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  • Temperament: Affectionate, Loyal, Alert, Curious, Gregarious
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 103 of 194
  • Height: 10 inches
  • Weight: 12 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Terrier Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Norwich Terrier lying in three-quarter view
Norwich Terrier sitting facing left
Norwich Terrier walking forward on pavement through fallen yellow leaves, head turned slightly left and tongue out.
Norwich Terrier

Find a Puppy: Norwich Terrier

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Norwich Terrier, spirited and stocky with sensitive prick ears and a slightly foxy expression, is one of the smallest working terriers. This sturdy descendent of ratting companions, eager to dispatch small vermin alone or in a pack, has good bone and substance and an almost weatherproof coat. A hardy hunt terrier-honorable scars from fair wear and tear are acceptable.

HEAD

A slightly foxy expression. Eyes small, dark and oval shaped with black rims. Placed well apart with a bright and keen expression. Ears medium size and erect. Set well apart with pointed tips. Upright when alert. The skull is broad and slightly rounded with good width between the ears. The muzzle is wedge shaped and strong. Its length is about one-third less than the measurement from the occiput to the well-defined stop. The jaw is clean and strong. Nose and lip pigment black. Tight-lipped with large teeth. A scissor bite.

BODY

Neck, Topline, Body
Neck of medium length, strong and blending into well laid back shoulders. Level topline. Body moderately short. Compact and deep. Good width of chest. Well-sprung ribs and short loins. Tail medium docked. The terrier’s working origin requires that the tail be of sufficient length to grasp. Base level with topline; carried erect.

FOREQUARTERS

Well laid back shoulders. Elbows close to ribs. Short, powerful legs, as straight as is consistent with the digging terrier. Pasterns firm. Feet round with thick pads. Nails black. The feet point forward when standing or moving.

COAT

Coat is described in words of the standard, “Hard, wiry, straight, lying close to the body with a definite undercoat. Traditionally a Norwich coat is hand stripped to maintain its texture and rich color.”

HINDQUARTERS

Broad, strong and muscular with well-turned stifles. Hocks low set and straight when viewed from the rear. Feet as in front.

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Norwich Terrier

About the Norwich Terrier

Standing no more than 10 inches at the shoulder and weighing about 12 pounds, Norwich are among the smallest working terriers. Beneath the hard, wiry coat is a stocky, substantial dog. Norwiches are toy-sized but are not satin-pillow dogs—they were originally bred as tough and fearless ratters. They are distinguished from their doggy doppelganger, the Norfolk Terrier, by their erect, pointed ears.

Happy-go-lucky, fearless, and sometimes even bossy, Norwiches are energetic enough to play fetch all day, but affectionate enough to enjoy hours of lap time with their favorite human. Short, positive training sessions work best with this clever but sometimes stubborn breed. Three words convey the overall dog: cute, cuter, and cutest.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Norwich Terrier

Find a Puppy: Norwich Terrier

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Norwich Terrier Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Norwich Terrier should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior).Although the breed standard gives an ideal weight of 12 pounds, because Norwich vary in height, bone structure, and muscle mass, there is no one correct weight. Some will require fewer calories than others, and metabolism tends to slow down with age. Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

A Norwich Terrier should have a double coat consisting of a harsh, nearly weatherproof outer coat, and a soft undercoat that insulates the body from heat and cold. Hand-stripping removes old outer hairs and excess undercoat so that new hair grows in. Wire coats that are cared for properly by hand-stripping have a beautiful shine and rich colors. Because clipping or scissoring cuts the colored tips off, the natural color will fade, and the texture will soften. The breed requires regular grooming. Learning to hand-strip, or finding a groomer who will hand-strip, is an important consideration in choosing this breed.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

EXERCISE

The Norwich retains its original hunting instincts and jovial temperament. They are inquisitive and energetic, and they should be in fit condition for the day’s activities. They require ample exercise to benefit their mental and physical health. Because of their innate hunting instincts, they must be walked on a leash or let out only in a securely fenced area.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

Norwich are spirited little terriers, and they are usually eager to please and respond well to training. Puppies should be properly socialized to develop the amiable, outgoing personality that is characteristic of the breed. They’re successful in performance and companion events such as earthdog , barn hunt, obedience, and agility.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

Overall, Norwich Terriers are a healthy breed. Responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, degenerative myelopathy, and upper airway syndrome, a respiratory condition that is quite variable, and its prevalence and mode of inheritance are poorly understood. Norwich are prone to developing plaque and tartar, so diligent dental care is essential.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Patella Evaluation

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

 

Norwich Terrier
Norwich Terrier
Norwich Terrier

History

The Norwich Terrier is among the seemingly endless variety of terriers bred to control Britain’s rodent population. In addition to being ratters, Norwiches were used in packs on foxhunts, and so were bred to be more sociable than the usual independent-minded terrier.

The Norwich is famously associated with Cambridge University, where, in the 1870s and ’80s, Norwich ownership became a fad among undergraduates. The students acquired the dogs as pets and dorm-room ratters from a livery stable on nearby Trumpington Street, and the breed became known as Trumpington Terriers. One of these dogs, named Rags, came into the possession of a stableyard owner in the town of Norwich. Rags was bred, sired several litters of admirable quality, as is today considered the granddaddy of today’s Norwich.

The breed’s American history began in 1914, when a Brit named Frank “Roughrider” Jones utilized descendents of Rags to breed a dog named Willum. Willum was exported to Philadelphia, where he became the breed’s cornerstone sire in the United States. So closely was Roughrider Jones associated with these cheerful, prick-eared terriers that the breed came to be known among American fanciers as the Jones Terrier. Long after the breed was recognized by the English and American kennel clubs in the1930s as the Norwich Terrier, American breed devotees referred to their charming little dogs as Jones Terriers.

Norwich and Norfolk terriers are so closely related that the AKC did not recognize them as separate breeds until 1979. Perhaps the Norwich with the highest pop-culture profile of recent times was Winky, from the movie “Best in Show,” who was played by a real-life show champion.

Did You Know?

The Norwich Terrier is a fearless little dog bred to hunt vermin.
The Norwich Terrier's prick ears are a distinguishing characteristic.
The name covered both the drop-eared and prick-eared varieties until 1979.
There was not a lot of uniformity in the breed until 1923 when the breed became known as the Norwich Terrier and a breed standard was accepted by the Kennel Club (England).
Once known as Cantab Terriers, the game and hardy little dogs were useful on the hunt, in the stable yard and as a fun-loving family pet.
As a working terrier of East Anglia, the Norwich was believed to have been developed by crossing small Irish Terriers with other short-legged terrier breeds.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Norwich Terrier, spirited and stocky with sensitive prick ears and a slightly foxy expression, is one of the smallest working terriers. This sturdy descendent of ratting companions, eager to dispatch small vermin alone or in a pack, has good bone and substance and an almost weatherproof coat. A hardy hunt terrier-honorable scars from fair wear and tear are acceptable.

HEAD

A slightly foxy expression. Eyes small, dark and oval shaped with black rims. Placed well apart with a bright and keen expression. Ears medium size and erect. Set well apart with pointed tips. Upright when alert. The skull is broad and slightly rounded with good width between the ears. The muzzle is wedge shaped and strong. Its length is about one-third less than the measurement from the occiput to the well-defined stop. The jaw is clean and strong. Nose and lip pigment black. Tight-lipped with large teeth. A scissor bite.

BODY

Neck, Topline, Body
Neck of medium length, strong and blending into well laid back shoulders. Level topline. Body moderately short. Compact and deep. Good width of chest. Well-sprung ribs and short loins. Tail medium docked. The terrier’s working origin requires that the tail be of sufficient length to grasp. Base level with topline; carried erect.

FOREQUARTERS

Well laid back shoulders. Elbows close to ribs. Short, powerful legs, as straight as is consistent with the digging terrier. Pasterns firm. Feet round with thick pads. Nails black. The feet point forward when standing or moving.

COAT

Coat is described in words of the standard, “Hard, wiry, straight, lying close to the body with a definite undercoat. Traditionally a Norwich coat is hand stripped to maintain its texture and rich color.”

HINDQUARTERS

Broad, strong and muscular with well-turned stifles. Hocks low set and straight when viewed from the rear. Feet as in front.

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Norwich Terrier

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black & Tan Check Mark For Standard Color 018
Grizzle Check Mark For Standard Color 109
Red Check Mark For Standard Color 140
Wheaten Check Mark For Standard Color 224

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