Norfolk Terrier

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all shades of red, wheaten, black and tan or grizzle
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons
  • excellent companion    
  • courageous
  • gets on well with children
  • friendly                                             
  • needs a great amount of vigorous exercises
  • chases small animals


The Norfolk Terrier is a high-spirited, small and charming dog that is one of the smallest of all working terriers. It is an active, free-moving, friendly breed with a great stamina that will make an excellent companion.

The Norfolk Terrier appeared in East England approximately in the XIX century. It was developed by crossing Border Terrier, Cairn Terrier, and Irish Terrier. The breed also shares its history with the Norwich Terrier. In fact, these two breeds used to be the same breed with two different ear types and both were called as the Norwich Terrier. This breed was used as ratter and fox hunter. Its small size allowed the dog penetrate into fox holes without an effort.

Only in 1964 the Norfolk Terrier and the Norwich Terrier were recognized as separate breeds by the English Kennel Club (KC), and in 1979 the American Kennel Club (AKC) also officially considered them as separate breeds, the Norwich had the small perked ears and the Norfolk was with the dropped ears.

Nowadays, in some countries the Norfolk Terrier is still used this breed as a hunter. But most owners keep it as a family companion and show dog.

The Norfolk Terrier is an active, loyal, friendly, good-natured, fearless, curios and loving dog. Your dog won’t to sit and do nothing when there's something interesting to examine. It is a working dog and it is happy when it has the job to do.

The Norfolk Terrier is an easy-going breed and very good with children. However, it is better suited for families with older children that know how to handle a dog, because your small child can accidentally injure this small dog.

In spite of all its love to people your Norfolk Terrier will make a great watchdog, as it is very alert and tends to bark at strange people and noises.

The Norfolk Terrier is also good with the other animals and can live with the dogs and cats, if introduced properly. But it is a natural hunter and may chase the small animals, such as hamsters or rats.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dysplasia;
• patellar luxation;
• vaccination sensitivity;
• eye diseases.

The Norfolk Terrier is not difficult to care for but as any other dog it needs the regular grooming. This breed has a hard, wiry, straight coat that must be brushed 1-2 times per week. Some extra care is necessary when the dog is shedding, but the breed is a light shedder.

Stripping is the one of the important things to do for your dog. You need to strip it at least twice a year, as this procedure helps to keep their skin and coat healthy. It also helps to keep their coat neat and nice.

It doesn’t need frequent bath unless it’s necessary. The rest is basic care. The ears and eyes should be checked regularly and be neat. Clip the nails when it is necessary and brush the teeth frequently.

The Norfolk Terrier is generally easy to train, because the dog is bright and eager to please, but it can be stubborn and independent, so take the training seriously.

Patience and consistency, firm leadership will be required to train your puppy. Leash training is absolutely important for this breed, because the Norfolk Terriers is a very active dog and a natural hunter and should never be trusted off leash when it is not in a fenced area.

Like every dog, the Norfolk Terrier needs early socialization, that helps to ensure that your puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Inviting friends over regularly, meeting neighbours and taking it to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, will also help it to polish its social skills.

The Norfolk Terrier has some exercise requirements. This little dog requires at least two long walks per day combining with the short run to keep it fit, to stretch its legs and to help to spend its energy. It is an excellent walking companion.

The Norfolk Terrier loves to play with the balls and the toys or just have a good game with the people it loves. In general, if your terrier has something to do or investigate, it will be absolutely happy. It is a very adaptable breed that can live both in the city or in the country lifestyle.