wheaten, red, black, tan and grizzle. Some white markings are seen in the breed but are not desirable in show dogs.
10 inches (25cm)
10-12 pounds (4 1/2-5 1/2kg)
10 inches (25cm)
10-12 pounds (4 1/2-5 1/2kg)
A very adaptable breed the Norfolk terrier can do well in an apartment or a house with or without a yard. They will self-exercise indoors but still require regular walks and outings.
In the beginning, the Norfolk terrier was raised to be a working dog. The breed, small enough to chase down even smaller vermin, is efficiently stocky enough to hold its own. A mere 10 to 12 inches (or approximately 25 centimeters) at the shoulder, its petite stature allowed for getting into and under the smallest of spaces, including burrows when necessary. At optimal health and condition, the dog will weigh in at 10-12 pounds (up to 5 1/2 kg). Males and females are of comparable size and stature, with females weighing only slightly less than males. No longer used for its original purpose, the dog makes a perfect small sized pet for homes with a limited amount of space.
The wiry, waterproof coat of the Norfolk terrier comes in colors such as wheaten, black, red or grizzle and actually consists of two layers. A soft protective coating underneath becomes the hard, straight hair of the outer layer. The head, as well as the perky folded ears, have short hair that is smooth and gives way to expressive intelligent brown eyes. The ears are folded over and carried forward, giving a curious and intelligent expression to the fox-like face of the Norfolk. The terrier has noticeable whiskers and eyebrows that add to the various expressions this breed will exhibit. They have a sturdy looking body and well developed legs, making them solid little dogs rather than delicate in appearance.
Although it has been common for the Norfolk terrier to be seen with a cropped tail, this is no longer a practice that many owners follow through with these days. In some places, the cropping of ears and tails of dogs that are not actually used for work is now forbidden. There is a good amount of feathering on the front legs, lower line of the body and the hindquarters, adding a style and flair to the breed.
The coat of the Norfolk Terrier is coarse, and waterproof on the outside and dense and thick on the inner layer. The topcoat is very resistant to moisture as well as helps to protect the dog when going through dense brush or vegetation. The coat can be clipped and trimmed, but full clipping is not recommended. Only bath this dog when absolutely necessary as bathing will strip natural oils from the coat.
The Norfolk terrier, like its close relative the Norwich terrier, were bred for hunting rats and other vermin in farm areas and urban centers. They were developed in the Norfolk area of Great Britain in the early 1800's but were not official recognized by the Kennel Club until 1964 and by the American Kennel Club in 1979.
Originally there Norfolk and the Norwich were considered one breed, but in the early 1930's breeders began separating the two different breeds based on their physical differences. The Norfolk was used as a fox bolting dog, trained to go into the caves and dens where foxes would hide during a hunt to get them back out into the chase. The Norfolk Terriers with their lower tail and dropping ears were less popular than the pricked ear Norwich variety and almost became extinct.
The popularity of the Norfolk terrier is gradually increasing worldwide as these dogs become ideal for competitions and events requiring speed, agility and intelligence. They are avid hunters and chasers due to their history of being bred for these attributes, and these personality traits are still evident in the breed today.
Ridding barns of rats and vermin require one to not only be agile but ever vigilant and plucky. Such is the case for the Norfolk terrier. Although hardly ever used for its original intention, the breed has never lost its perky and fearless outlook. While having a very up front attitude, these terriers are considered to have the softest of temperaments. Hardly the type to be outright aggressive, they thrive on human attention and love to be included. In the field, they worked as pack animals and therefore still want to be involved, making them great companions for households with children or older persons who can shower them with affection.
Still akin to their instincts, the Norfolk terrier loves to play fetch and chase after small objects. Barking and digging are natural for them, although not commonly to a destructive end. The uneventful life goes against the very nature of this working class breed. They will do best living indoors but will require plenty of activity. In fact, they are likely to take in all the activity a 10 to 12 pound dog can handle. This may not amount to much for the average human being; however activities should center on being interactive as one of the worst challenges for this breed is to be ignored.
In general, small breeds escape the Health worries that many larger dog breeds come up against such as hip dysplasia. Luckily, this is also the case with the Norfolk Terrier. While they should be screened regularly for any Health Problems, when there is a concern the most common genetic disorders run along the lines of MVD, mitral valve heart disease, Epilepsy and sometimes breathing problems. As with all breeds, table scraps should be avoided in order to maintain a happy, healthy weight.
Grooming the Norfolk terrier is simple and easy however the breed does require grooming every other day to prevent knotting and tangling of the longer hairs on the bottom side of the body. They are average shedders and will have a heavier shed in the spring and fall, requiring extra grooming to keep the coat in good condition as well as to prevent excessive dog hairs left all over the furniture and carpets.
There are a few basic tools required for grooming the Norfolk Terrier. A stiff bristle brush, slicker brush and a wide toothed grooming comb are the basics that are needed. Start by using the stiff bristle brush or wide toothed comb to brush the hair starting at the base of the neck and proceeding down the body. Always brush in the direction of hair growth, taking care to stop and detangle any areas that are knotted. The comb can be used first on the longer fringe hairs or furnishing along the back of the front and back legs as well as across the line of the stomach. Typically with daily or every other day grooming the process should only take a few minutes and will a great way to spend time with the dog.
In addition to grooming the coat is it important to inspect the nails for any signs or chipping or breaking, and trim them regularly as needed. Use a good quality guillotene style dog nail trimmer or set of noticed scissors. Never use human nail trimmers as this will shatter the dogs nail. Check the teeth and use a finger sleeve or dog toothbrush to brush the Norfolk terriers teeth on a regular basis. This will help avoid costly descaling that has to be done by a vet plus it will ensure that your dog has excellent tooth retention and dental health even into their senior years.
The Norfolk terrier is a remarkable breed of dog that enjoys a high level of exercise but can also tolerate a day or two of relaxation every now and again. They are eager to go out for a walk, run or a ride in the car to the park or for a hike. Many owners of Norfolk terriers enter these small dogs in various types of events as a form of both mental and physical exercise for the dogs. Two such events are flat racing and flyball. Flat racing for the Norfolk terrier involves a short course with no hurdles or obstacles while flyball relays consist of a dog jumping over at least four hurdles, then activating a flyball box pedal which shoots off a ball that must be retrieved. Upon recovering the ball, the dog must then turn around and jump back over the hurdles and make it to the finish line. Lure coursing is where terriers chase after some form of artificial lure, such as a rat or rabbit.
An earthdog trial is a go-to-ground type of exercise in which a Norfolk terrier will run through the course of a small, typically above ground wooden tunnel system while scenting a small rodent, such as a rat. The dog must then find his or her way to the rat, which is safely kept in a cage at all times, and either bark or scratch indicating they have found their quarry's location. Although there are time limits set for completion, this is a noncompetitive activity where owners can gauge their terrier's capacity for hunting.
Remember that exercise doesn't have to be through competition. These dogs will enjoy a simple game of fetch, a romp in the yard with the kids or even to go on a nice stroll after dinner. They are great dogs for joggers and have boundless energy for those families with younger children.
It may be necessary to be prepared to work on housebreaking at some length with this type of breed, as they have a tendency to be somewhat independent in mind. One will need firm, consistent boundaries with a dependable routine in place. A training routine that is consistent and involves interaction with loads of praise is a perfect motivator. In the meanwhile, loving attention as they do, this terrier breed can have episodes of bossiness or jealousy but this is rarely a predominant characteristic. A Norfolk terrier is quite self confident and habitually does very well with other dogs, at times all too eager to have a companion in which to take on the world.
The Norfolk terrier does quite well walking with a lead and, for safety's sake, it is recommended that one keep this breed on a leash at all times unless enclosed in a fenced area. It is not uncommon for instinct to take over the minute a Norfolk terrier spies a squirrel or some other small prey and chase off after it with almost reckless abandon. Households where small pets such as gerbils, guinea pigs or even rabbits share their space with a Norfolk terrier need to be kept in cages at all times, preferably in separate rooms.
Since Norfolk terriers are very intelligent dogs, they will often learn bad habits quickly, just as they will learn positive habits. Consistent training and changing training routines frequently is critical with the breed to avoid boredom and non-compliance issues. As with all terriers, the breed does best with positive rewards and lots of praise for a job well done. Ignoring the dog for bad behavior, especially when the Norfolk is learning, is an excellent method for eliminating the bad behavior. Yelling at or punishing the terrier will not achieve the desired results, rather you will damage the bond that the dog has formed with you and can lead to more aggressive type behaviors and lack of response to commands.