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Norfolk Terrier

The Norfolk Terrier is one of the smallest terriers and they have a wiry, hard, straight, weatherproof coat.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12–15 years
Weight: 4–5kg
Height: 25cm
Colours: All shades of red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle
Size: Small
Kennel Club Group: Terrier


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 5/5
Tolerates being alone: 3/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 1/5


Like most terriers, the Norfolk is clever, active and often surprisingly tenacious for their size. Unlike many however, they are social with others, friendly, cheerful and tolerant - and generally good with children.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: England

The Norfolk Terrier didn’t become a separate breed until 1964 and up until then, they were just looked on as a variation within the Norwich Terrier breed and so their histories are the same.

The Norfolk’s origins can be found liked closely to Cambridge University in the late 1800s. It was fashionable for the sportier of the undergraduates to own a particular type of terrier that was being bred in a livery stable in Trumpington Street which ran along the back of several of the colleges. These small working terriers were put to work as college ratters, and as the students lived and socialised together, their dogs had to be equally social and indeed they would work in a pack.

It was one of these dogs, a sandy coloured dog called Rags, that is credited with being the founding father of both the Norwich and Norfolk Terriers that we know today.

Until 1964, the drop eared dogs were still classified as Norwich Terriers but after this date, the two were kept separate with the drop-eared dogs being called Norfolks.

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Norfolk Terriers

Training Norfolk Terriers

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

  • People get confused which is the Norfolk and which is the Norwich. Just remember that there is an ‘f’ in Norfolk and they have the ‘folded’ ears which the Norwich has pointed ears like a ‘witch’s hat’.
  • They’re hardworking and have been named ‘perfect demons’ in the field.
  • The breed was invented by Frank “roughrider” Jones and were originally known as “Jones Terriers”.
  • They’re not just great working dogs, they’ve also been very successful in the showring.
  • Norfolk Terrier’s are incredibly affectionate and don’t like living outside and they’ll always happily curl up on your lap.
Dog with red collar looking out the window
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