In England and Ireland, it is rare to see a Kerry being baited or squeaked at. The exhibitors usually will let them look at another dog.
The goal of handler at a dog show is to show the dog off to its best advantage. Sparring Kerry Blues is something judges will often do in America to see
how the dog makes the most of himself.
The Kerry Blue Terrier Illustrated Standard states the following:
At a dog show, a judge should put to the side any exhibitor who allows a Kerry to lunge and snarl. This is not typical of good Kerry temperament…
Kerry Blues should be sparred. If they eye each other intently, throwing themselves forward on their front toes, arching their necks, raising their
ears to proper Kerry position, stand taut and ready for anything, each waiting for the other to make the first move, and when, neither does
– if they wag their tails, turn slowly and return happily to their places, then they are truly Kerry Blue Terriers. (Dr. E. S. Montgomery –
quoted in the Illustrated Standard.
There is nothing more exciting than seeing a Kerry doing it right. Many judges will spar two Kerries – then the one he feels is more typical is kept and
another dog is brought out of the line to spar with him. This is repeated until the judge decides which is most typical of the Kerry Blue Terrier.
On the left is Am/Int/Asian/Thailand Ch. Wildside’s Silver Reign, OFA and on the right is Irish/AM Ch. Glenfitor D.J. Carey. This was one of the beautiful line ups at the 2006 KBTC of NC Supported Entry show at the Richmond DFA in Dixon, CA.