Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed Information – Appearance, Temperament, Care, and More

Norfolk terriers might be little in size, but these dogs are feisty and confident animals. These cute dogs are loyal and love curling up on laps, but they’re far from regular lap dogs. Due to its sturdy build, the Norfolk is a dog that seeks adventure.

This small dog breed stands less than 10 inches at the shoulder. These dogs are bred to work in packs, traditionally earning their living hunting for mice. Although that’s no longer the case, a cute Norfolk terrier won’t pass up the chance for a good chase.

These dogs have powerful bonds with their owners and tend to show a bit of jealousy at times. That’s why they make excellent watchdogs. Besides that, this puppy travels well because of its adaptability.

Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed Pictures


What Does a Norfolk Terrier Look Like?

According to dog breed standards set by various kennel clubs, the Norfolk terrier comes with a wire-haired coat. The dogs can be in any shade of red, wheaten, black, tan, or grizzle. Ideally, a full-grown Norfolk terrier measures around 9-10 inches at the withers and weighs about 11-12 pounds.

Among all of the working terriers, Norfolk is the smallest. This dog is miniature in size and active due to its structure. Full of good substance, a Norfolk terrier is an agile dog. This is thanks to a good spring of rib and bone that’s proportionate to this dog’s size.

This dog is not too refined; hence it isn’t a toy breed. Neither is it too heavy, which means this dog moves well and has a wider reach and drive. Thanks to their balanced front and rear angulation and longer back, adult dogs have a good side gait. Compared to their Norwich cousins, they’re able to cover more ground, making them very agile earthdogs.

Norfolk Terrier vs. Norwich Terrier

The Norfolks share the same look as their cousins, the Norwich terriers. However, you can tell these dogs apart by looking at their ears. While the Norfolk terrier’s ears are folded, the Norwich dog has raised, pointed ones.


A Norfolk is tiny, but this dog comes with a big personality. Although they are small in stature, they are lively, buoyant dogs. You won’t find a sad Norfolk terrier around. The Norfolk dog is alert, good-natured, and always ready to have a good time. It can get exhausting if you aren’t used to an active lifestyle. Therefore, keep that in mind before bringing this puppy home. Norfolk terriers don’t sit around. They’re curious dogs and love any actvity that comes their way. If you are thinking about getting one, prepare yourself to avoid your dog from getting bored.

Like all terriers, the Norfolk is an independent dog that’s always ready to chase anything that moves. This breed also tends to dig and bark, as it’s typical for dogs bred to hunt vermin. Unprepared dog owners might find these characteristics frustrating and challenging to handle. Therefore, think twice before buying a Norfolk terrier. If you do take the plunge, you’ll gain a dog that’s full of life and extremely loyal to the family.

Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed


Norfolk Terrier Care

Compared to other dogs, Norfolks are very easy to care for. Due to their small size, these dogs are perfect for apartments. However, they might bark a lot when they’re bored, so keep that in mind before you adopt a Norfolk terrier. At the very least, make sure to give this dog breed 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous playtime each day. You can also break this into two sessions.

A Norfolk is an intelligent puppy that loves to learn, but that doesn’t mean training will come easy. These dogs are naturally independent and occasionally stubborn, so train them with consistent positive reinforcements. It’s essential to teach these puppies to come when called, especially when they are unleashed. Do not yell or be forceful with them because they’re highly sensitive dogs – you don’t want them fearful or agitated.

It’s crucial to understand that the Norfolk is a dog that barks. Although this dog breed isn’t overly noisy, a simple “Quiet” command should form every Norfolk terrier puppy’s training. Aside from barking, the Norfolk loves to dig. In fact, this might be even harder to deter when compared to other dog traits.

Norfolk Terrier Training

As they’re bred to hunt in packs, the Norfolks are more outgoing than other terriers. These dogs are smart and tend to form very strong bonds with their families. However, they might challenge limits from time to time. Therefore, obedience training is vital when it comes to Norfolk terrier training.

Norfolks will hunt for prey given a chance, so keep them away from small pets like ferrets and hamsters. These dogs should also have their leash on whenever outside for this very reason. It’s highly recommended to show them how to socialize from a very young age. This will help the dogs adjust to well-mannered companions. Other than that, the Norfolk adapts quickly to change and travels really well!


How Long Do Norfolk Terriers Live?

Norfolks have a life expectancy of 8 to 14 years. Some dogs even reach a ripe old age of 17.

How to Exercise Your Norfolk Terrier

Keep the Norfolk happy with socializing, long walks, and plenty of games of fetch. Doing this will release some of this dog’s enormous energy, which is a big part of the Norfolk terrier personality. Because they’re so active and love a good hunt, these dogs should always have their leashes on while outdoors.

Norfolk Terrier Health Issues

More often than not, these dogs are pretty healthy. However, Norfolk terrier breeders should always test their newborn puppies for heart and eye problems, as well as patellar luxation. It’s important to brush the Norfolk’s teeth daily with special toothpaste for dogs. To ensure they live long and happy lives, don’t forget to bring them for doctor visits to limit parasite growth. This way, you’ll avoid the typical Norfolk terrier health problems.

Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed


How Much Should Norfolk Terriers Eat?

The daily recommended food amount for Norfolks is 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food. Split this into two meals.


Here’s some Norfolk terrier history for you. The Norwich and Norfolk terriers are a crossbreed. Supposedly, they came about by crossing local Irish short-legged terrier-like dogs with small red terriers. The latter pups were popular as ratters, used by the Romani ratters of Norfolk, the county of Norwich. Sometime in the 1880s, a working terrier came about, developed by the British sportsmen in eastern England. This dog is the origin of the Norfolk terrier.

The Norfolks were known as Cantab terriers at first. Around this time, it was popular for students of Cambridge University to keep Norfolks in their rooms. After that, the dogs were further developed as a breed in a stable and became known as Trumpington terriers. Prior to World War I, Frank Jones, a well-known Irish horse rider, sold some dogs to the United States. In this new land, the dogs adopted his name and were called Jones terriers. In fact, it was he who said that they originated from Norwich.

The English Kennel Club accepted the Norwich terrier in 1932 and created the first written standard of the dog. The American Kennel Club added the Norwich to its register three years later. Further on in 1964, The Kennel Club recognized the drop-ear dogs as a breed of its own. The prick-eared dogs remained known as Norwich terriers. In 1979, the kennel clubs of America and Canada, as well as the United Kennel Club, all accepted this division.

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