Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Your Pet, Our Passion.

Norwich Terrier

The Norwich Terrier, one of the smallest of the terriers, is bright, alert and cheerful with sharply pricked ears and a hard, wiry, weather proof coat. Their faces are described as fox-like, and despite their small size they are a compact and tenacious little dog.

  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Some 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 – 14 years
Weight: 4 – 5kg
Height: 24 – 25.5cm
Colours: Red, wheaten, black and tan or grizzle
Size: Small
UK Kennel Club Groups: Terrier


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 5/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 2/5
Terrier standing on the grass


Lively, friendly, active, intelligent, tenacious… despite their small size, the Norwich Terrier is all terrier, and requires plenty of entertainment and activity. In common with other terriers, the Norwich is often thought of as wilful and stubborn, but this is due to their independent nature and quick mind. You have to work hard to get a terrier on-side and working with you, but when you do it is worth the effort.

Early socialisation and training is necessary with cats, small furry pets and livestock, as their original working instinct is a part of the Norwich’s terrier nature.

Terrier jumping towards camera

History and Origins

Country of Origin: England

The Norwich Terrier’s origins can be found closely linked to Cambridge University where, in the late 1800s, it became fashionable for some 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 often work in a pack. It was one of these dogs, a sandy coloured one 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 prick-eared dogs retaining the original name.

Health and Common Issues

Like many small breeds, they can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas) but generally the Norwich Terrier is generally a healthy, hardy dog with few health problems.

The breed club monitor the health of the breed carefully and should be contacted for the most up-to-date information and details of any DNA or additional testing they recommend. Breed Clubs can be found on the Kennel Club website.

Exercise Needs

The Norwich Terrier requires an hour or more exercise each day, but will happily take more if you are offering it. Ensure a variety of activities, training, games, digging and chasing toys to keep your Norwich Terrier engaged and avoid boredom.

Space Requirements

Being small, the Norwich Terrier can live in any sized home, however a secure garden with solid fencing is important as they are agile and more than capable of digging under fencing or squeezing through the smallest of gaps. Alert and vocal, the Norwich Terrier may find city living overwhelming, but suburban, semi-rural and countryside living with access to plenty of walks and secure spaces to run and chase will be ideal.

Nutrition and Feeding

Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming Norwich Terrier

The hard, wire coat is relatively easy to keep in good condition with a good brush through once or twice a week. The coat will also need to be hand plucked twice a year. A professional groomer or the breeder will be able to give advice on this, and it is easy enough to learn to do yourself at home. A regularly hand stripped or rolled coat is extremely easy to maintain and is weatherproof and sheds dirt easily.

Training Norwich Terrier

Early socialisation and habituation with children, cats, small furry pets and livestock is vital. The Norwich is a clever little dog and will learn quickly with positive reinforcement-based methods and a good understanding of what makes a terrier tick. Appropriate outlets for chasing, tugging, digging and chewing will meet your Norwich’s needs and keep them happy. Recall training is a must as the Norwich will be keen to chase anything they consider ‘prey’. This is a fun little dog who will enjoy trick training and is capable of mini agility, scent work and more.

Best Family Dog Breeds

Better suited to homes with older children, and quieter homes. The Norwich Terrier is sharp and alert, meaning that the busy home may be over-stimulating, resulting in a stressed and likely noisy dog who cannot settle. Older teenagers who can help with training will enjoy working with this fun little dog.

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

did you know?

Did You Know?


  • People get confused which is the Norwich and which is the Norfolk. Just remember that there is an ‘f’ in Norfolk and they have the ‘folded’ ears whilst the Norwich has pointed ears like a ‘witch’s hat’.
  • Because they’re short and stocky, they’ll usually sit with their feet straight out and when they lie down, their feet will either stick straight out to the side or behind them.
  • Norwich Terriers are one of the smallest of the terrier types.
  • They’re often referred to as a “big dog in a small package”.
  • Norwich Terriers typically only have small litter sizes.

Finding a dog

Labrador lying next to the sofa
Finding a pet
Is this the right breed for you?
All dogs have their own unique personality! Try our Dog Breed Selector tool and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle.
Puppy walking next to owner on a lead
Finding a pet
Thinking about getting a puppy?
Join Growing Pup for help from our Purina experts on how to find the right puppy and prepare for your new arrival, as well as a discount off one of our puppy ranges.
Dog with red collar sitting next to the owner
Finding a pet
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Find out what to look for in a puppy breeder with this guide.
Dog with red collar
Finding a pet
Welcoming your dog home
While you're waiting for the big day you may need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort our before you welcome your new arrival.
Dog with red collar lying
It's incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organisation. It often means offering them a second chance at life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family and their forever home, but what can you expect from the process?

Dog with red collar looking out the window
Puppy advice
Everything you need to know
Getting a new puppy is incredibly exciting for all the family, but it can be quite scary for your new pup. Find out how to deal with everything from behaviour to health questions with our expert puppy advice.
Owner checking dogs collar
Finding a pet
Benefits of having a dog
It's known far and wide that dogs are man's best friend, but did you know that there's actually numerous benefits of having a dog? From helping you to get fit to meeting new people, your puppy can actually help to improve your health and social life. Keep reading to discover the benefits of dogs!