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A Theory: The Origin of the Kerry Blue Terrier
Copyrighted by Susan Meredith Dunivant

After reading much about the origins of many breeds, not just the Kerry, and delving into further mundane history surrounding the times these breeds emerged. I formulated my theory after reading about the commerce practices and animal management of the early 17th and 18th centuries in Europe and the British Isles. Some of the “older” Kerry folks might disagree, or have their own theories. Bottom line is, that unlike the development of the Fox Terrier and certain other breeds, we have no record of what the breeders did back then.

During the purported development of the Kerry, many countries traded with the British Isles. Among then are Spain and Portugal. As Ireland has always enjoyed a reputation for good sheep it was only natural that these were a valuable commerce. It wouldn’t seem impossible that the Portuguese might bring along their Spaniel-like dogs (read Portuguese Water Dog here) or that the Spanish might bring along their poodle-like dogs (read Poodle here). Some of these dogs might have been bartered (back and forth) or simply jumped ship upon arrival to be adopted by a new country. It was not uncommon to trade or sell back and forth ANY livestock, so why not dogs?

Having known a number of Poodles (mini’s and standards for our purposes) and a few Porties, I can say that they have many of the same character-traits of our Kerrys, not the least of which would be similar coat and colors. In fact, I think Kerrys are JUST like Standards in temperament, except a bit more feisty (although I’ve also known some pretty tough poodles). The Porties can be very fractious with other dogs, but also share the same bubbly attitude of the Poodle and Kerry Blue.

I subscribe to the early traders selling/trading dogs with the natives, to be combined to produce the Kerry, a most wonderful brew!


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