- Up to 1 hour per day
- Size of home
- Small house
- Once a week
- Coat length
- Over 10 years
- Vulnerable native breed
- Town or country
- Size of garden
- Small/ medium garden
Place of origin and colour of coat give the breed its name. The Kerry Blue was used to cull rats, and was adept in hunting in rivers to kill otter. Like most breeds, the origins of the breed are disputed, but there are records of a black/blue type of dog native to Kerry – another example of a 'type' of dog with local popularity being developed and it is thought that this might be the basis for the development of the breed as we know it today
First shown in Ireland in 1913 as as Irish Terrier (Blue), the name Kerry Blue Terrier was used for the first time in 1916 at a dog show in Killarney, County Kerry. The breed was recognised by The Kennel Club in 1922.
Interestingly the puppies are born black changing to shades of blue by around 18 months of age. Its coat is silky in texture. Despite the glamour of its coat and colour, the Kerry retains his feisty terrier spirit.
Images for this breed
The Terrier breed group
Dogs originally bred and used for hunting vermin. 'Terrier' comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough, and to pursue fox, badger, rat and otter (to name but a few) above and below ground. Dogs of terrier type have been known here since ancient times, and as early as the Middle Ages, these game breeds were portrayed by writers and painters.
Category 0: Breeds with no NBS colour registration options.
Read more about Colour Watch.
Breed Standard colours
Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.
Breed standard colours in this breed include:
- Black & Blue
- Black Turning Blue
'Other' means you consider your puppy to be a colour not currently known within the breed and one that does not appear on either the breed standard or non-breed standard list. In this instance you would be directed through our registrations process to contact a breed club and/or council to support you on identifying and correctly listing the new colour.
Non-breed-standard colour means that the colour is not accepted within the breed standard and whilst some dogs within the breed may be this colour it is advised to only select a dog that fits within the breed standards for all points.
Colour is only one consideration when picking a breed or individual dog, health and temperament should always be a priority over colour.
Whether you’re thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it’s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.
More about health
Important health schemes and tests
We strongly recommend that all breeders, both assured breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following (or equivalent) schemes, tests and advice.
Currently there are no additional health screening schemes or DNA tests for this breed. You may want to speak to your breeder, vet or local breed club about any health issues in the breed.
Find out about a particular dog's results
Please visit our Health Test Results Finder to discover the DNA or screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's Breed Register.
You can also view the inbreeding coefficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.
Have any questions about health in your breed?
If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.
Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.
To contact your breed health co-ordinator please email
Currently no points of concern specific to this breed have been identified for special attention by judges, other than those covered routinely by The Kennel Club's breed standard.
There are a number of The Kennel Club rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below.
More about breeding
There are not currently any additional breed specific restrictions in place for this breed.
Need to find out more about a breed?
Use our Find a Club service where you can locate breed clubs that can offer support and advice.
Use our Find a Puppy service
The Kennel Club's Find a Puppy service provides contact details for breeders who have puppies available. Let's help you find your new best friend.
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