Interview with Terese Worful, Breeder of Valtera Kerry Blue Terriers
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Terese Worful: I live in Michigan. I’ve been involved in dogs since 1958, when I first showed a Wire Fox Terrier in a match. The judge was George Ward, and neither one of us ever forgot that day. I’ve been breeding Kerry Blue Terriers for 50 years.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Terese Worful: My kennel name is Valtera, and I currently have four Kerry Blue Terriers at my home.
Which breeders have provided the greatest influence on my decision to breed dogs?
Terese Worful: My parents had Wire Fox Terriers when I was little. Then they switched to a Bullmastiff when I was 14 years old. This was the first dog I finished a championship on.
Can I talk a bit about my foundation dogs? How have they influenced my breeding program?
Terese Worful: My foundation bitch was a sort of lease (I didn’t do the paperwork with AKC), so the litter was registered to the owner of the bitch. I was grooming and showing her for the owners and fell in love with the Kerry Blue because of her. That bitch was bred to a CH Melbee’s Chances Are son. (I couldn’t afford “Tommy” himself.) I kept a male from that litter and he became No. 10 Kerry when he was two years old.
What about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Terese Worful: I have a modest home in the city, and my puppies are whelped and raised in my home.
Do I have a “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
Terese Worful: I look at my puppies at birth to see body, angles, and then heads. At 8 weeks, I feel in my line that I usually have a miniature adult. I measure height, check shoulders, rear angles, heads, tail set, and chest depth. At 12 weeks, I watch for personality development.
How do I choose the homes for my puppies? Is puppy placement important to me as a breeder?
Terese Worful: I choose homes by the prospective buyer’s activity level, whether they want a show dog or a pet, or performance, and male or female. All homes MUST have a fenced yard, with rare exception to that rule. I personally meet most of my puppy buyers or get references from other Kerry people. Placement is very important; I’d rather keep a puppy than place it in the wrong home. I do take back my puppies if buyers can no longer care for them or just don’t want them anymore.
Can I share my thoughts on how my breed is currently presented in the show ring?
Terese Worful: I think there is too much emphasis on coat and color, and showiness, and not enough on the total dog. Kerrys are Terriers bred to take down badgers, not photographs. And yes, they may move around in the ring.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Terese Worful: Yes, there is some DM, some HD, and CMSD. These are the biggest concerns for me, although I test for everything. Also, eye problems and some VWD, Factor11. There are no special nutritional needs for most Kerrys.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
Terese Worful: The breed temperament is fine, enough to be a good family dog and tough enough for hunting and guarding. BUT the breed is getting TOO refined. They are not Wire Fox Terriers. Ear sets (break) are getting too high. The Standard reads, “… the top of the folded ear SLIGHTLY above the level of the skull.” We also need to watch tail sets.
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Terese Worful: Yes, they are great with children but they do need a firm hand or they will make the rules. I tell all my people to make a rule and don’t give them an inch. The best candidate for a Kerry Blue is someone who is firm but not too firm. Families with children need to be prepared to teach the child how to treat the puppy correctly.
I tell all my people to make a rule and don’t give them an inch. The best candidate for a Kerry Blue is someone who is firm but not too firm. Families with children need to be prepared to teach the child how to treat the puppy correctly.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Terese Worful: Yes, there are very few breeders who are not Preservation Breeders.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with my breed?
Terese Worful: We had a group of ten Kerrys at a Meet the Sheep Day, and all had herding instinct. In Barn Hunt, I had a male that did not feel like hunting that day. He sat in the start box the whole time while I ran around the ring hiding, calling, coaxing him. Even the judge was quietly nudging him. He never moved.
Are you looking for a Kerry Blue Terrier puppy?
The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder? Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.
Want to help rescue and re-home a Kerry Blue Terrier dog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
Kerry Blue Terrier Dog Breed Magazine
Showsight Magazine is the only publication to offer dedicated Digital Breed Magazines for ALL recognized AKC Breeds.
Read and learn more about the clever Kerry Blue Terrier dog breed with articles and information in our Kerry Blue Terrier Dog Breed Magazine.
Kerry Blue Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight