The art of breeding, training, conditioning, grooming and finally, showing a dog in a competition is too in depth to give even a fair crash course in a single article, and any serious dog show hopefuls are advised to find an experienced mentor in their area and attend their fair share of dog shows in person to see first hand what defines a winning dog and a winning trainer. This article is neither experienced elder dog owner or first hand experience at a dog show, but regardless of this obvious handicap on the short form article's part, with luck, this one hopes to at least serve as a checklist of what it is judges are looking for, and what the American Kennel Club standard is, so that the reader will at least have a starting point to pursue further research from.
In regards to a Norfolk Terrier,the rough size that the AKC is looking for is around nine to ten inches tall, with the length being only slightly more than that, and at such size, the desirable weight is between eleven and twelve pounds. The eyes should suggest the dog's intelligence and the ears should be neatly dropped (these dropped ears are the only real difference between the Norfolk terriers and their close relatives the Norwich terriers). The dog is also, for obvious reasons, preferred to be in fit working condition, so plenty of exercise and a healthy diet leading up to a show is advisable.
The chest is preferred wide and the shoulders and limbs well defined and strong. In terms of color, any shade of coat is fine, and while dark spots are permissible, white spots tend to be frowned upon. Face and head hair is expected to be fine with leg hair being more coarse, and while trimming is acceptable, the judges will penalize 'shaping' rather heavily.
In the field, the Norfolk terrier is expected to prove itself as a capable, obedient hunter. The breed is most famous for their nearly unmatched qualifications as a vermin hunting dog, and a competing Norfolk terrier is not just a representative of his or her own abilities, but rather, an entire breed with a reputation to maintain.
According to the AKC, the ideal Norfolk terrier is courageous, alert and loyal. The Norfolk is never expected to be aggressive or hostile under any normal circumstance. This, of course, is what one should expect and aim for with training a Norfolk terrier, should the animal be intended as a show, work or house dog.
Hopefully this article will help you determine whether or not training a Norfolk terrier for show is a worthwhile pursuit that fits into your lifestyle. Anyone with an interest in competing in dog shows is advised to research any shows happening soon in their city and surrounding area.