Kerry Blue Terrier
Multi Ch. Opus de Chapeau Terrier
Photo with thanks to Ana, www.chapeauterrier.com
Kerry Blue Terrier
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Kerry Blue Terrier
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Group Terriers (KC)
History Named after a county bearing the same name, the Kerry Blue Terrier is originally from Ireland where it is also called the Irish Blue Terrier. This dog traces its roots back from a breeding process conducted during the late 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. 1916 was the year that the breed was first introduced in Ireland.
It is a cross between the Wheaten Terrier and a Bedlington Terrier. Back then, this breed was widely used as a working dog for controlling of vermin, as well as for hunting and herding. Today, the Kerry Blue Terrier makes for an excellent pet and watchdog.
Appearance The Kerry Blue Terrier is distinctive due to its unique blue color and curly coat. This average-sized dog is muscular by nature. It has an elongated head, which should be in perfect symmetry with the rest of its body. Another unique characteristic of this dog breed is its overly-long whiskers, eyebrows and beard which makes its eyes and face appear to be 'hidden' unless viewed from a close range. They also have long legs and upright tails which are medium in length.
Colours This dog breed is born with a black color. However, its color completely changes by the 18th month. The hue ranges from a bluish gray to a darker shade of blue.
Temperament When mixed with other dog breeds, Kerry Blue Terriers can be quite aggressive. However, they are gentle towards children and are extremely loyal to their owners. This breed is stubborn by nature, so they should be properly trained by the breeder so that they can mingle with other animals. These dogs are also naturally athletic, lively, quite mischievous yet fun-loving.
Weight They are 43 - 48 cm in height and 14 - 18 Kg in weight.
Problems A 15-year old Kerry Blue Terrier is not uncommon, although the breed in general is vulnerable to some common health problems. This is the reason why prospective owners should look for eye certifications before buying this dog as a pet. A hip x-ray should also be considered since the breed is known to have hip dysplasia.
Another disease that dog owners should be concerned about is spiculosis where the hair tends to grow unusually thick, causing pain to the animal. However, if the dog is not afflicted with any of these genetic diseases, they are strong and healthy animals which can live a strong life.
Living Conditions These dogs can survive in an apartment since they are relatively active indoors, although a house with a small yard would do as well.
Requirements These dogs are used to physical exertion so they should be taken on a long walk everyday. Jogging, running and playing roughhouse games are also encouraged.
Training Requirements Due to its stubborn nature, the Kerry Blue Terrier is quite difficult to train. If a breeder or an owner uses the same routine of exercises over and over again, this obstinate animal would be quite a handful. It is still a hardworking dog, though, so the time and patience that will be spent in training would all be worth it in the end.
Life Expectancy These dogs can live for as long as 12 to 15 years.
Grooming With its curly, luxuriously blue coat, the Kerry Blue Terrier requires quite a bit of grooming and maintenance. For its coat, daily brushing and trimming every six weeks is ideal. They should be given a bath every week, and regular removal of the hair from the ear canal is required to prevent ear infection. Special attention should be given to keeping their long beards clean, since it is the first part which is most likely to get stuck with food when they are feeding. Due to the human-like quality of its hair which is not prone to shredding, this breed is ideal for those with pet allergies.
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More Kerry Blue Terrier Information: Check out our Kerry Blue Terrier Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.
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|Photo with thanks to Montse Sánchez & Carlos Díaz-Portales, www.irisfingel.com