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Norfolk Terrier

NorfolkTerrier

Energetic Family Dog

Feisty, Independent, Inquisitive

Norfolk Terriers are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Norfolk Terriers, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Norfolk Terriers and some can be quite irritating! 

Understanding their unique needs will help you keep them healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where Norfolk Terriers came from, which health conditions are a risk to them and how to keep them feeling their best.

Breed Details

Height:9-10" Weight:11-12 lbs Lifespan:13-15 years

Size
1

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
4

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
2

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
1

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
3

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Norfolk Terriers are energetic and active dogs that excel at canine sports like agility, tracking, and earthdog trials. They are well suited to apartment life as long as she is given daily walks and frequent play sessions. They also have a strong chase instinct, so they need to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must.

Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least twice weekly. Twice a year stripping or clipping is also required for their wiry double coat.

Dental: Norfolk Terriers often have serious problems with their teeth, so you'll need to brush them at least three times a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


Norfolk Terriers are a loyal and self-confident family companion. With sufficient exercise and early socialization, they make an affectionate and playful pet.

Positive Traits:

• Brave and ready for adventure

• Vigilant watchdog with a ready bark

• Energetic and playful

• Lively, with a friendly personality

• Good with children

• Small, but sturdy

Negative Traits:

• Needs regular exercise to prevent chewing, digging, and other problems stemming from boredom

• Willful and stubborn if you don’t show strong leadership

• Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a puppy

• Likely to attack other small animals, including cats

• Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much

• Likes to dig





Whether you are considering adding a new Norfolk Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Norfolk Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Norfolk Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They're counting on you to be their health expert. 

Some health issues a Norfolk Terrier could encounter:

Liver Problems

Heart Disease

Hip Dysplasia

Knee Problems

Eye Problems

Cataracts

The Norfolk Terrier originated in Great Britain. The Norfolk Terrier and Norwich Terrier were considered one breed until 1960. The Norfolk Terrier can be distinguished from the Norwich by their ears: Norfolk ears are folded over. 

Norfolks were bred as ratters and fox hunters and display the typical terrier character. They are happy and spirited companions with plenty of energy. Norfolks are known for their stable temperament and charming demeanor. They are one of the smallest of the terriers in size, but not in personality.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Norfolk Terrier shows signs of the following:

• Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

• Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest

• Leg stiffness, reluctance to rise, sit, use stairs, run, jump, or "bunny hopping"

• Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

• Cloudiness to eye lens

• Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

• Painful eye, excessive tearing, eyes may appear asymmetric or cloudy

• Bumping into objects, startles easily

• Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

• Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

• Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth


  • Care

    Routine Care: Norfolk Terriers are energetic and active dogs that excel at canine sports like agility, tracking, and earthdog trials. They are well suited to apartment life as long as she is given daily walks and frequent play sessions. They also have a strong chase instinct, so they need to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must.

    Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least twice weekly. Twice a year stripping or clipping is also required for their wiry double coat.

    Dental: Norfolk Terriers often have serious problems with their teeth, so you'll need to brush them at least three times a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    Norfolk Terriers are a loyal and self-confident family companion. With sufficient exercise and early socialization, they make an affectionate and playful pet.

    Positive Traits:

    • Brave and ready for adventure

    • Vigilant watchdog with a ready bark

    • Energetic and playful

    • Lively, with a friendly personality

    • Good with children

    • Small, but sturdy

    Negative Traits:

    • Needs regular exercise to prevent chewing, digging, and other problems stemming from boredom

    • Willful and stubborn if you don’t show strong leadership

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a puppy

    • Likely to attack other small animals, including cats

    • Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much

    • Likes to dig





  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Norfolk Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Norfolk Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Norfolk Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They're counting on you to be their health expert. 

    Some health issues a Norfolk Terrier could encounter:

    Liver Problems

    Heart Disease

    Hip Dysplasia

    Knee Problems

    Eye Problems

    Cataracts

  • History

    The Norfolk Terrier originated in Great Britain. The Norfolk Terrier and Norwich Terrier were considered one breed until 1960. The Norfolk Terrier can be distinguished from the Norwich by their ears: Norfolk ears are folded over. 

    Norfolks were bred as ratters and fox hunters and display the typical terrier character. They are happy and spirited companions with plenty of energy. Norfolks are known for their stable temperament and charming demeanor. They are one of the smallest of the terriers in size, but not in personality.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Norfolk Terrier shows signs of the following:

    • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

    • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest

    • Leg stiffness, reluctance to rise, sit, use stairs, run, jump, or "bunny hopping"

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

    • Painful eye, excessive tearing, eyes may appear asymmetric or cloudy

    • Bumping into objects, startles easily

    • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth


Norfolk Terrier Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Norfolk Terrier breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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