Norfolk Terrier


The Norfolk Terrier and the Norwich Terrier were once classified as two varieties of the same breed. After 1964 the drop-eared variety was classified as the Norfolk terrier and the erect or prick-eared variety was classified as the Norwich terrier. These terriers have a broad and slightly rounded skull, with expressive eyes and, of course, V-shaped folded ears that drop forward onto the cheeks. The body is small and compact with short sturdy legs. The Norfolk’s coat is a hard and close-lying wire-haired coat. The coat is longer on the neck, shoulders, moustache, beard and eyebrows and shorter on the head and ears. These terriers come in a range of colors – including red, yellow or wheaten, black and brown or grey. Both breeds of terriers are small standing about 10 inches tall at shoulder height and weighing from 11 to 15 pounds. These terriers are members of the American Kennel
Club (AKC) Terrier Group.


As mentioned earlier the Norfolk and Norwich terriers were once classified as the same breed up until 1964 in England. In the U.S. the two separate breeds were recognized in 1979. The ancestry of these terriers is unclear but they probably include Border, Cairn and Irish terrier. They were bred for hunting vermin and later used by fox hunters to chase foxes from their dens when they went to ground. The Norfolk Terrier was ranked 117th out of 154 dog breeds in 2004 AKC registrations.


The Norfolk is a happy and fearless little teddy bear. This terrier is lively, friendly, playful, impudent and has a great personality. The Norfolk is sociable, busy, and energetic and loves to accompany you on long walks in any kind of weather. These terriers get along well with children and make good family dogs. Because this breed is one of the smallest of the Terrier Group, you should supervise toddlers and small children to make sure they aren’t too rough with these dogs. Norfolk’s can be somewhat reserved with strangers. These terriers, unlike most terriers, love obedience training and can be trained quite easily. Norfolk’s have good hearing, are very alert and make good watchdogs. These terriers are very suitable for first-time dog owners.


These terriers are quite energetic and really enjoy going on walks or playing ball with their families. They tolerate all types of weather. Norfolk’s love to dig holes in your backyard so you should be on guard for this breed trait. Norfolk’s do well in apartments and are very happy to travel in the car.


The Norfolk should be brushed and combed once or twice per week – paying special attention to the beard and moustache which get dirty more often. The wiry coat doesn’t shed and needs to have the dead and excess hair hand-plucked about twice per year. Trim excess hair between the paw pads. This low-shedding breed is sometimes called ‘hypoallergenic’ and if it is properly groomed should be good with people that have allergies.

Health Considerations:

Norfolk Terriers have a fairly long life expectancy and should live for 12 to 14 years. Norfolk’s are not prone to many serious genetic health concerns although cataracts are fairly common. On occasion other eye diseases such as glaucoma and corneal dystrophy are present. Cramps, epilepsy, luxating patella and respiratory problems have also been seen in some breeding lines. Buyers of Norfolk puppies should ask to see the parents recent CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation) results.

Article type: xdogbreed