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Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terrier dogs are bold and active working terriers. As compared to other terriers, these dogs have a relatively softer temperament. They were originally used as barn dogs to reduce vermin population in the barn. Because of their small size, the dogs were also used during hunting to bolt animals out of their dens.

These dogs are quite similar to Norwich Terriers. In fact, until 1964, both these breeds were categorized under Norwich Terrier dog breed. Later in 1979, the American Kennel Club categorized them as two separate dog breeds. The basic difference between the two breeds is that Norfolk Terrier dogs have dropped ears whereas Norwich Terrier dogs tend to have small perked ears.

Physical Appearance

Appearance wise, Norfolk Terrier dogs are characterized by a more angular shape as compared to Norwich Terriers that are somewhat round in shape. Though small in size still, they are quite sturdy in build.

Their small eyes, bearing a keen expression, are generally oval in shape and dark in color. The small V-shaped ears are neatly dropped and carried close to the cheeks. The medium length tail is usually straight and set high on the back.

Color: These dogs are available in all shades of colors like red, wheaten, tan, black and tan or grey.
Height: The average height of Norfolk Terrier dog breed is generally about 10 inches.
Weight: Both male as well as female Norfolk Terriers are usually about 11 to 12 pounds in weight.

Health Problems

More often than not, Norfolk Terrier breed dogs tend to be healthy with fewer genetic health problems. Nevertheless, some dogs may be prone to Cardiomyopathy, Mitral Valve Disease, respiratory problems, back problems, common skin problems and eye diseases like cataract, glaucoma etc.

Life Expectancy: The average Norfolk Terrier life expectancy is 12 to 15 years.
Litter Size: The average litter size of this breed is 3 puppies.

Grooming Requirements

The shaggy and medium length hair coat of a Norfolk Terrier requires daily brushing. The outer coat is coarse and waterproof whereas the inner coat is thick and dense. As this is a low shedding breed, the hair coat needs to be clipped a little bit on an occasional basis.

Other Norfolk Terrier grooming activities to be carried out from time to time include toenail trimming, eye cleaning, ear cleaning, teeth brushing and other such essential grooming activities. However, these dogs need not be bathed frequently so as to retain the skin oils and the natural waterproofing texture of the hair coat.


Norfolk Terrier temperament is lively, alert, affectionate, faithful, sociable, outgoing and fearless. They are usually friendly with children and compatible with other pets in the house. However, due to their natural predatory instincts, Norfolk Terrier dogs cannot be trusted with smaller animals. They can be stubborn and strong willed at times but are never aggressive.

Early socialization is necessary to keep these dogs to avoid behavioral problems territorial behavior and jealousy. Human companionship matters the most to these dogs. Consequently, they tend to suffer from separation anxiety in the absence of their beloved owners. These intelligent, quick learners are easily trainable. Norfolk Terrier breed dogs make for good watchdogs.

Key Points

These dogs are primarily bred to work. Therefore, these active dogs need regular physical exercise, especially daily exercise, to keep them physically fit. Apart from daily walks, they also enjoy activities like swimming, running and playing interactive games.

These dogs are fairly active indoors and tend to adapt well in apartment situation even without a yard, provided they are still sufficiently exercised. Another point to consider before choosing this breed of dogs is that due to their small size, Norfolk Terrier dogs are often difficult to housebreak.