Meet the Breed: The Norfolk Terrier



  • Height: 10"
  • Weight: 10-12 pounds (these are the smallest of all terriers)
  • Historical function: Vermin controller and fox hole routers.
  • Modern function: Vermin controller and companion
  • AKC classification: Terrier

Physical Characteristics:

The Norfolk Terrier is the smallest of the terrier group. It is short, sturdy and strong. Originally the Norfolk and the Norwich Terriers were considered the same breed and were distinguished by their ears with the Norfolk terrier having drop ears, and the Norwich having pricked. The head is roundish with a wedge-shaped muzzle. The eyes are small, dark and oval. The wiry, shaggy, straight coat can be red, wheaten, grizzle, tan, and black and tan. 

History of the Breed:

The Norfolk Terrier was developed in Anglica, England. The Norfolk and Norwich Terriers used to be the same breed with two different ear types with both being referred to as the Norwich Terrier.They were employed as ratters in stables and also would flush foxes out of their dens during hunts due to their small size.


The Norfolk Terrier is considered to have the mildest of the terrier breeds along with the Norwich and Border Terriers. They are active, courageous, affectionate. As they are patient and easy to get along with, they make excellent companions for children and other dogs. Should be socialized and supervised with non-canine pets. As ratters, they love to chase toss toys. They do tend to bark and are very social.

  • Best suited for: Most families. Easy to travel with due to their small size and easy-going temperament. Good for apartment living.
  • Preferred living conditions: This dog is happy as long as they are in the middle of family activities.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Easy care coat should be combed regularly. Sheds lightly. Don't bathe too often to retain the coat's waterproof nature.
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk.
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years.
  • Health concerns: Some lines may be prone to back issues and genetic eye disease, but the Norfolk Terrier is generally healthy.

Breed Club Links: Norfolk Terrier Club Perfect Pairings: HyperDog Mini 2-Ball Launcher

Have any stories about a Norfolk Terrier? Please share!

Photo courtesy of francoleria.

This entry was posted by Mary.
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