Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed Temperament, Care, & Personality Guide

Looking for the perfect canine companion for all your adventures? Don’t sleep on the Norfolk Terrier! These dogs pack a ton of spirit in their shaggy little bodies. These bundles of joy warm your heart quicker than a cup of cocoa, and their charm is bound to get all your neighbors in a fuss. But before you go out and buy one, it is best to know exactly what you are getting into. Here are some essential tips you need to know before owning this breed.



Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed Characteristics

The Norfolk Terrier has a scruffy charm that’s hard to resist! They have dark, oval eyes that hold an ever-curious look. Small, drop ears also give the breed a canny expression. The muzzle is wedge-shaped and adorned with a black nose.


The Norfolk Terrier has laid-back shoulders and a level back. The breed has an extra fluffy tail that stands high above its body, although it’s typically docked. Their shaggy coats disguise the shape of their body, but their proportions are balanced.


These dogs might have short legs, but don’t underestimate their strength! Their stubby limbs are shockingly powerful. The hind and forelegs are complete with round, thickly-padded paws that are suited for digging.


Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed Size

The Norfolk Terrier measures no more than 10 inches at their shoulders. They typically weigh between 11 to 12 pounds.


Norfolk Terrier vs. Norwich Terrier

The Norwich Terrier is like the Norfolk Terrier, with the difference being that Norwich dogs have erect, pointy ears. Norwich Terriers also have ears that perk up when they move, while the Norfolk Terrier has ears that slip down when engaged in movement. These are the drop ears.


These two separate breeds differ in some of their physical qualities. The Norwich Terrier also has tinier feet than the Norfolk Terrier. According to some dog owners, the Norfolk Terrier is not as hyper as the Norwich Terrier. However, this breed has a personality of its own.


Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed Personality

The Norfolk Terrier earned the nickname “big dog in a small package” for their spirited personality. They are loud and energetic puppies. Despite their small stature, this breed has a forceful personality. They make excellent pets if you live in a small apartment or condo.


Although the Norfolk Terrier is very affectionate, they can cause trouble if you ignore them. They are typically needy dogs that prefer to have their family members near them around the clock.


The Norfolk Terrier is simple to train, and you can teach them some advanced tricks. This dog will respond to anything you throw at them, like toys, balls, or bones.


Because of their eccentric personalities, Norfolk Terriers always need entertainment. If you leave them alone, they will start barking at everything in sight. The best way to keep the noise level down is to ensure they get enough stimulation and exercise.






Norfolk Terrier Dog Exercise

This breed has an energetic personality, so they are unlikely to stay inside and sit on your lap. These dogs want to play outside. Whenever you take them anywhere, ensure they are leashed! This breed’s hunting instincts make them prone to running after anything they feel they can catch.


A good way of keeping your Norfolk Terrier active is by allowing them to exercise. You should take them on a walk daily. The breed is capable of great speed and might jog recklessly, so you must teach them how to heel. Instruct them to go at the same pace as you – you’ll be surprised at how their little legs can keep up!


Remember that these dogs have boundless energy. It is vital to allow them to channel that energy into daily activities. In addition to walking, play games with them to stimulate their minds! Fetch, interactive toys, training, and even tug-of-war will give your terrier’s brain and body a workout.




Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed Training

What is the best way to train your Norfolk Terrier? When you take them for their daily walks, pick a unique spot every day. Give them commands, but do so in an environment in which they are not likely to become distracted. By doing this, it helps them learn to focus.


You may live in an area with many distractions such as street noises, people walking around, and other factors. Your dog needs to learn how to stay focused in these types of environments. Training in calm locations allows your Norfolk Terrier to keep their focus. You can even use calming chews to help keep them more docile. If you notice your terrier getting distracted, try engaging them in physical activity to burn off some of their energy. They may concentrate better when they’re not so hyped.


The good news is that Norfolks are eager to please their owners, and they will learn commands with ease. Using plenty of positive reinforcement gets these dogs up to speed quickly!



Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed History

The Norfolk Terrier line began in East Anglia, a region in the eastern part of England. Like other members of the terrier family, the Norfolk was bred to keep rodent populations down. They are likely a cross between Irish terriers and other local Anglian terriers.


The Irish-red terrier cross resulted in a dog known as the Cantab. Cantabs were popular pets among Cambridge University students, who used them as both companions and ratters. The breed finally arrived in America when Frank Jones, a famous Irish horse rider, sold some Cantab puppies to the United States. Named after the salesman, the breed was deemed Jones Terriers.


The American Kennel Club registered the Norfolk’s close cousin, the Norwich Terrier, in 1936. Despite the many similarities between the two breeds, the Norwich and Norfolk terriers were distinct lines for many generations. The Norfolk Terrier was officially recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1979.





Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed Health Problems

Norfolk Terriers are small dogs, but they require frequent attention and care. The typical lifespan of a Norfolk terrier is 12 to 15 years. For your doggy to reach 15 years, you need to maintain proper care of your furry friend.



Norfolk Terrier dogs can suffer from CHD, which is when their hip joints do not develop properly. This abnormal development leads to deterioration and pain over time. When this happens, the dog loses some of its hip mobility.


You can often catch this early in your terrier’s life, as signs of the illness usually start when they are puppies. CHD can devastate their livelihoods if not caught early, as can patellar luxation.


Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation occurs when a dog dislocates its kneecap. This condition occurs because the groove at the end of the dog’s thigh has become too narrow and the Patella slips out. You can spot this when your Norfolk Terrier holds up their hind legs for several minutes at a time. If you see your dog struggling to walk or moving gingerly, it may be a sign of patellar luxation.


Eye Problems

Norwich Terriers can inherit an eye infection from birth, and that is something to monitor after adopting your new furry friend. If you do not catch this right away, it can cause your dog to go blind. One of the biggest threats to older Norfolk Terriers is cataracts. You can correct cataracts through surgery.


Digestive Issues

This breed of terriers may encounter digestive issues. Tummy troubles often occur because of their sensitive stomachs. Norfolk Terriers developed stomach issues when they attacked rats and barn rodents. While this was effective for getting rid of these critters, it also was not healthy for the dog.



If not properly monitored, this breed can become overweight. Whatever you do, don’t give your Norwich Terrier table scraps when they look at you adoringly! They will stare at you with those pleading eyes, and it might trigger something in your heart to share that chicken you are munching on, but do not give in to this temptation!



Glaucoma causes fluid and pressure to build up inside your dog’s eye cavity. Without adequate fluid drainage, pressure continues to build and eventually damages the optic nerve. These complications ultimately lead to blindness, so it’s essential to bring your dog to the vet if you notice any symptoms, like cloudy or red eyes.



How To Care For a Norfolk Terrier

Caring for your Norfolk Terrier dog does not have to be complicated. Once you get in the hang of their diet and exercise routine, daily care will be a breeze.






Nutrition and Feeding for Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed

Your Norfolk needs a proper diet that includes a mix of dry and wet food. Make sure that the dry food you serve them is of excellent quality. Also, wet food could contain protein-based options like chicken or beef. Whole grains and vegetables are other reliable options for your doggy.


An adult Norfolk Terrier should eat between 1/2 to 1 cup of food daily, depending on their activity level. We recommend serving them two or three times a day. Leaving food out all day encourages extra snacking, and that leads to weight gain.


Norfolk puppies require food more often than adults because they are growing. Norfolk Terrier puppies between 8 to 12 weeks need four meals a day. When your Norfolk Terrier puppy is between 3 to 6 months, they require 3 meals a day.



Coat Color And Grooming

A Norfolk Terrier coat includes a mixture of red, wheaten, black, tan, and grizzle hues. Their fur looks unkempt and ragged, which is part of their trademark. The mixture of the colors on their coat gives them a unique look that separates them from other dog breeds. The wiry coat is weather-resistant and about 1-1.5 inches long.


Regularly brush your terrier’s coat once or twice a week to maintain freshness and ensure it keeps its texture. Also, during warmer months, check them for flees. This is vital because parasites can fester and cause your terrier a lot of irritation and grief.


Brush your Norfolk twice a week to ensure their coat is top quality. Brushing is also a good way of maintaining their health and quality of life. Grooming also pleases your pet and enhances your bond with your dog.





Children And Other Pets

Norfolk Terriers do well with children. While they react well with any kid, they probably are better suited for children 10 years and older because they can be easily injured by careless youth. This dog breed would be the perfect pet for you and your family.


Your Norfolk might be impelled to chase other small pets, so it’s important you keep the hamster and birdcages locked. However, Norfolk Terriers are friendly with other dogs if correctly socialized.



Rescue Groups

Wag N Train Terrier Rescue works hard to rehabilitate rescued pups and place them in suitable, permanent homes. All of their rescues live in foster homes until they are adopted, where they learn social skills, house training, and leash training. Wag N Trains offers a fantastic array of resources for prospective terrier owners including counseling and training recommendations.


Rescue Me! Norfolk Terrier Rescue began in 1999. They’re a non-profit organization that works to re-home Norfolk Terriers all over the country – whether they’re rescued from abusive homes, shelter, or the streets.


There are many rescue groups where you can find Norfolk Terriers. If you are looking for the best terrier for your family, be sure to check out the organizations near you. Find a rescue group or an organization that helps match you with the Norfolk Terrier that you want.


Breed Organizations

The Norfolk Terrier Club is the official breed organization affiliated with the American Kennel Club. The club promotes responsible breeding, public education, and competition among Norfolk owners all over the country. They also manage their own studbook and rescue, so you don’t need to look far if you’re in search of a Norfolk pup for your home.


The American Norfolk Terrier Association (ANTA) also encourages education and sportsmanship among Norfolk owners. The club aims to promote an appreciation for the breed by holding sports events and casual gatherings in the mid-Atlantic region.



More About This Dog Breed

This dog breed is a very energetic pet to bring home. It requires maintenance to the highest level, and you need to always make time for them. Norfolks love attention and will seek it at every moment, so always be prepared to walk them, play with them, and brush them. While they require love, they also are very energetic. The Norfolk Terrier will be loyal to you and make a fantastic dog for you and your family. Once you bring them home, you will see the benefits this dog has to offer.

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