Norfolk Terrier

"All Terrier, All the Time"

Photo of Norfolk Terrier


The Norfolk Terrier and the Norwich Terrier share a common history because they were once a single breed, each with his own ear style. The Norwich came first, recognized by the AKC in 1936. In 1979, the AKC recognized the drop-eared Norfolk as a breed separate from the prick-eared Norwich. Always a favorite in the show ring, the Norfolk has been less popular as a pet, perhaps due to his high energy and terrier-to-the-extreme temperament. Today, the Norfolk is the 115th most popular breed (the higher-ranked Norwich is #92).


The Norfolk Terrier is no wallflower. Feisty and full of energy, she can hardly stand to sit around all day. She'd rather be on the move, riding in the car, walking through the park, or chasing anything that moves. Sure, she has her own opinions and her loud barking will alert you to just about anything going on outside the house (or inside, or in her own little mind). Sure, she can be a challenge to train. But she's all terrier, all the time, so those with spirit, spunk, and a sense of adventure will appreciate her oversized personality.


Sturdy with short legs and slightly longer than tall, the Norfolk has strong bones and big teeth for maximum vermin-hunting efficiency. Her folded-over ears give her a cute-as-a-button look and her expression reveals deep intelligence - but when she's in the field, she's all business. She's 9 to 10 inches tall and weighs 11 to 12 pounds, and her coat has a hard wiry outer coat and a thick mane. She can come in any shade of red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle, sometimes with dark points on the extremities but preferably without white markings.


Are we having fun yet? It's what the Norfolk might ask when training gets too repetitive. Or she may not bother; she may just wander off. The Norfolk likes to be on the move, so training must be creative and fun with lots of rewards. Think quickly and switch activities often for best success. The fun-loving Norfolk likes to have a good time, so convince her that following your rules will be a blast.

Grooming & Care

To maintain a true Norfolk Terrier coat texture and look, dogs should be stripped about every three months, a tedious process of pulling out dead hairs by hand or with a stripping knife. Groomers tend to clip down the Norfolk, which only shortens but does not remove dead hair, and compromises coat texture, but this method may be more comfortable for older dogs and more convenient for busy pet owners. In between stripping sessions or grooming visits, comb the coat several times each week. Also, trim nails and keep ears and teeth clean. Norfolk Terriers need regular, vigorous exercise, especially during the first few years. Hunting trips, walks in the woods, or leashed explorations around the block will keep the Norfolk healthy and engaged.

Health Concerns

Generally healthy little dogs, Norfolk Terriers sometimes suffer from allergies, heart disease, patellar luxation (kneecaps slipping out of place), and hip dysplasia. Ask the breeder about hip and knee tests on the parents of the litter, and ask to see the test results.

Famous Norfolk Terrier

The first Norfolk to earn a show championship was Ch. Biffin of Beaufin, born in 1932.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 4
Schedule 6
Home 44
Children 49
Experience 11
Quick Facts
Grooming 57
Exercise 61
Challenges Barks a lot; might dig.
Height 8 to 10 inches
Weight 11 to 12 pounds
Life 12 to 14 years
Home Alone 83
With Kids 114
With Strangers 91
Availability 95

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

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