Norfolk Terrier

Breed History

Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terrier is a small size dog that is a member of the Terrier Family. Short working dog with a strong prey drive they have been in use to hunt small prey for a long time.

You will find them with wired hair and drop ears which is different than a lot of other Terriers who have straight ears. Although small they are solid in structure with a great temperament as a family pet.

Most of their early development has documentation in the 19th century. Back in these times they were known as Cantab Terrier, Trumpington Terrier, or Jones Terriers.

 Still at a time where most of the Terriers were crossbreeding and known as the same breed. It took a long time before they would become their own breed in the 20th century, or 1900’s.

In 1960’s and 1970’s they would separate from the Norwich Terrier for good and become their own breed with the Canadian Kennel Club and American Kennel Club.

These two breeds would be the closest links amongst other Terriers and there is little that is different other than their ears and one being bigger than the other.

Fierce hunters of smaller rodents like vermin and they would play a great role in helping the farming in England. Killing upwards of hundreds of rats when ratting farmland in the field.

Additionally, they would chase foxes away and could inflict damage when inside of a pack. Speed and agility makes them excellent hunters of animals of smaller sizes because bigger dogs aren’t fast enough.


In 1979, they would receive recognition as a separate breed, and they would already have registration under a different name. Their breed isn’t new, but the name is different from previous times.

Top 125 in registration they are not the most popular in America taking a backseat to some of the other massively popular breeds. After four decades it is likely they have reached their popularity in the states.

Terrier Group is the category every major kennel club would place them in. Here are the major kennel clubs and their breed standards for the Norfolk Terrier.


Male Height: 9-10 pounds

Female Height: 8-9 pounds

Male Weight: 11-12 pounds

Female Weight: 10-11 pounds

Litter Size

3 puppies are the average litter size of a Norfolk Terrier. Smaller dogs are known to have smaller litters. Nonetheless, breeders should be aware of how many puppies to expect. No none health issues for the mother when delivering and everything can happen without human interference.


  • Red
  • Red Wheaten
  • Grizzle
  • Black and Tan
  • Black Markings


$1,000-$3,000 is the price of a Norfolk Terrier. Prices vary depending on location, currency, supply, demand, and other issues that can change the price.

With papers you can expect to pay a higher price for a higher quality of dog. Bloodline will be traced from their homeland kennel club in England until they reach the kennel club in control of your region.

Without papers you can expect to pay around a few hundred. Disqualification from the process of getting registration will most likely be because of crossbreeding with dogs outside of the breed standard.


Take your dog on a long run or walk before you start the grooming session. Calming the mind and relaxing the body physically the dog will be receptive to a nice bath and standstill during brushing and combing.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brush the coat at least once per week and remember to use hand stripping as often as possible. Moderate shedding happens twice per year so getting a different brush will help during this season to remove excess hair.

Comb the coat at least once per week and you need a tool that can reach the skin on a double coat. Again, when they are shedding you want to get a tool that can assist with removing hair.

Bathe the dog after a long exercise session to increase the chances of good behavior. Using a leash will help you in communicating that you want them to stand or sit still during the process.

Cleaning the ears once per week is something you should commit to doing. Infections will start to develop, and the dog will shake their heads, scratching excessive, and start to have an odor in the area.

Trimming the nails should happen during exercise, which is something we recommend to everyone. If you don’t exercise, which we don’t recommend, use clippers to cut the nails.

Professional is not a strong recommendation, but some owners should consider it.

Life Span

12-14 years is the average lifespan for a Norfolk Terrier. That’s a long time for any dog to live and owners should be aware of the time commitment they are looking at when choosing this breed. Excellent dog adoption option due to their long lifespan.

Health Issues

Patellar Luxation – kneecaps are a big issue for the little guys and should have an examination before 24 months old. Unless you notice the dog is limping or skipping while running or walking showing signs of discomfort.

Hip Dysplasia – joint in the hips where the leg bone sits sometimes are not properly aligning with each other. Dogs will show a disinterest in exercising and often will stop. Take that opportunity to visit the vet to get an examination. If nothing is wrong with the dog get a check up around 24 months of age.

Eye Examination – cherry eye, cataracts, and glaucoma are all problems that can affect your Norfolk Terrier at some point. Examinations will assist in finding out early and getting early treatment. Partial or complete blindness can be on the more serious side of these conditions.

Breed Group

Proud member of the Terrier Group and one of the smallest members of the group. These dogs have been instrumental in helping farmers get rid of rodent problems and a pack of them can kill by the hundreds.

Since they don’t need them to kill rats or chase foxes anymore, they are now more of a pet than anything else. True nature of this dog should always be kept in mind for all owners who own them.

Here are some of the dogs in the Terrier Group

Exercise Needs

Norfolk Terrier needs a lot of exercise to meet fulfilment. Many people will make up lies and say this dog doesn’t need any exercise or such a small amount that it doesn’t make a difference.

Knowing how much exercise is one of the most important jobs you will have as a dog owner. Although this amount will always change as the dog gets older, they will always need something every day.

Best indication of a dog that isn’t getting enough exercise is undesirable behavior. Whenever a dog is digging, barking, jumping, too much excitement, biting, nipping and other behaviors you wish they would stop they all have one thing in common.

Boredom! You have a bored dog on your hands, and you need to change the dynamics of the relationship. On the other hand, when the dog is getting enough exercise everything looks different.

Backyard and house time is a time to rest and relax preparing for the next session. No over excitement because the dog gets to burn energy and has an outlet once or twice per day.

Here is a recommendation we give our clients to start

Morning: Hour (run, walk or treadmill)

Evening: 30 mins (run, walk or treadmill)

Younger dogs need the most exercise and this includes two sessions a day and many runs. If you can make a real effort to get them out on runs, we prefer a bike, you will notice many benefits right away.

Adult dogs, around 3 years or older, will start showing a decline in energy levels. Resulting in one session days mostly and a balance of runs and walks. You’ll know which one you will need to give them.

Senior dogs need a simple walk and no runs for the most part.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Every house should be built on a solid foundation and no foundation is more solid than exercising every single day. Removing excess energy is the fastest way to get your dog under control. And the best part is the more they misbehave the more you can increase the exercise load. Dogs will quickly stop but here is how you should look at it. Whenever the dog is eating all the trash or eating the fence start taking them on long runs on the bike and watch how bad behaviors start to melt away.

Commands are a great way to have a strong control over the dog whenever they are on of off leash. Practice makes perfect and giving the dog a lot of repetition is the best way to teach the dog. Treats, toys, and life rewards can all come into play to assist you. Repeatedly and after they master different tasks continue to use them throughout their life.

Socialization is best when the dog get exercise prior to an event but let’s use some examples. Before vet visits, parks, dog parks, or car rides take them on an hour walk, or run if they have a lot of energy, and see the difference and the experience. Keep this as one of your most used techniques for good behavior.

Correct the dog verbally, on or off leash while focusing on your timing and follow through. Timing should be the same as preventing the entire behavior from happening altogether. Follow through, which is something dogs do to each other, is making the dog sit or lay after you correct them with the right timing.

Are Norfolk Terriers Easy to Train?

Yes and no. Any dog can be hard to train, and any dog can be easy to train everything depends on the dog and who is the owner. If you don’t exercise your dog it is always going to be harder for you to train them than somebody else who does.

Applying the rules consistently without ever letting anything slide will create a strict environment while getting most of the training done. Once the dog is on autopilot and listening to everything exactly how you want you will naturally start to scale back and relax a lot of things you wanted to them to do while younger.

Additional Resources