Norwich Terrier

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Sturdy, chummy working dogs who love a good time, Norwich Terriers make excellent family pets.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 15 years
Size:

Small

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Low

Temperament:
PluckyHigh-EnergyFriendly
Coat Color:
RedWheatenBlack And Tan

Best For

Norwich Terriers are great for busy pet parents who keep things interesting. They're fearless, affectionate and easily adaptable. You'll need to set boundaries at an early age so they know who's boss, so be ready to invest some time in training and socialization.

Norwich Terrier Traits

What makes the Norwich Terrier a Norwich Terrier? Let's find out how they stack up.

Norwich Terrier Temperament

The Norwich Terrier temperament is approachable and affectionate. These characteristics make them great family dogs. Not only do these pups love their people and do well in homes with kids, but they’ll likely fare better than other terrier breeds in multi-pet homes as well because they’re tolerant of cats and other dogs.

Norwich Terriers know how to enjoy life, and they’re happiest when they are around their humans, so you can be sure that wherever you go, you’ll have the cutest of all little companions by your side. These dogs are active and intelligent, so they’re not super fond of being left alone for long. They prefer to be where the action is—FOMO is real—and whether it’s physical activity or mental stimulation, they must be kept busy.

These guys are always on high alert, and they’ll bark if anything suspicious comes near them or their family. But while they make great watchdogs (that big-dog-stuck-in-a-small-dog mentality really comes in handy here), pet parents should make every attempt to keep their Norwich Terrier’s barking in check from an early age. If not, it may become a nuisance as the pup grows into adulthood.

Norwich Terriers seem to have a wanderlust gene and they are quite inquisitive as well. While these traits might be fine on their own, they can spell trouble when paired with the Norwich Terrier’s high prey drive. For these reasons, a fenced yard is crucial to prevent them chasing critters and ending up lost or in danger. When you’re not in an enclosed space, they should be on a leash or harness at all times.

Norwich Terriers are happy-go-lucky and eager-to-please, and pet parents will find that they are easy to train with positive reinforcement (treats, toys and praise for a job well done). It’s important to remember, though, that they’re fearless warriors and they’ll rise to any challenge. These traits can also lead them to be stubborn and even a bit bossy. In light of that, calm and confident pet parents can win them over with consistency and patience.

How to Care for a Norwich Terrier

Taking good care of Norwich Terriers is not an especially complicated task. They should be brushed at least once a week, and like most dogs, paying attention to their dental health with regular brushing is important. These guys have plenty of energy, so some form of daily exercise is important as well. While they’re generally friendly and affectionate, their tough nature can lead them to be a bit bossy and even stubborn. To keep some of those undesirable traits in check, training and socialization are crucial for your Norwich Terrier.

Norwich Terrier Health

Norwich Terriers have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. While they are a sturdy sporting dog and generally healthy, they are not without some health concerns. As a potential pet parent, it’s important to know what types of Norwich Terrier health issues you may see and how you can treat them.

  • Tracheal Collapse: Often seen in small breeds, tracheal collapse is a common health issue in Norwich Terriers. This condition is caused by a weakening of the tracheal rings, which eventually flatten out and obstruct their airway. Some common symptoms of tracheal collapse include coughing that sounds like a honk, fainting and fatigue. Initially, tracheal collapse may be treated with steroids and cough suppressants. If medication fails to work, surgery will likely be the next step. Pet parents of smaller breeds like the Norwich Terrier would be advised to walk their dog with a harness rather than a collar to prevent tracheal collapse.
  • Elongated Soft Palates: An elongated soft palate is another condition often seen in the Norwich Terrier breed. In this case, the soft palate is elongated, and it can potentially obstruct the dog’s airway and cause difficulty in breathing. An elongated soft palate can be uncomfortable for your dog, and the only treatment option is surgery to remove the excess palette.
  • Epilepsy: This breed also tends to suffer from epilepsy, a condition that causes seizures. While there is no cure for epilepsy, it can be managed with medication.

Norwich Terrier History

As their name implies, Norwich Terriers hail from Norwich, England, a bustling city in East Anglia (the eastern region of the country). They were bred to control the rodent population throughout Britain and were also used in packs on fox hunts, making them more social creatures than other terrier types who can be pretty independent.

One of the more interesting facts about the Norwich Terrier is that they were incredibly popular in the late 19th century, when ownership of these dogs became a fad among Cambridge University students.

The American history of the Norwich Terrier began in 1914 when Frank “Roughrider” Jones first bred them. The breed as we know it today, is likely a cross between Border Terriers, Cairn Terriers and Irish Terriers.

Norwich Terriers are closely related to Norfolk Terriers, and, initially, the two were often classified as the same breed. A quick glance and it’s easy to see why. Norwich and Norfolk Terriers are the same size and share the same coat colors. The only real difference between the two breeds was in their ears. The Norfolk Terrier has drop ears, which hang by the side of the head, whereas the Norwich Terrier has prick ears, which stand erect. It wasn’t until 1979 when the American Kennel Club finally recognized them as separate breeds.

Like their cousins the Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terriers are also becoming a rare breed. Ready to add a Norwich Terrier puppy to your life? You can find a list of reputable breeders at the American Kennel Club website. The cost is typically between $2,800 and $4,000 per puppy. For that price, your new pup should be screened for any health and temperament concerns. Older dogs may run somewhere in the ballpark of $1,000 and $2,000. Eager pet parents should be aware that the price of a Norwich Terrier won’t be the only consideration. A long waitlist may be another. But patience is a virtue.

FAQs

Do Norwich Terriers shed?

Norwich Terriers don’t shed much. While pet parents should brush their hard, wiry topcoat and soft undercoat at least once a week to keep their hair clean, shedding is not a huge concern.

Are Norwich Terriers good family dogs?

Among the best Norwich Terriers qualities is that they make wonderful family dogs. They are sweet, affectionate and they love their humans. What’s more, they are great with kids and tend to make great additions to multi-pet households.

Are Norwich Terriers aggressive?

Norwich Terriers are not aggressive, despite their true warrior spirit. They will sound the alarm at the slightest hint of approaching strangers or danger, and they tend to forget their size from time to time, but there’s not a hostile bone in their bodies.

How big do Norwich Terriers get?

Norwich Terriers don’t get very big. They are small dogs and are often referred to as “portable.” A fully grown Norwich Terrier dog still only stands 10 inches tall at the shoulder.

Do Norwich Terriers bark a lot?

Norwich Terriers do bark a lot and tend to be especially alert and vocal when there’s any sign of trouble. With the proper training, pet parents can prevent their barking from becoming a nuisance.

What are the most popular Norwich Terrier names?

The most popular Norwich Terrier names are Scamp, Buster, Duster, Sandy, Minx, Fred, Amber, Bailey, Lady, Roxy, Scout, Sparky, Sassy, Jack, Archie, Sophie, Bella, Bandit, Dandy, Fudge, Kerry, Meg, Nugget, Rusty, and Yoda. Get more dog names here.

What are the most common Norwich Terrier mixes?

The most common Norwich Terrier mixes are:

  • Norwich Terrier-Yorkshire Terrier mix (Yorwich)
  • Norwich Terrier-Pug mix (Pugwich)
  • Norwich Terrier-Chihuahua mix (Norwich Terrier Chihuahua)
  • Norwich Terrier-Poodle (Norwich Terrier Poodle)
  • Norwich Terrier-Cairn Terrier mix (Norwich Terrier Cairn Terrier)
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Top Takeaways

Norwich Terriers are loyal, affectionate and they make a great family dog. With a Norwich Terrier, you get a sweet companion who’s scrappy and fearless, all wrapped up in the cutest little bundle. While these dogs have plenty of energy and exercise is a must, a daily walk coupled with human company and mental stimulation should be enough.

Expert input provided by Jody Haas Wolfson, CPDT-KA, and owner of Root Dog Training, and Al Ferruggiaro, Past-President of the Norwich Terrier Club of America and AKC approved judge for all terrier breeds.

Photo credit for “How do I look?” American Kennel Club

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