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Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier Breed


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Dog Size

Energy Level

Dog Energy Level


Dog Trainability

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Physical Characteristics:
Height: 17-20”
Weight: 33-40 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Kerry Blue Terrier in the following colors:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Blue and black
  • Blue and gray
  • Blue and silver
  • Silver
  • Silver blue
  • Slate blue

Health & Longevity

Average Life Span: 13-15 years
Kerry Blue Terriers are healthy, although some conditions can potentially affect the breed.

There are a couple of serious conditions that, in rare cases, may be experienced by Kerry Blue Terriers. Cerebellar degeneration is a condition in which the cells in the cerebellum die. The condition affects puppies and may progress to paralysis. Symptoms include swaying, muscle tremors, and loss of coordination. There is no definitive cure for the disease, but some treatments have shown promise. Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive and incurable disease of the spinal cord. Weakness and lack of coordination in the rear limbs are typically the first sign of this condition, and it may progress to complete paralysis. There is currently no cure and no effective treatment for degenerative myelopathy.

Blood clotting disorders like Von Willebrand’s disease and Factor XI deficiency (hemophilia) can impact Kerry Blue Terriers on occasion. Both of these disorders interfere with the blood-clotting process and can lead to severe, uncontrolled bleeding. Treatments for these disorders include medication and fresh-frozen plasma.

Kerry Blue Terriers may also experience hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. Hip dysplasia occurs when the thigh bone cannot fit properly into a malformed hip joint. Discomfort, limping, and potentially arthritis or even lameness can result. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not breed, so ensure that your puppy’s parents have no history of the condition. Patellar luxation is when the knee joint slides easily in and out of place. This dislocation of the knee can, in severe cases, lead to lameness. Surgery can treat these conditions in severe cases.

Eye diseases like dry eye and entropion may occur in Kerry Blue Terriers. Entropion is when the eyelid rolls inward, causing irritation and potentially injuring the cornea. Entropion can lead to decreased or even lost vision.

Despite the possibilities of these conditions, the vast majority of Kerry Blue Terriers are healthy dogs, and the average lifespan for this breed is 13-15 years.

Temperament & Train-ability

Like most terriers, the Kerry Blue Terrier is spirited, athletic, and affectionate. He is gentle, but he is also independent and strong-willed. He is intelligent and highly people-oriented.

This breed can live in an apartment, but it is important to ensure their exercise needs are met. The average Kerry Blue Terrier needs at least forty minutes of exercise each day, which can be accomplished with two twenty-minute walks. He loves chasing, hunting, digging, running, and exploring, so try to give him time outdoors or time to play as often as possible. He does need both physical and mental stimulation to prevent boredom, and he needs plenty of time with his family due to his love for companionship. Kerry Blue Terriers do tend to bark quite a bit, and this behavior should be addressed with training. If your dog plays outside independently, be sure your yard is securely fenced. The Kerry loves to dig and is incredibly intelligent, so he may engineer an escape otherwise.

The Kerry Blue Terrier is a good playmate for older children. Like most Terriers, he may snap at a child who does not respect his space or property, so he should be supervised if he is going to be around younger children or toddlers. He can get along with smaller animals if he is brought up with them, but remember that he does have a high prey drive and is likely to chase unfamiliar small animals. For this reason, he should be kept on a leash at all times if you are walking him outdoors. The Kerry Blue Terrier may be dog aggressive, and he can be rather wary of strangers. Proper socialization is needed to prevent or reduce these behaviors. If not socialized properly from a young age, the Kerry Blue Terrier can become fearful or timid around unfamiliar people.

This breed can be a challenge to train. The Kerry Blue Terrier is independent and strong-willed, and he can also be rather rowdy. He may also try to assert dominance and can potentially be manipulative. He needs you to be firm, consistent, and clear in enforcing your rules and expectations. Teach your Kerry Blue Terrier to respect you; make it very clear that you are in charge. Use positive reinforcement techniques like delicious treats, extra play time, or verbal praise. Keep training sessions short, varied, and upbeat to prevent the intelligent Kerry Blue Terrier from growing bored.


On the positive side, the Kerry Blue Terrier does not shed much. However, his coat is still quite high maintenance. He needs brushing at least twice a week, and daily brushing may be required in some cases to prevent the coat from becoming matted and tangled. The Kerry Blue Terrier will also need a shampoo and a trim every 4-6 weeks.

Keep nails fairly short, as this is more comfortable for the Kerry Blue Terrier. Trim them as needed to prevent them from tapping on the floor. Brush teeth 2-3 times weekly to maintain healthy gums and prevent bad breath. Check ears regularly for signs of infection such as tenderness, redness, and odor. Also ensure that there is not an excessive buildup of wax, dirt, or debris in the ears.


The typical Kerry Blue Terrier should eat 1.5-2 cups of high-quality dog food daily. Of course, the exact amount and type that is best for your individual dog will vary according to factors like age, weight, metabolism, and activity level.

Be sure clean, fresh drinking water is always readily available for your dog.

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Fewer than 40 Kerry Blue Terrier puppies are registered each year, so are difficult to find. You should expect to spend time on a waiting list before being matched with your puppy. On average, a Kerry Blue Terrier will cost $1,000-$2,000, although some breeders may charge lower prices.

If you can find a Kerry Blue Terrier to adopt, expect adoption fees to cost up to $175.

Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking

Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.

Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. The Kerry Blue Terrier ranks a 3. They are loving, affectionate dogs who are typically very healthy. However, they are independent and can be difficult to train, and they are high maintenance when it comes to proper grooming. They also need proper socialization to ensure that they are not dog aggressive or fearful of strangers, and you may have to train them not to bark at inappropriate times.


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