Norwich Terrier – Everything About Famous Small Terrier

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
The Norwich Terrier is a small size dog with a big personality. Read on to see what separates this short terrier from other dogs in the terrier group.
Dog Breed Group:
Terrier Dogs
Up to 10 inches tall at the shoulder
Up to 12 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 14 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Norwich Terrier is a curious and alert small-size dog, named for their hometown in England. They are just 10 inches small, but that doesn’t stop them from living the saying ‘a big god in a small package.’

They are plucky dogs who aren’t afraid to stand up for themself because they are completely oblivious to the fact they are small in size.

The Norwich Terrier is one of the smallest working terriers. This breed is up to 10 inches in the shoulder and weighing about 12 pounds.

They were originally bred as fearless ratters, and they are distinguished from their doggy doppelganger, the Norfolk Terrier, by their erect, pointed ears.

Their personality is fearless, and they have that happy-go-lucky attitude that sometimes may even be bossy a bit. They would be happy to spend time outdoors playing and then watching your favorite TV show with you.

Short and positive training sessions work best with this unusual and intelligent breed, that sometimes may act as stubborn.

Quick Facts

Real name: Norwich Terrier
Origin: United Kingdom
Breed type: Terrier Group
Weight: 11.0–12.1 lb, (5.0–5.5 kg)
Height: 9.4–10.0 in (24–25.5 cm)
Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
Litter Size: 1-3 puppies
Color: Red, Black and Tan, Wheaten, Grizzle
Coat: Double Coat (Hard wiry & soft under coat)

Norwich Terrier History

The Norwich Terries is a type of terriers initially bred to control Britain’s rodent population. They were also used in packs on foxhunts and bred to be more sociable than the usual strong-minded and independent terrierS.

The Norwich Terrier is famously associated with Cambridge University, where, in the 1870s and ’80s, Norwich ownership became a trend among undergraduates.

The students hold the dogs as pets to deal with dorm-roommates, and soon afterward, the breed became known as Trumpington Terriers. One of these dogs, named Rags, caner into the possession of a stableyard owner in the town of Norwich.

There, in Norwich’s town, Rags was bred, and he is considered to be the granddaddy of today’s Norwich. In 1914, this breed came to the States for the first time, to Philadelphia to be precise.

In the 1930s, the breed was recognized by the English and American kennel clubs, and passionate American breeders referred to these charming little dogs as Jones Terriers.

Norwich and Norfolk’s terries are closely related, and ACK recognized them as a separate breed in 1979.

Norwich Terrier Physical Appearance

The Norwich Terrier is a small-size dog with pointed ears, who has a slightly foxy expression.

This breed is also one of the smallest working terriers. They come in various colors, including red, tan, grizzle, black and tan, and wheaten. The Norwich terrier has a good bone structure and an almost waterproof coat.

Height almost never exceeds 10 inches at the withers, and weight is usually around 12 pounds, never beyond that.

Small size dogs can be prone to obesity, so make sure that your feed your Norwich terrier properly by serving him high-quality food and proper food amount.

Being fit should be imperative with this breed. The Norwich terrier has a bit of foxy expression, with small and dark eyes that are shaped with black rims. Ears are medium size and always erect.

The body is moderately short, deep, and compact, while the tail is medium docked. Hindquarters are strong, muscular, and broad, while the coat is hard, wity, and straight. In the official show, white marks are not welcome.

Norwich Terrier Personality

These small and energetic dogs are intelligent and affectionate. They are also assertive, but they are not prone to being aggressive or shy.

They are energetic and they love being active. Moreover, they thrive in an active life. Small dogs tend to be hungry all the time, but again don’t let their cuteness and puppy eyes force you to feed them more than needed because weight loss will be a long and turbulent process.

They have a mind of their own, but they are also eager to please, and they are also 100% Terrier. They should be inside the home and never left alone to spend the night in the backyard or in a kennel setting because they thrive when surrounded by their family members, surrounded with people, or other pets.

They will bark, but not without a reason. However, they will bark when a stranger approaches.

Once they realize that they or their family members aren’t in any danger, they can become immediate friends.

These small dogs are great with children, and if introduced to other pets as puppies, they can share the living space. Otherwise they could see rodent pets as prey.

Norwich Terrier Training

Training your Norwich is a mandatory life phase that comes with being the responsible pet owner.

Only well-trained and early socialized dogs are really good-behaved dogs. Luckily, Norwich is eager to please, and they love learning new tricks, so training this small dog should be easy and fun.

Start training your Norwich as soon as he steps over your doorstep.

As soon as the vaccination period is over, expose your Norwich to new people, new smells, new people, and new places.

This way, your Norwich will be fine with life changes, and he will be more open to unknown situations, such as the veterinarian office and groomers studio.

Every dog should know basic commands, and treats on hand will serve perfectly to master training skills.

If you feel that you need extra help, think about hiring a professional trainer and taking some puppy classes.

Since these dogs are active and love spending time outdoor, you can think about dog’s sports, such as agility.

Norwich Terrier Exercise

Norwich is known for keeping their hunting instincts and playful temperament. They are energetic and playful, and they should be in fit condition.

They require ample exercise to complement their physical and mental health. Since they have strong hunting instincts, they should be kept on a leash all the time or let out exclusively in a securely fenced area.

Norwich Terrier Grooming

Small size dog doesn’t mean less care. Regular grooming is a part of every dog’s routine mandatory practice for good health. This breed comes with a double coat with a harsh waterproof outer coat and a soft undercoat that insulates perfectly the body from cold and heat.

Hand-stripping is an excellent option for removing old outer hairs and excess undercoat so that new hair can grow in. If you take care of Norwich’s coat properly, he will have a shiny and healthy coat, next to rich colors.

Clipping or scissoring cuts the colored tips off, the natural color will fade, and the texture will eventually soften. This small size dog will require regular grooming.

So, better learn how to hand-strip. Your veterinarian or a groomer can show you how to do it safely and how often to do it.

The rest is regular maintenance: keep the dog’s nails short, check regularly gums, ears and eyes for any sign of infection.

Provide enough healthy food and treats that promote teeth health. Learn which human foods are safe for dogs, and when should be avoided. Learn well what your Norwich Terrier can eat.

Norwich Terrier Health

Norwich Terriers are a healthy breed, and responsible breeder will always screen puppies for health conditions, such as:

Some will even test dogs on respiratory conditions. They are prone to developing tartar and plaque, so dental care should be imperative.

As you know already, you should take your Norwich to the veterinarian as soon as you welcome the breed to your home.

Provide high-quality food, frequent exercise, and much love, next to regular vaccination and veterinary check-ups, and you will have a well-behaved and healthy Norwich Terrier.

Norwich Terrier Nutrition

The Norwich Terrier should do well on high-quality food. If you choose to feed your dog on a raw diet, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian about this topic first.

This diet should always be supported by the veterinarian’s approval and supervision. Of course, every diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age and current health state.

Puppies cannot thrive on food for senior dogs and vice versa.

An ideal weight for this breed is about 12 pounds, and everything above will lead to obesity and a challenging way of weight loss.

Their metabolism tends to slow down with age, which is why many older Norcish dogs suffer from obesity, so watch the dog’s calorie consumption and weight level.

Treats are great training addition but don’t overuse them. If you have any concerns about the dog’s weight and diet, talk to your veterinarian.

The Bottom Line

If you want a small but sturdy enough to be active significant amount of time, then Norwich Terries might be for you.

This breed has a natural appearance and needs only moderate exercise, which is perfect if you are the type of person that wants a balance between outdoor needs and indoor life.

This dog wonćt shed a lot and will be a nice watchdog. On the other hand, if you don’t want to deal with the dynamic terrier temperament, digging holes, and regular clipping of the wiry coat, the Norwich terrier, may not be the right for you.

Popular Norwich Terrier Comparisons

Compare Dog Breeds: