Norfolk Terrier

Dog Breed Profile
Norfolk Terrier

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• High energy level
• Medium exercise needs
• Moderately playful
• Moderately Affectionate
• Friendly towards other dogs
• Friendly around other pets
• Friendly around strangers
• Easy to train
• Great watchdogs
• Not very protective
• Moderate grooming requirements
• Medium tolerance to heat
• Medium tolerance to cold


This energetic dog breed is strong-minded but with proper training he makes a wonderful family companion and he gets along with other animals in the home. The Norfolk Terrier is independent and feisty and thanks to his small size can adapt to either living in the country or in urban settings. He’s a true terrier, with a scrappy and bold nature, yet he has an affectionate side with those he loves.

His short legs and small size make him an ideal vermin hunter, and he has been known to work well as part of a pack. The Norfolk Terrier has a double coat which requires regular brushing and stripping to keep him looking healthy.

  • Cannot be expected to live outdoors
  • Health conditions that need to be tested for are his knees and heart
  • Grooming needs include at least twice weekly brushing and stripping every three months
  • The Norfolk Terrier is an affectionate and friendly, playful animal that is easy to train
  • Has a great relationship with family members, young and old, not very protective but do make great watchdogs
  • The average size of a male is 11 to 12lbs and 9 to 10 inches tall
  • The average size of a female is 11 to 12lbs and 9 to 10 inches tall

Care & Health:

Take your Norfolk Terrier for a good walk or vigorous play session in the yard to meet his daily exercise requirements. He is best suited to living indoors with his family to satisfy his strong emotional bonds.

Be sure to brush his wiry coat at least twice a week and have him stripped about every three months.

Major Health Concerns:

– none

Minor Health Concerns:

– occasionally cardiomyopathy, patellar luxation

Test for:

– knees and heart

Life Span:

– 13 to 15 years

Breed History:

The Norfolk Terrier is very similar to the Norwich terrier however after a long history of the two being considered one breed the difference was made standard mostly because of their ears. The Norfolk Terrier is known for his drop-ears and the Norwich Terrier has the prick-ears. These dogs were known for their ability to hunt vermin on the farm and chase fox from their dens.

It wasn’t until the 1930s that it became clear that crossing the Norfolk and Norwich could not produce certain ear types, and the practice was soon abandoned. The Norwich almost disappeared during the 2nd World War, however in the 40s, Miss Macfie of the Colansays revived the breed. Their popularity rivaled the Norwich, however not as a show dog.

In 1979 the breeds were finally recognized as separate in the US, although they had been earlier recognized in 1936 by the AKC as one dog with two ear types.

  • Family history is terrier
  • Originally from England
  • First bred in the 1800’s
  • Original purpose was ratting, fox bolting
  • Today they are used for earth dog trials