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The Sprightly Norwich Terrier Dog Breed: Beyond the Brush & Beyond Belief
Home Dog Breed The Sprightly Norwich Terrier Dog Breed

The Sprightly Norwich Terrier Dog Breed

by CareTips Dog
The Sprightly Norwich Terrier Dog Breed

The Norwich Terrier dog breed is a perky, generally easy to train small purebred terrier originating in eastern England with two coat varieties – prick ears and a wiry double coat.

Introduction The Norwich Terrier Dog Breed

The Norwich Terrier hails from eastern England, developed in the late 19th century to hunt vermin on farms. They descend from small terriers crossed with Irish Terriers and prick-eared Trumpington Terriers. These compact dogs stand 10 inches tall and weigh 11-12 pounds.

Adaptability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Apartment Living: ⭐⭐⭐
Novice Owners: ⭐⭐⭐
Sensitivity: ⭐⭐
Alone Time: ⭐⭐⭐
Cold Weather: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hot Weather: ⭐⭐

Affection: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Kid Friendly: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dog Friendly: ⭐⭐⭐
Stranger Friendly: ⭐⭐⭐

Grooming: ⭐

Shedding: ⭐
Drooling: ⭐
General Health: ⭐⭐⭐
Weight Gain: ⭐

Trainability: ⭐⭐⭐

Ease to Train: ⭐⭐⭐
Intelligence: ⭐⭐⭐
Mouthiness: ⭐⭐
Prey Drive: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Barking Tendencies: ⭐⭐⭐
Wanderlust: ⭐⭐

Energy Level: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Intensity: ⭐⭐⭐
Exercise Needs: ⭐⭐⭐
Playfulness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • Appearance: Compact, short-legged, prick ears, double wiry coat in red, wheaten, black/tan, or grizzle.
  • Characteristics: Quick, energetic, playful, affectionate, loyal to family. Instinctual diggers and eager ratter/vermin hunters with high prey drive.
  • Popularity: 73rd Most Popular Breed
  • Temperament: Lively, devoted, trainable but independent minded at times. Plucky dogs that belay their small size. Better with older respectful kids. Intolerant of mishandling.
  • Lifespan: 13-15 years
  • Coat Colors: Red, wheaten, black/tan, grizzle
  • Origins: Developed in eastern England by breeding small terrier type dogs and Irish Terriers to hunt rodents on farms. The prick-eared variety became favored. Recognized as the Norwich Terrier in 1964 when separated from the drop-eared Norfolk Terrier.

Caring for a Norwich Terrier


  • High quality commercial dog food for small active breeds. 2/3 cup daily.
  • Avoid overfeeding as weight gain strains joints.
  • Limit human food treats for dental health.


  • Safely fenced yard for off-leash activity. Their curiosity and prey drive make recall training challenging.
  • puzzles and chew toys prevent separation anxiety and boredom chewing when alone. Crate training beneficial.
  • Access to climate control recommended – sensitive to extreme cold and heat.


Norwich Terriers thrive on brisk daily walks, agility training, earthdog trials testing their bred instincts to hunt rodents underground. Puzzle toys also engage their intelligence.


Daily brushing required to minimize shedding and prevent painful mats in their dense wiry double coat. Hand stripping or clipping every few months. Nail trims, ear cleaning, teeth brushing important.

Preparing for a Norwich Terrier

  • Active households best suit these lively dogs – expect jogging, hiking, fetch games, training classes.
  • Cat-safe Norwiches can coexist with felines raised together. Caution with small pets due to high prey drive.
  • Puppy-proof by securing household toxins, wires. Supply chew toys to divert from destructive chewing habit when bored.
  • Patella luxation, lens luxation eye issues, epilepsy possible – buy from health tested parents.
  • Need annual vet visits, vaccines, monthly flea/tick and heartworm prevention.

Naming Your Norwich Terrier

Perky names like Palmer, Piper, Poppy, Parker, Finn showcase the upbeat Norwich disposition.

Finding a Norwich Terrier

  • Gaining popularity worldwide
  • $1,000 to $1,500 USD
  • Rescue Groups: Norwich and Norfolk Terrier Rescue

Before Adoption:

  • Temperament tests important due to sensitivity towards handling. Ensure sociable nature.
  • Parents should have OFA patella evaluation and CERF eye clearance.
  • Proper socialization and training imperative for this headstrong breed.

How to stop Norwich Terrier biting?

Consistent correction, distraction onto chew toys, and timeouts for overly excited nips. Avoid play biting.

How to socialize/train Norwiches?

Positive reinforcement, motivation inspiring methods from a young age ensure a friendly, biddable companion.

How long should Norwiches see the vet?

Annual visits up to age 7, then biannual exams and diagnostics to catch aging issues early.

Are Norwich Terriers good family dogs?

Yes, when raised with children and proper handling expectations are set around their lower tolerance for mishandling relative to their size.

Are Norwich dogs good with kids?

Older respectful kids yes with supervision and training not to mishandle them which can provoke defensive bites. Not ideal for toddlers.

Are Norwiches good with other pets?

Raised together yes, but as terriers they cannot be trusted off leash with smaller pets due to high prey drive triggering their chase reflex.

Are Norwich Terriers smart?

Yes, they rank high among small breeds for trainability and problem solving skills but have an independent streak requiring motivation.

Norwich Temperament?

Quick, plucky, energetic ratting terriers yet deeply devoted to “their” people while wary of strangers until introduced.

How many Norwich types?

Two – drop-eared Norfolk Terriers and prick-eared Norwich Terriers though they share genetics and were interbred for decades.

Norwich colors?

All shades of red, wheaten, brown, grizzle, blonde and black allowed. Occasionally seen with white markings or black masks.

Norwich Terrier lifespan?

13-15 years is average which is good for small breeds. Keeping fit and proper vet care enables longevity.

Do Norwiches cause allergies?

No dog is hypoallergenic though their wiry coats shed less dander than many breeds.

Are Norwich Terriers ferocious?

Not towards their own families but some can be feisty with strangers if not properly socialized. Chronic handling sensitivity risks defensive bites if mishandled or provoked.

Do Norwich Terriers have hair loss issues?

No breed predisposition to alopecia though some seasonal shedding of the wiry topcoat is expected twice yearly during coat blown cycles.

By following our website, you can find the perfect dog breeds for you and provide them with the best possible dog care. Remember that owning a dog is a lifelong commitment that requires time, money, and patience. But it is also a rewarding experience that will bring you joy and companionship. All information in Dog care tips.

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