Norwich Terriers are a spunky little purebred pup named after the town in England where the breed originated. These diminutive dogs typically get no bigger than 10 inches tall and weigh no more than 12 pounds. But don’t let their size fool you. Norwich Terriers are incredibly hard-working little dogs that are also playful and full of energy.
12 – 15 years
Black and tan, grizzle, red, wheaten
Families with children, playful families, apartment living
Affectionate, alert, curious, fearless, loyal, protective
Although they are very playful and active dogs, they are also highly affectionate and love to snuggle. One of the best descriptors for this dog is fearless. They aren’t afraid to take risks and can also be very alert. They will bark to alert you of anything unusual, so they make great watchdogs. However, they aren’t aggressive and aren’t necessarily considered to be protective.
Norwich Terriers are typically found in four different colorings. Black and tan is the most common coloring, but they can also be found in red, wheaten, and grizzle, which is a mixture of red and wheaten. These dogs are also popular show dogs due to their overall appearance and ability to be somewhat sporty since they played a role as hunting dogs in the past. If this sounds like a dog you want to add to your family, continue reading to learn everything you need to know.
Norwich Terrier Characteristics
Norwich Terrier Puppies
Even though they are small dogs, Norwich Terriers are a big commitment. With their spunky, fearless, and sometimes stubborn personalities, you have to be willing to devote time to training and caring for them properly. Even though they make good apartment dogs, their playfulness and sometimes high energy levels mean that they don’t need to be cooped up inside all day. You will need to take them to the park or for a walk at least once a day.
If you’re okay with that, then the next thing you need to know is where to buy one of these adorable puppies from. If you want a healthy Norwich Terrier puppy, then your best bet is to go to a reputable breeder. These are purebred dogs which means they are more susceptible to genetic conditions. A responsible breeder should be able to tell you the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Norwich Terrier
The first thing you need to know about Norwich Terriers is that they have a pack mentality. That means that they view you and other members of your family as part of their pack, and they truly see you as a member of their team. This goes back to their history of hunting foxes among a group of other Norwich Terriers. But, it also means that these dogs make excellent companions and love a family atmosphere.
They also make great watch dogs due to their alertness and ability to sense when something is out of the ordinary. You may feel that your Norwich Terrier barks at everything, so if this is going to be a problem you will need to train them to stop barking at your command.
Although they are very alert, they aren’t typically aggressive and are unlikely to retaliate against an intruder or stranger. Their high levels of sociability mean that they aren’t necessarily protective watchdogs. They don’t necessarily see new people as a threat, instead seeing them as someone else who can provide them with love and affection and who they can add to their pack.
Norwich Terriers are considered to be very happy-go-lucky pups, even into old age. They love to play and be mentally stimulated, whether that be playing fetch or just running around in the yard. Their small size means that they can be perfectly happy in an apartment, as long as you provide them with the stimulation that they need.
Even though they are playful dogs that can be energetic at times, they do know how to relax as well. Their loving and affectionate temperament means that they are perfectly content to snuggle on the couch with you while you watch T.V. But, they do like constant companionship and don’t like being separated from their owners for long periods of time. If you do have to leave them, make sure they have toys to keep them entertained.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
Norwich Terriers are great family dogs, especially with families that have kids. The more people that are there to be in their pack and to provide them with love and affection, the happier they tend to be. And what’s great about them is that due to their small size, kids don’t find them intimidating. Since they don’t have aggressive tendencies, Norwich Terriers also aren’t likely to lash out at your kids in the event that playing gets a little too rough.
But, that doesn’t mean that it is okay to leave children unsupervised with these dogs. It’s always a good idea to supervise your children around any animal. You should also teach your children how to treat your dog and behave around it in order to prevent any accidents from happening.
As long as your kids and your Norwich Terrier know how to behave around each other, they are sure to enjoy each other’s company. Kids also give your dog someone else that they can play with to stay entertained. This is especially handy if you have a busy schedule or just need to take a break.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
Norwich Terriers truly thrive if they are the only dog or if they are in the company of other Norwich Terriers. If they are the only dog, they can receive all of the attention and won’t have to share it with anyone. But, they can also get along well with other Norwich Terriers due to their pack mentality. Two Norwich Terriers in your household are sure to be playing together in no time.
That doesn’t mean that they can’t get along with other dog breeds as well. However, it is important to properly socialize your Norwich Terrier with other dogs and not try to force a relationship before the dogs are ready. Since Norwich Terriers aren’t particularly aggressive, they are fearless and will stand their ground if needed. But it is important to remember that they are small dogs, so you may need to watch them closely around larger dogs until they warm up to each other.
If you have small rodent-like pets, such as hamsters or pet mice, you will need to watch your Norwich Terrier closely around them. Remember that these dogs were bred to hunt rats, so they may see your pets as prey instead of as a pet. They may try to stalk or catch small animals, especially if they are let out of their cage.
Things to Know When Owning a Norwich Terrier:
Now that you know what to expect from Norwich Terriers personality-wise, here’s everything you need to know about how to care for them.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Since Norwich Terriers are purebred dogs and you want them to stay as healthy as possible, it is important that you feed them high-quality dog food. Make sure that any food that you feed your dog is high in protein and low in fat, as this will help to keep their muscles lean and in good shape.
An adult Norwich Terrier should eat between ½ cup and 1 cup of food per day. It’s best to divide that amount of food up over two meals, but make sure that you don’t leave any unfinished food out. Small dogs such as Norwich Terriers are very prone to weight gain, so you need to monitor how much food they are eating and not allow them to free-feed.
It’s also worth noting that for Norwich Terrier puppies, it is important to feed them puppy food that has smaller kibbles. If adult Norwich Terriers are small, you can imagine how small a puppy would be. Their small mouths may not be able to handle large kibble. And, they will only need between ¼ and ½ cups of food per day, just depending on the age of the puppy.
Norwich Terriers are very active dogs, but it’s important that you don’t overwork them especially because sometimes they want to play constantly. Usually, about 30 to 40 minutes of exercise per day is plenty, divided up into two 15 to 20-minute increments. This is especially true if you live in an apartment in which your dog doesn’t have as much room to run around.
It really doesn’t matter what type of exercise you give your dog during exercise and playtime. It could be something as simple as a 15-minute walk, or a more strenuous game of fetch. These dogs also make jogging companions and will enjoy getting to go to a dog park to play with other dogs.
No matter what type of exercise you give your dog, make sure that he or she does not become too tired. Look for signs of exhaustion, such as panting and wanting to rest, and take your dog back home. You don’t want to go for a walk or jog that is longer than 20 minutes, as this can be too much for your Norwich Terrier and can tire him out too much.
Norwich Terriers aren’t the easiest dogs to train, nor are they the most difficult. They are highly intelligent, so it’s not that training is difficult for them. Rather, their stubbornness can sometimes result in an unwillingness to participate in or respond to training. You’re likely to have much better success if you’ve trained other dogs before. But if not and you are struggling with training your Norwich Terrier, you may want to seek the help of a professional trainer.
One thing that is important to remember is that since these dogs have a pack mentality, it helps if you establish yourself as the leader of the pack. To do this, set rules for your dog and be consistent with enforcing them. Be firm in your enforcement, but be sure to use positive reinforcement to reward your dog with praise and treats for following the rules. This will help your dog realize that you’re in charge and it will make training easier.
Something else that’s worth mentioning about small dog breeds is that they are notoriously hard to house train. It’s very easy for them to go and hide somewhere inside the house to use the bathroom. Sticking to a schedule and crate-training your dog can help, along with positive reinforcement. But, you still need to be patient and be prepared for housebreaking to take a while. Do not yell at or scold your dog for going in the house, as this likely won’t help the problem and may make your dog scared to go at all.
Norwich Terriers are moderate-shedding dogs with a wiry, double cost. Because their fur tends to be thicker, they will need the occasional trim or even a complete strip of the top coat of fur, especially if they are going to be show dogs. In general, though, you should brush your Norwich Terrier at least a couple of times a week to help remove some of the hair before it sheds. Brushing on a regular basis can also help keep your dog’s coat in the best shape possible and keep it from getting tangled.
If you brush your dog’s coat to help remove dirt, you should only have to bathe your dog about once a month. Be sure to use dog shampoo when bathing your dog, as human shampoos and other types of soap can be too harsh or can dry out your dog’s skin.
Finally, you’ll want to clean your dog’s teeth and ears and trim their nails. Brush the teeth at least once or twice a week to help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Check your dog’s ears for wax buildup about once a week and clean the ears if necessary. Ask your vet how to do this. Clip your dog’s nails on an as-needed basis to prevent accidental scratches. Your vet can show you how to do this as well.
Health and Conditions 🏥
Norwich Terriers have an average lifespan of about 12-15 years, which is normal for dogs of their size. But, there are a few health conditions that you should look out for so that you can seek treatment in order to help your dog live a long and happy life.
One condition that you should look out for in all dogs regardless of the breed is hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that occurs most often in puppyhood. It causes the hip joint to not grow and function correctly, which can affect your dog’s use of his or her legs, especially as they get older.
Other conditions that can affect Norwich Terriers are upper airway syndrome, which is more common in flat-faced dogs, and degenerative myelopathy which occurs mostly in older dogs. Minor conditions to look out for are dental issues, such as plaque and tartar buildup. That’s why brushing your Norwich Terrier’s teeth is so important. And make sure that you don’t overfeed them, which can lead to obesity.
Male vs Female
There is very little difference between male and female Norwich Terriers in terms of size and personality. The biggest difference between the two is that males are more likely to try to mark their territory, making house training more difficult especially if you have other pets. Neutering your male Norwich Terrier can help to decrease the instances of marking as well as reduce other unwanted behaviors. Even if you get a female Norwich Terrier, it is a good idea to spay her, especially if you have other male dogs in your household.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Norwich Terrier
1. Their Ears Are Distinguishing Features
The pointed ears of the Norwich Terrier can help distinguish them from the look-alike Norfolk Terrier. In fact, the two used to be considered the same breed.
2. They Were Bred To Be “Ratters”
As with most terriers in England, the Norwich Terrier was originally bred to help control the rodent population. These dogs were also used in packs to hunt foxes.
3. They Are Sometimes Called Trumpington Terriers
This name comes from the fact that a group of college students in Cambridge, England acquired some of these dogs from a stable on Trumpington Street. The dogs were then used to catch rats in their dorm rooms.
Norwich Terriers aren’t the most popular dog breed and they are expensive as a result. But if you’re considering adding one of the lovable and playful little dogs to your family, they are well worth the cost. This dog breed gets along well with all members of your family, and he or she will quickly form a bond. You also don’t have to worry about this dog around your children. Norwich Terriers don’t take up much space either, so they are good pets to have if you live in an apartment and need someone to keep you company. As long as you have the time and energy to dedicate to caring for a Norwich Terrier, you won’t regret your decision of adding one to your family.
Related Read: Norfolk Terrier
Featured Image Credit: Natalia Fedosova, Shutterstock