Looking for a Kerry? Never owned one before? Maybe you’ve heard that females are a better choice than males for first time Kerry owners. The general consensus from respondents on the Kerry Blue Terrier Newslist was that male Kerries are more affectionate than females and could be considered an eaiser dog.
Of course, not all owners agree on a common set of characteristics for each gender. However, they do agree on the common set of needed characteristics
for each owner.
In answer to the question by the Foundation, “Which gender is more affectionate? ”43% of owners said males, while only 5% said bitches. The remaining categories were “depends on temperament and sex“ 39%, and “depends on the owner” 10%.
The owners who agreed that males were an easier dog found them more affectionate, less dominant, and more eager to please than Kerry bitches. Males
were easier to housetrain. One breeder found than buyers often asked for a female the first time, but on the second round requested a female.The
bitches were characterized as having a “CEO” or “princess” complex , and were described as being more aloof. (Rita Lockwood, Janet McCallen, Kathy
Ninnes, Kanako Ohara, Diane Ridd and Margaret O'Carroll).
However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Many Kerry owners had bitches that were playful and loving, the opposite of the temperament of the male Kerries in the household. Their advice to novice buyers or adopters would be not to make a choice based solely on gender, but rather to make a choice based on an informed understanding of the breed and its temperament. Being prepared to deal with any potential situation is most important.
Whether male or female, Kerries need owners who are loving but firm and who can deal with stubbornness without experiencing frustration. (Irene Landua,
Generally, it would seem that Kerry males might be a better fit for a first time Kerry owner. However, that does not mean that a Kerry is good “first time” dog. Some dog breed information books specifically list Kerries as “not for inexperienced dog owners.” Assuming that most Kerry owners are “experienced” another survey seems to indicate the owners are generally as feisty as their dogs. In a 2002 Foundation survey, when asked, “Do you prefer a dog or a bitch?” 27% responded male and 38% responded female.
Conclusion: if you’re new to Kerries, take a second look at that male. But beware. Kerry ownership just might make you a little more feisty yourself.