Did you know?
Norfolk Terriers were first known as the Cantab Terrier because it became fashionable for students at Cambridge University in England to keep them in their rooms.
If you eliminate smoking and gambling, you will be amazed to find that almost all an Englishman’s pleasures can be, and mostly are, shared by his dog. – George Bernard Shaw
As his name suggests, the Norfolk Terrier is a native breed of Norfolk, England. It is believed he developed in the 1880s from crossing various small breeds of terriers including the Irish Terrier and the small red terriers used by the Gypsies as ratters. As well as being a vermin hunter, he was also bred as a farm dog.
In addition to once being called the Cantab Terrier, Norfolks were also known as the Trumpington Terrier after the street where they were bred and developed at a livery stable. By the advent of World War I, they were called the Jones Terrier after the Irish equestrian Frank “Roughrider” Jones who was exporting large numbers of the terriers to the United States.
At first, the Norfolk Terrier was simply considered to be the drop-eared variety of Norwich Terrier. Both the prick-eared and drop-eared types were interbred. However, this caused some problems with ear development and over time, only prick-eared dogs were bred to prick-eared dogs and similarly drop-eared to drop-eared. In 1964 the two types were separated into Norwich Terriers (prick ears) and Norfolk Terriers (drop ears). These two terriers are the smallest of the working terriers.
Photos displayed courtesy of Peter and Linda Dowdle, Dralion Reg’d, Ontario
Although he stands just 10 inches (25 cm) high at the shoulder, he is a fearless little dog and makes a good watchdog, always announcing the presence of strangers.
His weather-resistant coat is hard and wiry and comes in all shades of red, red-wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle. Lying close to the body, the coat is generally longer and rougher on the head and shoulders.
Active and compact, Norfolk Terriers have the feisty personality of all terriers. And like others in their group, they have the typical terrier fearless and independent personalities. However, along with Norwich Terriers and Border Terriers, Norfolks are reputed to have the softest temperaments in the Terrier Group.
Since Norfolks are bred to work in packs, they get along with other dogs. If they are introduced to other household pets as a puppy, they will tolerate them quite well.
You can expect your Norfolk Terrier to live somewhere between 8 and 14 years in general.
As companions, they love people and children and do make good pets. They are affectionate, playful, outgoing little dogs who love being outdoors. They are also clever and learn quickly. Early obedience and socialization is a good idea.
Although their size makes them suited for almost any accommodation, they are active little dogs who need regular exercise. Alert, curious, and hardy, they are perfect for the active hiker.
Being a busy little soul, Norfolks will find things to do so exercise and mental activity are a must, otherwise the inbred terrier passion for digging may assert itself! Digging out of boredom is common behaviour for most breeds.
Outdoors, they are natural hunters with a strong prey drive for small vermin. Indoors this may be a problem if there are rodent type pets in the household.