Kerry Blue Terriers

judge Mrs. Dee Hyde, Australia
judge report from The Club Terrier Show in Prague, 6.10.2001)

Full results and pictures here

It was a great pleasure and most interesting to visit your country and to judge so many good quality Kerry blues. I have to compliment the breeders on developing and maintaining a high standard of quality within the breed. It was a pleasure to see so many good dogs.

 I was particularly looking for long clean heads, short-backs and high set tails without slope on the croup and some dog (not hair!) behind the tail. I also like to see a typically smart and lively kerry action.

Good Qualities - Generally the heads were very good and also the movement from the side. The Kerries were of extremely good temperament though it wouldn’t hurt if a few were a little more lively. Most dogs had coats of good texture and within the correct colour range. There is some variety of trimming styles and sometimes the trimming did not flatter the dog but generally most were groomed and presented very well. The bitches overall had greater depth of quality than the dogs and the best bitch was BOB. The Champion class of 4 bitches was superb. This was a hard decision for me. My personal preference is for a smaller shorter backed bitch as this type is usually the more shapely, more feminine and terrier-like for me. Eventually, not surprisingly, I selected the 2 more compact bitches for 1st and 2nd with the 2 larger and more rangey bitches as 3 & 4. The following day it was no surprise to me to see the 4th bitch as BOB and still good enough to take a BIS award!  When this can happen your breed is indeed very fortunate to have so many excellent specimens to choose from!

Problems – There are a good many late (not necessarily low) set tails and many dogs were not short coupled enough for my preference. Of course with the slightly longer coupling and rather more length of croup your dogs are able to stride out more freely and exhibit that great length of stride to advantage. This brings me to my next point: -


I am told that many of your judges are looking for this length of stride but without care this can easily be the breed’s downfall. Your Kerries are able to move well but unfortunately much of the time due perhaps to the method of handling.

Beware of losing the more typical terrier characteristics in favour of the long stride that is so appealing to Gundog or Herding/Working breed judges who often are looking for “big movers”. Taken to extremes you risk losing typical terrier style and end up with exaggerated dogs that resemble a Gundog. From the side Kerries should look “high in station” (that is tall on the leg compared to overall length) when moving. I feel many of the dogs are taken too quickly on a too slack lead, so that the dog reaches and drives well but moves low to ground rather like a German Shepherd in his effort to cover the ground. Rather than the slow run on a slack lead most of the handlers were doing, I believe a brisk walk by the handler with the lead firmly held (in one hand please!) behind the dogs ears generally gives the dog a smarter look. The dog’s action will not be so “flashy” but will usually not move as close when coming & going and from the side will also appear. taller on the leg and more typical of the breed.  In addition the dog’s gait is more likely to be balanced and coordinated.

Overall I was extremely impressed with the success the breeders have achieved so my remarks should be taken with that in mind. It is an extremely difficult task to breed a good Kerry, rear it with a good show temperament, combine the dog with an accomplished groomer and finally handle the dog to perfection in the show ring! Sometimes - three out of four isn’t too bad!!!!!!

Thank-you all for preparing and bringing your dogs to the show. Derek and I would really like it if any Kerry people who can speak some English (or have translators) would like to stay in touch – our email address is .

Best wishes to all Kerry fans

                                                                                                                                                        Dee Hyde

Winners of this show:
BOB, Club Winner - Ch. Kerrydom Court Dhaulagiri
BOS, Club Winner - Gaeltacht Íosac Aduaidh
CAJC junior dog - Bhelliom Destiny For You
CAJC junior bitch - Jackqueline Braudag
Full results and pictures here

Published in the Newsletter no 3/2001 of the Czech Terrier Club