Dog Breed profiles

Norfolk Terrier Breed Profile

Norfolk Terrier fact file

KC Group: Terrier
Size: Small
Height: 25cm
Weight: 6.5kg
Average lifespan: 13 years
Good with children?: Yes recommended
Exercise requirement: Moderate
Good guard dogs?: Would bark
Moulting level: Low
Grooming: Moderate
Colours: All shades of red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle (a mix of dark and white hairs); white patches are undesirable
Jogging partner: Short runs  


The hardy Norfolk Terrier has no known breed-specific health problems and no compulsory health tests are required.
However, when looking at puppies, potential owners should consider the following: do they look healthy? Are they alert and inquisitive? Are their eyes and ears clean? Always ask to see the puppies with their mother. If in doubt, do not buy.


  • The Norfolk has a delightful disposition.
  • Extremely lovable.
  • Alert and inquisitive.
  • Fearless and sometimes a little foolhardy.


  • The Norfolk is a true terrier — he loves to run, dig, and hunt.
  • He needs proper exercise and will happily walk with you in all weathers as far as you wish.
  • He will happily live in a city or the country, provided he is kept active, both physically and mentally.
  • This sturdy, robust little dog is perfect for an active family.
  • He is the perfect companion for children as long as they are properly socialised together.
  • A Norfolk can get on well with cats and small furries if brought up with them from an early age. However, he can never be trusted completely — he is a terrier after all.
  • He loves human company and won’t do well when left alone for long periods of time.


  • Training must be started early and be firm and consistent, but gentle — Norfolks can be sensitive little souls.
  • In typical terrier fashion he can be stubborn. He loves his food, so a tasty titbit may help convince him that what you want him to do is a good idea.
  • A solid recall is vital with the Norfolk, as his instinct to hunt combined with his complete lack of road sense can easily lead him into trouble.

General care

  • The Norfolk has a harsh wiry coat which will require a thorough weekly brush.
  • To keep the natural texture of the coat he should be hand-stripped twice a year. Some Norfolks are extremely sensitive to hand-stripping — if they find it particularly stressful clipping may be the better option. It is also recommended that if your Norfolk is old or has a soft coat, he should be clipped.
  • The Norfolk isn’t a fussy eater and will generally eat whatever is put in front of him. Monitor his diet closely to ensure there is no unwanted weight gain.


  • Healthy and hardy.
  • Good temperament.
  • Good size.


  • Can be reckless and get into trouble.

Did you know?

  • In the early 1800s there was no distinction between the Norfolk and Norwich Terriers. They did not become separate breeds until 1964.
  • Norfolks are not as quarrelsome as some of the other terrier breeds.
  • Your Norfolk Terrier will love puddles — the muddier, the better!