The Kerry Blue Terrier is a medium-sized dog with a muscular and sturdy body. The coat is thick and wavy, and is blue-gray in color. The head is long, well-balanced, and sports whiskers, a beard, and eyebrows, which give the Kerry Blue a style and character all his own. The ears are V-shaped and crease forward toward the eyes, which are small, dark, and expressive. The crease is created through pasting the ears when the dog is a puppy. The Kerry Blue nose is black with large, wide nostrils. The tail is set high, of moderate length, carried gaily upright, and should always be straight.
Size and Weight
Male Kerry Blue Terriers should ideally stand 18-19.5 inches at the withers and females should stand 17.5 – 19 inches. They range in weight from 30 to 40 pounds, with males weighing more, on average, than females.
Coat and Color
The Kerry Blue Terrier wears a soft, dense, and wavy coat of blue or gray. The color may be any shade from deep slate to light blue gray. There may be some black on the muzzle, head, ears, tail or feet. When they are born, Kerry Blues are usually black, and lighten as they get older. Until they are finished this “clearing” process, the dog's coat can change color many times and may even include shades of brown. Dogs who never properly lighten lack the proper genetic trait for the clearing process. Some white markings may be found on the body.
Even though the Kerry Blue sheds very little, or not at all, the coat requires daily brushing to prevent tangles, mats, remove dirt and distribute oils. Trimming and bathing need to occur every four to six weeks. It is recommended that a professional groomer handle the bathing and trimming of a Kerry Blue, but because the breed is not common, it can be difficult to find a groomer who is familiar with the proper Kerry Blue style. Breeders can provide references for groomers.
Check the ears on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the ears with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal. Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.