The Spunky Norfolk Terrier

descriptive textInformation about the
Norfolk Terrier
Weight Male 11 — 12 lbs
Height:Male 9” — 10”
AKC Rank 2008 #113
Lifespan::13—15 yrs
Group Terrier

Breed Overview

Origin: England, 1800’s. Original function: Ratting, fox bolting. Today, Earthdog trials, Companion. Colors: Shades of wheaten, black, red, tan, grizzle.

In the late 1800’s, the Norfolk Terrier was used to manage the vermin and hunt fox in England. This breed probably was a cross from the Cairn and Yorkshire Terriers and some breeds from Ireland. The Norfolk and Norwich Terriers were originally from the same mold, except for the ears. The Norfolk had drop-ears, the Norwich had pointed ears. By 1964 the Norwich was designated as the drop-eared version. Other differences showed up between the two dogs. Thje American Kennel Club registered the Norwich Terrier in 1979


The Norfolk Terrier is usually pretty easy to train. They are intelligent and eager to please. The most effective way is with clicker training and positive reinforcement. A clicker is inexpensive (around $3 at a pet store) and dogs love the system. It's very easy to do.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Norfolk Terrier? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

The Norfolk Terrier puppy can be stubborn and hard to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


This is an energetic, bouncy, spunky playful and feisty little dog The Norfolk Terrier can be stubborn and independent but loves people, human companionship, kids and family. As with all small dogs, you must not let the dog feel it is superior over the adult humans in it’s life. As long as the dog can sense it is supposed to take the submissive role in the family, all will be okay. In other words, keep a firm upper hand and stay in the alpha roll. The Norfolk will appreciate having a routine and knowing it is to do certain things on YOUR schedule. Train her well. She’s a great little house pet. As a hunting dog, this dog tends to chase after small creatures, especially anything that looks like a rodent. Keep her on leash all the time for walks and in a fenced yard so she doesn't run off after a rat or squirrel. This dog is all terrier, which means she likes to dig and bark, especially of bored.

If you happen to get a Norfolk Terrier with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Generally friendly. May pick and choose some dog friends, but is not aggressive and probably not a problem with strange dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

.Generally accepting of other animals in the house. Best if raised with them, or, introduce to the other pets carefully and slowly. Does tend to chase cats. Don’t trust around gerbils and other small rodent-like animals. This is not an aggressive dog.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Accepting of most people. This is a friendly little dog. She can be feisty and stubborn, but not with people.


Very playful ball of energy. Always happy and busy.


Moderate affection which is showered on her family and close friends only. She’s independent and doesn't always show affection to everyone she meets.

Good with children

Norfolk’s do well with children, especially older kids 6 or 7 and up that are well-mannered. This little dog loves to romp and run with the kids. Very young children need to be closely supervised so they can’t aggravate the dog.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Maybe. The Norfolk Terrier can be a good match for seniors if they are able to walk a reasonable amount each day and throw a ball and play some fetch. This dog is playful, energetic, loyal, a good watchdog and needs time for grooming and brushing, all things a senior has time for.

Living environment

Apartment, condo, farm,. Ranch all okay as long as the dog gets out for walks, a little jogging and some active games of fetch.

The ideal situation would be a house with a doggie door and a medium fenced yard where the Norfolk Terrier could go in and out and snoop, dig, investigate and hunt to occupy her time.

This breed needs human companionship and needs to spend lots of time indoors and out with her family.

Energy level

High energy. Rate this 9 bars out of 10.

Exercise needs, daily

One or two moderate walks daily. Some jogging is okay, but don’t overdo it, as she has short little legs.
Plus—-ths dog loves to play fetch, chase balls and run with children.


Very good, as is the case with most terriers.

Guard dog

No. Too friendly, too small.


Almost no shedding.


Comb or brush the wiry coat 2 times a week. Strip dead hair every three months.

Norfolk Terrier Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Norfolk puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
Norfolk Terrier Breeders with puppies for sale.

Norfolk Terrier Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Norfolk Terrier Rescue group in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Norfolk Terrier Rescue At the time of this writing, Petfinder is listing only 41 adoptable Norfolk Terriers in the USA.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site that may give you some ideas. If you're still stuck, surf online for Norfolk Terrier Rescue groups and also look for kennels locally.

Health Issues For The Norfolk Terrier
Below are the illnesses or medical problems listed for the Norfolk Terrier by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, hind/back leg acts lame, can't move, weak legs. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing the Plott great pain, weakness and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Atopic dermatitis's—Atopy. Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.

  • Patellar luxation—Limping, Hind Leg Held Up, Can’t straighten back leg, weak legs. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect both rear legs. It’s most common in small dogs like the English Cocker Spaniel. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, lame or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.

  • Heart murmurs—Caused by congenital heart problems of acquired heart disease. A murmur can suggest an abnormal; heart valve, muscle disease, and abnormal opening, heartworms, a thyroid problem, or even anemia. Symptoms: Breathing problems, slow or fast heart rate, loss of appetite, total collapse, weakness, couching. There are many causes of murmur. Treatment depends on the cause and type of source.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—(PRA) An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

  • Cataracts—Hazy or cloudy vision which if not treated can cause total blindness.

  • Glaucoma—A painful pressure in the eye which if not treated early on, will lead to total blindness.

Other health problems could occur with your Norfolk Terrier. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide

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