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About the Norwich Terrier


One of the most honest breeds, the Norwich Terrier is affectionate and friendly.  These small but hardy dogs are remarkably intelligent, courageous and wonderfully affectionate. All around good-natured, they get along well with children and other pets, and will not usually be shy or aggressive with strangers. This breed loves companionship and is eager to please.


However, like most terrier breeds, they can be independent and willful. They are very active, and love to play, especially with toys and balls.  Norwich love to chase small animals so it is recommended to have them on a leash at all times if not in a secured area.  Norwich are not "yappy" dogs however they are happy to let you know of a stranger approaching.



Small and stocky, the Norwich Terrier is most easily distinguished by its pricked ear and it's harsh wiry coat. Its skull is broad and slightly domed, and adorned with erect, wide set ears. A strong jaw set defines its wedge-shaped muzzle, and its large teeth have a scissors bite.  Dark, small, oval eyes give a foxy expression.  On the head, ears and muzzle, the hair is short and smooth with slight eyebrows.  


A medium length neck tapers into laid back shoulders and a short, level topline. The wide chest is deep with well sprung ribs. Its docked tail is level with the topline and erect. The forelegs should be straight, and the hind legs should be muscular with low set hocks. Its wiry, straight coat lies close to its body, with slightly longer hair around the neck and shoulders.  Coloring may be red, black and tan, grizzle or wheaten.


Official Breed Standard



The life expectancy of the Norwich  Terrier is 12-15 years.  A good diet, proper weight, plenty of exercise, regular grooming, and routine veterinary care should keep a Norwich in good health. While the Norwich is considered a healthy breed, there are some issues which responsible breeders do preventative genetic health testing, thereby reducing the incidences.  In the United States and Canada you can verify if a dog has completed genetic health testing by checking the open registry at The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) at  The foundation of Taliesin Norwich, Sage, was the OFA Champion of Health August 2010.


The Canine Health Information Center, also known as CHIC, is a centralize canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the OFA.  A dog that is part of the CHIC program (the dog will have a CHIC#) provides benefits for breeders, buyers, parent clubs and researchers.  For more information, and to search for Norwich that are part of the CHIC program, please visit


Norwich breeders are seeing more dogs with breathing concerns, and the Norwich Terrier Club of America has formed a new "Health and Genetics Sub-Committee for Research on Upper Airway Syndrome in Norwich Terriers "Upper Airway Syndrome (UAS) covers all abnormalities that can occur in the upper airway,  All compromise the airway and the dog's ability to breathe normally; the dog's breathing often sounds raspy or moist.  



The standard requires the coat to be hard, wiry and rough with a definite undercoat.  Norwich terriers require regular maintenance to keep a consistently groomed coat.  They should be brushed or combed at least weekly to remove the dead hairs.   Proper maintenance in the Norwich coat, like other  hard wiry coats, necessitates "stripping, " or pulling the oldest hairs in the coat (using fingers and/or any "stripping knife, " a unique grooming comb).  Stripping results in the coat retaining the proper appearance and health of the dog's coat. Ideally, owner’s hand-strip the coat fairly often to achieve a "rolling" coat, where hairs of varied lengths are growing within. Maintaining a rolling coat is easier on the dog's skin and necessitates shorter grooming sessions.  From minimum, the coat needs to be stripped once in the autumn once in the spring.  A few pet owners opt to have their pets clipped however, clipping is not a recommended method of grooming since it does not remove the dead hair, it ends up softening the texture and the breed looses much of its character and charm.   

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