The Essence of The Kerry Blue Terrier

There are certain characteristics and features that make individual breeds of dogs unique. In canine terms this is called ‘TYPE’.

The following has been compiled by The Dublin Irish Blue Terrier Club to assist
judges in establishing an attitude towards ‘TYPE’ in Kerry Blue Terriers.

Overall appearance and ring presence:
The Kerry Blue Terrier should have a free-standing, assertive upstanding body posture with it’s head held high. The tail should be carried straight or slightly forward. All this combines to create a clear look of focus and dominance.
This is well described by the old saying ‘ He should own the ground he stands on’.

The Kerry Blue should have a distinct and unique expression. It should demonstrate terrier intensity and be ‘hard’, not ‘soft’, not’cute’, nor obediently begging for a biscuit.
Physically this is gained from the following:
A rather deep set dark eye.
Ears that are medium in size that have the fold slightly above the level of the skull and are carried close to the side of the head with the tips pointing to the corner of the eye.
A small ear carried high on the head gives an incorrect ‘cute’ expression and low dropped ears make the expression too ‘soft’.

Correct eyes, ears, head carriage with an assertive attitude create the ‘True Blue

Born black, they gradually change to any shade of blue, from an almost silver grey to a very dark blue which is sometimes described as ‘midnight blue’. All are correct.
A feature sometimes found in coloured dogs is darker colouring on the socks, hocks, tail, and beard than on the body and is seen as a bonus by many breeders.
As they mature and start the gradual colouring process the coat can develop a brownish hue (particularly on the legs). This should not be penalised as it is usually a sign the the colour is on it’s way.
It is important for judges to understand that this is a gradual process and though we all would prefer an adult dog’s colour finished, once a dog has started to colour it should not be heavily penalised.

The Kerry Blue has a single coat that is `non-shedding’ however is should be plentiful and not sparse. It should be soft to the touch with an obvious sheen.(never a dull matt finish).
It should have a gentle wave or half curl.
A coat that is harsh, wool like, tight curled or totally lacking in sheen should be penalised.


A typical finished adult Kerry Blue Terrier should have an assertive upstanding and independent posture(not stacked). It should have great ring presence with a determined expression and be clearly coloured with obvious bloom (shine) in it’s coat.

As these are the features and characteristics that make the breed unique a lot of importance should be placed on them and though the entire standard is important extra credit should should be given to dogs who possess these qualities.

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