The Norwich Terrier originated as a ratter on farms but moved up in the world to bolt foxes from their dens during hunts. Today he’s an amusing companion who serves double duty by keeping your home and yard free of rats and other vermin.
The Norwich Terrier is one of the smallest of all the terriers, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in personality and drive. This active terrier is a wonderful companion for an active individual or family. His name gives you a clue to his appearance and helps you tell him apart from his sibling, the Norfolk Terrier: remember that the Norwich has prick ears that stand up like a witch’s hat.
The Norwich Terrier was once used for hunting both vermin and foxes, and today he can still be seen hunting in a variety of places. Norwich Terriers are a working breed and are happiest when they have a job to do such as attending obedience class and practicing at home or participating in various dog sports. The Norwich successfully competes in obedience and agility trials, rally, and earthdog trials.
Norwich Terriers are courageous, but they should never be aggressive. The breed is known for its loving and well-balanced nature and thrives on the companionship of the humans it loves.
If you can cope with his high prey drive and tendencies to bark and dig, the Norwich Terrier is a wonderful companion and friend who may surprise you with his versatility and athleticism.
- Norwich Terriers have a high prey drive and should never be trusted off leash when they’re not in a fenced area.
- Norwich Terriers require at least two long walks per day to keep them fit and to help them expel excess energy. They make excellent walking companions.
- Norwich Terriers can be difficult to housetrain and although they’re eager to please, training can be difficult when not properly motivated. Be patient, stick to a regular schedule, reward them with praise and treats when they potty outdoors, and crate them when you can’t supervise them indoors.
- Norwich Terriers can coexist with other dogs and cats, but the breed will generally classify any rabbits, gerbils, or other small rodents as prey. They are not a good match for homes where small pets are allowed to roam free.
- Barking is often an indicator that your Norwich Terrier sees something suspicious, is bored, or hasn’t had his exercise needs met. The breed is not known for being overly yappy but there are exceptions to every rule and every Norwich Terrier will bark if the above occurs.
- The Norwich Terrier, like many terriers, enjoys digging. Bear in mind it’s easier to train a dog to dig in a specific area then it is to break him of his digging habit.
- The Norwich is a rare and therefore expensive breed.
- The Norwich has a rectangular build, a slightly foxy expression, small dark eyes, pointed ears, a wiry coat, and a bright expression. He has a shorter back than the Norfolk Terrier.
- The rough coat of the Norwich ranges from wheaten to dark red or can be black and tan or grizzle, a mixture of black or red hair with white hair. Sometimes a grizzle coat looks bluish gray or iron gray.
The average life span of the Norwich Terrier is 12 to 15 years. Breed health concerns may include muscular cramping, collapsing trachea, elongated soft palate, Norwich upper airway syndrome, epilepsy, lens luxation, glaucoma and cataracts.
The Norwich Terrier functions better as a house dog with access to the yard, but it can also live outdoors during daytime in temperate or warm climates. Its wiry coat requires occasional weekly combing, and stripping of dead hair three or four times a year.
The Norwich is fond of exploring and running, but off-leash forays should be done only in secure areas. It is also recommended that you allow the dog to run short distances and stretch out its legs every day.
The Norwich Terrier will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard.
Norwich Terriers like to be in charge, but when trained from a young age are not difficult to handle. They are incredibly smart, and repetition can bore them, so make sure sessions are mixed up and kept lively to maintain interest. Positive reinforcement and treats are the best method for training this breed, as treating a terrier harshly will only lead to defensive behavior.
When basic obedience has been mastered, Norwich Terriers can graduate on to advanced training, agility or Earthdog activities. Agility courses allow Norwiches to exercise their minds and bodies, and Earthdog allows them to hunt and dig for vermin. They will enjoy the exercise, appreciate the time to use their sharp minds, and will eat up the extra time spent with you.
The Norwich Terrier can get exercise on its own, as long as you have a fenced-in yard. As long as you have the time and space, and ensure that your Norwich gets enough exercise, you’ll avoid destructive behaviors. Your Norwich Terrier will need other exercise as well, like a daily walk. Be sure to keep your dog on a leash, as the Norwich will chase after animals such as rabbits and squirrels. Your backyard should be completely fenced in for the same reason. Your dog enjoys a game of tug of war or chase. Don’t be alarmed if your Norwich is aggressive when it is playing – it’s perfectly natural.
The Norwich Terrier has two coats – a harsh, wiry topcoat and a soft warm undercoat. Ideally, the coat is combed with a steel comb daily to once a week to remove the loose, dead hairs and prevent matting. Proper maintenance of the Norwich coat, like other hard wiry coats, requires “stripping,” or pulling the oldest hairs from the coat . Stripping results both in the coat retaining its proper appearance, and in the health of the dog’s skin and coat.
Ideally, owners hand-strip the coat on a regular basis to achieve what is called a “rolling” coat, where hairs of all lengths are growing in. Maintaining a rolling coat is easier on the dog’s skin and requires shorter grooming sessions. At minimum, the coat should be stripped once in the autumn and once in the spring. Clipping or cutting negatively affects the appearance of the coat’s natural colours and texture.
Children And Other Pets
Norwich Terriers are known for their love of everyone, and this includes children. They do much better in homes with children if they are raised with them. An adult Norwich who’s unfamiliar with children may do best in a home with children who are mature enough to interact with him properly.
Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he’s eating or to try to take the dog’s food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
Norwich Terriers also do very well with other dogs and tend to have no issues with other canine pets. They can adjust to living with cats but they need to be properly socialized to them to do so.
Is the Norwich Terrier the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape. Occasional trimming or stripping needed.
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Moderately Easy Training: The Norwich Terrier is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Fairly Active: It will need regular exercise to maintain its fitness. Trips to the dog park are a great idea.
Good for New Owners: This breed is well suited for those who have little experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.
Did You Know?
The Norfolk Terrier and the Norwich Terrier are closely related, although they do have a few key differences. The one people notice most is that the Norfolk Terrier has ears that fold forward, while the Norwich’s ears are erect.