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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Norwich Terrier

Norwich Terrier

Origin: England

AKC Group: Terrier

Height: 9 - 10 inches (Male)

Weight: 11 - 12 pounds (Male)

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Norwich Terriers are sociable, feisty little dogs that need lots of attention. They're usually friendly with strangers, children and other pets. They love to chase, bark and dig, and they're sometimes hard to housebreak.

Norwich Terrirs are part of the Terrier group. In general, terriers have a very distinctive personality that's unlike any other breed. They're feisty and energetic. Originally bred to hunt and kill vermin, terriers love the chase-don't let your terrier off its leash unless it's in an enclosed area.

Terriers make excellent pets. These tough little canines have an attitude, however, so they usually adapt better to quiet households. Most terriers are usually jealous and snippy around other pets, especially dogs.

While some terriers are good with children, most will snap if provoked. If you want your terrier to be friendly with strangers, you need to accustom it to people at an early age. Terriers are also barkers and diggers.

In terms of health, terriers are very hardy dogs with few health problems. Most live a long time, usually around 15 years. Terriers need to be brushed twice a week and professionally groomed about every three months. While pet terriers are usually clipped, show dogs are stripped, which means the dead hairs are plucked out one by one so the coat color doesn't fade.

Male height: 
9 - 10 inches
Male weight: 
11 - 12 pounds
Short and rough. Tail is docked; ears prick up.
Like the Norfolk Terrier, the Norwich is usually reddish or wheaten, sometimes with blacked-tipped hairs. Eyes are dark; nose is black.

Two terriers developed in the same part of east-central England, East Anglia, just north of London in the town of Norwich in the county of Norfolk. At one time, the Norwich and Norfolk Terriers were interchangeable, both considered typical farm dogs and hunting terriers, and their histories are identical. The Border Terrier, Cairn Terrier, and unnamed red terriers from Ireland all probably contributed to the makeup of these terriers. In the 1880s, he became the rage with the students at Cambridge University, which caused his popularity to soar. In the early 1900s, the breed was further developed from the keystone sire named "Rags," whose harsh-coated red progeny formed the foundation of the Norwich/Norfolk. The breed obtained official recognition from English and American kennel clubs in the 1930s. Up until 1979, it was allowed to be shown in the United States with either a prick ear or a forward-folding drop ear. At that time the breeds diverged, with the American Kennel Club (AKC) following the example of the Kennel Club (KC) of England and calling the prick-eared variety the Norwich Terrier and the drop-eared variety the Norfolk Terrier.

These terriers were bred to hunt in packs and are typically more sociable and agreeable than others in the Terrier group. Still, though, they are feisty and full of themselves, as all terriers should be. The Norwich becomes quite attached to and proprietary toward his owner. Socialization from puppyhood and not pampering this outdoorsy dog will help him get along with everyone he meets. He is a sociable fellow, so socialization should be easy and fun.
At home: 
The smallest of the terriers, the Norwich is a good apartment dog and a great traveling companion - he's easy to transport and hardy enough for all kinds of getaways. He does not like to be left alone and needs time and attention from you. Norwiches like to bark and dig, as is their terrier nature. A fenced-in yard will allow your dog to sniff around and stretch his legs safely. His coat is weatherproof, so the cold and rain don't bother him.
The fearless and fun-loving Norwich does best with several outings a day to keep him exercised and socialized. He's short but sturdy and can go for hours before tiring. He loves to play, too, and games of fetch are a favorite.
The Norwich is a good eater who should be fed a high-quality food twice a day. He can be a persistent beggar for extra treats, so don't let him get fat.
He can be stubborn and distracted, but the Norwich does aim to please. Encouraging him with motivational training and working in short sessions so that he doesn't get bored are the best ways to achieve results. Smart and athletic, once the Norwich determines that complying with your requests is fun and rewarding, he'll be happy to show off for you. Housetraining can be difficult, so don't take successes for granted.
The Norwich Terrier likes children, especially as playmates, but does best with older children who understand how to treat this spirited dog. If well socialized, he can get along with other dogs and cats but will see small animals as prey. He can occasionally become jealous of other pets, especially if he sees you showering more attention on them.
The average life span of the Norwich Terrier is 12 to 15 years. Health problems in the breed include breathing problems; epilepsy; eye problems; heart problems; and patellar luxation.
Fun fact: 

A clever word play helps people remember the difference between the two terriers: the Norwich has prick ears like a witch's hat; the Norfolk has folded ears.

Grooming blurb: 
The Norfolk sports a thick, weather-resistant coat that needs brushing and combing several times a week to keep it maintained and looking its best. Use a bristle brush and a grooming glove on the coat. A professional groomer can advise on when, if or how frequently you may want to strip him.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.