The Norwich Terrier breed originated in the 1800s as a working dog in England to rid the stables of rats and other vermin. The Norwich Terrier is the smallest working Terrier at only about 10 inches tall and 11 pounds. They come in black and tan, grizzle, wheaten, tan, and red. Although these tiny dogs are good hunters, they are mostly used now as lap dogs and show dogs. According to the American Kennel Club, the Norwich Terrier is the 104th most popular breed in the United States and has been registered with the AKC since 1936. They are feisty, energetic, strong-willed, and courageous for their size but make wonderful and lovable companion pets.
The early breeds of Norwich Terriers were a mix of many different Terriers and were called the Jones, Trumpington, and Cantab Terriers. These dogs were made famous by the sporting undergraduates in Cambridge University in the 1880s who used them as ratters and to flush foxes. The first Norwich Terrier was a dog named Rags who originated in the town of Norwich, which is in Norfolk County in East Anglia, England. The Norwich Terrier and Norfolk Terrier were considered the same breed in England until 1964, when it was decided that those dogs with prick ears were Norwich Terriers and those with dropped ears are Norfolk Terriers. Before that they were called Norwich Terrier D.E. (drop ears) and Norwich Terrier P.E. (prick ears). It took until 1979 for the Canadian Kennel Club and United Kennel Club to recognize these as two separate breeds. Both breeds still had only one parent club in the United States until 2009 when the members agreed to have two separate clubs: The Norfolk Terrier Club and the Norwich Terrier Club of America. The first of this breed to come to the United States was named William Jones who was owned by Robert Strawbridge, Esquire. He was bought from a breeder by the name of Frank Jones and was famous for his fox hunting as well as siring a great deal of generations of Norwich Terriers. Because of their small size, this breed was favored in fox flushing because they were able to get into the fox holes to flush out the foxes.
This small Terrier is a stocky and well-muscled ball of energy and fur who is only about 10 inches tall. With a fox like expression and perky, erect ears, this dog is ready to get busy doing something, whether it is playing or working, it does not matter. They are built for hunting, fun, or just sitting in your lap. The Norwich Terrier has a broad skull, medium-sized, perky ears, dark oval eyes, a strong muzzle, and black nose. The bite is scissor-like and the lips are black. They have a medium-length neck, short legs, a strong back, wide chest and well-sprung ribs. The tail should be medium-length and docked. Due to their love of digging, this breed has powerful, straight legs and small, round feet with thick pads. Their fur is double-coated, almost weatherproof, and come in several different colors. These colors include black and tan, grizzle, wheaten, tan, and red.
These dogs do not need too much grooming and can get by on being brushed once a week just to remove the dead hair. You can use a soft or slicker brush for this and you do not need to bathe her unless she gets especially dirty. However, they do need to be stripped, which is a process of pulling out entire hairs that should be done by a professional groomer although can be done by an owner if they know how. Stripping is important for the coat to retain its multi length hair and to keep the dog’s skin and coat healthy. Nails should be trimmed regularly and you should check your Norwich Terrier’s ears weekly for wax, dirt, or debris. This will prevent ear infections such as otitis media. Their tail should be medium docked for show purposes but natural is not a problem for a lap dog. In the United Kingdom, it is illegal to dock a Norwich Terrier’s tail unless they are working dogs.