The Norfolk Terrier
1880s, British sportsmen developed a working terrier of East Anglia,
England. The Norwich Terrier and later the drop-eared variety now
know as the Norfolk Terrier, were believed to have been developed
by crossing Cairn Terriers, small, short-legged Irish Terrier breeds
and the small red terriers used by the Gypsy ratters of Norfolk.
were first called the Cantab Terrier when they became fashionable
for students to keep in their rooms at Cambridge University in England.
Later, they were called the Trumpington Terrier, after a street in
the area where the breed was first developed. Then, just prior to
World War I, a Norwich huntsman helped introduce the short-legged
terriers to the USA, calling them the Jones Terrier.
1932, the Norwich was granted acceptance into the English Kennel Club
and the first written standard was created. The American Kennel Club
registered the first Norwich Terrier in 1936. In 1964, The Kennel
Club reclassified the drop-ear variety as it its own breed, the Norfolk
Terrier, and the prick-eared variety retained the name Norwich Terrier.
The American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club both recognized
the division of the Norwich Terrier breed in 1979. The Norfolk Terrier
was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1979. After many generations,
these two breeds have developed as two distinct breeds both in physical
looks and in temperament. Of note, there is literature that suggests
that the Norfolk and Norwich were always two distinct breeds and the
original mistake was classifying them as one.
are described as fearless, but should not be aggressive despite being
capable of defending themselves if need be. They along with Norwich
Terriers and Border Terriers, have the softest temperaments of the
Terrier Group. Norfolks work in packs and must get along with other
dogs. As companions in the home they love people and children and
do make good pets. Their activity level is generally reflective of
the pace of their environment. This breed should not be kept or live
outside since they thrive on human contact. Generally Norfolks are
not given to unnecessary barking or digging but, like any dog, will
do either out of boredom when left alone for too long a period. They
generally cohabitate well with other household pets when introduced
as a puppy. Though, in the outdoors they are natural hunters with
a strong prey drive for small vermin.
are self confident and carry themselves with presence and importance,
holding their heads and tails erect. A Norfolk that is shy, or carries
its tail between its legs is untypical as is a dog that is hot tempered
and aggressive with other dogs; these are not the standard. A Norfolk's
typical breed temperament is happy, spirited and self confident. The
greatest punishment to a Norfolk is his human companion ignoring him.
Norfolk Terrier has a wire-haired coat which, according to the various
national kennel club breed standards, can be "all shades of red,
wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle."
are the smallest of the working Terriers. They are active and compact,
free moving, with good substance and bone. Good substance means good
spring of rib and bone that matches the body such that the dog can
be a very agile ratter, the function for which it was bred.
terriers are moderately proportioned dogs. A too heavy dog would not
be agile. A too refined dog would make it a toy breed. Norfolks generally
have more reach and drive and a stronger rear angulation, hence cover
more ground than their Norwich cousins. Norfolk have good side gait
owed to their balanced angulation front and rear, not their perceived
slightly longer length of back as is often cited.
ideal height is 10 to 12 inches (25-30 cm) at the withers and weight
is about 12 pounds (5 Kg).
were originally bred as barn dogs to rid the barn of vermin. Some
literature suggest that they were also occasionally used on the hunt
to bolt animals of equal size from their den. However their short
legs do not make them an endurance dog to keep up with a horse. So
there is some debate as to their use on a hunt. Norfolks are pack
animals and hence expected to get along with other dogs while working
or in the home. As a pack dog they take turns working their prey.
They are fearless and their courage is incredible. Today of course
they are household companions and must have an agreeable disposition
for living with people.
Breed Clubs and Societies