AKC Dog Breeds: Norfolk Terrier

Post Pic

As dog owners and people who care deeply for animals and wildlife, we wanted our Dog Encyclopedia to be a website that could empower pet owners to create the most positive, loving environment for their dogs. Dog Encyclopedia realizes that owning a dog is like adding a new member to your family.

Terrier Group
Height 9-10 inches  Weight 10-12 pounds Color red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle

The Norfolk Terrier, game and hardy, with expressive dropped ears, is one of the smallest of the working terriers. It is active and compact, free-moving, with good substance and bone. With its natural, weather-resistant coat and short legs, it is a "perfect demon" in the field. This versatile, agreeable breed can go to ground, bolt a fox and tackle or dispatch other small vermin, working alone or with a pack. The Norfolk terrier, like its close relative the Norwich terrier, were bred for hunting rats and other vermin in farm areas and urban centers. They were developed in the Norfolk area of Great Britain in the early 1800's but were not official recognized by the Kennel Club until 1964 and by the American Kennel Club in 1979.

General Appearance
This lovable little dog is among the smallest of the working terriers. It has a short, strong, sturdy body with strongly boned legs and a fox like muzzle with large solid teeth. The eyes are dark and expressive. The ears are hanging and tight to the cheeks. The tail is docked by half. Their coats are wiry and straight and come in red, wheaten, tan, black & tan, grizzle, and occasionally with white markings. The faces sport jaunty whiskers and eyebrows.


The Norfolk Terrier is an outgoing, energetic, and playful creature. These dogs are generally sociable and friendly, but can be very independent, headstrong, and possessive, which makes them best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. Although small, the Norfolk Terrier has plenty of courage and personality. Training shouldn't prove too difficult, as these are intelligent dogs and are quick to learn. These little dogs love to dig, so prepare to be horrified if you have the perfect garden. They may also bark a lot, so if you are after total peace and quiet then this may not be the pet for you. The Norfolk Terrier is an inquisitive creature, and has plenty of energy. You will need to ensure that he gets plenty of exercise and play. Early socialization is important with the Norfolk Terrier to ensure that he does not become overly timid. A well socialized Norfolk Terrier gets along well with gentle children and those he has been brought up with. These dogs also get along okay with most other pets, although they can become jealous of them. He should not be trusted around rabbits and smaller animals. Some Norfolk Terriers will be friendly when it comes to strangers, but others may be more wary depending on the personality of the dog. The Norfolk Terrier's tendency to bark and raise an alarm makes him an effective watchdog. With the right training and early socialization the Norfolk Terrier makes a charming companion and a loving family pet.

The Norfolk Terrier requires daily brushing. They are a non-shedding breed and do not shed their coats naturally. Therefore, a professional grooming session to strip the coat twice a year is highly recommended. This allows the new weatherproof coat to come through which is an important feature of this breed.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
In general, small breeds escape the health worries that many larger dog breeds come up against such as hip dysplasia. Luckily, this is also the case with the Norfolk Terrier. While they should be screened regularly for any health problems, when there is a concern the most common genetic disorders run along the lines of MVD, mitral valve heart disease, Epilepsy and sometimes breathing problems. As with all breeds, table scraps should be avoided in order to maintain a happy, healthy weight. The life expectancy of the Norfolk Terrier is around 12-14 years.

Activity Level

The Norfolk Terrier loves adventure and play. They enjoy vigorous walks on a secure leash, a refreshing swim, or a short jog. They thrive on activity. Norfolk Terriers derive great pleasure from romping in a securely fenced yard with their family. If they are left alone outside for extended periods of time they will become bored and destructive. They can adapt to apartment living provided they are given sufficient exercise and stimulation.


Dog Breeds:

Dog Encyclopedia has added beautiful dog photographs on each of our Dog Breed pages to enhance your experience. Each section in Dog Encyclopedia helps to educate pet owners, enabling both the dog, and the owner to have a safe, high quality experience

search boxers at Dog Encyclopediachoows are great petsDogue Bordeauxtwo english setters are twice the funbull terriers at dog encyclopediaboston terriers in love

Norfolk Terrier profile on dog encyclopedia
Norfolk Terrier dog featured in dog encyclopedia