Norfolk Terrier


A small brown Norfolk Terrier
Norfolk Terrier Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)9-11in (23-28cm)
Weight10-12lbs (4.5-5.5kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size2-5
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirements
Ease of training
Suitability for kids
Animal compatability
Aggression levels
Distress if left

The Norfolk Terrier is a small, compact and sturdy dog, and one of the smallest of the Terriers. The body is short but powerful with dense bones, a deep chest, short back and level topline, short and straight front legs, and a high-set tail that can be cropped. The round head has a fox-like muzzle, folded ears, dark eyes and distinctive eyebrows and whiskers. The coat is wiry and straight with a thick undercoat, and the colouring varies but includes grizzle, black and tan, red and and wheaten.


Norfolk Terriers are couragous, lively and friendly little dogs with stable temperaments and big personalities. Early socialiation is important to ensure they do not become overly timid but generally they are outgoing, energetic and playful, and they make fine companions and family pets. Inquisitive by nature, they love to play, bark and dig, especially when left alone outdoors for some time. These are intelligent dogs that are quick to learn, and so training should not prove difficult, but as they can be very independent, iron-willed and possessive, they are best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership rather than novices. Norfolk Terriers get along well with older, more considerate children they have been raised with. They are also good other pets, although some can become jealous and they are not to be trusted around rabbits and smaller animals. Their reaction to strangers can vary from friendly to wary depending upon the personality of the dog, and thanks to their tendency to bark and raise the alarm, they make effective watchdogs.

History & Skills

Norfolk Terriers originate from England, and were developed in the 1900s to hunt vermin. Once grouped with the Norwich Terrier, these two breeds were separated in the 1960s due to differences with their ear carriages. As well as hunting rats, they were later used for chasing foxes out of their dens, having great ability to get into small holes in the ground. And as they were often used to hunt in groups, they are normally more friendly than other terrier breeds. These days they make good companions and family pets but retain their vermin hunting skills.

Breed Specific Ailments

Norfolk Terriers tend to live between 12-15 years and are a healthy and hardy breed. Some of the health concerns that have been noted include heart and hip problems, luxating patella, sensitivity to anesthetic, and collapsing trachea. A heart exam is recommended when selecting puppies.


Norfolk Terriers are low shedders, when groomed properly, and are also seasonal sheddders but are still suited to those suffering from allergies. Their grooming requirements are average and the wiry coat brushes eaily, but this should be done a few times a week and more during any heavier shedding. Occasional clipping and bathing will be required, and hair around the bottom area should be kept trimmed for hygiene reasons.

Exercise & Environment

Norfolk Terriers are active dogs and tend to live indoors, and so are suitable for small homes such as apartments. They will need a couple of brisk walks each day and access to a yard or garden may not be necessary, as they are active while indoors, but these things are always better to have. However, garden lovers take note that these little dogs love to dig. They should not be unleashed except in safe areas.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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