All About Norfolk Terriers

Norfolk Terrier

All About Norfolk Terriers


Description of a Norfolk Terrier

The Norfolk Terrier is the smallest of the working terriers but more than makes up for its small size with its boundless energy and loving personality. They have short, sturdy legs and a square body that is muscular and athletic in appearance. The Norfolk Terrier has a fox-like face with a short, pointed muzzle and bright, alert eyes. The face is further highlighted with noticeable eyebrows and whiskers. The ears are folded over and held close to the head. The tail is often docked but may also be left natural and is carried high, especially while hunting or working. The coat is wiry and straight with feathering on the legs, tail and ruff. The colors for the breed include wheaten, grizzle, black and tan and red. Some white markings are acceptable.

Temperament of a Norfolk Terrier

The Norfolk Terrier makes an excellent family dog and gets along well with children. When properly socialized from a young age they will get along well with other dogs and even non-canine pets. The breed is very intelligent but will find things to do if left alone for long periods of time. They tend to learn very quickly but constantly test to see what they can and cannot get away with. They do need consistent and positive training to stay focused and under control. If left alone for long periods of time they will bark, chew and dig, often excessively. They do have a strong chase instinct and usually have to be on a leash when out of the yard. The breed loves to run and play and enjoys having a variety of toys to play with. Occasionally they can become jealous of people or toys, but training and socialization will prevent this from becoming a problem.

Grooming & Shedding of a Norfolk Terrier

Except for a brief period of time in the spring and fall the breed is considered a light shedder. Their coat is naturally very clean and relatively easy to care for with regular brushing and combing. Care needs to be taken to groom the softer undercoat that can become easily matted. Mats or small knots can be clipped to prevent greater problems. As with all terriers the hair has natural oils that can be lost with bathing, so bathe only when necessary.

History of the Norfolk Terrier

Originally bred in the Norfolk region of England, they were traditionally used as small terriers that could go to ground to flush out small hunting animals from their dens. There is another terrier, now called the Norwich Terrier, that used to be grouped with the Norfolk Terrier. Since they were bred to be pack hunters, they love to be with groups of dogs and humans. Currently Norfolk Terriers are used as companion dogs as well as in obedience trials. They are still known for their hunting ability and will chase squirrels and vermin whenever they get the chance.

Health Issues with a Norfolk Terrier

  • Major Concerns: none
  • Minor Concerns: none
  • Occasionally seen: cardiomyopathy, patellar luxation
  • Suggested tests: heart, knee

Characteristics of the Norfolk Terrier

Height 10 inches (25cm)
Weight 10-12 pounds (4½-5½kg)
Lifespan 12-15 years
Exercise High
Apartment Yes –with frequent exercise
Families Yes
Young Children Yes –with socialization
Need exercise space No- with frequent walks

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