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Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terrier Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A small, lively and affectionate breed of dog with a wiry coat and perky ears.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.


Norfolk Terriers are considered a Small Dog breed.
Weight:5-6 kg.
Height:25-26 cm (10-10.5 inches).
Length:40-45 cm.


The average lifespan of a Norfolk Terrier is 12-15 years


What type of dog is a Norfolk Terrier, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Norfolk Terriers are known for their lively and outgoing personality. They are friendly, affectionate and loyal dogs that love to be around their owners. They are also intelligent and are quick learners, making them easy to train.

Norfolk Terriers are generally good with children and other pets, but they can be wary of strangers. They are protective of their family and will bark to alert their owners of any potential danger. However, they are not aggressive dogs and will not attack unless they feel threatened.

Norfolk Terriers are active dogs and require daily exercise to keep them healthy and happy. They love to play and enjoy activities such as fetch, tug-of-war and agility training. They are also great hiking companions and enjoy exploring new places.

Despite their small size, Norfolk Terriers are brave and fearless dogs. They were originally bred to hunt small vermin and they still retain their hunting instincts. They have a strong prey drive and will chase after small animals such as squirrels and rabbits.

Overall, Norfolk Terriers are friendly, loyal and active dogs that make great companions for families and individuals who enjoy an active lifestyle. They are intelligent and easy to train, but they do require daily exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.


Norfolk Terriers are considered to be intelligent dogs. They are quick learners and have a good memory, which makes them easy to train. They have good problem-solving abilities and their ability to adapt to new situations. However, like all dogs, their intelligence can vary depending on the individual dog and their training and socialization.


Norfolk Terriers are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques, such as praise, treats and playtime. However, like all dogs, Norfolk Terriers have their own personalities and may require different training methods depending on their individual needs and temperament. Consistency, patience and a firm but gentle approach are key to successfully training a Norfolk Terrier. It is also important to start training early and socialize them with other dogs and people to prevent any behavioral issues.


Norfolk Terriers typically sleep for around 12-14 hours per day, although this can vary depending on their age, activity level and individual needs. Puppies and older dogs may require more sleep, while younger, more active dogs may need less. It’s important to provide your Norfolk Terrier with a comfortable and quiet sleeping area where they can rest undisturbed.


Norfolk Terriers are vocal dogs and can bark quite a bit, especially when they are excited or feel the need to alert their owners of something. However, with proper training and socialization, excessive barking can be reduced. It is important to note that every dog is different and their barking habits can vary.


Norfolk Terriers are not excessive droolers. They may drool occasionally, but it is not a common trait of the breed.


Norfolk Terriers are moderate to heavy lickers. They are affectionate dogs and enjoy showing their love and affection through licking. However, excessive licking can also be a sign of anxiety or stress, so it’s important to observe their behavior and provide them with proper training and socialization.


Norfolk Terriers are not known for their jumping ability. However, they are agile and energetic dogs that can jump up to 2-3 feet high if they are motivated or excited. It is important to note that excessive jumping can be harmful to their joints and should be avoided.


Norfolk Terriers are avid diggers, as they were originally bred for hunting small prey underground. They have a strong instinct to dig and may do so in the yard or garden if they are not given proper exercise and stimulation. However, with proper training and exercise, their digging behavior can be managed. It is important to provide them with plenty of opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation to prevent excessive digging.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Norfolk Terrier the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Norfolk Terrier.


Norfolk Terriers are an active breed and require a moderate amount of exercise. They should have at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, but they will happily take more if offered. This can include walks, runs, playtime in a fenced yard or interactive games such as fetch or tug-of-war. It is important to note that Norfolk Terriers have a high prey drive and should always be kept on a leash or in a securely fenced area when outside to prevent them from chasing after small animals.


Norfolk Terriers are small dogs and do not require a lot of space. They can adapt well to apartment living as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation. However, they do enjoy having a small yard or outdoor space to play and explore. As long as they have access to daily walks and playtime, they can thrive in a variety of living situations.


Norfolk Terriers can be a good dog to get if you live in an apartment, as they are small in size and do not require a lot of space to exercise. However, they are an active breed and will still need daily exercise and mental stimulation. They also have a tendency to bark, so training and socialization will be important to prevent excessive barking. Overall, Norfolk Terriers can make great apartment dogs as long as their needs are met and they receive proper training and attention.

Left Alone

Norfolk Terriers are social dogs and do not tolerate being left alone for long periods of time. They crave attention and companionship from their owners and may become anxious or destructive if left alone for extended periods. It is important to provide them with plenty of exercise, mental stimulation and socialization to prevent boredom and separation anxiety. If you need to leave your Norfolk Terrier alone for a few hours, make sure they have access to toys, food, water and a comfortable place to rest. Consider hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to provide them with some company and exercise while you are away.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, Norfolk Terriers are generally good with kids and families. They are friendly, playful and affectionate, making them great companions for children. However, as with any dog breed, it is important to supervise interactions between children and dogs to ensure that both are safe and comfortable. It is also important to socialize Norfolk Terriers from a young age to help them develop good behavior around children and other pets.

Perfect Fit

Norfolk Terriers are a great fit for households that are active and have a lot of time to spend with their pet. They are energetic and love to play, so a family with children or an active couple would be a great match. They are also good for households with other pets, as they are generally friendly and get along well with other animals. Norfolk Terriers are small dogs and do well in apartments or smaller homes, but they still need daily exercise and playtime. They are also known for their loyalty and affectionate nature, so they make great companions for those who want a loving and devoted pet.

Pros and Cons:

Norfolk Terriers are small, friendly and energetic dogs that make great companions for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to care for them. Here are five pros and cons of owning a Norfolk Terrier:

1. Affectionate and loyal1. Can be stubborn and difficult to train
2. Low-shedding coat2. High energy level requires daily exercise
3. Good with children and other pets3. Prone to separation anxiety
4. Small size makes them suitable for apartment living4. Can be prone to barking
5. Long lifespan of 12-15 years5. May have health issues such as hip dysplasia and allergies.


The cost of a Norfolk Terrier in Australia can vary depending on several factors such as the breeder, location, age and pedigree. On average, a Norfolk Terrier puppy can cost between $2500 to $5000 AUD. It is important to do thorough research and find a reputable breeder to ensure you are getting a healthy and well-bred puppy.

Breed History:

Norfolk Terriers were originally bred in England in the 19th century to hunt small vermin such as rats, mice and foxes. They were also used for hunting rabbits and other small game. The breed was developed by crossing various terrier breeds, including the Irish Terrier, Border Terrier and Cairn Terrier. The Norfolk Terrier was named after the county of Norfolk in England, where it was first developed. Today, Norfolk Terriers are primarily kept as companion dogs, but they still retain their hunting instincts and make excellent watchdogs.

Current Usage

Norfolk Terriers are primarily kept as companion pets, but they were originally bred as working dogs. They were used for hunting small game, such as rats and foxes and were also used as watchdogs on farms.

Today, some Norfolk Terriers still participate in hunting trials and other dog sports, such as agility and obedience competitions. They are also used as therapy dogs and in some cases as service dogs for people with disabilities.

Overall, while their original purpose was as working dogs, Norfolk Terriers are now primarily kept as beloved family pets.

Guard Dogs

Norfolk Terriers are not typically used as guard dogs as they are small in size and have a friendly and sociable nature. They are more suited as companion dogs and are known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners. However, they may bark to alert their owners of any potential danger or intruders, but they are not renowned for their protective instincts.

Where Are They Found?

Norfolk Terriers are most popular in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. They are also popular in other countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Germany.


Norfolk Terriers are adaptable to various climates, but they are best suited to moderate climates. They can tolerate colder temperatures, but they are not well-suited to extremely hot or humid climates. In hot weather, they may need to be kept in air-conditioned environments or provided with cool areas to rest. In colder weather, they may need extra protection such as a coat or sweater when outside. Overall, they are adaptable and can thrive in a variety of climates with proper care and attention.


It is difficult to determine the exact number of Norfolk Terriers in the world as there is no centralized database or registry for all dogs. However, according to the American Kennel Club, Norfolk Terriers are a relatively rare breed with only around 500 new puppies registered each year in the United States. They are also recognized by other kennel clubs around the world, including the United Kingdom Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club. Therefore, it is estimated that there are several thousand Norfolk Terriers worldwide.

Physical Appearance:

Norfolk Terriers are small-sized dogs with a sturdy and compact build. They have a slightly rounded head with a short, strong muzzle and dark, oval-shaped eyes that convey a keen and intelligent expression. Their ears are small and drop down close to their cheeks. They have a short, wiry coat that comes in shades of red, wheaten, black and tan or grizzle. Their legs are short and straight and their tail is docked to a medium length. Norfolk Terriers have a lively and confident personality and they are known for their determination, loyalty and affectionate nature.



Norfolk Terriers can be various shades of red, wheaten, black and tan or grizzle. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes four colors for Norfolk Terriers: red, wheaten, black and tan and grizzle.

Hair/Fur Length:

Norfolk Terriers have a wiry, medium-length coat that is about 1-2 inches long.


Yes, Norfolk Terriers do shed, but their shedding is minimal compared to other breeds. They have a wiry, dense coat that requires regular grooming to maintain its appearance and prevent matting. Brushing their coat once or twice a week will help to remove loose hair and keep their coat healthy. Additionally, regular trimming and stripping of their coat will help to maintain its texture and reduce shedding. Overall, Norfolk Terriers are considered to be a low-shedding breed.


The Norfolk Terrier has a wiry, weather-resistant coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition. They should be brushed at least once a week to remove loose hair and prevent matting. They also need to be hand-stripped twice a year to remove dead hair and maintain the texture of their coat. Hand-stripping involves pulling out dead hair by hand or with a stripping knife and should be done by a professional groomer or experienced owner.

The hair around the ears, paws and underbelly may need to be trimmed occasionally to keep them clean and tidy. However, the Norfolk Terrier’s coat should not be clipped or shaved, as this can damage the texture and color of their coat. Overall, the Norfolk Terrier requires moderate grooming and regular maintenance to keep their coat healthy and looking its best.


Yes, Norfolk Terriers are considered hypoallergenic dogs. They have a wiry coat that sheds minimally and produces less dander than other breeds, making them a good choice for people with allergies. However, it’s important to note that no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic and individual reactions can vary.


Norfolk Terriers have an average running speed of 24-28 kph (15-17 mph).


Norfolk Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health issues faced by Norfolk Terriers include:

  • Hip dysplasia: A genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Patellar luxation: A condition where the kneecap dislocates from its normal position, causing pain and lameness.
  • Mitral valve disease: A heart condition where the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle doesn’t close properly, leading to heart failure.
  • Allergies: Norfolk Terriers can be prone to allergies, which can manifest as skin irritation, itching and ear infections.
  • Dental issues: Small breeds like Norfolk Terriers are prone to dental problems, including tooth decay and gum disease.


Adult Norfolk Terriers have 42 teeth, which is the same as most other breeds of dogs.


Norfolk Terriers have good eyesight, which is important for their hunting instincts. They have keen eyesight that allows them to spot prey from a distance and track it down. However, like all dogs, their eyesight can deteriorate with age or due to certain health conditions.


Norfolk Terriers typically have 8 to 10 nipples, arranged in two rows on their underside.


Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Norfolk Terriers is 2 to 4 puppies. However, litter size can vary and some litters may have fewer or more puppies.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Norfolk Terriers is approximately 63 days, which is the same as most other dog breeds. However, it is important to note that the actual length of gestation can vary slightly from dog to dog and can be influenced by factors such as the size of the litter and the health of the mother. It is important to provide proper care and nutrition to the pregnant dog during this time to ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and her puppies.


Female Norfolk Terriers typically go into heat twice a year, although this can vary slightly from dog to dog. The heat cycle lasts for approximately three weeks and during this time, the female dog may experience changes in behavior and physical symptoms such as swelling and discharge.

Male vs Female:

Male and female Norfolk Terriers have some differences in terms of physical characteristics and temperament. Males tend to be slightly larger and more muscular than females, with a more prominent head and neck. They may also have a more dominant personality and be more territorial. Females, on the other hand, are generally smaller and more refined, with a more feminine appearance. They may be more affectionate and nurturing and tend to be less aggressive than males. However, these differences can vary greatly depending on the individual dog’s personality and upbringing.

Tips and Advice:

If you are considering getting a Norfolk Terrier, here are some tips and advice for caring for them:

  • Exercise: Norfolk Terriers require daily exercise to keep them healthy and happy. They enjoy walks, runs and playing in the yard. A fenced-in yard is ideal for them to run around in, but they can also adapt to apartment living as long as they get enough exercise.
  • Grooming: Norfolk Terriers have a wiry coat that requires regular grooming. They should be brushed at least once a week to prevent matting and tangling. They also need to be professionally groomed every few months to maintain their coat’s texture and shape.
  • Training: Norfolk Terriers are intelligent dogs that are eager to please. They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and enjoy learning new tricks. Early socialization and training are important to prevent behavioral issues.
  • Health: Norfolk Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but they are prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and allergies. Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy diet can help prevent and manage these issues.
  • Diet: Norfolk Terriers require a balanced diet that is appropriate for their age, size and activity level. They should be fed high-quality dog food that is free from fillers and artificial ingredients.
  • Dental care: Norfolk Terriers are prone to dental issues, so it’s important to brush their teeth regularly and provide them with dental chews and toys to help keep their teeth clean.
  • Playtime: Norfolk Terriers are playful dogs that enjoy interactive playtime with their owners. They love to play fetch, tug-of-war and other games that challenge their minds and bodies.
  • Love and attention: Norfolk Terriers are affectionate dogs that thrive on human companionship. They need plenty of love and attention from their owners to be happy and healthy.


Norfolk Terriers are small dogs and typically require 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry dog food per day, depending on their age, size and activity level. However, it’s important to monitor their weight and adjust their food intake accordingly to prevent obesity.

Norfolk Terriers are food-oriented dogs and can become overweight if they are overfed or given too many treats. It’s important to establish a feeding routine and stick to it, as well as limit treats and table scraps. Providing them with appropriate exercise and mental stimulation can also help prevent them from becoming overly focused on food.


Norfolk Terriers are small, spunky dogs that were originally bred for hunting small rodents. Here are three interesting facts about this breed:

  1. They have a unique, wiry coat that requires minimal grooming. Despite their shaggy appearance, their coat is actually quite easy to maintain and only needs to be brushed once a week.
  2. Norfolk Terriers are known for their feisty personalities and fearless nature. They may be small, but they have a big attitude and are not afraid to stand up to larger dogs.
  3. This breed is highly intelligent and trainable, making them great candidates for obedience training and agility competitions. They are also very loyal and make excellent family pets.


When it comes to naming these adorable pups, it’s important to choose a name that reflects their lively and spirited personality. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for a Norfolk Terrier:

1. Charlie6. Rocky11. Oliver
2. Max7. Lucy12. Ruby
3. Daisy8. Tucker13. Jack
4. Bella9. Molly14. Sadie
5. Cooper10. Winston15. Finn


Over the years, several Norfolk Terriers have gained fame for their appearances in movies, incredible feats or for being owned by famous people. Here are some of the most famous Norfolk Terriers of all time:

  • Asta – Perhaps the most famous Norfolk Terrier of all time, Asta appeared in several movies in the 1930s and 1940s, including “The Thin Man” series.
  • Rufus – In 2006, Rufus became the first Norfolk Terrier to win Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
  • Sprout – In 2015, Sprout won Best in Show at the National Dog Show, becoming the second Norfolk Terrier to achieve this honor.
  • Max – Max, owned by the late Robin Williams, was a beloved Norfolk Terrier who often accompanied the actor on movie sets and public appearances.
  • Tucker – Tucker, owned by former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, was a loyal and beloved companion who often appeared in photos with the President and his family.
  • Lucy – Lucy, owned by actress Glenn Close, has appeared in several movies and TV shows, including “101 Dalmatians” and “The Shield.”
  • Skipper – Skipper, owned by actress Doris Day, was a beloved companion who often appeared with Day in public appearances and interviews.

These famous Norfolk Terriers have captured the hearts of people around the world and have helped to make the breed even more popular.


The Norfolk Terrier is a small breed of dog that belongs to the Terrier group. They are known for their compact size, sturdy build and wiry, weather-resistant coat. Norfolk Terriers are intelligent, energetic and affectionate dogs that make great companions for families and individuals alike. They are also renowned for their independent nature and can be stubborn at times.

The breed originated in England in the 19th century, where they were used for hunting small game such as rats and foxes. Over time, they became popular as companion dogs due to their friendly and loyal nature.

Norfolk Terriers have playful and outgoing personalities. They are great with children and other pets, making them an ideal family pet. They are also highly trainable and excel in obedience and agility competitions.

Overall, the Norfolk Terrier is a great choice for anyone looking for a small, energetic and affectionate companion. They are loyal, intelligent and make great pets for families and individuals alike.