Norwich Terrier

Norwich Terrier looking forward

Quick Facts


12 pounds


10 inches at the shoulder

Average Lifespan:

12-15 years

Known For:

Small, energetic, fearless dogs that will enjoy spending time in your lap.


Joyful, spirited, and utterly adorable, the Norwich Terrier is a breed that effortlessly captures the hearts of dog enthusiasts around the globe! Originating from the United Kingdom, specifically the East Anglia region, this breed is treasured for its compact size, vivacious personality, and unwavering loyalty.Β 


Named after the city of Norwich, these little terriers have a history as fascinating as their character, establishing them as beloved companions in many households. With their keen intelligence and playful antics, the popularity of Norwich Terriers continues to rise among pet lovers seeking a small but spirited four-legged friend.

History and Origin

Embarking on a journey through the history of the Norwich Terrier, we find ourselves in the late 19th century, in East Anglia, England. Originally bred to control the rat population in stables and farms, these terriers showcased their fearless nature and exceptional hunting skills. Recognized for their distinctive pricked ears and keen senses, Norwich Terriers were initially grouped with the Norfolk Terrier, with the difference being primarily in ear carriage.


It wasn’t until 1964 that the breed gained individual recognition by the Kennel Club in England, distinguishing the Norwich Terrier (with pricked ears) from the Norfolk Terrier (with dropped ears). The American Kennel Club followed suit in 1979, granting the Norwich Terrier its own breed status.Β 


Over the years, this charming terrier has transitioned from a skilled ratter to a cherished companion and show dog, without losing its zest for life and adventurous spirit.

Though not linked to any specific historical or cultural events, the Norwich Terrier has certainly made a name for itself in the canine world with its infectious energy and heartwarming personality.

Breed Characteristics


Barking Tendency

Dog Friendly

Health Issues

Shedding Level









Cat Friendly

Exercise Needs


Social Needs








App. Friendly

Child Friendly


Energy Level

Stranger Friendly

Watchdog Instincts







Appearance and Size

Gazing upon a Norwich Terrier, one can’t help but be enamored by its charming appearance and spirited expression! Standing at a petite 10 inches at the shoulder and weighing approximately 11-12 pounds, this breed embodies the essence of a small but mighty terrier.


The coat of the Norwich Terrier is wiry and straight, providing an effective shield against the elements. Common coat colors include red, wheaten, black and tan, and grizzle. This delightful terrier sports a distinctive foxy expression, with keen, dark eyes and small, erect ears that contribute to its alert and lively demeanor.


Despite their diminutive stature, Norwich Terriers are robust and well-muscled, exuding strength and agility. Their compact size makes them ideal for both city living and country life, but don’t be fooled – these little terriers are packed with energy and love a good adventure!

Personality and Temperament

Norwich Terriers are the epitome of big personalities in small packages! Renowned for their courageous and affectionate nature, these terriers are known to form strong bonds with their human companions. They’re always up for fun, be it playing fetch in the backyard, exploring a hiking trail, or simply snuggling on the couch.


Being intelligent and independent thinkers, Norwich Terriers are often described as β€œhappy-go-lucky” with a touch of mischievousness. They possess a natural curiosity and alertness, making them excellent watchdogs. While they are generally good-natured and sociable, early socialization is key to ensuring they get along well with other pets and people.

Health and Lifespan

When considering a Norwich Terrier, it’s reassuring to know that they are generally a healthy and robust breed with a lifespan of 12-15 years. Regular veterinary check-ups and a well-balanced diet contribute to their overall well-being, ensuring they remain energetic companions throughout their lives.


Like all breeds, Norwich Terriers can be prone to specific health issues. Common concerns include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and dental problems. Allergies and skin conditions are also something to watch out for, given their dense, wiry coat.


It’s essential to maintain regular grooming routines to keep their coat in tip-top condition and to monitor their health closely. Early detection of any health issues enables prompt treatment and contributes to the quality and longevity of their lives.

Care and Maintenance

Norwich Terrier grooming

Caring for a Norwich Terrier is a rewarding experience, filled with love, laughter, and a dash of adventure! Given their energetic nature, these terriers thrive on daily exercise and mental stimulation. Regular walks, playtime, and puzzle toys keep their minds sharp and bodies active.


Grooming is another integral aspect of caring for a Norwich Terrier.Β 


Their wiry coat requires regular brushing to prevent matting and to remove any loose hair or dirt. Occasional stripping of the coat is recommended to maintain its texture and luster.


A balanced diet is vital for this breed’s health and well-being. Opting for high-quality dog food that meets their nutritional needs will keep them vibrant and healthy. Given their propensity for dental issues, dental hygiene practices such as brushing their teeth or providing dental chews are beneficial.


Caring for a Norwich Terrier is not just about meeting their physical needs but also about nurturing the bond you share.Β 

Spend quality time together, engage in interactive activities, and shower them with love – the joy and companionship they bring in return are truly immeasurable!

Training and Behavior

  • Training a Norwich Terrier is an engaging endeavor marked by moments of achievement and laughter. Renowned for their intelligence, these terriers are quick learners, but their independent nature may sometimes pose a delightful challenge. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are the keystones of training this spirited breed.Norwich Terriers respond well to reward-based training, where treats, praise, and playtime serve as motivations. Early socialization and exposure to various environments, people, and pets foster well-rounded behavior and reduce the likelihood of timidity or aggression.Behavioral quirks include a strong prey drive, stemming from their historical role as ratters. This trait necessitates a secure yard and leash walking, especially in areas populated by small animals. Training them to recall on command is particularly crucial.

Norwich Terrier and Families

Norwich Terrier with people

The Norwich Terrier’s affectionate and adaptable nature makes them a delightful addition to families of all shapes and sizes. Their amiable disposition and manageable size endear them to both children and adults alike, fostering a harmonious coexistence.


While they enjoy the playful company of children, supervision is advisable to ensure gentle interaction. Their sociability extends to other pets, though their terrier instincts may prompt chasing smaller animals.


The joy and companionship that Norwich Terriers bring to a family are unparalleled. Their zest for life, loyalty, and loving nature make every day brighter and more enriching.

Adopting a Norwich Terrier

Embarking on the journey of adopting a Norwich Terrier is both exciting and fulfilling. Prospective owners should consider reputable breeders or rescue organizations, ensuring the well-being and ethical treatment of the dogs.


Before adopting, consider the energy, time, and resources you can dedicate to your furry friend. Familiarize yourself with the breed’s characteristics, needs, and common health concerns. Connecting with current Norwich Terrier owners or joining breed-specific forums can provide valuable insights and support.

Bringing a Norwich Terrier into your home is a commitment to love, care, and adventure. In return, you’ll receive boundless love, joyful companionship, and unforgettable moments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the temperament of a Norwich Terrier?

Norwich Terriers are spirited, affectionate, and sociable. They are known for their bravery and loyalty, making excellent companions and family pets.

How much exercise does a Norwich Terrier need?

They require moderate exercise to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks and play sessions in a secure area are sufficient for their energy levels.

Are Norwich Terriers good with children?

Yes, they are great with children, displaying a gentle and playful nature. They enjoy being part of family activities.

What health issues are common in Norwich Terriers?

They are generally healthy but can be prone to conditions such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and upper airway syndrome. Regular vet check-ups are recommended.

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