One of the smallest Terriers (averaging 11 to 12 pounds), the Norfolk Terrier, despite his size, is sturdy and strong. Originally used for ratting and fox bolting, the breed originated in the 1800’s, developed from the dogs of gypsies and weavers to produce a Terrier with dropped and prick ears that could successfully hunt vermin. While socialization and training are necessary, many of the breed are good with children and get along well with other dogs and cats. Independent and a bit stubborn, obedience training of the Norfolk Terrier may require some effort. While not the noisiest of dogs, training will likely be required to minimize their yapping. Dogs of this breed have a rough coat that sheds and benefits from weekly brushing or combing. The breed is closely related to the Norwich Terrier, though there are differences between the two. For example, the ears of the Norfolk Terrier fold forward where the Norwich Terrier’s ears stand straight up. Thought to be more sociable than most Terriers, Norfolk Terriers should live indoors with his family; while the breed enjoy working, they enjoy their family more and being left outside will likely lead to his being noisy, destructive and unhappy.
Many of the Terrier breeds were created specifically for a certain area or population; this is a part of why there are so many.. The Norwich Terrier originated in England’s East Anglia and were crossed with other Terriers (to include the Yorkshire and Irish Terriers) which led to the development of small red or black and tan dogs. These dogs were known as Trumpington Terriers and they were seen in different sizes, colors and ear shapes. Once a breed standard was written, both the prick-eared and drop-eared types were included. In the 1930’s breeders stopped interbreeding the dogs with the different ear types in an effort to stabilize the ear carriage of the offspring. As there were more dogs with the prick ears, by World War II, the drop-eared dogs were nearing extinction, until Miss Macfie worked to keep the breed alive; in fact, breeders came to her to reestablish the breed. In 1964, the Kennel Club in England separated to two types of dogs. The drop-eared dogs were called Norfolk Terriers. The American Kennel Club did the same in 1979.
A small, compact breed averaging 11 to 12 pounds, the Norfolk Terrier is slightly longer than its height, with short legs and a docked tail. The muzzle of this active dog looks similar to that of a fox and dogs of the breed have well-defined whiskers and eyebrows and dropped, close-hanging ears. The coat of the Norfolk Terrier is hard and wiry and seen in a variety of colors, to include: red, wheaten, black and tan and grizzle (a mix of black or red hairs along with white hairs; the grizzle coat can look bluish gray or iron gray).
The Norfolk Terrier is a light shedding breed who will do well with regular brushing of its coat. Nail clipping is also needed and bathing should occur as necessary for the particular dog. Dogs of the breed require daily exercise (two or three 15 minute walks or play times daily), however, an occasional missed day won’t cause harm. As the Norfolk Terrier was bred to work, regular activity is good for the dog’s emotional and physical health. A dog of this breed can live in an apartment as long as he is taken out daily for walks and/or other outdoor activities. Having access to a fenced in yard is better for the breed, though you will want to fence in any garden you have as he may be tempted to dig into it. While the breed can survive living outdoors, he enjoys his family and will prefer not to be separated from them for long periods of time. It Is advised that choke collars not be used with the Norfolk Terrier, as the trachea is sensitive and could become injured easily.