Some things to consider about Norwich Terriers

Norwich terriers are one of the smallest of the working terriers - approximately 12 pounds in weight. They make great companions and love children. Because of their strong prey drive to chase small vermin, Norwich must never be left off-leash except in controlled circumstances. As terriers go, Norwich are one of the more biddable (trainable) of the terrier breeds. You might want to look around the AKC web page on Norwich terriers, which includes the breed standard (a description of how the ideal Norwich should look).

A dog is an adopted family member that you get to choose. A Norwich puppy will be living with you for approximately twelve to fifteen years. So it is important to do your homework and make an informed choice. I encourage you to look around my kennel web pages, learn as much as you can about Norwich terriers, and ask questions.

Here are some things you should consider.

Why do you want a Norwich terrier?

There are several small terrier breeds that are easier to acquire - Westies, Cairns, Border terriers, etc. Why do you want a Norwich terrier? You may not have a good answer to this question, but it is one that you should try to answer.

What sex do you want?

Some people have a strong preference regarding the sex of the dog that they want to acquire; some people do not. As a generalization, boy dogs are sweeter than girl dogs.

Do you want a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Young puppies chew everything (that nice piece of furniture), pee and poop in the most inconvenient spots (that nice rug), and generally can be a real nuisance. Some people love this time of a dog's life; others prefer an older puppy that is past most of this. Some people even prefer an older dog that is "retired" from breeding and showing.

What color Norwich do you want?

People choose a particular breed because they like the size, the look, and the temperament. Along with look goes color. Some people have a preference; others do not. The two predominant colors of Norwich terriers are red and "black and tan" (black saddle).

Have you considered the price of a Norwich terrier?

No authority sets the price of a Norwich terrier. Each individual breeder sets their own price. You have to ask a breeder what they charge. Price however is not necessarily an indication of quality. You should learn as much as you can about Norwich terriers, and not just take the first one that you find available for sale. See Some questions to ask a breeder.

Keep in mind that the sale price of a Norwich is not the only financial consideration. I tell my puppy buyers that they should budget approximately $1,000 per year on the maintenance of a Norwich terrier - approximately $500 for annual dental cleanings with x-rays and another $500 for food, shots, etc.

Have you considered a Norfolk terrier?

Norwich and Norfolk were originally one breed but were divided into two breeds by ear carriage - "prick ear" (Norwich) and "drop ear" (Norfolk). Surprisingly they have diverged quite a bit in terms of conformation, temperament, and health in the relatively short time that they have been separated.

Besides the ears, the Norwich breed standard asks for square in shape, the Norfolk standard says slightly rectangular. If you study them enough, you can definitely see a difference in body type.

Here are two quotes from breeders who have both Norwich and Norfolk terriers:

Norfolk's want their people and Norwich need their people.

Many years ago Annie Clark [a famous conformation judge], who gave me one of my first Norfolk, summed them up this way The reason Norfolk have drop ears is so that they don't have to hear you when you call them ... and that just about says it all! I have had both for more years than I care to count and think the Norfolk is the more "TERRIER" of the two breeds - more independent, stubborn to a fault and very affectionate without being clingy. Norwich want to be with you EVERY second, even when you go to the bathroom and are much more "needy" than the 'folks.

Besides Norfolk terriers, what other breeds are similar to Norwich terriers?

The Scottish terrier, the Cairn terrier, and the West Highland White terrier are the breeds genetically closest to the Norwich and Norfolk terriers. The AKC website has a nice article discussing the differences between a Norwich terrier and a Cairn terrier.

Last updated 20201206