Norwich Terrier Puppy Facts

Did you just bring home a new Norwich Terrier puppy and want to learn more about the breed?

Maybe you are thinking about buying a puppy and want to know if this is the right breed of dog for you and your family?

No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!



Breed History

This is one of the younger of the terrier breeds. Also known under such names as the Jones Terrier and the Cantab Terrier, it was developed in East Anglia, England in the late 1800s. The breed was developed by crossing various local breeds, including the Yorkshire Terrier and the Irish Terrier.

A stocky, sandy colored dog with short legs, cropped ears and exceptional ratting skills is commonly accepted to be the original sire for the modern Norwich Terrier. His name was "Rags".

Like all terriers, the Norwich Terrier was developed to hunt and was pretty good as a ratter.

Over the next several decades other terrier types, including the Staffordshire Terrier, were crossed with Rags and his descendents. This produced a line of fox bolters that were used during hunts to drive out foxes from their underground hiding places.

The breed was introduced to the United States by Frank Jones in 1914 (hence the alternative name "Jones Terrier") and recognized by AKC in 1936.

The Norfolk Terrier and the Norwich Terrier, two closely related breeds, used to be classified as one breed. That changed after England made the distinction in 1964. AKC followed in 1979. The most obvious distinction between these two breeds is that the Norfolk has drop ears while the Norwich has erect ears.

Today, the breed is used mostly for companionship.

  Norwich Terrier Dog Picture  

Physical Characteristics of Norwich Terrier Puppies

The Norwich Terrier is one of the smallest working terriers.

It has a moderately short and compact body with medium length neck, wide chest and well-sprung ribs. The tail is medium length, carried high and, where allowed, is usually docked (in most of Europe, docking tails and cropping ears is against the law).

The front legs are short, powerful and relatively straight. The back legs are powerful and muscular. The feet are round with thick pads.

The head is wide and slightly rounded. The eyes are dark, small and oval shaped. The ears are medium size, stand erect and are set wide apart. The face has a foxy expression.

The coat consists of straight, hard and wiry outer coat and a softer undercoat. The coat on neck and shoulders forms a protective mane. With the exception of eyebrows and whiskers, the hair on head is short and smooth. It comes in all shades of red, wheaten, black and tan, and grizzle (a mixture of black or red hairs with white hairs).

    Height Weight
  Male up to 10 inches 12 pounds
  Female up to 10 inches 12 pounds


The Norwich Terrier is an intelligent, courageous and active breed that doesn't display any nervousness associated with a lot of the smaller breeds.

They enjoy human company and are affectionate towards their family. They are also very good with children. Like other terriers, the Norwich Terrier can't be trusted with smaller animals such as hamsters and rats but are generally good with other dogs and even cats.

This is not a dog you should leave on his own for extended periods of time. Being an active breed and a good family pet, the Norwich will enjoy participating in family activities. He loves playing with toys, retrieve things tossed towards him, etc.

If you are wondering if there is anything negative about this breed, there is...

I already mentioned above that the Norwich can't be trusted with small animals, especially rodents. Socializing your dog while he is still young can help somewhat but it will never completely eliminate the urge to hunt.

While it likes to please their owners, the Norwich Terrier can be a bit stubborn. Unless you establish yourself as the dog's leader, your pet can resort to such destructive behaviors as excessive guarding, separation anxiety, jealousy, etc.

The breed can also be somewhat difficult to housebreak.

Best Owner / Living Conditions

Despite being an active breed, the Norwich Terrier can adjust to an apartment lifestyle. It will do OK without a yard because it's fairly active indoors.

Its loving personality makes it a good pet for any family, including the one with small children.

Some Norwich Terrier breeders may interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.

Activity and Exercise

Despite its small size, this is a very active breed that requires sufficient exercise to stay sharp.

Norwich Terriers can get plenty of exercise by running and playing off leash, but always in a protected area that they can't escape. They will also enjoy chasing after things you can toss.

They are pretty good at dog agility, a sport that is entertaining not only for dogs but for their owners as well.

At a minimum, take your pet for several long walks every day.


This breed is relatively easy to care for.

It doesn't shed a lot but you will still need to comb and brush your pet at least every other day. For best appearance, do it daily.

To maintain the coat's hard texture, you will need to hand strip it twice per year. Stripping involves pulling out the dead top coat and not only makes the coat look better but also reduces shedding. 

Bathe only when necessary.

Health Concerns

Like all dog breeds, Norwich Terriers are susceptible to complications caused by internal and external parasites such as ticks, fleas, and worms.

While it's considered a healthy breed, some dogs may be predisposed to epilepsy, eye problems and hip dysplasia. For more information about dog diseases and health, visit dog health problems.

Buy only from reputable Norwich Terrier breeders to reduce the risk of the above and many other health problems (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).

No matter how small the risk of health problems is, any puppy may get sick or injured. Many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, but there are many others that will not, and you may handle them on your own.

To save time and money, learn how to diagnose and treat dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for Norwich Terrier puppies is between 12 and 16 years.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Norwich Terrier rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this dog behavior and obedience training guide.

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