Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terrier
  • Category SizeSmall
  • SheddingLittle
  • Grooming RequirementsOnce a week
  • Alone1 to 3 hours
  • Other PetsMedium
  • VocalNot too noisy
  • AllergiesNo
  • Suitability As GuardLow
  • Dog Group Kennel ClubTerrier


The Norfolk Terrier is one of the smallest terriers around today. They have a wiry, hard, straight, weatherproof coat that comes in all shades of red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle. Ideally these terriers should measure 25cm at the withers and they weigh about 4-5kg.


The Norfolk Terrier dog breed has been around for over 100 years. The ancestors of this little dog may have included the Border Terrier and its ancestors, the Cairn Terrier and a red terrier from Ireland. During the late 1800s they were popular with the students at Cambridge University and became their mascot. This dog was originally known as the Norwich Terrier. Some of these dogs had erect pointed ears and others had ears that dropped down close to the head. In 1965 the drop-earred terrier was renamed the Norfolk Terrier.


Norfolk Terriers are intelligent, lively and friendly little dogs that can be a bit wilful at times. They can get on well with older children and many active elderly people seem to favour this breed. They should be socialised from an early age, particularly with cats, as they will chase them given half a chance. They love to bark and dig and so need these instincts to be channelled appropriately.


Like many small breeds, they can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas), but generally the Norfolk Terrier is a hardy breed.


This little terrier will adapt to life in the city but does prefer the country life. They love the outdoors and like nothing better than to be allowed to dig for hours – a dog-digging pit in the garden would be most appreciated! An adult will require about an hour's exercise a day.


Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.


The hard, wiry coat is relatively easy to keep in good condition with a good brush through once or twice a week. The coat will also need to be hand plucked twice a year. A professional groomer or the breeder will be able to give advice on this.