The Norwich Terrier!

The Norwich Terrier is one of the smallest working terriers. It is spirited and stocky with sensitive prick ears and a slightly foxy expression. This sturdy descendent of ratting companions, eager to dispatch small vermin alone or in a pack, has good bone and substance and an almost weatherproof coat. The Norwich Terrier is a fearless little dog bred to hunt vermin with its prick ears as its distinguishing characteristic. Once known as Cantab Terriers, the Norwich was believed to have been developed by crossing small Irish Terriers with other short-legged terrier breeds.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
12-15 years

Energy Level:

Living Conditions:
Flexible; consider a deep fence to prevent digging.


Exercise Needs:
20-30 minutes of outdoor activity.

Breed Group:


9-11 inches

11-13 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
All shades of red, wheaten, black and tan or grizzle.

National breed club:
Norwich & Norfolk Terrier Club

Norwich Terrier Skills

The roots of the Norwich were firmly planted in East Anglia, England. By the 1880's owning a small ratting terrier was a fad among the sporting undergraduates of Cambridge University. Today, Norwich terriers are good companion dogs.

Norwich Terrier Personality

Norwich are hardy, happy-go-lucky, weatherproof companions. They are very loyal, alert, and have a sensitive intelligence. Norwich terriers love children and should generally get along with other cats and dogs. A Norwich or Norfolk will view gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, birds and other small, caged pets, as vermin to be hunted. Therefore, they cannot be trusted around such creatures.

Exercise Needs

A long walk or vigorous play within the yard for 20-30 minutes a day will keep your Norwich happy and fit. These terriers also enjoy various activities such as agility, earthdog tests, tracking and obedience classes. Norwich are busy dogs who need to be exercised not just physically, but mentally. They should be encouraged to chase and retrieve, paddle in water under strict supervision, and enjoy the many pleasures of nature. Further stimulation in the form of obedience or puppy kindergarten are great ways for you and your dog to form an even closer relation of mutual trust and respect.

Living Conditions

Because a Norwich has strong hunting instincts and typical terrier curiosity, most breeders require fencing as a prerequisite to owning a Norwich puppy or adult. Do not overfeed them as Norwich can put on weight easily. Excessive heat can present problems for many dogs. A dog crate is an important investment: the crate allows your Norwich to eat without interference from other pets; the crate acts like a seat belt when traveling by car; the crate can be a cocoon when your Norwich just wants to get away from it all; the crate can be useful as a housebreaking tool.

Grooming Requirements

Norwich terriers require regular maintenance to keep a consistently groomed coat. They should be brushed or combed weekly. These terriers are usually "stripped" twice a year. "Stripping" involves pulling out the dead outer coat by hand or with the help of a stripping tool. While not recommended for the adult Norwich, clipping is certainly acceptable when your dog reaches the senior years. The Norwich coat is fairly dirt resistant, which means bathing is limited to either odor or skin problems. During weekly combing or brushing also check your dog’s ears and eyes to make sure they appear clean and dry.

Health Issues

Norwich terriers are generally healthy. A good diet, proper weight, plenty of exercise, regular grooming and routine veterinary care should keep a Norwich in good health. One of the reasons Norwich terriers are fairly healthy breeds is years of concerned, responsible breeding. Conscientious breeders screen for hip dysplasia and eye problems.

If you liked this dog… may also love the Norfolk terriers. Norfolk and Norwich terriers were originally one breed, called Norwich terriers - but distinguished informally as "prick-ears" or "drop-ears". In England in 1964, the (British) Kennel Club separated the breed into two, with the drop-ears taking the name of Norfolk Terrier and the prick-ears retaining the name of Norwich Terrier. Effective 1 January 1979, the American Kennel Club took the same step.

norwich terrier


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