The Kerry Blue Terrier was developed in the rugged, mountainous area of County Kerry, Ireland, which gave him his name. Though his history is uncertain, the breed is known to have been purebred in that region for over a hundred years.
The hardworking Kerry Blue has been used to hunt on land and water, to guard homes and farms, to kill rodents, and even to herd and drive sheep and cattle. He has also been used in England as a police dog, for trailing and guarding.
The Blue in his name comes from the color of his soft and silky coat. He is born black. His coat changes gradually over the first 18 months before reaching its final blue-gray color. He requires a twice-weekly brushing and a professional scissors-trim every few months.
Excerpts from the standard
General Appearance: Upstanding, balanced, with well-developed muscles.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--181/2 inches at the withers; slightly smaller for females. Weight--33 to 40 pounds, with females being lighter.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is renowned for his "ring presence"--that quality beyond his appearance that makes him a Kerry Blue. Judges look for a "'devil come forward'" attitude, controlled, alert, and "possessing a high pitch of beauty and an abundance of courageous vitality" (from The Complete Kerry Blue Terrier by E.S. Montgomery, published in 1950 by Denlinger's).
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.