The Norwich Terrier

descriptive textDog breed info
Norwich Terrier
Weight: 10 — 12 lbs
Height: 9” — 10”
AKC Rank 2008 #95
Lifespan: 13—15 yrs
Group: Terrier
Origin: England

Dog Breed Info - The Norwich Terrier

Breed Overview

Origin 1800’s. Original function: Ratting, Fox bolting. Today, Herd dog, Companion. Colors: All shades of red, black, grizzle, tan, wheaten.

The Norwich Terrier comes from the same mold as the Norfolk Terrier with a few subtle differences. These dogs were originally used as ratters and also for bolting fox in the late 1800’s in England. It was around 1900 that a terrier named “Rag’s” arrived at a stable in Norwich. Rags sired puppies and one of them was sent to America where it became a worthy ambassador for the new breed. At the time, the breed had both pointed and drop-ears, but in 1979 the drop-eared variety was recognized as a separate breed, the Norfolk Terrier. The Norwich had pointed ears, was a bit more people friendly and had slightly shorter legs. They may be primarily from Cairn and Yorkshire Terrier roots. The AKC registered the Norwich in 1979.


Yes—Responds well to training. What works especially well is clicker training and positive reinforcement. Dogs love this method and it's so easy to use. The Norwich Terrier really needs basic commands and obedience training. Some are slow with house-training though. Use the method outlined in this site.

Potty Training

The Norwich Terrier puppy is a bit slow 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.



The little Norwich Terrier is friendly, affectionate, and gets along well with most people. They are generally good with children as well as other household pets but should be introduced to both the children and pets slowly and preferably when the dog is young. This is an intelligent dog and should not be left alone for long periods, as she can bark and dig to excess in true terrier style if bored. The Norwich enjoys chew toys so have plenty on hand. A true terrier, she leans toward dominance. Thus, she must be made aware she is NOT top dog in the household. Keep a firm leadership role over her and you’ll have a terrific, affectionate, fun-loving, active, energetic little pet.

If you happen to get a 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

Will pick and choose her dog friends but generally likes most dogs. Can be reserved with some dogs.


Friendly Toward Other Pets

Yes, usually likes other house pets but may try to chase cats and other small animals in the house, thinking they are some kind of toy or vermin. Essentially, she's friendly.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Yes, very friendly. Bring on the relatives, neighbors and friends. This is much more of a people-dog than her cousin, the Norfolk Terrier. She loves to mingle and get involved in whatever people are doing for entertainment, especially indoor-outdoor parties.


Yes, quite a playful little gal. She loves to romp and run around, especially with a toy in her mouth. She’s always active at something.


Yes, very affectionate bundle of joy. Friendly to most people, dogs and strangers.

Good with children?

Yes, especially older, reserved children and especially if the dog grows up with the kids. This is basically a people-friendly breed.

Good with Seniors over 65?

The Norwich Terrier in an excellent choice for a senior citizen. Small, affectionate, lively and easy to train, loyal and when exercised, a bit of a couch potato.

Living environment

Apartment, house with fenced yard, farm all OK. Needs to live indoors with family but needs outdoor activity and exercise to stay healthy.


Energy level

Fairly high energy. Rate her 8 bars out of 10.

Exercise needs, daily

Moderate. Two good walks on leash or a brief run is good. The Norwich Terrier loves to play ball so that’s an option for exercise.


Excellent. Will bark his head off at anything out of the ordinary.

Guard dog

No. Probably too friendly. to eat an intruder.


Yes, some.


Brush or comb wiry hair 2 to 3 times a week. Strip dead hair every three months. Get a slicker or standard stiff bristle brush and a metal comb from your pet store.



Suggested Reading - The Norwich Terrier
Click on the cover photos for more book information and reviews.

  • The book on the left tells about how to raise, care for and train your new Norwich. (Owners guide.)

  • 2nd book from the left is "101 Dog Tricks" which is great exercise for your dog's mental outlook and gives him numerous new things to learn and do.

  • The book on the far right teaches HOW to play with a dog, and when and where. It's a training book following psychological practice.

Norwich Terrier Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Norwich Terrier 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.
Norwich Terrier Breeders with puppies for sale. You may want to go online and search for Norwich Terrier Breeders (or puppies) to locate a breeder or source closer to you.

Norwich Terrier Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Norwich Terrier Rescue group or groups in your state where you can adopt a dog, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Norwich Terrier Rescue - (Nationwide) At the time of this writing, Petfinder is showing only 24 of this breed available for adoption in this country. If you do adopt one, try to locate any dog health records and keep them for future reference.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but it's likely you will need to check locally to adopt and also go online and search for Norwich Terrier Rescue groups, kennels or foster homes with dogs up for adoption.

Dog Health Issues For The Norwich Terrier
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Norwich 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 dog illness and medical preoblems 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, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain, lameness, arthritis 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.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—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.

  • Atopic dermatitis's—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 Norwich Terrier’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. 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 on the Norwich Terrier. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect both rear legs. It’s most common in small and toy dogs like the Norwich Terrier. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, 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.

  • Cheyletiella mites—Known as “walking dandruff,” these tiny mites look like dandruff on the back of the Norwich Terrier. The mites travel from animal to animal either by direct contact or through bedding or other common contact. Possibly some hair loss, plus itching, skin irritation, scales and a thickening of the skin are symptoms. Humans can be infected. This is easily treated—see your vet for best directions for your particular case.

  • Deafness—Hereditary or caused by: Excessive loud noise, Intolerance to anesthesia, drug toxicity, and Otitis (middle ear infection), In some cases, one ear can have no hearing from birth and the other ear can be losing the ability to hear over time, undetected, then suddenly one morning the hearing is totally gone. There is no reversing once that happens.

    Cataracts—Hazy or cloudy vision similar to humans and can lead to blindness if not treated.

  • Epilepsy—A serious seizure disorder that appears around 2 to 4 or 5 years of age in the dog..

Other health problems could occur with your Norwich 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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