Norwich Terrier

Type: Terrier

Height: 9 - 10.25 inches.

Weight: 11 - 12 lbs.

Life Span: 12 - 14 years.

Litter Size: 3 puppies is average.

Country of Origin: England

Activity: High. Norwich Terriers are very active, inquisitive creatures.

Watch-dog: Very High. They are very active and alert to their surroundings, and will probably let you know.

Guard-dog: Low. Although fearless with rodents, they are friendly with people of all kinds.


Description: The Norwich Terrier is a native breed of Norfolk, England. They are distinguished from the Norfolk Terrier by their alert, pricked ears. Their coat is generally short and smooth on the head and ears. They are a powerful dog for their size with a tight-lipped mouth and a scissors bite. Norwich Terriers are small, portable and adaptable dogs. They make a delightful companion who loves to hunt, dig and investigate. Norwich Terriers are active and compact, free-moving with good substance and bone. With a natural, weather-resistant coat and short legs, they are perfect in the field. They have a wide head, short docked, stubby tail and they largely resemble a smaller Cairn Terrier. The Norwich Terrier has an affectionate personality with a passion for digging. Playful, they enjoy playing catch, hiking in the woods or burrowing after little critters. They are alert and fearless when it comes to prey. They have been called a "demon" even at their size, and are a sociable and hardy breed. They need a good amount of exercise, and love a good rabbit hunt. Regardless of its fearless attitude and tenacious ability to catch small prey, they are very good with children. A fiery ball of tough fluff, the Norwich Terrier is a good little companion for those looking for a tough and hardy type.

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Colors: All shades of red, wheaten, black and tan or grizzle; white marks and patches undesirable but permissible. They sometimes also have dark points.

Coat: Hard, wiry and straight. They have a rough on the neck, and small eyebrows and whiskers. The fur is broken and lies flat to the body.

Temperament: Norfolk Terriers are outgoing, appealing, and clever. They are curious and fearless, as they are terriers. They are not trustworthy with small animals, but are good with other, bigger pets. Norfolk Terriers get along well with children, despite their tenacity. They are actually loveable and affectionate, and are a fun companion. The Norfolk Terrier is good natured, friendly and loyal. They are trainable, but may have a stubborn streak and need consistent training. They are sociable, hardy and alert.

With Children: Yes, when raised with children.

With Pets: Yes, good with other pets such as dogs and cats as long as it is socialized with them. It is not trustworthy with small animals, however, as it has a high prey drive.

Special Skills: Family pet, hunter of underground animals.

Care and Training: Daily combing and brushing of the shaggy coat of Norwich Terriers is suggested. Take extra care when they are shedding. You may want to have the Norwich Terrier professionally stripped a couple of times a year. Minimal clipping is needed but the hair between the pads of their feet should be trimmed. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. Norwich Terriers should have daily exercise such as a walk on a leash, but an boisterous play session will also suffice. Norwich Terriers enjoy activity and should be given the opportunity for free play, walks on a leash and the opportunity to dig as they are natural diggers. They need a good amount of exercise. Norfolk Terriers are quick learners, but they need consistency and regular training. As with the normal terrier attitude, stubbornness can be a problem.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Low. Problem Solving - High.

Special Needs: Activity, exercise, a fenced-in yard, a leash, socialization, grooming and training.

Living Environment: Home with a fenced yard is the best for the Norfolk Terrier, but they will adapt to an apartment if a daily walk is given. Owners of a Norfolk Terrier should desire a feisty, busy, curious dog.

Health Issues: Cardiomyopathy, patellar luxation, heart murmurs and mitral valve disease, back problems, skin problems and genetic eye disorders.

History: Bred in the town of Norwich and in the county of Norfolk, which is in the East Anglian setting of England, they were mainly used to control rats and hunt vermin and foxes. They were a mixture of gypsy's dogs that were crossed with weaver's pets. It is thought that the genetic makeup of this breed is of Irish Terrier, Glen of Imaal Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Border Terrier and Cairn Terrier. The breed was just a regular farm mongrel in the 1800s, and it had no official recognition or name until the 1880s. The breed became largely popular among Cambridge University students, who wanted to name it the Cantab Terrier. It was not until the 1900s that the breed developed into what it is today. A Mr. Frank "Roughrider" Jones began breeding his Glen of Imaal Terrier with a female Cairn terrier. These were bred to a Dandie Dinmont Terrier as well, and from there the breed began. Mr. Jones helped form the basis for the breed, and early Norfolk Terriers were called Jones Terriers in the U.S. In the 1930s, the breed was accepted by both England and America. Both the Norfolk and Norwich were born in the same litters at the time, and both prick eared and drop eared varieties emerged from the same whelp. The Norwich and Norfolk Terriers were considered the same breed until 1964 when two different classification were created based on their ears. This separation occurred in England in 1964, but it took until 1979 for the U.S. to separate the breeds. The Norfolk has drop ears, and the Norwich has prick ears. Some remember the difference by saying the Norwich terrier's ears are pointy like a "wich's" hat while the Norfolk's ears are in a fold. Others remember the difference by saying the Norfolk's ears are flat like the county of Norfolk, while the Norwich ears are erect like the Norwich Spire's Cathedral.

First Registered by the AKC: 1936

AKC Group: Terrier Group

Class: Terrier

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 3), KC (GB), UKC