The Norfolk Terriers and the Norwich Terrier started out as one breed in the early 1900's. The breeds were officially separated in England in 1964, the AKC followed suit in 1979. Norfolks are active, courageous, affectionate, balanced and without any nervousness. They are energetic and thrive on an active life. These dogs are great with children. They are light shedders but daily to weekly brushing and grooming is necessary. Norfolks weigh 10 to 12 lbs. and only stand 10" at the shoulders. They are the smallest of the Terriers.
Height: 10 inches
Weight: 9 - 12 lb
Colors: red, wheaten, black and tan or grizzle
Coat: Hard, wiry and straight.
Temperament: Norfolk Terriers are affectionate, outgoing, appealing, and clever. Very good with children and other pets - (excluding rodents). Quick learners but they need consistency. They are very intelligent, as with any puppy you need to do training to have established rules and routines and acceptable behaviors.
Learning Rate: very high. Obedience - low, especially if you don't train them. Problem-Solving: high, they are very intelligent and will figure things out for themselves if you don't provide the answers or teach them the expected behaviors. They want to please badly, but need to know what it is you want them to do.
General Appearance - Small, low, keen dog, compact and strong, short back, good substance and bone. Honorable scars from everyday wear and tear are acceptable.
Characteristics - One of the smallest of terriers. Lovable disposition, not quarrelsome, hardy constitution.
Temperament - Alert and fearless.
Head and Skull - Skull should be broad, only slightly rounded with good width between ears. Muzzle wedge-shaped and strong; length of muzzle about one-third less than measurement from occiput to bottom of well defined stop.
Eyes - Oval-shaped and deep-set, dark brown or black. Expression alert, keen and intelligent.
Ears - Medium size, V-shaped, slightly rounded at tip, dropping forward close to cheek.
Mouth - Tight-lipped, strong jaw, teeth strong and rather large; perfect scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Neck-Strong and of medium length.
Forequarters - Clean, well laid back shoulder blade, approximating in length to upper arm. Front legs short, powerful and straight.
Body - Compact, short back, level topline, well sprung ribs.
Hindquarters - Well muscled, good turn of stifle, hocks well let down and straight when viewed from rear; great propulsion.
Feet - Round with thick pads.
Tail - Docking of tail optional.
(a) Medium docked, set level with topline and carried erect.
(b) Tail of moderate length to give a general balance to the dog, thick at the root and tapering towards the tip, as straight as possible, carried jauntily, but not excessively.
Gait/Movement - True, low and driving. Moving straight forward from shoulder. Good rear angulation showing great power of propulsion. Hindlegs follow track of forelegs, moving smoothly from hips. Flexing well at stifle and hock. Topline remaining level.
Coat - Hard, wiry, straight, lying close to body. Longer and rougher on neck and shoulders. Hair on head and ears short and smooth, except for slight whiskers and eyebrows. Excessive trimming undesirable.
Color - All shades of red, wheaten, black and tan or grizzle. White marks or patches undesirable but small white marks are permissable. Size - Ideal height at withers 10 inches.
Faults - Any departure from the foregoing points could be considered a fault and the seriousness of the fault should be regarded in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Activity: As long as regular exercise is given they are adaptable to the town, city or country and make a good travel companion.
Living Environment: A home with a fenced yard is the best for the Norfolk Terrier, but they will adapt to an apartment if a daily walk and exercise is given. Owners of a Norfolk Terrier should desire a confident, feisty, busy, loveable, affectionate and curious dog. They are extremely intelligent.
Health Issues: some known issues include heart murmurs, back problems, or genetic eye disorders.
Life Span: 14 - 16 years. With an all natural, organic dog food they will live longer and be healthier. Educate yourself on the commercial vs. natural dog foods.
Country of Origin: Great Britain.
History: Bred in Cambridge, Market Harborough and Norwich in the early twentieth century they were mainly used as a hunter of vermin.
Norfolk Terriers are originally from England.
Bred in Cambridge, Market Harborough and Norwich in the early twentieth century they were mainly used as a hunter of vermin.
The present day Norfolk Terrier began life as a show breed in 1932 when, as the drop-eared Norwich Terrier, it was accepted on the Kennel Club breed register, but it is interesting to look at its possible evolution.
In south-east England in the northern Norfolk and Cambridgeshire parts of this area, were large marshes known as "The Fens". These fens were largely drained in the sixteenth century by Dutch engineers. As a result, the area is covered by a network of canals, known locally as 'drains'. The land is fertile and is now an important farming region, producing most of the country's crops. Historically, small terrier-type dogs were popular amongst the farming and sporting community to use on rats and other vermin. It is possible that some of these terriers were the forerunners of the early Norwich Terrier.
During the nineteenth century some of the students at Cambridge University bought small terrier dogs from a dog dealer named Charles 'Doggy' Lawrence. These small terriers, which were often red or a black and tan color, were used mainly for catching rats around the colleges. They became known as Trumpington Terriers, taking the name from the street in Cambridge where many students lived. Their origin is not really known but there is a suggestion that a small Irish Terrier and a bigger type of Yorkshire Terrier had been used in their breeding.
At that time Mr. Jodrell Hopkins, of Trumpington Street, Cambridge, bought a small, Aberdeen-type, terrier bitch, and mated her to a game little red dog, which had a long silky coat, belonging to Doggy Lawrence. A puppy from that union, Rags, was given to a Mr. Jack Cooke, Master of the Norwich Staghounds. Rags was a small red terrier with a shaggy, harsh, red coat and prick ears (although in those days many terriers had their ears cropped). He was a wonderful worker and an excellent sire.
Mr. Lewis (Podge) Low, the son of a local veterinary surgeon, loved a good terrier, and owned a smooth-haired, white, prick-eared bitch called Ninety. He had several litters from her sired by Rags.
All the puppies were red, and some were bought by Mr. Frank Jones, First Whip to the Norwich Staghounds. He found them to be in great demand amongst the local sporting folks, and so he began to breed them himself. Later, when he went to work as a roughrider to a Mr. Stokes of Market Harborough, he became known as "Roughrider Jones". He sold his terrier pups far and wide, some being exported to America, where they became known as "Jones Terriers".
One of Jones' sources of supply was the stud groom to Mr. Jack Cooke, Mr. Horace Cole by name, who had bred several litters out of a small, wirehaired terrier bitch, and sired by one of Cooke's Trumpington Terriers. Interestingly, Mr. Cole's daughter, Mrs. Rosie Panks, started to breed Norwich Terriers herself in 1935.
In trying to establish the type he wanted, Jones crossed his stock with other terriers he fancied. Mr. R.J. Read (later to become the Breed Club's first President) bought a puppy in 1909 from a litter by Rags out of Ninety, and he also went on to experiment in breeding to get the sort of terrier he wanted. From this he crossed to a small Irish Terrier and then bred back to Mr. Jack Cooke's strain, eventually producing, in 1929, "Horsted Mick". At about the same time Mr. W.E. West began his "Farndon" line with a bitch from Roughrider Jones and, in 1912, Mrs. Fagan also began with a bitch called Brownie whose dam, Flossie, red with a black back, was very game. Many famous names can be traced back to Brownie.
The first actual champion in the breed, Ch. Biffin of Beaufin, was owned by Mrs. E. Mainwaring, who liked her terriers to have their ears dropped, and, as Biffin wanted to prick his ears it is said she weighted them to keep them down. Biffin has had an influence on the breed as a whole, both ear types being able to trace back lines to him. Another early drop-ear breeder was Mrs. Guy Blewitt of the "Boxed" prefix. She owned a famous dog called Tobit, a wonderful ratter. She also had the distinction of breeding the second drop-eared champion, Tinker Bell, whelped in 1933.
With the advent of shows following G.B. Kennel Club recognition, ears became all important, many breeders preferring the prick-ears and, indeed, some members of the Breed Club Committee did try to insist that only prick-ears should be recognized. Interbreeding between the two types of ear carriage did continue for a time but, eventually, breeders kept to one or other of the ear types. Even in the thirties the breed had begun to divide, and by the end of the 1940s there were very few Norwich with mixed ear-carriage breeding in the first two or three generations.
Miss Marion Sheila Scott Macfie, breeder of the "Colonsay" Dalmatians, joined the Norwich Terrier Club in 1935. She preferred the drop-ears and founded her Colonsay Norwich on Mrs. Mainwaring's Tiny Tim of Biffin, and the Hon. Mrs. Brooke's Kinmount Pip. Miss Macfie bred and showed extensively and successfully, and it is largely due to her efforts that the drop-ears were kept going in such strength during the years of World War II.
Miss Macfie had already begun a campaign to give each type a separate register within the one breed, but it took seven years before the two types actually achieved separate recognition in 1964.
Although the Club had wanted separate registers within the one breed, the Kennel Club had insisted on two separate breeds being formed, with different names. The more dominant prick-ears kept the name "Norwich Terrier", and, after some debate, it was agreed that the drop-ears should become the "Norfolk Terrier".
N.B.: Information taken from:
Eileen Needham's Short History of the Norfolk
"A Short History of the Norfolk Terrier"
by Eileen Needham ,
is from the following articles and information:
The Early History of the Norwich Terrier:
compiled from information supplied by early breeders
(The Norwich Terrier Club Year Book 1932)
Further information on the possible origin of the Norwich Terrier:
by Monica Taylor
(The Norwich Terrier Handbook 1960)
by Sheila Monckton
(The Norwich Terrier Club Hand Book 1960)
The First Twenty five Years:
by Marjorie Bunting.
An account of the history of the show Norfolk
since recognition as a separate breed in 1964.
(The Norfolk Terrier Club Handbook)
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Muffin and Little Red playing tug with a stick. Muffin was just a year old and Little Red was 9 months old in this photo.