|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 3 Section 2 #272
||Group 2 Terriers
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Norfolk Terrier is a small
dog, one of many
breeds. Prior to 1960, when it gained recognition as an independent breed, it
was a variety of the
Norwich Terrier, distinguished from the Norwich by its "drop", or folded
The Norfolk Terrier has a wire-haired
which, according to the various national kennel club
breed standards, can be "all shades of red, wheaten, black and tan, or
They are the smallest of the working Terriers. They should feel heavier in
weight than they appear to be. They are self confident and carry their heads
with presence and importance and the tails should also be held erect.
They are active and compact, free moving, with good substance and bone. Good
substance means good spring of rib and bone that matches the body such that the
dog can be a very agile
ratter, the function for which it was bred. Norfolks are moderately
proportioned dogs. A too-heavy dog would not be agile. A too-refined dog would
make it a toy
breed. Norfolks generally have more reach and drive and a stronger rear
angulation, hence cover more ground than their Norwich cousins. Norfolk have
good side gait owed to their balanced angulation front and rear, not their
perceived slightly longer length of back as is often cited.
The ideal height is 10 to 12 inches ( 25-30 cm) at the withers and weight is
about 12 pounds (5 Kg). They are the smallest of the terriers.
These breeds have two coats - a harsh, wiry topcoat and a soft warm
undercoat. All that is really necessary for grooming a companion dog is a good
combing and brushing once a week to remove the loose, dead hairs and prevent
matting. The coats should be hand stripped once in the Fall and once in the
Spring. Clipping or cutting ruins the coat's colours and texture. You can wash
this coat with a dog shampoo any time it is desirable.
Norfolk Terriers are described as fearless but should not be aggressive
despite being capable of defending themselves if need be. The AKC standard
describes the Norfolk as “alert, gregarious, and loyal”. They are dogs that work
in packs and must get along with other dogs. They love people and children and
can make good companions.
A Norfolk that is shy, or carries its tail between its legs is untypical as
is a dog that is hot tempered and aggressive with other dogs; these are not the
standard. Norfolk Terrier's typical breed temperament is happy, spirited and
There are incidences of health issues that responsible breeders consider
worthy to do preventative testing. Norfolks have incidences of
mitral valve disease,
dysplasia and bad bites (where the teeth do not align with the breed
standard, ie. overshot or undershot)
A good daily walk takes care of the exercise requirements of the Norfolk
Terrier. They are good walking companions and reasonable joggers.
In the 1880s, British sportsmen developed a working terrier of East
England. The Norwich Terrier and later the drop-eared variety now know as the
Norfolk Terrier, were believed to have been developed by crossing
Terriers, and small, short-legged
They were first called the Cantab Terrier when they became fashionable
for students to keep in their dormitory at
Cambridge University in England. Later, they were called the Thrumpington
Terrier, after a street in the area where the breed was first developed.
Then, just prior to WWI,
a Norwich huntsman helped introduce the short-legged terriers to the
USA, calling them the
In 1932, the
Norwich was granted acceptance into the English
Kennel Club and the first written standard was created. The
American Kennel Club registered the first Norwich Terrier in
1964, The Kennel
Club reclassified the drop-ear variety as it its own breed, the Norfolk Terrier,
and the prick-eared variety retained the name Norwich Terrier. The American
Kennel Club and
Canadian Kennel Club both recognized the division of the Norwich Terrier
breed in 1979.
After many generations, these two breeds have developed as two distinct breeds
both in physical looks and in temperament. Of note, there is literature that
suggests that the Norfolk and Norwich were always two distinct breeds and the
original mistake was classifying them as one.
They are tireless workers in the field. These versatile, agreeable dogs can
go to ground and bolt a
fox and tackle or dispatch other small
alone or in a pack. Their courage is so that “honourable scars from wear and
tear” should not be counted against them in the show ring.
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