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Norwich Terrier

Quick facts

Norwich Terrier AKC Group: Terrier
Height: 9 - 10 inches
Weight: 11 - 12 pounds
Colors: red, wheaten, black and tan, and grizzle
AKC recognized in: 1936

Bred as a hunter of vermin or rodents, the Norwich Terrier is a sturdy and active dog which works along with farmers on horseback. It needs only regular daily walks to maintain its regimen of hunting and looking after the household. However, it easily gets bored with routine and it needs to be kept close to family members as it desires having company most of the time. Otherwise, it dislikes being sent outdoors to be alone and can have behavioral problems.

Terriers having identical features with the Norwich Terrier are those of the Norfolk Terrier breed. The main distinguishing mark between these two breeds is that the Norwich Terrier has prick ears while the Norfolk Terrier has drop ears. Although it is one of the smallest terriers, it has a foxy facial appearance that tells of its natural instinct to run after prey.

Like other terriers, the Norwich Terrier has double coat of which the exterior coat is wiry and coarse and the undercoat is soft in texture. It is a slight shredder. However, it is also good that the dog is regularly brushed or combed to avoid tangles. It does need special grooming. Whenever it shreds hair which is infrequent, bathing with soap and shampoo is advisable.


Norwich Terrier Summary
Affection five paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training three paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements four paws
Friendliness : Children four paws
Friendliness: Other Animals four paws
Friendliness: Other Pets four paws
Grooming Requirements two paws
Heat Tolerance four paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability one paw
Watchdog Ability three paws

It is recommended that the Norwich Terrier is taught to go in and out of doors after the owner. This applies also while walking the dog. It should not be given the opportunity to develop what is called the Small Dog Syndrome or the changing of behaviour of the dog whenever it feels superior over its master.

It has a tendency to bark when giving a warning for intruders or when it hears strange noises nearby. It is a very affectionate dog to children and loves to stay with people. It can live peacefully with other dogs and even cats.

A word of caution though: small animals that resemble rodents, like hamsters, guinea pigs or even a pet mouse are in danger of being attacked by the Norwich Terrier.

This dog breed is well-balanced and does not have the typical attitude of other dogs to be quarrelsome or nervous or shy. In fact, it is a jolly dog who loves to chase toys, balls, sticks or bones tossed over by children or its master. This is also due to its ratting instincts.


The average lifespan of the Norwich Terrier is 12 to 15 years.

While the Norwich Terrier is generally a healthy dog, it is susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Tracheal Collapse - Either the incomplete formation of or the weakening of the cartilage rings in the trachea, causing the trachea to flatten. This can cause excessive coughing, respiratory distress, or gagging while eating or drinking. Depending on the severity, this condition can be treated using bronchodilators or cortico steroids if mild enough, but requires surgical procedures for moderate to severe cases.
  • Elongated Soft Palate - If the soft palate is elongated, it will restrict the airway, making it hard for your dog to breath. Surgical removal of the excess soft palate is the only remedy.
  • Epilepsy - A brain disorder that causes your dog to have seizures If left untreated the seizures can come more frequently and become more severe. This is typically an inherited disorder.
  • Patellar Luxation - Sometimes called a trick knee, this condition causes the kneecap to pop out of place. This can be caused by obesity, but is typically a congenital defect that can be inherited.
  • Cataracts - A cloudiness in the lens of the eye, with varying degrees of opacity. Symptoms vary depending on the degree of opacity.


Care for a Norwich Terrier is relatively easy. It has two coats, a harsh, wiry topcoat and a soft undercoat. This coat can be brushed daily (or at least once a week) with a steel comb to remove any loose, dead hair, and to prevent matting.

The topcoat may require a bit more attention to retain its proper appearance, and to maintain the health of the Norwich Terrier's skin and coat. At a minimum, in addition to the daily or weekly brushing, the coat should be stripped (a process of pulling the oldest hairs from the coat using either your fingers or a 'stripping knife') at least twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring.

At least an hour should be devoted daily to her exercise needs. This can be accomplished with a good, vigorous walking or running session.

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