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Norwich Terrier: Breed Characteristics, Training, Care & Nutrition

The Norwich Terrier is a British breed of dog recognized by the FCI and has been placed in Group 3, Section 2 by them. Group 3 describes the group of terriers, the section marks the terrier species. The Norwich Terrier belongs to Section 2, the so-called “low-legged terriers”.

Norwich Terrier dog breed

Size: 24-26cm
Weight: 5-5.5kg
FCI Group: 3: Terriers
Section: 2: Short Legged Terriers
Country of origin: Great Britain
Colors: Wheaten, Brown, Grizzle, Black-Brown, Red, Wheat
Life expectancy: 12-14 years
Suitable as: family and companion dog
Sports: –
Personality: Affectionate, Sensitive, Intelligent, Hardy, Energetic
Exercise requirements: rather high
Drooling potential: low
The thickness of hair: rather low
Maintenance effort: rather high
Coat structure: hard, wiry, straight, close-lying
Child friendly: yes
Family dog: yes
Social: yes

Origin and breed history

The breed comes from the old English county of Norfolk, the capital of which is Norwich, hence the small terrier’s name.

The existence of this dog breed has only been documented since the 19th century. During this time, the Norwich Terrier was considered a very talented pied piper. The small dogs were particularly popular with farmers and students who lived in adverse circumstances and could keep the pests out of the house with these dogs.

Up until the 1960s, the Norwich Terrier was equated with the very similar Norfolk Terrier. Both terrier breeds come from the same environment and were counted as the same breed because of the few differences. Nowadays, however, they are regarded as two separate breeds and are listed separately at the FCI. The biggest distinguishing feature between Norfolk Terriers and Norwich Terriers are the differently shaped ears. On the Norwich Terrier, these point upwards, whereas on its relative, the Norfolk Terrier, they hang down in the form of small floppy ears.

Nature and temperament of the Norwich Terrier

The Norwich Terrier is considered a very lovable and cheerful dog that is never aggressive and is a very devoted friend to its human. Due to his bright nature and his curiosity, he would like to experience a lot and is particularly suitable as a family dog because of his careful handling of children. The Norwich Terrier is also very open-minded towards other dogs and does not show any aggressive behavior towards other dogs.

Only the hunting instinct, which is innate because of its original use, should not be neglected with consistent training at a young age. If this is under control, the Norwich Terrier is a great companion for the whole family and can also be kept with cats and other animals without any problems once they get used to it.

Is the Norwich Terrier a family dog?

Yes, the Norwich Terrier is a family dog. You bring a loyal, good-humoured and loving four-legged friend into your life.

The appearance of the Norwich Terrier

The Norwich Terrier is one of the smallest terriers and only reaches a height of about 25 centimeters at the withers. He is compact and closed built and has a fairly strong physique, which is why he does not look fragile compared to other small dog breeds.

Its wiry, short fur lies close to its body and its dense undercoat keeps it warm even in cold temperatures. Around the neck and head of the Norwich Terrier, the fur is slightly longer and shaggy, forming a mane that vaguely resembles a lion’s mane. The color shades of his coat are red, wheaten, grizzle or black with tan.

The dogs of this breed weigh between five and seven kilograms and have an approximate life expectancy of 12 to 16 years. The pointed ears typical of this breed stand far apart from the head of the Norwich Terrier, the strong tail is carried straight and not docked.

How big do Norwich Terriers get?

Norwich Terriers normally reach a height of about 25 centimeters at the withers.

Upbringing and keeping of the Norwich Terrier – this is important to note

The small size of the Norwich Terrier should not hide the fact that despite its short legs, it likes to move around a lot, which is why it should always benefit from enough exercise. Due to his pronounced athleticism and willingness to learn, he is well suited as a partner for dog sports such as agility or obedience. Otherwise, he loves long hikes and can also be taken along as a riding companion dog once he has gotten used to it. In this case, however, care should be taken to ensure that the terrier’s hunting instinct is controllable and that the dog can be called in an emergency. On the other hand, the Norwich Terrier is less suitable as a partner for jogging rounds because of its short legs.

Terriers in general are known to be very stubborn. The Norwich Terrier is much more docile than other terrier breeds in this regard. Nevertheless, he should be taught the basics of dog training with consistency, patience and love when he is a puppy, so that living together is relaxed and fun for everyone involved.

Norwich Terriers are suited to both families and individuals as they form strong bonds with the people around them. Due to their small size, they can also be kept in city apartments as long as he gets enough exercise and activity throughout the day.
Dog beginners can also bring a Norwich Terrier into their home with a clear conscience and master dog training – preferably with specialist literature and/or a puppy school.

Diet of the Norwich Terrier

The nutritional needs of smaller four-legged friends differ from the nutritional needs of larger dog breeds. In addition, due to the small stomach and mouth of the Norwich Terrier, it is advisable to feed them special food that correctly covers all their needs and provides the necessary nutrients. Suitable food for Norwich Terriers can be found in specialist shops, which can be tailored to the needs of your own dog with the help of the advising staff. If you cook yourself, you should make sure that the food consists of two parts meat, one part carbohydrates (such as rice) and one part vegetables.

Due to their love of exercise, Norwich Terriers tend to have a high energy requirement, but each dog should be considered individually. Basically, you should decide whether you want to feed the dog wet or dry food, a mixture of both, or whether you would like to barf your dog, i.e. feed it with raw meat. If you are unsure about this or would like to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of feeding, you will find support and expert advice from your trusted veterinarian so that your four-legged friend does not lack anything later on.
Health – life expectancy & common diseases
The skeleton of the Norwich Terrier is considered to be very stable and resilient. In general, the breed has a reputation for being very robust and not prone to disease. Good breeding successfully counteracts typical diseases.

Nevertheless, illnesses can occur in exceptional cases. In this case, the Norwich Terrier tends to be prone to epileptic seizures or suffer from upper airway syndrome. With this syndrome, the affected dog suffers from shortness of breath and the associated reduced performance. By regularly checking the teeth and gums, diseases can be detected early and then treated so that your four-legged friend can romp through life healthy.

Otherwise, of course, regular deworming and vaccinations contribute to maintaining the health of the Norwich Terrier.

Grooming the Norwich Terrier

Despite the lush looking coat with its dense undercoat, the Norwich Terrier is one of the easy-care dog breeds. The dead hair of terriers does not fall out on its own, which means that they shed little. Regular brushing can remove dead hair from the coat, which also prevents its hair from being spread around the house or apartment. The terrier’s slightly shaggy look is what makes the breed so charming and doesn’t require any elaborate styling.

You should keep a regular eye on your Norwich Terrier’s claws to prevent improper wear and tear that could potentially lead to pain. When it is wet or snowing, the Norwich Terrier’s stomach and legs can get dirty due to its proximity to the ground, but in this case it is sufficient to clean and dry it with a towel. A Norwich Terrier only needs to be bathed if it has rolled in something smelly, otherwise brushing the coat is enough to remove dust and light dirt.

Dogs’ auricles and auditory canals should also be checked at regular intervals and, if necessary, cleaned with a damp cloth to prevent ear infections. Sleep or mucus that collects in the corners of the eyes can also be gently wiped away with a damp cloth. If your dog’s eye is noticeably watering, you should consult a veterinarian to rule out an eye disease.

Norwich Terrier – Activities and Training

A former rat hunter and accustomed worker, the Norwich Terrier is very active and eager to learn, learning new tricks with ease and happily keeping up with their family in all endeavors. He loves to keep busy and rewards an active lifestyle with a large helping of love. Due to its pronounced alertness, the Norwich Terrier is also ideal as a guard dog, watching over the house and property without tending towards constant barking.

In addition, the Norwich Terrier likes to go on short hikes and enjoys other dog sports. In addition, she learns little tricks and tricks with passion.

Good to know: Special features of the Norwich Terrier

The Norwich Terrier population is not particularly large. This is because there are usually very few puppies born per litter. Accordingly, the purchase price of a Norwich Terrier puppy is also higher.

How much does a Norwich Terrier cost?

The purchase price of a breeding puppy is very high, it is usually between $1500 and $1800. Added to this are the costs for initial equipment, consisting of a collar, leash, basket, bowls, toys, and care accessories.

Disadvantages of the Norwich Terrier

You have to be careful when feeding the Norwich Terrier. Since he tends to be overweight, you should keep an eye on the amount of food and make sure that the dog gets enough exercise.

In addition, one should always keep in mind that it is a terrier. These dog breeds are usually equipped with a little stubborn head. With consistent training you can get the somewhat idiosyncratic character under control.

Is a Norwich Terrier right for me?

Due to its friendly and uncomplicated nature, the Norwich Terrier fits in well everywhere, whether in a family with children, couples, individuals or seniors. Its small size allows it to be kept in a city apartment, just as it is naturally happy about the house and garden. As long as he is sufficiently exercised and allowed to be close to his caregivers, the Norwich Terrier feels comfortable and easily fits into the existing structure.

However, there are a few things you should generally consider before getting a dog. Since a dog is a fully-fledged living being, you should take a critical look at a few things below before you make the purchase.

The time it takes to get a dog is particularly important: a dog needs a lot of exercise and attention so that it feels comfortable and can therefore be a good partner for you. Is there enough time for regular walks and cuddles? Where is the dog when you have to work? Ideally, can he even accompany you?

Norwich Terriers don’t like to be alone for long due to the closeness they develop with their caregivers. They always want to be close to you and would like to experience every adventure with you. This need should be considered when purchasing a Norwich Terrier.

If you live in a rented apartment or house, you should always discuss with the landlord whether a dog can be kept. Not that there will be any problems after the dog has already moved in with you. It may also be a good idea to talk to the neighbors about it beforehand, as it can always happen that your Norwich Terrier can be heard. However, this breed does not tend to bark unfoundedly or excessively and is usually a very pleasant and quiet roommate. Furthermore, before you bring your dog into the house, you should have a few options where you can leave your dog if you ever want to travel without your four-legged friend.

If the Norwich Terrier comes into a family, it is best to make sure beforehand that nobody has an allergy to dog hair that would prevent your new family member from moving in. The Norwich Terrier is not suitable for allergy sufferers.

Finally, there is the financial aspect. The basic equipment, the food and the veterinarian have to be paid for and can skyrocket in an emergency, for example in the event of injuries or even a necessary operation. It is therefore always advisable to take out health insurance for the dog, which can be supportive in such a case. In addition, it is advisable to have liability insurance for the dog, which will cover the costs in the event of damage.

Once all these points have been clarified, then nothing stands in the way of getting a dog.

Because the Norwich Terrier is a purebred dog, the safest place to go is with a breeder who specializes in this breed. You will be able to find a list of potential breeders in your area with a quick search on the internet.

A good breeder can advise you ideally and accompany you on the way to your own Norwich Terrier. He should inform you about all examinations made before handing in and be able to show you the vaccination certificates of your future companion. In addition, with a reputable breeder you always have the opportunity to get to know the parents and get an impression of their nature, which they will eventually pass on to their puppies and your potential dog.

Because a breeder sees the puppies of his litter grow up from the beginning, he has a good feeling for the different tempers and characters of the little puppies and can therefore find the right dog for your needs. For example, the breeder will tend to choose a quieter puppy if it is intended for a family with children, or they will prefer to hand over a slightly cheekier puppy to buyers who already have a little dog experience. This ensures that dog and master also harmonize well with each other.

With a breeder, the puppies also get their first impressions of life, get to know their surroundings and undertake their first tours of discovery. Since the first few weeks of a puppy’s life are the most decisive for later imprinting, when choosing a breeder you should also pay attention to what your puppy will learn and get to know there.

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