Since the Kerry Blue Terrier is a terrier, it should come as no surprise to learn that it started out as a hunter of rats, rabbits, foxes, badgers, and other burrowing animals. However, its particular combination of characteristics has enabled it to pick up other roles over the course of its existence, meaning that it is much more versatile than what its name would indicate. Unfortunately, the Kerry Blue Terrier remains a not particularly popular breed, though it is not as bad off as some of the other breeds out there. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about the Kerry Blue Terrier:
1. It is a Terrier
There are some breeds that are called terriers because of their resemblance to terriers. The Kerry Blue Terrier is not one of these breeds. Instead, it is a true terrier that was bred to hunt small, burrowing animals.
2. Named for County Kerry
The Kerry in Kerry Blue Terrier refers to the County Kerry in the Republic of Ireland. Supposedly, the breed was first seen in the mountains of said region, which is why it is named for it.
3. Supposed to Have Come from a Single Ancestor
There is a story that the Kerry Blue Terrier is descended from a blue dog that was the sole survivor of a shipwreck. Supposedly, the dog’s blue coat proved to be so attractive that it proceeded to mate with all of the female Wheaten Terriers in Ireland, thus resulting in the creation of the Kerry Blue Terrier. It is amusing to note that there might be a small piece of truth to the story because it is suspected that the breed has some Portuguese Water Dog in it.
4. Popular Farm Dog
Initially, the Kerry Blue Terrier served as a terrier. However, the breed started seeing more and more use in roles such as guarding farms and herding livestock over time. As a result, it winded up becoming a very popular all-purpose farm dog in the Irish countryside.
5. An Attempt Was Made to Make the Kerry Blue Terrier the National Dog of Ireland
The Kerry Blue Terrier proved to be very popular with a wide range of Irish people, so much so that it managed to cross political boundaries. With that said, it is interesting to note that the Irish nationalist Michael Collins owned a member of the breed, which prompted him to make an effort to have it established as the national dog of Ireland.
6. Led to the Creation of the Irish Kennel Club
While the Kerry Blue Terrier failed to secure recognition as the National Dog of Ireland, it was popular enough to inspire the creation of the Dublin Irish Blue Terrier Club, which in turn, was popular enough to lead to the creation of the Irish Kennel Club. Naturally, a Kerry Blue Terrier was the first dog to be registered by said organization.
7. Good Temperament
Generally speaking, Kerry Blue Terriers are smart animals that can adapt with relative ease to a wide range of situations. This makes sense because they have seen such a wide range of uses over the course of their existence, which would not have been possible without these positive characteristics and more.
8. Might Not Get Along with Small Animals
Kerry Blue Terriers might be friendly towards humans, but the same isn’t guaranteed when it comes to other animals. Due to this, their owners might want to supervise them whenever they interact with cats and other smaller animals to prevent potential problems from popping up. With that said, introducing members of the breed to other animals under controlled conditions can prove helpful.
9. Needs Exercise
The Kerry Blue Terrier started out as a working breed, so it makes sense that it needs regular exercise. However, it isn’t a hyperactive breed, which should come as welcome news for those who aren’t prepared for anything more strenuous than a walk as well as play-time on a daily basis.
10. Can Have Health Problems
Like a lot of breeds, the Kerry Blue Terrier has higher chances of suffering from particular health problems such as genetic nerve disorders, genetic blood clotting disorders, and hip dysplasia. As a result, it is critical for interested individuals to get their dog from a reputable breeder that can provide health testing reports.