A Guide to the Small Yet Tough Norfolk Terrier Why This Breed Makes the Perfect Companion

Norfolk Terriers photo
Small Breed X-Small Breed von Willebrand's disease (vWD) Norfolk Terrier

IS THE Norfolk Terrier RIGHT FOR YOU?

  • 1 Norfolk Terriers are a sprightly and beautiful dog.
  • 2 The Norfolk Terrier is considered very adaptable and comfortable in many climates and in urban or rural dwellings.
  • 3 The Norfolk Terrier requires a fair amount of grooming of their wiry coat so be prepared to primp.


Originally thought of as an offshoot of the Norwich Terrier, the Norfolk Terrier was first recognized as their own breed in 1964 by the English. The defining characteristic that separate these two breeds is that the Norwich have perky ears and the Norfolkโ€™s ears droop. These dogs were bred as ratters, but were also used to track and flush out foxes.

Quick Facts

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    12-15 years

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    Hair Length

    Long, Medium

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    Male Height

    10 inches (25cm)

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    Male Weight

    10-12 pounds (41/2-51/2kg)

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    Female Height

    10 inches (25cm)

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    Female Weight

    10-12 pounds (41/2-51/2kg)

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    Litter Size

    2-5 puppies with average litter size of 3


Easily trainable, these little terriers are extraordinarily active, brave, and loving. They are great with children and are an easy fit in any housing situation. They love a good game of fetch, and are always ready for a game. When left up to their own devices they often develop a barking or digging problem. Also watch out for โ€œsmall dog syndrome,โ€ by maintaining consistent leadership. They can become overprotective and jealous if not socialized early. .


The Norfolk Terrier can be found in wheaten, red, black, tan and grizzle. Some white markings are seen in the breed but are not desirable in show dogs.

Health Concerns

The major health problems that affect the Norfolk Terrier are:

  • Von Willebrand disease
  • eye disorders

The Norfolk Terrier is one of the smallest of the working terriers. They have a strong, compact body with a wide, somewhat round head. Their ears, which are one of their defining characteristics, lay down by the side of their head. Their tail sticks straight up and is frequently docked. Their fur is somewhat wiry and long. They are generally only 10 inches tall and weigh somewhere around 11 pounds.

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