Height and Color (1946)

(The following excerpt was taken from the January 8, 1946 edition of Kerry Blueprints. The editor and secretary of the club was Roessle Mc Kinney of New Canaan, Connecticut. Original copy courtesy of the Mrs. Walter Fleisher Collection.

After reading this edition of Blueprints in 1946, Mr. Henry W. Coughlin wrote a five page letter to the secretary of the club expressing his “consternation and distress” over this interpretation of the Standard. His letter entitled, “Coughlin’s Defense of the Standard,” can be found on this site.)

And now for a little discussion about height and color in Kerries!

The ideal Kerry fits into an 18″ square as follows:

The horizontal top line of the square is the top line of the back of the Kerry; the two sides of the square are the chest and stern of the Kerry, while the bottom of the square is the ground. This is all shown on page 39 of the Club’s Breed Book.

The breeding of Kerries, particularly dogs, over 20″ in height at the shoulder, should be discouraged, as should also dogs under 17.” The same thing is true of Kerry bitches-height not over 19″ or under 16.”

Judges should frown upon dogs and bitches over or under these dimensions and dogs approximately the correct size should win in the ring–all other things being equal.

We have hear that in the West they are breeding dogs and bitches bigger than in the East. This should be discouraged, as the height of the ideal Kerry is approximately 18″ at the shoulder.

And now a word about color–and I quote from President William L. Day’s interpretation of the Standard, as given in “information fro Judges about Kerry Blue Terries.”

“Kerry Blue Terriers are born black. A few puppies have tan markings and these are, as a rule, destined to become lighter colored “silver” Kerries. No puppy should have any white markings whatsoever.

It is desired by all breeders that the Kerry shall turn some shade of blue, as even as possible in all sections before the age of eighteen months. Dark colored animals are not to be preferred over light colored, nor vice versa. The most desirable color is an even bright lead color and, all other things being equal, a dog or bitch of this most desired color should win. However, the Standard is explicit in eliminating from penalty all really blue dogs of light, medium or dark shades.

It is notable in breeding Kerry Blue Terriers that while weight of coat and profusion of leg and face furnishings have been remarkable improved in recent years, color has not improved.

Judges are requested to consider color more seriously in the future and to fault (1) all dogs over 18 month of age that are black; (2) all over 18 months old that are gray mixed with brown, presenting a “dirty” appearance; (3) all of any age that have white spots anywhere on the coat.

Though no Judge has a right to fault a dog of brownish cast up to the age of 18 months; it is undesirable to show dogs that are turning blue in this manner; for most Judges do not understand that a Kerry turns from black to brown to blue and will fault a brown dog under 18 months when they should not do so.

We think this covers the matter of color as completely as can be done and you may take this as an authoritative interpretation of color for the Standard of the breed.

Last Updated: 08/24/2003, 7:14 pm