough, and to pursue fox, badger, rat and otter (to name but a few) above and below ground. Dogs of terrier type have been known here since ancient times, and as early as the Middle Ages, these game breeds were portrayed by writers and painters.

Copyright © The Kennel Club Limited 2020. The unauthorised reproduction of text and images is strictly prohibited.