The Norfolk Terrier is among the smallest terrier dogs, weighing 11 to 12 pounds and standing 23 to 25 centimetres. Despite its size, this dog breed is strong and robust. It was bred for ratting and fox bolting in the 1800s. Like most terriers, it will take some effort to minimise its yapping. This dog breed has a harsh coat that sheds and will require frequent brushing. Norfolk Terriers are independent and stubborn but also sociable dogs.
Are you planning to own a cute terrier? Read more about the Norfolk Terrier to determine if you've found a suitable dog for your family.
The Norfolk Terrier was bred in the 1880s by British sportsmen in England's East Anglia (home of Cambridge University) as the drop-eared version of the Norwich Terrier. The Norfolk is a result of crossing local terrier dogs, Norwich Terriers, Irish Terriers, and small red terriers.
Norfolk Terriers (or the drop-eared Norwich) were called several names. They were named Cantab Terriers when they became trendy for Cambridge students kept them in their rooms. Later, they were called the Trumpington Terrier, named after the Trumpington Street where Norfolk Terriers were further developed in stables.
The Norwich was recognised and accepted by the English Kennel Club in 1932. It was only in 1964 that The Kennel Club officially separated the Norfolk Terriers (drop-eared) and the Norwich Terriers (pricked-eared) as two distinct breeds. Both breeds have a remarkable resemblance that dog fanciers use simple tricks to differentiate the breeds. However, after many generations of breeding, they became distinct both in looks and temperament. The two breeds make magnificent house and travelling companions as well as excellent contenders in the show rings.
Appearance and Grooming
The Norfolk Terrier is a small compact dog with an average weight of 11 to 12 pounds. Its body is slightly longer than tall with an average height of 23 to 25 centimetres. It has a muzzle that resembles a fox with well-defined whiskers, rounded dropped ears, dark eyes that are oval-shaped, and topped with bushy eyebrows. Norfolk Terriers also have short legs and high-set, docked tails.
Norfolk Terries have a harsh and wiry coat. They come in different colours including red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle. The whiskers, eyebrows, ears, neck, and throat have longer and thicker hair compared to the rest of the body. Grooming-wise, they are moderately high maintenance with their coats needing to be brushed several times a week to prevent matts and knots from forming. Most owners would hire a professional groomer to hand strip the Norfolk Terrier at least 2 to 3 times a year. Shedding is also an issue since they shed all throughout the year especially during spring and autumn, which means frequent grooming is compulsory.
On top of the necessary coat care, other basic dog grooming is also required. It's important to check the Norfolks ears for excess wax that may potentially lead to infection. Clean the ears with a moist cotton ball using a dog ear solution. Brush the teeth at least twice a week to avoid periodontal disease and bad breath. Also, long nails must regularly be trimmed, so they don’t cause discomfort.
Temperament and Intelligence
The friendly Norfolk loves people and thrives in human contact. It is sociable with everyone it meets and loves to be the centre of attention. The Norfolk Terrier’s affectionate and easy-going nature coupled with its small size make for a suitable companion for families. It is curious and watchful, making it an effective watchdog. Like most terriers, it can become a bit yappy when bored.
Since the Norfolk terrier is a smart dog, it is also quick to learn and easy to train. However, it is also quick to pick up bad habits that must be curbed through early training and socialisation. Remember that the Norfolk Terrier is a working terrier, so it loves to be kept busy that enough mental and physical stimulation can remedy. With this said, this dog also excels at canine sports such as flat racing and flyball.
This type of dog breed also likes to be around children and the elderly. However, Norfolk Terriers are more suited to homes with older children who know how to behave around them. In homes where there are small children, strict supervision must be imposed. They get along well with most pets except for birds, rabbits and rodents, since they can't help but see them as prey.
Nutrition and Feeding
A typical serving for an adult Norfolk terrier is 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dog food daily, split equally to be served in the morning and afternoon. When you are not absolutely sure about how much to feed your dog, always ask the assistance of a canine nutritionist or consult a veterinarian.
Typical daily calorie needs of an adult Norfolk terrier that weighs 12 pounds:
- Senior and less active: up to 400 calories daily
- Typical adults: up to 450 calories daily
- Physically active/working dogs: up to 500 calories daily
Whether you feed the Norfolk Terrier premium commercial food or home cooked meals, it is crucial to understand the fundamentals of dog nutrition. Make sure that when you buy commercial dog food that high-quality animal protein is the first ingredient and appears as the top item on the ingredient list.
Health and Exercise
The Norfolk Terrier is a relatively healthy dog breed with a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. However, common health concerns may include Mitral Valve Disease that can lead to heart failure and death. Other health concerns also include Luxating Patellas, Cataracts, Lens Luxation, Glaucoma, Bladder Stones, Corneal Ulcers, and others.
The lively little dog needs a moderate amount of exercise to be happy and healthy. This means it will need at least 40 to 60 minutes of daily exercise, which includes walks and plenty games of fetch. When you take the Norfolk Terrier outside, make sure it is always on a leash. This dog has a natural instinct to chase small animals and may not respond to commands to come back.
Cost of Ownership
If you are set on owning a Norfolk Terrier, you may need to pay £500 to £1000 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. Part of caring for a dog is ensuring that it stays healthy and well-fed. Feeding your dog high quality food can set you back another £20-£30 a month. You would also need to factor in the initial cost of buying basic dog accessories and equipment such as bed, food bowls, lead, collar, and toys. These can amount to £150-£200 depending on the brand and quality. Grooming can be another expense if you choose to use the services of professional groomers, which is within the region of £30-£40.
You also need to be prepared when it suddenly falls ill or gets into an accident. To offset some bills, it is recommended that you pay for a pet insurance, which can cost from £11 a month for a basic time-limited cover up to £43 a month for a lifetime one. The prices can vary depending on your dog’s health and age, your location, and the level of cover you opt for.
Other outgoings to consider are veterinary expenses that may not be included in a pet insurance coverage such as vaccinations, routine checks, neutering or spaying, and annual boosters, which can have a combined cost of £800 annually. On average, the monthly cost for raising a Norfolk Terrier is £50-£80. This is exclusive of the type of pet insurance policy and other expenses such as dog walking service or dog day care.
Norfolk Terrier Breed Highlights
- The Norfolk Terrier loves people and thrives on human contact.
- It is curious and watchful, making it an effective watchdog.
- This dog breed also likes to be around children and the elderly.
- Grooming-wise, it is moderately high maintenance.
- It gets along well with most pets except for birds and rabbits.
- It needs a moderate amount of exercise to be happy and healthy.
Are you sure the Norfolk Terrier is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.
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