Norfolk Terrier - Information and NZ Breed Standards

Membership ID

Norfolk Terrier

General Information - Norfolk Terrier



13-15 years




Watchdog ability:
very high

Protection ability:
very low

Area of Origin:

Date of Origin:

Other Names:

Original Function:
Ratting, fox bolting


The Norfolk Terrier shares an identical early history with the Norwich Terrier. During the development of these breeds, both prick and drop ears were seen, and neither could lay claim to being more authentic or original than the other. In the 1930s, soon after their entry into the show rings, breeders found that crossing the two types of ear carriage resulted in uncertain ear carriage in the offspring, so they began avoiding crossing the two ear types. The prick-eared type was more numerous; in fact, the drop-eared type almost vanished during World War II. The drop-eared strain owes its existence to the single-handed and determined efforts of Miss Macfie of the Colansays. In the 1940s, breeders came to her to renew breeding the drop-eared type of Norwich, and they soon caught up with the prick-eared type in popularity, although not in show awards.

Eventually, amid some controversy, the breed was officially changed from one breed with two varieties to two separate breeds.


The Norfolk Terrier is a spunky energetic dog and is always in the mood to play, especially with children. The Norfolk Terrier loves being a part of the family. This breed will dig if not given something to occupy its quick mind.


The Norfolk Terrier needs an exercise outing every day, either a short to moderate walk or a lively and boisterous play session. It especially likes to hunt and investigate, but it must do so in a safe area. Even though it could live outside in temperate to warm climates, it is such a family-oriented dog that it is emotionally unsuited for outdoor living. It does best as a house dog with access to a yard. Its wire coat needs combing once or twice weekly, plus stripping of dead hairs three to four times yearly.

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