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Temperament and Personality


© Daryl Enstone (

No portion of this article may be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder. Reprinted with permission from Daryl Enstone (

This article comes from Daryl Enstone's FAQ.

"The Kerry just isn't everybody's dog - he's too smart for that. If you don't understand him or don't accept him as one of the family, then he just doesn't turn on that personality for which he is famous.

"To like a Kerry, you've first got to like the Irish, for a Kerry is very much a part of his native land. The only Irish custom I've so far not seen in the Kerry is the smoking of a clay pipe. He has all the other traits: the rare blarney humor, the facile wit and the blazing temper."

- Montgomery, page137

" In the morn they herd the cattle; at noon they come in and tread the wheel to churn the butter; in the afternoon they herd again and after supper are turned out to guard the sheep, the chickens and geese and pigs. The last thing that they do before going to bed is to take off the pants of an Irishman."

-An Irish Kerry breeder writing in an 1924 magazine, quoted by Montgomery, page 19. 

The attribution lines refers to "The New Complete Kerry Blue Terrier" by E.S Montgomery. Howell Book House, 1965. 

Kerry Traits:

  • stubborn, proud, tenacious, courageous, bold, can be pugnacious
  • highly intelligent, curious, trainable, eager to please
  • energetic, sometimes to the point of boisterous, and playful
  • good sense of humour
  • good-natured, merry, affectionate
  • loyal
  • a "family" dog, not a one-person dog
  • good with children, has a gentle mouth
  • has stamina, vigour, and endurance; is very stoical.

Kerry Owner Traits:

  • firm, consistent, fair, and determined (more stubborn than the Kerry!)
  • fun-loving, affectionate, energetic, a good sense of humour.  

Baywatch! Geijes´ Kerry Blues from Finland

"Uncertain, submissive, over-loving and demanding people have trouble raising this breed. It is necessary to know and enforce firmly and kindly your expectations of the dog."

- Helen Roy, Kel-Tara Kennels, BC, Canada
(quoted in Kerry Blue Notes, KBTCC, Winter 1994)

Kerrydom Court Dubhain, at 9 weeks
Zuzana Szovenyi
Kerrydom Court (FCI)


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