Kerry Blue Terrier

Last updated September 2007

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch information related to this breed for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However, if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as highly undesirable, it must not be rewarded in the show ring.

General appearance

Upstanding, well knit and proportioned, well-developed and muscular body.


Compact, powerful Terrier, showing gracefulness and an attitude of alert determination, with definite Terrier style and character throughout.


Disciplined gameness.

Head and skull

Well balanced, long, proportionally lean, with slight stop and flat over the skull. Foreface and jaw very strong, deep and punishing; nose black; nostrils of due proportion.


Dark as possible. Small to medium with keen Terrier expression.


Small to medium and V-shaped; carried forward but not too high.


Gums and roof of mouth dark with perfect, regular scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Strong and reachy, running into sloping shoulders.


Shoulders flat as possible with elbows carried close to body while standing or moving. Legs straight, bone powerful. Front straight, neither too wide nor too narrow.


Short-coupled with good depth of brisket and and well-sprung ribs. Deep chest. Topline level.


Large and well developed, stifle bent and hocks close to ground giving perfect freedom of hind action.


Round and small. Nails black.


Previously customarily docked.

Docked: Set on high and carried erect.

Undocked: Set on high of moderate length to give an overall balanced appearance. Thick at the base and evenly tapering to tip, straight as possible and carried jauntily. An excessively gay or curled tail undesirable.


Free and powerful. Forelegs and hindlegs moving straight and parallel, stifles turning neither in nor out.


Soft and silky, plentiful and wavy.


Any shade of blue with or without black points. Tan permissible in puppies, also a dark colour up to the age of 18 months. A small white patch on chest should not be penalised.


Ideal height: dogs: 46-48 cms (18-19 ins) at shoulder; bitches slightly less. The most desirable weight for a fully developed dog is 15-17 kgs (33-37 lbs), and bitches should weigh proportionately less, but 16 kgs (35 lbs) is the most desirable weight to aim for.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

*Note for prospective puppy buyers

Size – The Kennel Club breed standard is a guide and description of the ideal for the breed; the size as described does not imply that a dog will match the measurements given (height or weight). A dog might be larger or smaller than the size measurements stated in the breed standard.