By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 18th October 2022

Norwich Terrier


Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 18th October 2022

The Norwich Terrier is one of the smallest terrier breeds, deriving its roots in the United Kingdom. These toy sized dogs have a robust, sturdy built, further characterized by a longish body, fox-like head, small, dark, oval-shaped eyes that always seem to sparkle, prick, pointed ears (a feature that distinguishes it from the Norfolk terrier that has drop ears), and a relatively long tail. Its small size is a contrast to the kind of work it was used for—hunting vermin, though at present they dwell as loving companion dogs.

Norwich Terrier Pictures

Quick Information

CoatHard, wiry, double coat- Outer coat: Weatherproof; Undercoat: Soft, protecting its body from excessive warmth and cold.
ColorRed, black, wheaten,
Lifespan/ Life Expectancy12 to 15 years
Height9 to 10 inches
Weight11 to 12 pounds
Litter size1 to 3 puppies
Temperament Affectionate, playful, sensitive, intelligent, brave
Good with childrenYes
Climate Compatibility Adapt well in a warm or temperate climate
BarkingLow (only if the situation arises)
Shedding (Does it shed)Minimal
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationAKC, FCI, ANKC, NZKC, CKC, KC (UK), UKC
CountryUnited Kingdom

Video of Norwich Terrier Puppies


Being a close cousin of the Norfolk Terrier, but for its prick ears, the Norwich Terrier was exclusively bred for hunting vermin in pursuit of controlling Britain’s rodent population. Originating in England’s East Anglia region, since the second half of the 19th century, they were even used to hunt foxes in packs. Breeds similar to these short-legged ratters were immensely popular among students of the Cambridge University in between the 1880s and 1890s, a majority of whom possessed them as their pets to perhaps get hold of a sporting breed with ratting abilities.

The Trumpington Terriers, a particular variety of dog found in the Trumpington region of Cambridge, developed by crossing the Irish and Yorkshire Terriers, were said to be responsible for the foundation of this breed.

In fact, a Trumpington known by the name of Rags, possessed by the owner of a stable yard in Norwich, is considered to be the founding stock of the present day Norwich Terrier. In fact, Rags, as well as its descendants, had been crossed with several Terriers like the Staffordshire and Glen of Imaal, where the resultant breeds possessed a unique ability to pull foxes out of their dens.

Its popularity not just remained confined to England but even spread to America because of the noble initiatives taken by Frank Jones. He was instrumental in utilizing Rags’ descendants to create a dog named Willum, which was sent off to Philadelphia and also emerged as the founding sire of these dogs in the U.S. In fact, as a tribute to its founder, this breed was referred to as Jones’ Terrier in America, even after it had attained recognition by the American and English Kennel Clubs during the 1930s. Being so intimately connected to the Norfolk Terrier, both were regarded as the same breed until 1979 (Norwich Terrier PE, Norwich Terrier DE), when the dropped ear variety came to be classified as the Norfolk Terrier, and the picked ear ones were the Norwich Terrier.

Temperament and Personality

These small-sized dogs are regarded to be great house pets as they enjoy companionship, also seeking for attention always, detesting to be left alone for prolonged periods. Because of its small size, it would be easily portable and happy to be carried along wherever you go.  Curious and observant, they could be friendly with strangers once they get to know them well, though at the onset they may express a reserved and curious demeanor on encountering an unknown face, barking to warn of his presence… a trait that makes them an efficient watchdog.

Though good with children, they would be preferable for kids above 7-8 years of age, as the little ones could be rough with these small dogs, knocking them down during play.

In spite of their friendly nature, they do possess a stubborn character and might even get strong-willed at times.

They would share a good rapport with other canines and cats if socialized or brought up with them. However, smaller pets like gerbils, rabbits or other rodents could trigger their chasing and hunting instinct. Thus it would not be suitable for homes having these animals.



Bred as hunters, these active and energetic dogs need to be exercised on a regular basis to be physically and mentally charged. Besides a long walk, jog or a hiking spree, you should also give them sufficient playtime like fetching, when indoors. If you are taking them out, make sure you keep them in a fenced yard or leash them well.


Its harsh, weatherproof top coat and soft, feathery undercoat, needs to be brushed on a regular basis. Stripping its coat thrice or four times on a yearly basis using your hand would help in removing the outer hair as well as the excess undercoat, making way for new hairs, alongside maintaining its shine and color. You can go for a professional groomer if you find hand stripping to be difficult. In case you decide not to strip its coat, it would give your pet a scruffy look as well as maximize chances of shedding. Those having their coats stripped would also require less bathing. Other grooming needs include trimming its nails once or two times in a week and brushing its teeth.

Health Problems

Though sturdy and hardy, some of the common health problems it might suffer from include hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, upper airway syndrome (a respiratory condition) and epilepsy.


Because of their stubborn and strong-willed nature, training the Norwich Terrier can be an uphill task if it does not have a firm trainer to handle it. However, harsh treatment would make your training process difficult as these dogs are sensitive to scolding.

  • To keep its digging habit under control, keep it engaged in various activities most of the time so that it may not get time to dig just to entertain itself. Whenever you see it making a hole, make a noise or clap aloud so that it may get startled and stop whatever it is doing.
  • To keep its chasing instinct in check, leash train the Norwich Terrier puppies.


Give it good quality dry dog food, in combination with a nutritious homemade diet. However, it tends to get most of the times and munch on any edible thing within its reach, thus keeping a check on its food is essential, as putting weight could aggravate conditions like hip dysplasia which it is prone to.

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