Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier dog is a versatile breed that has the build of a dog able to perform a variety of tasks; all requiring athletic ability. It can run, herd, trail, retrieve, swim and dispatch vermin — the ideal all-around farm companion. In keeping with this, it is not exaggerated in build. It is an upstanding, long-legged terrier with a short back, displaying strong bones and muscle. Its coat is soft, dense, and wavy, and of distinctive blue-gray color.
A versatile terrier, the Kerry blue’s personality is multifaceted. It can guard, hunt, herd or just be a fun-loving companion. It needs daily mental and physical activity in a safe area. It loves to run, chase, hunt, explore, play and dig. Indoors, it is well-mannered. It can be protective toward strangers yet greet verified friends with great enthusiasm. It is apt to be aggressive toward other dogs and small animals. It is clever and independent, often stubborn. Some tend to bark.
The origin of the Kerry Blue Terrier has been the subject of many theories but its true ancestors will probably never be known. The Kerry is one of three long-legged terrier breeds developed in Ireland by crofters who needed all-purpose farm dogs, capable of herding, guarding, hunting, retrieving, and vermin control. Many people consider that one of these breeds, the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, is an ancestor of the Kerry Blue Terrier. It is also believed the Irish Wolfhound contributed to the development of this breed.
Notwithstanding the romantic tales of this breed’s origin, the Kerry was first known as a distinct breed by the end of the 19th century. The “Irish Blue Terrier,” as it was called was first shown in Britain shortly before World War I, and the first Kerries were imported into the United States just after that war. Kerry Blue Terriers have been used to do nearly every canine job, including hunting, herding, and police/military work. The breed was recognized by the AKC in 1922.
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