Get to Know the Lovable Norwich Terrier Dog Breed

The Norwich terrier dog is a pint-sized, hardy pup with abundant energy and contagious happiness.

Updated January 4, 2024

The Norwich terrier truly is a special little gem in the terrier family. They might not be the most famous among terriers, but they have this incredible ability to win over hearts in no time.

Their charm is more than just appealing — it's a heartwarming surprise, especially for those meeting a Norwich terrier for the first time. Encountering one of these lovely dogs is an experience that often leaves a deep and lasting impression, thanks to their irresistible personality and undeniable charisma.

Norfolk Terrier vs Norwich Terrier

The Norfolk terrier and the Norwich terrier are often mixed up, and it's easy to see why — they share a striking resemblance. They have the same colors, they're about the same size, and their personalities are nearly the same.

The sweet distinction between the two lies in their ears. The Norwich terrier boasts perky, upright ears that add to their lively and expressive demeanor. The Norfolk terrier has adorable folded ears, giving them a soft, cuddly teddy bear look.

Norwich Terrier Colors

These pups come in an interesting range of colors, including:

  • Red: In different shades
  • Grizzle: A mix of black or red, and white fur
  • Wheaten: Fawn or a light yellow-ish fur color
  • Black and tan

These vibrant and varied colors add to their appeal, making each Norwich terrier uniquely beautiful.

Norwich Terrier Shedding

Norwich terriers are relatively low shedders compared to many other dog breeds. Brushing them weekly to remove dead hair and maintain cleanliness will help keep shedding to a minimum. A little time spent on grooming can go a long way in keeping your Norwich terrier's shedding manageable and maintaining their adorable appearance.

Grooming the Norwich Terrier

Their coat will need to be stripped twice each year, which involves the use of a stripping tool to remove any dead fur from their topcoat. If their coat isn't stripped as needed, they'll start to look scruffy, and they'll shed more than normal.

Need to Know

If you clip their coat instead of stripping it, it will become lighter and softer, making it more susceptible to shedding.

High Prey Drive

Norwich terriers have a high prey drive but can live with cats if they're raised with them. As far as bunnies, hamsters, and other small animals go, you'll want to keep them somewhere out of your pup's reach. 

Exercise and Living Space

These dogs are quite adaptable and can do well in different living environments, provided they get enough physical and mental stimulation.

Their size and temperament make them suitable for both apartment living and houses with yards. As with all terriers, they have a natural instinct to chase, so it's important to have a secure area for them to play in.

Quick Tip

They need at least two walks each day to stay calm and collected. 

They Thrive on Human Companionship

Norwich terriers thrive on interaction and can be quite sociable with both people and other dogs. They're so attached to their humans that they're known as Velcro dogs. They're the kind of dogs that will follow you everywhere, whether it's a trip to the bathroom or around the lawn. 

Norwich Terrier Lifespan

The Norwich terrier has a typical lifespan of 12 to 15 years. As with any breed, it's important to provide them with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and routine veterinary check-ups to ensure a long, happy life.

Quick Tip

Plan some indoor activities to keep your dog entertained and active, especially when the weather outside isn't ideal.

They're Generally Healthy

This breed is generally healthy, but some may be prone to the following conditions:

  • Tracheal collapse: Walk your dog with a harness rather than a collar to prevent tracheal collapse. 
  • Elongated soft palate: Can obstruct the airway, resulting in difficulty breathing. 
  • Epilepsy: Causes seizures in dogs.

Other conditions, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and hypothyroidism, have been bred out of the gene pool, but it's still important to ensure they're screened by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). 

Friendly With Strangers

If they're home and see someone suspicious, they'll alert you to their presence. But once they get there, the intruder alert is over. They're more likely to attack them with love than with viciousness. 

Need to Know

If you're looking for a breed that's going to be aggressive and protective, this breed isn't the one. 

Friendliness With Children

Not only do Norwich terriers enjoy homes with children, but they thrive in homes with families. Like other breeds, the earlier they're introduced to children, the more they'll learn how to properly interact with them. 

Need to Know

Children should always be taught how to approach and touch dogs appropriately, regardless of breed. 

They're Prone to Barking

Norwich terriers are super prone to barking. They make a good alert dog since they'll let you know if anything fishy is going on, which can be super reassuring. But here's the catch — they sometimes don't know when to hit the 'mute' button.

They can get a bit over-enthusiastic with their barking, especially if they're feeling a tad bored or haven't burned off enough energy during the day. And sometimes, they just like to bark — maybe just for the fun of it!

They're Wanderers

Although they enjoy off-leash adventures, their tendency to wander can be dangerous for them. They have that 'squirrel!' complex. As in, as soon as they see literally anything moving, they'll be gone. You don't want them running into traffic or getting into something they shouldn't. 

Need to Know

Take a trip to a fenced-in dog park to give them time to run off-leash in new places.

The History of the Norwich Terrier

The Norwich terrier was originally bred to hunt vermin and foxes. The foxhounds were too large to get in the den, whereas the Norwich could get right in and flush them out. And they're still known to work alongside hunters today. 

Big Personality in a Small Package

If you read about this dog's personality before reading about their size, you'd think they're much larger than they are. Although they're stocky pups, they rarely weigh more than 12 pounds and often stand around 10 inches tall at the shoulder.

They're spunky, hardy dogs, and, even with their small size, they need a strong-willed pet parent to keep them on their best behavior.

Consider Rescuing a Norwich Terrier

Before you buy from a breeder, take a look at rescue organizations to see if there are any available. If there aren't any available, you can reach out to the Norwich Terrier Club of America and check for responsible breeders.

Keep in mind that these dogs are rare and may be hard to find. You may be placed on a wait list for this special pup. 

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Get to Know the Lovable Norwich Terrier Dog Breed