Norwich Terrier

Written by: Jamie
Updated: February 21, 2021

The Norwich Terrier is a vulnerable native breed from England. Learn all about this cute canine in the guide below.

small Norwich Terrier on grass

Height: 10 inches
Weight: 5 kilos
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Pedigree? (registered with the KC?): Yes, this breed is registered with the Kennel Club.

Positives and Negatives

Learn about the Norwich Terrier at a glance below:


  • Affectionate and loving family pet
  • Hypoallergenic, minimal shedding
  • Dog and cat friendly
  • Suitable for apartment living


  • Prone to weight gain
  • Vocal likes to bark
  • Strong prey drive
  • May wander off on an adventure

Small norwich terrier


Hailing from England, Norwich the Norwich Terrier is short, sturdy, and cute, but unfortunately is now classed as a vulnerable native breed.

This breed looks strikingly similar to the Norfolk Terrier. The only main difference is the Norwich Terrier’s pricked ears whereas the Norfolk’s is folded.

These adorable canines can be described as happy go lucky! They’re the type of companion that could always bring a smile to their owner’s face.

The Norwich dog is perfectly adaptable and can happily live in the city and countryside. Light in size, these dogs are easy to transport around!

Remember, this pooch is a Terrier and will be fearless, brave, mischievous, independent, and tough. As one of the smallest members of the Terrier family, this canine is also better known for its friendliness.

Yet they won’t back down from a fight if challenged!

Loving, friendly, affectionate, and deeply loyal, the Norwich Terrier can make an excellent pet for a single person or family.

Due to their independence, the breed does like its own space, so won’t mind being left alone for a few hours. These canines can be mouthy when growing up. Make sure nipping and chewing do not become a habit in adulthood.

Norwich Terrier puppies can be expensive due to their rarity. It is always best to rehome a pet where possible.

Check if there are any dogs that may need rehoming from a Norwich Terrier rescue center. You may find your forever companion!

Norwich terrier sitting on the ground


Norwich Terriers date back to the late 19th century and were bred to hunt vermin. These would include fox, badger, rat, otter, and other small game.

In the past, Norwich and Terriers were classified as drop-eared and prick-eared. Then, in 1964 the Kennel Club recognized the drop-eared canines as a separate breed.

They were given the name Norfolk Terrier. The AKC eventually followed suit in 1979 albeit over a decade late. Norwich Terriers are also rare in America and were only introduced into the country after World War I.

The breed standards for the Norwich and Norfolk Terrier is mirrored, the only distinguishing feature is the difference in their ears.

Norwich Terriers were often the more popular choice because of their pricked ears. These cute companions were quickly treasured by students at Cambridge University and soon became their mascot!

Norwich Terriers have been paraded around the show ring since 1932. In 1998, Fairewood Frolic aka Rocki, a female Norwich Terrier won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. She was two weeks pregnant at the time!

The latest Best in Show win was at Crufts in 2005 which saw a 6-year-old Norwich Terrier bag the best win!

Norwich Terrier 2

In 1932, Norwich Terriers were recognized as the official breed of England. It was also in this year the Norwich Terrier Club was formed.

Now almost 90 years later, they’ve been classed as a vulnerable native breed. In 2019, only 128 Norwich Terrier puppies were registered with the Kennel Club.

In 2000, the popularity of these dogs began to grow after Winky, the Norwich Terrier was featured in the American spoof film, Best in Show.

It’s based on five dogs, their owners, and trainers who are competing in the fictional Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show.

Recommended: Check out our comprehensive guide to the Mexican Hairless Dog.


Cheerful and always happy, it is rare to see the Norwich Terrier feeling down. Loyal and affectionate by nature these dogs are a pleasure to be around.

Despite their adorable looks, these dogs have a strong prey drive. They’re always on the alert and won’t hesitate to initiate a chase. Independence may hinder recall training.

Norwich Terriers adapt to different living situations and environments very well. They’re a sociable breed but not over the top. Socialization will still be needed to prevent fear or anxiety around humans and dogs.

Are Norwich Terriers Good with Strangers?

Yes, the Norwich Terrier is friendly towards strangers. Although some may be a little reserved dependent on socialization.

They also make great watchdogs and will bark at strangers approaching the home. At times the Norwich Terrier could also become protective of their family.

Norwich Terrier 3

Are Norwich Terriers Good with Children?

Yes, this breed makes an excellent family pet. Although small they are still sturdy enough for playtime.

This breed also loves to run, so interactive games such as fetch will be a great way to bond. As these canines can be a little nippy they are better suited to older children.

Are Norwich Terriers Ok with Other Dogs?

Yes, this breed is dog friendly and will make friends with lots of pooches in the park. The Norwich Terrier doesn’t instigate trouble, but they won’t back down from a fight.

If against a larger dog they won’t stand a chance. Cats can happily live alongside this pet but anything else that’s small and furry will be viewed as prey!

Norwich Terrier 5

Recommended: Learn about the Wire Haired Dachshund breed next, one of the less popular members of the Dachshund family.


Each day the Norwich Terrier should receive up to one hour of exercise. This breed loves taking long walks, hikes, and even a light jog with their owner.

Due to their strong prey drive and inquisitive nature, these dogs should always stay on a leash.

In the past, Norwich Terriers were hard-working dogs. Now, as companions, they still need some form of mental stimulation.

Take them into the show ring and watch how eager to learn the Norwich Terrier is. They will greatly benefit from dog sports and are strong contenders in earth dog trials, flyball, rally, and agility.


Find out the breed-related health conditions of the Norwich Terrier below:

  • Patellar Luxation- The patellar (knee cap) pops out of its original position momentarily before quickly returning back into place.
  • Cataracts- One of the most common causes of vision loss. An opacity appears in the eye after a lens change. This can cause blurry vision and if severe, blindness.
  • Upper Airway Syndrome- A respiratory issue causing symptoms such as noisy breathing and distress. This complex condition could be fatal.
  • Primary Lens Luxation- A genetic condition, common in Terriers. It is painful and eventually leads to blindness. This condition is mostly seen between the ages of 4-8 years.
  • Hip Dysplasia- The most common skeletal condition found in dogs. Poor development of the hip joint will slowly cause deterioration. Pain and inflammation are common symptoms.

Norwich Terrier 4

Related: Do Rough Collie dogs make good pets? Find out here.

Intelligence & Training

Although the Norwich Terrier is recommended for experienced owners, they are highly intelligent and easy to train.

Housebreaking can be a challenge, but with consistency and patience, this canine will soon get the hang of it! For Terriers, respect training should always be taught, closely followed by obedience.

Thankfully, the Norwich Terrier loves to please and will quickly pick up on commands. Lessons should be up to 15 minutes long, otherwise, they could become bored and distractable.

First, practice training indoors before taking it outside as the temptation of prey will be challenging.

Crate training can be beneficial for the Norwich Terrier, especially if they lack their own personal space at home.

It’s one of the best ways to prevent toilet accidents. Terriers are smart but repetition can leave them uninterested. Keep them engaged with food, toys and affection.

Try and curb the Norwich Terriers’ prey drive. Whilst you won’t be able to stop the impulse, you can prevent them from running into a road.

Barking, nipping, and chewing can become habits in adult life. Start training as early as possible to prevent these destructive behaviours.


Norwich Terriers are hypoallergenic, meaning they’re an ideal breed choice for allergy sufferers. As these pooches barely shed fur, the double coat will need brushing once or twice a week.

A bristle brush, slicker brush, and metal comb are all ideal tools to use on the Norwich Terriers coat.

Norwich Terrier 6

Occasionally at least twice a year, this canine will need to be hand stripped. This grooming method removes old, dull hairs to allow new fur to grow through the follicles.

Hand stripping is a technique that must be used for Norwich Terriers competing in the show ring. A stripping knife will be needed although some owners prefer professional help.

Wire-coated dogs like the Norwich Terrier require baths every 4-6 weeks.  Brush through the fur before getting it wet to remove any knots and tangles.

They can be blow-dried or air-dried.  You should never clip or shave the breed as it will cause their coat colour to fade.

Clean the ears weekly to remove any debris from building within the canal. Brush teeth multiple times a week although vets recommend this is done daily.

Finally, don’t forget to file or trim the nails every fortnight, although these may file down naturally.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Jamie! I've always been around dogs and now writing about them is an absolute joy.
Read more about my story here.
Reach me at or connect with me on LinkedIn below.

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