Norwich Terrier

AKC Terrier Group


Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

The Norwich and Norfolk Terriers started out as one breed, but were officially separated in England in 1964. The AKC followed suit in 1979. The Norwich has erect ears, and the Norfolk has dropped ears. The breeds were originally developed in England as small ratting dogs. Later they were used to bolt foxes that had gone to ground during a fox hunt, so the horses and hounds could resume the chase. This small terrier could get in and out of narrow burrows quite easily. As they were bred to hunt in packs, the Norfolk and Norwich Terriers tend to be more sociable than many other terriers. Today the Norwich Terrier serves primarily as a companion dog, but he can still catch vermin.


The Norwich is a small, short-legged terrier with a harsh, wiry coat and pointed prick ears. The body is sturdy and stocky, approximately the same height at the withers as length from withers to base of tail. The topline is level. The skull is wide and somewhat rounded. The stop is well-defined, and the muzzle tapers in a wedge shape. The small, oval eyes are dark. The large teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The tail is docked, but should be left long enough to grab comfortably, because a working Norwich sometimes needs to be pulled out of burrows from the rear. The feet are rounded, and have thick pads. The weather-resistant double coat comes in many shades of wheaten, red, black and tan, and grizzle. White markings are not desirable. Longer hair on the neck and chest forms a mane.

Key Facts

  • Height:  Up to 10 in.
  • Size:  Very small
  • Weight:  Averages 12 lbs.
  • Availability:  May take some effort to find
  • Talents:  Hunting, tracking, watchdog, agility, earthdog, and performing tricks


A very healthy breed. Will dig and/or bark if left outside for long periods of time with nothing to occupy his quick mind. Loves toys and balls. Can be difficult to housebreak. Don’t let off lead unless secure. Jogging OK for short distances.


Happy and affectionate. Playful and outgoing. Very brave and loyal. Adaptable and sporting; they make great companions. Good with other domestic animals, though still an enemy to rats. Easily trained, but needs consistent rules to follow. Socialize well with other breeds as a young puppy.


  • Children:  Good with children
  • Friendliness:  Loves everyone
  • Trainability:  Easy to train
  • Independence:  Very independent
  • Dominance:  Low
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other pets
  • Combativeness:  Not generally dog-aggressive
  • Noise:  Likes to bark
  • Indoors:  Fairly active indoors
  • Owner:  Good for novice owners


  • Grooming:  Regular grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  Skilled trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Medium coat
  • Shedding:  Very light
  • Docking:  The tail is customarily docked
  • Exercise:  Moderate exercise needed
  • Jogging:  Small, but a fair jogging companion
  • Apartments:  Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
  • Outdoor Space:  Does OK without a yard
  • Climate:  Does well in most climates
  • Longevity:  Moderately long lived (12 to 15 years)

Useful Links

AKC® Norwich Terrier Breed Standard

Norwich Terrier Breed Club

Search for a Breeder

Rescue Organizations

Books about the Norwich Terrier

Norwich Terrier Gifts