Norfolk Terrier: The Ultimate Dog Guide

Norfolk Terrier


The Norfolk Terrier, hailing from East Anglia in England, originated in the early 20th century. As a result of crossbreeding local terrier types, the breed became popular as a barnyard ratter and fox bolter. Initially used for hunting and vermin control, this breed is now loved as a companion dog. Its hardy and spirited nature is coupled with a warm affection for humans.

Feature Description
Breed Origin England
Größe Small
Weight Range 11-12 pounds
Height Range 9-10 inches at the shoulder
Coat Type Hard, wiry, straight topcoat with a dense undercoat
Common Colors Red, wheaten, black and tan, grizzle
Lebenserwartung 12 bis 15 Jahre
Exercise Requirement Regular daily exercise
Temperament Friendly, Spirited, Courageous, Social
Common Health Issues Hip dysplasia, heart concerns, eye disorders
Trainability High, though can be stubborn at times
Good with Children? Ja
Good with Other Pets? Yes, with early socialization

Norfolk Terrier Physical Characteristics

General Appearance

The Norfolk Terrier has a compact, robust, and hardy appearance with a strong build and a wire-haired coat. It is a small dog with a big personality, always eager to explore and play.

Size and Weight

The breed is small, typically weighing between 11-12 pounds. Its height ranges from 9 to 10 inches at the shoulder.

Coat and Colors

They boast a hard, wiry, straight topcoat with a dense, soft undercoat. Common colors include red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle.

Norfolk Terrier Temperament and Personality Traits

Characteristic Traits

They are known for their spirited, gregarious nature. These dogs are incredibly courageous, yet they remain friendly and sociable.

Interaction with Humans

The breed forms strong bonds with their human families, thriving on companionship and often known to be good with children.

Interaction with Other Animals

They generally get along well with other dogs, but early socialization is critical, as they can be a bit feisty with larger breeds.

Norfolk Terrier Care and Grooming Needs

Dietary Requirements

A balanced diet with quality protein and fats is essential. Remember to consider the dog’s age, size, and activity level when planning meals.

Exercise Needs

This breed requires regular exercise to keep them mentally stimulated and physically fit. They enjoy walks, play sessions, and games of fetch.

Grooming & Hygiene

Regular brushing is needed to maintain their coat’s condition, and professional grooming may be required a few times a year.

Norfolk Terrier Health and Lifespan

General Health

Norfolk Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to specific health conditions.

Common Health Issues

They may face health issues such as hip dysplasia, heart concerns, and eye disorders. Regular vet check-ups are essential to catch any potential issues early.

Lifespan Expectations

With good care, they typically live between 12 to 15 years, sometimes even longer.

Norfolk Terrier Training and Behavior


They are intelligent dogs and can be trained relatively easily, although they can exhibit a stubborn streak. Positive reinforcement techniques work best.

Common Behavioral Issues

Sometimes, they might show signs of separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. Early training can help mitigate this behavior.

Tips for Successful Training

Consistency, patience, and a positive, reward-based approach is the key to training a Norfolk Terrier successfully.

Norfolk Terrier Living Conditions

Ideal Living Conditions

Whether it’s a city apartment or a country house, the Norfolk Terrier adapts well. However, they do need access to a safe outdoor area for play and exercise.

Adaptability to Various Environments

The breed is adaptable, but they do not do well in extreme heat. Always ensure they have a cool, shaded area in hot weather.

Considerations for Families, Singles, and Seniors

They make excellent pets for families, singles, and seniors due to their adaptable nature and love of companionship.

Norfolk Terrier Breeding and Puppies

Understanding the Breeding Process

Breeding should always be undertaken responsibly, with careful consideration of the breed’s health and temperament.

Finding Reputable Breeders

A reputable breeder prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs over profits. Always ask to see health clearances and meet at least one of the parents.

Caring for Puppies

Puppyhood is a time of rapid growth and learning. Provide them with a balanced diet, ample socialization, and positive training experiences.

The Norfolk Terrier in Action

Participation in Dog Sports

Given their agile and spirited nature, the breed excels in dog sports such as agility, obedience, and earth dog trials.

Famous Norfolk Terriers in History and Pop Culture

While no Norfolk Terriers have starred in blockbuster movies yet, they have a history of stealing the show at dog shows and sports competitions!

Norfolk Terrier’s Affinity for Digging

The Natural Instinct

It’s important to note that the Norfolk Terrier, like many terriers, has a strong instinct to dig. Originally bred to burrow into fox dens, this breed may exhibit this behavior in your garden. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but it’s something to consider if you’re particularly proud of your landscaping.

Redirecting the Behaviour

One strategy is to provide a dedicated area for digging, such as a sandpit, and train your Norfolk Terrier to use it. Using toys, treats, or burying their favorite items can encourage this.

Interaction of the Norfolk Terrier with Kids and Other Pets

With Kids

Norfolk Terriers are typically great with children. They’re robust and can tolerate the sometimes rough play that comes with kids. However, as with any breed, interactions should always be supervised.

With Other Pets

They can also get along well with other pets, including cats, particularly if raised together. However, care should be taken with small pets like hamsters or birds due to the breed’s prey drive.

Traveling with Your Norfolk Terrier

Travel Compatibility

Their small size and adaptable nature make the Norfolk Terrier a good travel companion. Whether you’re planning a long road trip or a short outing, they are generally easy to transport.

Tips for Traveling

Remember to pack their essentials such as food, water, and a comfortable crate. Make frequent stops for bathroom breaks and exercise during long journeys.

Norfolk Terrier’s Role in Therapy and Service

Therapy Dogs

With their friendly and affectionate nature, Norfolk Terriers can make excellent therapy dogs. They can provide comfort and companionship to those in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.

Service Dogs

While not commonly used as service dogs due to their small size, their intelligence and trainability could lend well to tasks in a home environment, particularly for those who need emotional support.


These are hardy, friendly dogs with a lot of spirit. Their adaptability, along with their loyalty and love for their families, make them a unique breed. Their needs for companionship, exercise, and grooming should be considered. With the right care and attention, these dogs can make an enriching addition to any household.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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