The Norwich Terrier is one of the younger breeds in existence today and shares his history with the Norfolk Terrier. In fact, the Norfolk Terrier was considered the drop-ear variety of the Norwich Terrier until 1964 when the British Kennel Club separated the prick ear and the drop ear into two different breeds. Before that time, however, the Norwich Terrier was a breed that rarely had a standard–a written description of the breed–that puppies were bred to. The breed originated in England, and several breeds may have contributed to its development, including the Irish Terrier. Between 1899 and 1902, a brindle-colored mixed-breed female was bred to a “Cantab Terrier.” The resulting puppies were called Trumpington terriers, and one of them, “Rags,” became the founding sire of the Norwich Terrier breed, being bred with various Trumpington terriers and Glen of Imaal terriers. For a time, they were known as Jones terriers, after Frank Jones, who was instrumental in developing them. The Norwich Terrier moved with Frank Jones to the United States and found use as not only a hunter of vermin but also as a terrier who could work alongside Foxhounds. The Norwich Terrier was used to flush foxes Foxhounds couldn’t get to because they’d gone into their dens. It didn’t take long for the Norwich Terrier to become known in the United States and many were imported into the US and used by American hunters for foxhunting. In 1979, the AKC followed the lead already set by England’s Kennel Club in 1964 and split the varieties into two different breeds: the drop-eared dog became the Norfolk Terrier and the prick-eared dog remained the Norwich Terrier.
Standing 10 inches high at the shoulders and weighing roughly 12 pounds for both males and females, the Norwich Terrier is one of the smallest of the terrier breeds. He should look stocky but not overweight.
The Norwich Terrier is known for his affectionate nature. He generally loves everyone and will do well in households with multiple pets and children.
His sensitive intelligence and alert nature ensure that he’ll bark an alarm if he spots anything or anyone suspicious near his home.
Norwich Terriers have a mind of their own, but they generally enjoy life and enjoy pleasing both themselves and their owners. They are small, but that doesn’t mean you should overindulge or coddle them. That simply leads to behavior problems.
The Norwich is active and loves playing with balls and toys or just playing a good game with the people he loves. He thrives on the companionship of humans and will fit himself into your life completely.
Like every dog, Norwich Terriers need early socialization–exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences. Socialization helps ensure that your Norwich Terrier puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start.
Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.
Norwich Terriers are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions. Not all Norwich Terriers will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering this breed.
- Tracheal Collapse: Tracheal collapse is often seen in small breed such as the Norwich. It is caused by a weakening of the tracheal rings, which flatten until finally obstructing the airway. Signs of tracheal collapse include coughing that sounds like a goose honk, fainting, and an inability to exercise for long periods. It is treated medically with antibiotics, steroids, and cough suppressants. You may be advised to walk your dog with a harness rather than a collar to reduce pressure on his neck. If medical treatment doesn’t work, surgery is recommended.
- Elongated Soft Palate: The soft palate is the extension of the roof of the mouth. When the soft palate is elongated, it can obstruct the airway and cause difficulty in breathing. The treatment for Elongated Soft Palate is surgical removal of the excess palate.
- Epilepsy: The Norwich Terrier can suffer from epilepsy, which is a disorder that causes seizures in the dog. Epilepsy can be treated by medication, but it cannot be cured. A dog can live a full and healthy life with the proper management of this hereditary disorder.
If you’re buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy’s parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.
In Norwich Terriers, you should expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia (with a score of fair or better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying that eyes are normal. You can confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site (offa.org).
The Norwich Terrier is an intelligent working dog. He’s happiest when he has a job to do. Training can be fairly easy with this breed as long you provide clear and consistent rules and training. Making a training session interesting rather than repetitive is another way to keep the Norwich Terrier engaged and interested in learning.
Housetraining can be a challenge and may take a significant amount of time and patience. Use a crate to prevent accidents in the home.
Crate training benefits every dog and is a kind way to ensure that your Norwich doesn’t have accidents in the house or get into things he shouldn’t. A crate is also a place where he can retreat for a nap.
Never stick your Norwich in a crate all day long, however. Norwich Terriers are people dogs, and they aren’t meant to spend their lives locked up in a crate or kennel. Norwich Terriers require daily exercise and like many terrier breeds they have an ample supply of energy. They make wonderful walking companions, and their exercise requirements can be met with a couple of vigorous 10- or 15-minute walks per day or playtime in a fenced area.
It’s important that a Norwich Terrier remain on lead when he’s not in a fenced area or his strong desire to chase can cause him to run right in front of a car. Although the Norwich Terrier is known to bark, he can live in an apartment if his stimulation and exercise needs are met.
Recommended daily amount: 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
NOTE: How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog.
The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference–the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you’ll need to shake into your dog’s bowl.
It’s been said that the Norwich will eat anything that doesn’t eat him first. Not surprisingly, he’s prone to obesity. If you’re unsure whether he’s overweight, give him the eye test and the hands-on test.
First, look down at him. You should be able to see a waist. Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward. You should be able to feel but not see his ribs without having to press hard. If you can’t, he needs less food and more exercise. For more on feeding your Norwich, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog.
Coat, Color and Grooming
The Norwich Terrier wears a hard, wiry, straight topcoat over a soft, downy, insulating undercoat. The hair on his neck and shoulders forms a protective mane. Small dark eyes twinkle beneath slight eyebrows. The hair on the rest of his head, including the ears and muzzle, is short.
The Norwich coat can be any shade of red, grizzle (a mixture of black or red hairs with white hairs), wheaten (pale yellow or fawn), or black and tan. Like all breeds, Norwich Terriers shed, though not as much as some. Brush them weekly to remove dead hair. Regular brushing will keep your Norwich clean. He won’t need frequent baths unless he rolls in something stinky.
Stripping the coat twice a year–pulling out the dead topcoat by hand or with the aid of a stripping tool–maintains the coat’s characteristic hard texture. Without stripping, your Norwich will look a little scruffy, and he’ll shed more than he would otherwise.
If you clip your Norwich’s coat instead of stripping it, the color and texture changes, becoming lighter and softer and more prone to shedding.
Other grooming needs include dental hygiene and nail care. Brush your Norwich’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath. Small breeds such as the Norwich are especially prone to severe gingivitis.
Trim nails regularly if your dog doesn’t wear them down naturally. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they’re too long. Short, neatly trimmed nails keep your legs from getting scratched when your Norwich enthusiastically jumps up to greet you.
Begin getting your Norwich accustomed to being brushed and examined when he’s a puppy. Handle his paws frequently–dogs are touchy about their feet–and look inside his mouth and ears. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you’ll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult.
As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the ears, nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Ears should smell good, without too much wax or gunk inside, and eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.
Children and other pets
Norwich Terriers are known for their love of everyone, and this includes children. They do much better in homes with children if they are raised with them. An adult Norwich who’s unfamiliar with children may do best in a home with children who are mature enough to interact with him properly.
Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he’s eating or to try to take the dog’s food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
Norwich Terriers also do very well with other dogs and tend to have no issues with other canine pets. They can adjust to living with cats but they need to be properly socialized to them to do so.
22 Apr, 2016
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