If you ever need to bring a terrier to a cocktail party, the Norfolk Terrier is the one to invite. She's fearless, fun, and outgoing. Although, like many terriers, she'll also run around the room to explore every nook and cranny, so maybe don't bring a terrier to your cocktail party after all.
They're tiny for working terriers, but Norfolks are all business in the field. Originally bred to hunt vermin and bolt foxes from their dens, today's Norfolk Terrier is a fierce competitor in earthdog events and a cherished canine companion. This is a great dog for folks on the go.
Originally from England, this small-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 11-12 pounds and lives an average of 12-16 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Terrier group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting
Breed Group: Terrier
Average Lifespan: 12-16 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 114
AREA OF ORIGIN England
DATE OF ORIGIN 1800s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION ratting, fox bolting
TODAY'S FUNCTION earthdog trials
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 9-10 Weight: 11-12
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 9-10 Weight: 11-12
OTHER NAME none
Energy level High energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Somewhat affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Friendly
Ease of training Easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A NORFOLK TERRIER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
These are sassy, courageous, and eager dogs. Norfolk Terriers are playful charmers, and they're up for anything. This breed loves people and does well with children, seniors, and really just about anyone who will make a fuss over them. If you have birds, rabbits, or small pets in your home, you probably won't want to add this terrier to the mix as her natural hunting instinct may overtake her.
WHAT IS NORFOLK TERRIER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Norfolk Terriers are among the smallest terrier breeds — but little or not, they are fierce! A working Norfolk Terrier is a dirt devil: they love to chase, hunt, and dig, which also means you shouldn't leave this dog unattended near your backyard begonias unless you appreciate her canine landscaping vision. This is an alert and very active breed who's up for as many walks, games, or socializing opportunities you can throw her way.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A NORFOLK TERRIER?
These are smart, friendly dogs who also know their own minds. They're quick learners and respond well to treats and praise.
Norfolk Terriers excel in rally, obedience, agility, tracking, and earthdog events. That terrier prey drive is no joke, so these dogs are not good candidates for off-leash play outside a well-fenced area. No amount of training will counteract the sight of a bunny who crosses this dog's path.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO NORFOLK TERRIERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Norfolk Terriers have weather resistant double coats; the outer hair is hard, wiry, and straight.
They are seasonal shedders who require occasional grooming, including regular brushing and, if you choose, regularly scheduled hand stripping.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO NORFOLK TERRIERS HAVE?
Norfolk Terriers are a hardy and generally healthy breed. Some may experience slipping kneecaps, heart disease, or eye disease.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE NORFOLK TERRIERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Norfolk Terriers among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as small as a Norfolk Terrier! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS A NORFOLK TERRIER'S BEST DAY?
A Norfolk Terrier's best day involves getting dirty, lots of running, and small furry things to chase. (You may be pretty unhappy if she catches them, though.) It also involves spending as much time with you as possible.
SHOULD I ADOPT A NORFOLK TERRIER?
Norfolks can be a little high maintenance when it comes to grooming; definitely plan for regularly brushing and occasional trips to the groomer for hand-stripping. These adaptable dogs do well in most environments, including small apartments and rural settings. They don't much mind the heat or cold. Their attitude and size also make Norfolk Terriers good travel companions—they'll enjoy accompanying you just about anywhere. This breed is loyal and affectionate toward their chosen humans, and they also do well in households with other non-prey pets (avoid bunnies and other small furry animals). If you're a high energy individual always on the go who wants a furry friend to follow you from place to place, the Norfolk Terrier is a great choice.
Have you decided that a Norfolk Terrier is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.