Edbrios & Blue Ivanhoe



Spanish Kerry Blue Terrier Newsletter no 22 year 2006


Philip O’Brien & Jaroslava Poulova, Edbrios Kennel, Ireland


History. Introduction.

1.       How did you know the breed? What was the reason to buy your first Kerry? Why did you choose your kennel name/affix?

Philip: I know the breed as long as I can remember. We always had Irish Terriers and also Westies. My father was involved in the Dublin terrier community and was interested in other terrier breeds so it was logical that at some stage we ended up buying also a Kerry Blue to join our Irish Terrier pack, that was in 1981.

Jarka: My older sister has been successful breeder and exhibitor of black standard schnauzers and chihuavas. I was going to get one of her schnauzers as I thought it was a breed that really suited me – size, temperament & look. Then came across a Kerry Blue and I have loved the breed ever since.

Philip’s father registered the Edbrios prefix in the early 60’s. His name is Edward O’Brien so Edbrios is derived from that. Jarka registered her FCI prefix Blue Ivanhoe in 1995. The idea was to have something what is understood both in Czech and English languages that suits well to the breed character.

2.       How would you tell us your story with Kerries?

Our story is a love story as we met each other through Kerry Blues J.

3.       Who is your favourite Kerry in the breed history?

Looking through old books there are many we like, to mention one it would be Am Ch. Melbee’s Chances Are, however we haven’t seen this dog in person, we know him only from the photographs and stories. From the dogs we have seen it would be Am & GB Ch. Torum’s Scarf Michael.

Breed standard.

1.       Every breeder has a small Kerry in mind. How is yours?

You probably mean ideal Kerry Blue. Our ideal Kerry would be a stylish dog of correct size that looks and acts like a terrier with a nice long clean head and keen expression, posessing a good terrier topline, strong level back with short loin, good tailset & tail and rear angulation, carrying substance and having a good spring of rib, free powerful balanced movement with reach and drive, all of that covered with a beautiful shiny wavy coat of blue colour – our most favourite colour would be silver blue with darker points on legs, ears, muzzle and tail. A proud and brave dog, very alert, gamy, bold and intelligent.

2.       If you have to place those breed characteristics in order to importance, how would you do it?: temperament, colour, coat and movement.

A really good Kerry should have it all and even more. We don’t consider ourselves as coat fanatics but we like soft silky, but plentiful coat with nice waves and blue or silver blue colour.

As there are many types of Kerries with different sizes, length of body and construction, there are also many different types of movement in our breed. We like to see powerful and free movement with reach and drive and correct not only from the side but also front and back.

A Kerry Blue isn’t a Kerry Blue without a good Kerry temperament and to breed for that is one of the most difficult tasks.

3.       What’s your opinion about the breed standard? Is it correct or is it possible to improve it?

Irish Breed standard is very general which is probably good. Definitively there are some parts which appear to be a bit out of date, on the other hand we welcome the recent change about the movement and tail carriage.

4.       Are you worried by some problem of the breed in the present time?

Generally we think our breed is doing very well worldwide, maybe some attention should be paid to the size and temperament. Also people should not forget the Kerry Blue is a terrier and should be presented as such, like a well standing dog showing his temperament and moving typically for the breed.

Our breed has been always strong and its only dangers are owners who don’t understand its needs and temperament.

5.       Stopping in the temperament aspect, we know that Kerries bear the legend that says they haven’t got friends in the park.....How is the correct temperament of the breed? Do you think Kerries should pass tests regarding the tasks they were created for? Do you think temperament have changed since the origin?

Kerries with the right temperament never lost their instincts and they can still do the job they were originally bred for. Our own dogs have the opportunity to try the traditional working test every year at the Irish Breeds Society Show in Dublin and they all do well without being trained for it. We have won the working trophy now two years in a row.

The temperament has changed but so have the breeder’s and owner’s abilities to socialise and train dogs better than they were in the past. Kerries are extremely intelligent dogs and they are good for any dog activity we do in modern life, like agility, obedience, search & rescue, dog therapy or anything else. Unfortunately many people are attracted to the extraordinary look and don’t consider the temperament challenge. It is without question that a Kerry blue is not a dog for everybody.


1.       In your opinion, what’s the difference between to show under a breeder judge or an all-rounder judge? Is it always better to show under breeder judges?

There is another category you didn’t mention and it is a Terrier specialist. A very good Terrier specialist is probably the judge we prefer the most to show under. Some breeder specialists might look only for certain points or types and in some cases might know too much (i.e. breeders, handlers and pedigree of the dogs) to make good objective opinions and judge purely the dogs on the day. But we will always be happy to show under good and respectable breed or terrier group specialists. All-rounders usually are not able to understand our breed. We are concerned about the current negative trend in favouring all-round judging at most of the shows world-wide.

2.       Do you think politics or unknowledge of judges affect to judgements? Are judges influenced by advertisements or the person who handle the dog?

Unfortunately we see both politics and lack of knowledge very often in the show rings today. But we show regardless because the opinions from breeders and fanciers outside the ring can be more important to us.

3.       What would be interesting to introduce in the judgement statement to improvement?

Every country has a different system and rules so it is difficult to speak in general. Individuals can do very little, maybe they can put more pressure on their breed & national kennel clubs and show committees to hire experienced knowledgeable group judges with a good reputation.

4.       What’s the difference between a correct dog and a champion?

A Champion dog that is more than a correct dog probably has showmanship, spark and charisma. Also a skilled owner/handler/groomer.

5.       In your point of view, what priorities are a must for a judge in the judgement?

Do you mean in a judgement of Kerry Blues ? We like to judge the dogs in their whole appearance first, they have to look good and typical for the breed on the first view. Temperament and movement are very important points. Judges should take time and create optimal conditions for judging dogs in the ring. Good dogs should be given all chances to show their qualities off.


1.       Show results apart, how do you interpret your history as breeder? Did you change some criteria since your beginning?

Breeding is a constantly developing process and so it is natural that breeders do change certain criterias a little in reflection of their current breeding results. In general we both like the same points in Kerries as when we started, that hasn’t changed much.

2.       What’s your favourite bred-by-you Kerry? Why?

There is more than one favourite. We appreciate many of them for different things.

3.       In order to importance in breeding, is it a priority the better dog with the worst pedigree, or the best pedigree in a dog of less quality?

We definitively aim for the best dog with the best pedigree. Sometimes pedigrees are overvalued. For us it is very important that the good stud dog/brood bitch is from quality parents also.

4.       When someone buy you a puppy, what basic advice give them?

We co-operate with all our puppy owners very closely and give them as much information, support and advice as possible through the dog’s life.

5.       What advice would you give to someone to begin in the adventure of breeding?

Get your dog from an experienced and reputable breeder who is willing to teach and give you help and advice.

Thank you, very much for your kindness.

With thanks to the Spanish Kerry Blue Terrier club and its members for your interview. Best wishes to all Kerry breeders and owners in Spain. We wish everybody to have patience, eyes open and good luck in their breeding. We hope to meet many of you and your dogs at some show in the future. Keep up the good work.



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