Is a Norwich the right dog for you?


Norwich Terriers are one of the smallest terriers, with an attractive, alert expression. The fact that Norwich have cute faces and are small may mislead some people into thinking that they are toy-like. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They are bold, fearless little dogs who can sometimes be sensitive and stubborn, needing firm but kindly handling when young. They are typical terriers, but should not be quarrel-some. They love company, both human and canine, and like to be kept busy. They especially enjoy digging.

Photo: Ruth Gee


The Norwich is an ideal size for modern living. These sturdy, robust little dogs enjoy doing doggy things: they are not couch potatoes and like to be active. Norwich enjoy exercise but not in hot weather. They are ready for a hike over the moors (when adult) or are content with a garden to run and play in. A single dog will be happy to muck in with the family’s activities but will be equally happy with another canine playmate. All dogs need a place they can call their own and a strong basket or cage will satisfy this need. Toys will need to be strong with any chewed off pieces discarded straight away.
Norwich are good with children, providing the children understand that a young puppy is not a plaything. Being terriers some Norwich can have very strong characters and if you are not ‘boss’ they will be. So, from the start, be firm. Norwich are very trainable, they love to please you. The Norwich Terrier is a tough little dog who can live to be 15 to 17 years of age. This is a fair commitment from any new owners, so please think carefully before you bring a Norwich into your life and your heart.


The coat, which is harsh and sometimes profuse, needs a daily groom to keep it healthy and clean. It is best to have the coat hand-stripped (not clippered) about twice a year. 

They do shed some hair but regular brushing and combing will keep this in check. The breeder of your puppy should advise you on coat care, especially regarding the black ‘overcoat’ which many baby puppies have. The secretary of the Club has a list of people willing to hand strip. 

Recognised colours are: all shades of red, wheaten, grizzle and black & tan. 

Photo: Ruth Gee


Norwich are usually good feeders and they do have a tendency to put on weight. They should be fed on whatever the breeder recommends at first. A change of diet is not to be recommended whilst young but if you have preferences for feeding methods any changes should be made gradually. Titbits from the table are not a good idea but they do enjoy doggie chews, it is best to avoid rawhide chews as they can become soft and the dog may try to swallow them whole. 


Many breeds suffer with various health problems varying in severity. The Norwich Terrier is generally a very healthy breed but there are some specific problems that can occur (please refer to Health & Welfare page on this site). Please talk to breeders about this topic & discuss any issues that may concern you. Please take advice from those with experience of many years of living with our lovely breed. You can also speak to your Veterinary Surgeon 


If you decide the Norwich Terrier is for you, please be prepared to wait. Norwich have small litters and are not widely bred. Your first step should be to contact the club secretary who does occasionally hear of puppies for sale, and will also be able to provide you with a list of breeders. Alternatively look at the section on this website where there is a list of breeders. Breeders will want to know something about your life style and family, so expect them to ask you as many questions as you ask them. It is vital that these special dogs go to the right homes. Whether you choose a dog or bitch, there isn’t any noticeable difference in character. Most breeders will tell you that if they could keep only one Norwich it would be a dog. 

Photo: Ruth Gee


Fairly easy to maintain, Norwich Terriers are adaptable and relate well to their human families.

If you are looking for a game little dog with a sturdy constitution a Norwich could be the answer.

If you decide a Norwich really is for you and you are looking for a puppy then, first and foremost, go to a reputable breeder.