Photo by tanakawho

Norfolk Terrier - Breed Profile:

Origin: United Kingdom
Colors: Shades of red, wheaten, black and tan, grizzle
Size: Small
Type of Owner: Novice
Exercise: Moderate
Grooming: Regular
Trainability: Easy to train
Combativeness: Not generally dog-aggressive
Dominance: Low
Noise: Likes to bark

Physical characteristics

The Norfolk Terrier is a small short-legged dog with a sturdy built and expressive dropping ears. The body is slightly longer than tall, with a level topline. The broad skull is slightly rounded, with a strong wedge-shaped muzzle. The stop is distinct. The small eyes are oval, dark, with black rims. The small V-shaped ears hang down close to the cheeks; they don't fall lower than the outer corner of the eye. The ear tips are rounded. The relatively large teeth should meet in a scisor bite. The tail is customarily docked to medium length, long enough to make a balanced outline. The gait is low and driving.
Norfolk Terriers weigh 11 to 12 pounds. Their height is 9 to 10 inches.


Norfolk Terriers are affectionate, devoted, outgoing and brave. They are very sociable and want to be part of family life. Courageous and naturally balanced, basically free from nervousness or quarrelsomeness. Good with children. Due to their ratting instincts, they tend to love anything you can toss, and will gladly chase after toys, balls, sticks or bones. Although this breed can get along well with cats, it should not be trusted with small animals such as hamsters, pet rats, mice and guinea pigs.
Like any dog, Norfolk Terriers need proper human leadership, discipline and rules to follow, otherwise it may develop behaviour problems. If left outside for long periods of time with nothing to occupy their quick mind, Norfolk Terriers may start digging and barking a lot. Proper socialization at an early age is necessary to avoid timidity. Can be difficult to housebreak.

Coat and grooming

The Norfolk Terrier comes in any shade of red, wheaten, black and tan, grizzle. Dark points are permissible, but white markings are not desirable in show dogs. The coat is double and weather-resistant. The harsh hair is wiry and straight. The neck and the chest are covered with longer hair, which looks like a mane. Daily grooming is recommended to keep the coat in good condition. Shedding is little.


This breed is very healthy. Some individuals can be prone to back problems and genetic eye diseases. The lifespan is 12 to 15 years.

Other interesting facts

The Norfolk Terrier was developed as a barnyard ratter and used to bolt vermin such as fox from their dens. The breed was originally considered the same as the Norwich Terrier. In 1979, the drop eared variety was recognized as the Norfolk Terrier, while the version with erect ears remained the Norwich Terrier.
The Norfolk Terrier is one of the smallest working terriers.