Norwich Terrier


A small Norwich Terrier
Norwich Terrier Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)9-11in (23-28cm)
Weight11-13lbs (5-6kg)
Hair Colour(s)Black, tan
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size2-3
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityLow
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftMedium

The Norwich Terrier is a small but stockily built dog, and another of the smallest of 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, distinctive prick ears, dark eyes and distinctive eyebrows and whiskers. The coat is wiry and straight with a thick undercoat, and the colouring varies but includes black and tan, grizzle, red and and wheaten.


Norwich Terriers are hardy and cheerful little dogs with big personalities. Loyal and alert, they make weatherproof companions and great family pets, espeically for more active people. These dogs have plenty of energy and love to play and have fun, although early socialisation is often required to ensure stables temperaments and to reduce the risk of timidness. They are very inquisitive and alert with sensitive intelligence, and are also quick learners, but they can also be headstrong and determined, which means that owners need to be assertive and confident in order to establish leadership. As a result they are best suited to more experienced dog owners with some knowledge of training, rather than novices. Norwich terriers get along well older, more considerate children they have been raised with, and should be fine with other cats and dogs with early socialisation. However, they will tend to view smaller pets such as hamsters, rabbits and birds as vermin to be hunted, and so cannot be trusted around such creatures, and they can even sometimes be jealous of other pets. They can also be very possessive when it comes to food and belongings. With regards to strangers, some will be friendly while others may be more reserved. Although they can be prone to baking, these dogs make effective watchdogs and will bark to raise the alarm too.

History & Skills

Norwich Terriers originate from East Anglia in England, and were developed as ratters and farm dogs. Once known as Cantab Terriers, they are believed to be a mix of small Irish Terriers crossed with other short-legged Terrier breeds. Owning one had become a fad of sporting undergraduates at Cambridge University by the 1880s. Norfolk Terriers were also classed as Norwich Terriers until the 1960s, but the two were separated because Norfolk Terriers have folded ears, while Norwich Terriers have erect, prick ears. Today, these dogs make good companion dogs and family pets.

Breed Specific Ailments

Norwich Terriers tend to live between 12-15 years and are generally healthy. Some of the health problems associated with this breed includes hip dysplasia, luxating patella, epilepsy, collapsing trachea, elongated palate, heart problems, and allergies. These dogs can gain weight easily.


Norwich Terriers are low shedders and so are fine for allergy sufferers. Their grooming requirements are average, and their coat will simply need brushing once a week. The hair around the bottom area will need to be kept trimmed for hygiene reasons, and the coat itself may need clipping every few months, and show dogs will need theirs stripping. Bathing is only required when absolutely necessary, as their coats tend to be dirt resistant. The ears should be kept clean and dry to reduce the chance of infections.

Exercise & Environment

Norwich Terriers tend to live indoors and are active dogs that are suited to small-home living. They will need a long daily walk oraccess to a yard or garden area for half an hour of vigorous play. Fences to these areas must be secure and deep, as these dogs love to dig, something for garden-proud owners to be aware of. They can be sensitive to heat and require some mental as well as physical stimulation, such as retreiving.


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

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