Norwich and Norfolk Terriers are amongst the many different terriers that originated in England prior to and during the 1800s. Vermin, including rats and small predators, were the prey for most of these working terriers. Frank “Roughrider” Jones, a charismatic dog breeder, developed the breed that became known as the Norwich Terrier. When the first breed standard was written, the erect ear and dropped ear varieties remained one breed, the Norwich. In 1964, the English Kennel Club made them two breeds: the Norwich with erect ears (pictured here) and the Norfolk with dropped ears. These two terrier dog breeds are now separate but are still very similar.
Norwich and Norfolk Terriers stand 9 to 10 inches tall and weigh between 11 and 12 pounds. The head is wide and the eyes small and dark. The body is compact, with wide and rounded ribs. The tail is docked. The coat is hard and straight, with an undercoat. Acceptable colours include red, wheaten, black and tan, and grey. The coat requires weekly brushing, except during the spring and fall shedding seasons, when the undercoat may need more frequent brushing. The outer coat needs hand-stripping a few times a year; potential owners should discuss this requirement with a breeder prior to buying Norwich or Norfolk Terriers puppies.
A long walk or vigorous play within the yard for twenty to thirty minutes a day will keep your Norwich or Norfolk happy and fit. Both of these breeds have participated successfully in terrier go-to-ground trials as well as agility and tracking. Both Norwich and Norfolk terrier breeds are receptive to training; however, as terriers, they can be quite independent. Luckily, they are usually food-motivated, which can make training easier. Although watchful and wary of strangers, they are not normally barkers.
A dog of either breed needs an owner who understands the terrier temperament. Both breeds are good with gentle children, although young dogs can be rowdy. These dogs should not be trusted with smaller pets. Health concerns include eye disorders and hip dysplasia.