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Kerry Blue Terrier

Tags: terrier, hypoallergenic, High energy level, Kid-friendly, Protective guardian, Requires firm, dedicated training

We honed our terrier skills on the badger, fox, and otter of County Kerry in southwestern Ireland. Our gene pool reflects the Bedlington Terrier, Irish Terrier, Bull Terrier (even Wolfhound) and produced this hardy, fiery dog. I can retrieve from land or water, herd and guard livestock, control farm varmints, and even take my turn on the dog-powered butter churn. My dense, wavy coat is hypoallergenic and wraps a medium-sized dog (18 inches at the shoulder, 33-40 pounds) that was admitted to the AKC's Terrier Group in 1922.

Rave review

  • Affectionate, loyal family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Always alert
  • Confident and self-assured
  • Courageous canine
  • Energizer doggie
  • Even-tempered, good-natured

Report card

  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Loves kids and vice versa
  • Outgoing extrovert
  • Perfect protector
  • Pleased to please
  • Caters to country, tolerates town
  • Ready to romp
  • Cats should stay their distance
  • Socialization and training must start early
  • Sweet disposition
  • Takes to training
  • Training must be firm but gentle, patient and consistent

What to expect

I don't want you to return me to the Complaint Department because my hypoallergenic Kerry Blue Terrier coat isn't blue, as advertised, just yet. You need to know about the dominant gene for coat "fading" that doesn't kick in for the first 18 months in this blackish pup. Now, as long as you're keeping me, get me enrolled in some canine sports activity to channel my famous terrier energy. Something such as Agility, Earthdog, Herding, or Hunting competitions. If you want to get serious, Kerry Blue Terriers make splendid search-and-rescue or therapy dogs. Just keep me busy, keep my coat trimmed and shaped, and I'll be (slate) blue before you know it.

Watch for

Possible cataracts, Factor XI deficiency (clotting disorder), hypothyroidism, hemolytic anemia, von Willebrand's disease, and dry eye.

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