Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk and Norwich Terriers

These two breeds share the same roots, which were probably in the fens of northern Norfolk and southern Cambridgeshire in the east of England. The fens were marshlands drained by canals and turned into rich agriculture land. Fanners liked to keep small terriers capable of killing the rats that ate into their profit.


Nineteenth-century Cambridge undergraduates produced their own Trumpington Terriers for rat control and spoil. Small Irish Terriers and large Yorkshire Terriers could also have been introduced. Jodrell Hopkins bred a litter of red puppies and he gave one named "Rags" to the Master of the Norfolk Staghounds. Rags was a prick-eared red male, a great worker whose puppies were in demand. Frank Jones. First Whip to the Hunt, bought a few and began breeding and exporting them; in America his dogs were known as Jones Terriers. In the show rings both drop-ears and prick-ears were shown as one breed, the Norwich. They were not officially divided until 1964 when the prick-eared became the Norwich Terrier and the drop-eared the Norfolk Terrier.


Sweet tempered and kindly disposed to everyone, these vibrant terriers are always full of energy and fun. Unhappy when left alone, they like to join in all family activities. Highly intelligent, easily trained but with a terrier's stubborn nature, they can conveniently forget what they have learnt. They are good with children but children must also be good with them.

must know

These dogs have the occasional eye and liver problems, so check with The Kennel Club for the latest update.


They are short-backed, short-legged chunky dogs - muscular and built for endurance. The coat is thick and harsh except for the head and ears. The Norfolk may be in shades of red, wheaten, black and tan and grizzle, whereas the Norwich is black, wheaten or any shade of brindle. In height, both dogs and bitches are 25-26cm (10in).

Strangers 3/5

Will bark wanting; friendly dogs overall

Temperament 3/5

Fun-loving, affectionate, very active

Exercise 3/5

At least two walks a day plus garden play

Grooming 1/5

Minimal: once a week

Other dogs 3/5

No problems


Happy and vigorous family dogs, full of mischief and love

General care

These mischievous dogs need walking two or three times a day plus some strenuous play in the garden. Feeding presents no difficulties -the problem is how to stop these dogs getting fat. so no biscuits. Grooming consists of a good weekly brushing to get rid of dead hair and allow the new to grow through.

Gallery of Norfolk Terrier