18-19" (46-48 cm) 33-40 lb (15-18 kg) Wavy, soft dense coat. Any shade of blue-grey or grey-blue. May have small white markings. May have black points.
When Spanish ships went down off the Irish coast in 1588, the dark spaniel survivors likely made it to shore and bred with local terriers. These are the probable forebears of the Kerry Blue Terrier, although there may be other bloodlines, including the “Russian blue dog”, who surfaced after a shipwreck off Tralee Bay in the late 1770s. Some even suggest the Kerry Blue originated when locals crossed terriers with Irish Wolfhounds to produce a large strong hunter. Whatever his bloodlines, the hardy Kerry Blue Terrier became the perfect all-round working dog of County Kerry people for over 150 years. He was indispensible as a ratter, herder, hunter, fighter, guarder and even butter churner. The Kerry Blue Terrier’s popularity grew in the mid-1920s when he became the mascot of the Irish Patriots in their struggle for independence from Britain. Initially a shaggy beast with an unkempt coat, the dog show world popularized the modern sculpted and elegantly cut coat.
A compact and sturdy dog, the Kerry Blue Terrier is a rough-and-tumble playful fellow who loves to interact with his people. His intelligent and confident nature benefits from socialization and training. He is great with children and an effective guardian, watching over his charges and alerting the family to potential dangers.