Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Ireland.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
19.04.2005.
KC
September 2007

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Used in the hard job of tackling otters in deep waters, to engage badger underground and hunt vermin. A good watch dog and loyal companion.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 3Terriers
Section 1Large and medium-sized Terriers
Without working trial

KC
Terrier
UKC
Terrier

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
Like the other Irish Terrier breeds it is assumed that the Kerry Blue has been in the country for centuries, but, once again, because of its humble origins as a rat catcher and all-round farm dog, there are few, if any references to the breed before the 20th century. The first probable literary references to the Kerry Blue dates from 1847 the author describes a bluish slate coloured dog, marked with darker blotches and patches, and often with the tan about the legs and muzzle. This blackish-blue Irish terrier was supposed to be prevalent in Kerry but it has been developed in other counties as well. The blue didn’t make its first appearance on the show benches until 1913, and the Dublin Blue Terrier Club was formed in 1920. The Kerry Blue became quickly so popular as a sort of mascot for Irish patriots that there were actually four clubs promoting its interests for a short time, and between 1922 and 1924 these clubs sponsored no fewer than six shows and six field trials. By 1928 this impressive balanced terrier with its beautiful soft blue coat became popular worldwide and its reputation as an excellent working and companion dog agreed with the breed assessment as « well nigh perfect ».
UKC
The origin of the Kerry Blue Terrier has been the subject of many theories but its true ancestors will probably never be known. The Kerry is one of three long-legged terrier breeds developed in Ireland by crofters who needed all-purpose farm dogs, capable of herding, guarding, hunting, retrieving, and vermin control. Many people consider that one of these breeds, the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, is an ancestor of the Kerry Blue Terrier. It is also believed the Irish Wolfhound contributed to the development of this breed. Notwithstanding the romantic tales of this breed’s origin, the Kerry was first known as a distinct breed by the end of the 19th century. The “Irish Blue Terrier,” as it was called was first shown in Britain shortly before World War I, and the first Kerries were imported into the United States just after that war. Kerry Blue Terriers have been used to do nearly every canine job, including hunting, herding, and police/military work. The Kerry Blue Terrier was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
The typical Kerry Blue Terrier should be upstanding, well-knit and well proportionated, showing well developed muscular body with definite terrier style.
KC
Upstanding, well knit and proportioned, well developed and muscular body.
UKC
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a compact, muscular, medium-sized terrier with moderately long legs. The breed takes its name from its wavy, blue coat. The preferred ratio of length of body (prosternum to point of buttocks) to height (withers to ground) to is 10:9. The head is long, but not exaggerated, with small, V-shaped, button ears. The tail is set on high, carried erect, and docked to a moderate length.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

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

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Terrier character throughout. The all-important factor-expression must be keen and alert.
KC
Disciplined gameness.
UKC
Correct temperament is as essential for Kerry breed type as the blue color. The English standard describes it as “disciplined gameness,” and it is an intensity of spirit that gives the Kerry an alert, ready-for-action personality. The Kerry is enthusiastic but strong-willed, so training can be a challenge. Kerries thrive with lots of human companion-ship, provided the owner is at least as strong-willed as the dog. The Kerry Blue Terrier’s thick, wavy coat requires regular grooming to maintain a smart, tailored appearance.

HEAD

:
FCI
Showing plenty of hair. Dogs should be stronger in head and more muscular than bitches.
KC
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.
UKC
The head is long, but proportionate to the size of the body. When viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are of roughly equal length, parallel to one another, and joined by a slight stop.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Strong and well balanced.
UKC
The skull is flat and of moderate width, tapering slightly toward the muzzle. Cheeks are flat and clean.

Stop

:
FCI
Slight.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Black, nostrils large and wide.
UKC
Nose is black with large, wide nostrils.

Muzzle

:
FCI
The foreface should be of medium length.
KC
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.
UKC
The muzzle is sufficiently wide and deep to balance the skull. The underjaw is strong. There is a minimum of falling away under the eye, giving a moderately chiseled look. Lips are tight and darkly pigmented.

Lips

:
FCI
Mouth: Gums and roof dark.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Teeth: Teeth large even and white, scissor bite (level bite acceptable).
Jaws: Jaws strong and muscular (punishing jaws).
UKC
The Kerry Blue Terrier has a complete set of good-sized, evenly spaced, white teeth. A scissors bite is preferred but a level bite is acceptable.

Eyes

:
FCI
Dark or dark hazel, medium in size and well placed, keen in expression.
KC
Dark as possible. Small to medium with keen Terrier expression.
UKC
Eyes are small, round, dark in color, and set moderately wide apart. Expression is full of fire and intelligence.

Ears

:
FCI
Thin and not large, carried in front or close to the sides of the head, in a forward position, again to express the keen, sharp terrier expression.
KC
Small to medium and V-shaped; carried forward but not too high.
UKC
Button ears are proportionate to the size of the dog, set on high, and of moderate thickness. The ears are carried close to the cheeks with the top fold of the ear slightly above the level of the skull.

NECK

:
FCI
Well proportioned, well set on shoulders and moderately long.
KC
Strong and reachy, running into sloping shoulders.
UKC
The neck is of moderate length, carried proudly with a slight arch at the crest. The neck widens gradually from where it joins the skull to where it blends into well-laid back shoulders. The skin on the neck is tight and without dewlap.

BODY

:
KC
Short-coupled with good depth of brisket and and well sprung ribs. Deep chest. Topline level.
UKC
The ribs extend well back and are well sprung from the spine, then flattening to form a deep body extending to the elbows. The back is short and level, blending into a short, powerful loin with a slight tuck-up. The croup is nearly flat. Chest is deep but only moderately wide.

Back

:
FCI
Medium length, level.

Loin

:
FCI
Moderate in length.

Chest

:
FCI
Deep and of moderate width. Ribs well sprung.

TAIL

:
FCI
Thin, well placed and carried erect and gaily.
KC
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.
UKC
The tail is set on high, customarily docked to a moderate length, and carried erect, the straighter the better.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
KC
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.
UKC
Shoulders are long, fine, well laid back and well knit. The upper arm is long and forms an apparent 90 degree angle with the shoulder blade. The forelegs are straight, viewed from any angle, and moderately long. The elbows are set close to the body but able to move freely in action. The pasterns are short, powerful, straight, and flexible. When viewed in profile, the pasterns are nearly erect.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Fine, sloping, well-knit.

Forearm

:
FCI
Straight in front, bone good.

FEET

:
KC
Round and small. Nails black.
UKC
The feet are fairly round, moderately small, well arched, and tight. Pads are hard, tough, and well cushioned, with no cracks. Toenails are strong and black. Front dew claws may be removed.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Compact, pads strong and rounded, toe nails black.

Hind feet

:
FCI
See Forefeet.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Hindlegs well set under dog.
KC
Large and well developed, stifle bent and hocks close to ground giving perfect freedom of hind action.
UKC
The hindquarters are strong and muscular. The bone, angulation, and musculature of the hindquarters are in balance with the forequarters. The stifles are well bent, and the hocks are well-let-down. When the dog is standing, the short, strong rear pasterns are perpendicular to the ground and, viewed from the rear, parallel to one another.

Thigh

:
FCI
Muscular, well developed.

Hock

:
FCI
Strong.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Good coordination, with legs parallel, forelegs reaching out and powerful drive in the hindquarters. When the dog is moving the topline should remain level and the head and tail should be carried high.
KC
Free and powerful. Fore- and hindlegs moving straight and parallel, stifles turning neither in nor out.
UKC
A well-made Kerry Blue Terrier carries himself with pride and purpose. When trotting, the gait is effortless, smooth, powerful, and well coordinated, showing good but not exaggerated reach in front and drive behind. The backline remains level with only a slight flexing to indicate suppleness. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward centerline of balance. A Kerry Blue Terrier that moves like a Wire Fox Terrier is incorrect. Poor movement should be penalized to the degree to which it reduces the Kerry’s ability to perform the variety of tasks it was bred to do.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Soft, plentiful and wavy.
KC
Soft and silky, plentiful and wavy.
UKC
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a single-coated dog. The coat is soft, dense, and wavy.

COLOUR

:
FCI
Blue of any shade with or without black points. Black is permissible only up to the age of 18 months, as is also a shade of tan.
KC
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.
UKC
Any shade of blue is permissible. Color is fairly uniform except distinctly darker to black colors may appear on the muzzle, head, ears, tail, and feet. Kerry Blue Terrier puppies are born black or nearly black. As they mature, the color goes through stages, which include black, very dark blue, shades of brown, and mixtures of these. The coat progressively “clears” from these colors to the correct mature color by the time the dog reaches the age of 18 months. Until a dog is 18 months of age, deviations from correct mature color will not be penalized and any doubt as to whether a dog is black or very dark blue shall be resolved in the dog’s favor.

SIZE

:
KC
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 kgs (35 lbs) is the most desirable weight to aim for.
UKC
The ideal height for a mature male Kerry Blue Terrier is 18½ inches at the withers, slightly less for a bitch. The preferred range for mature males is 18 to 19½ inches, and 17½ to 19 inches for mature females. Judges may reward an otherwise superior Kerry Blue Terrier whose height is outside the preferred ranges unless it is a mature male over 20 inches or under 17½ inches, or a mature female over 19½ inches or under 17 inches. Height minimums do not apply to dogs under 12 months of age. Desired weight for mature males is 33-40 pounds; females, proportionally less.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Dogs 18 - 19,5 inches (45,5 to 49,5 cm).
Bitches 17,5 - 19 inches (44,5 to 48 cm).

Weight

:
FCI

Dogs 33 lbs to 40 lbs (15 to 18 kg).
Bitches proportionately less.

FAULTS

:
FCI

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.
  • Flesh coloured gums.
  • Yellow or light coloured eyes.
  • Roach back or hollow back.
  • Narrow chest.
  • Protruding elbows.
  • Teeth undershot or overshot.
  • White or bone coloured toe nails.
  • Dewclaws on hind legs, or marks of their removal.
  • Close, cow-hocked or stilted hind action.
  • Dogs whose heads or tails are held up by exhibitors or handlers should be penalised.
  • Hard, wire or bristle coat.
  • Any colour other than blue with the exception stated above.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
KC
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.
UKC

Eyes: Large or protruding eyes; light eyes.
Ears: Any deviation from the standard that contributes to a hound-like ear.
Size: Mature male over 19½ inches or under 18 inches; mature female over 19 inches or under 17½ inches.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
UKC

Appearance: A low slung Kerry lacks breed type.
Teeth: Undershot.
Eyes: Yellow eyes.
Neck: Ewe neck.
Forequarters: Short upper arm.
Feet: Rear dewclaws.
Coat: Harsh, wire or bristle coat.
Color: Significant deviation from correct mature coat color.
Size: Mature male over 20 inches or under 17½ inches; mature female over 19½ inches or under 17 inches.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Solid black. Albinism.
Color: Solid black.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

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