Norfolk Terrier

FCI standard Nº 272

Great Britain
Group 3 Terriers
Section 2 Small-sized Terriers
Without working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Saturday 01 October 1966
Publication of the official valid standard
Wednesday 13 October 2010
Last update
Wednesday 16 February 2011
En français, cette race se dit
Norfolk Terrier
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Norfolk Terrier
En español, esta raza se dice
Norfolk Terrier
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Norfolk Terrier



Brief historical summary

The Norfolk and Norwich Terrier take their names, obviously, from the county and the city, though turning the clock back to the early and mid-1800s there was no such distinction, this being just a general farm dog. Glen of Imaals, red Cairn Terriers and Dandie Dinmonts are among the breeds behind these East Anglian terriers and from the resultant red progeny emerged the present Norwich and Norfolk Terrier.
A typical short-legged terrier with a sound, compact body which has been used not only on fox and badger, but on rats as well. He has a delightful disposition, is totally fearless but is not one to start a fight. As a worker he does not give up in the face of a fierce adversary underground, and his standard’s reference to the acceptability of ‘honourable scars from fair wear and tear’ is a good indication of the type of.
The Norwich Terrier was accepted on the Kennel Club Breed Register in 1932, and were known as the drop-eared Norwich Terrier (now known as the Norfolk Terrier) and prick-eared Norwich Terrier. The breeds were separated in 1964 and the drop-eared variety gained the name Norfolk Terrier.

General appearance

One of the smallest of terriers. Low, keen dog, compact and strong, short back, good substance and bone. Honourable scars from fair wear and tear permissible.

Behaviour / temperament

A “demon” for its size. Lovable disposition, not quarrelsome, hardy constitution; alert and fearless.


Cranial region

Broad, only slightly rounded, with good width between ears. 
Well defined.

Facial region

Wedge-shaped and strong; length of muzzle about one-third less than measurement from occiput to bottom of stop.
Tight lipped.
Jaws and teeth
Strong jaw, teeth strong and rather large; perfect, scissor bite, i. e. upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Oval-shaped, dark brown or black. Expression alert, keen and intelligent.
Medium size, V-shaped, slightly rounded at tip, dropping forward close to cheek.


Strong and of medium length.


Well sprung ribs.


Docking of tail previously optional.
Docked : Medium docked, set level with topline and carried erect.
Undocked : Tail of moderate length to give a general balance to dog, thick at root and tapering towards the tip, as straight as possible, carried jauntily, not excessively gay.



Well laid back, approximately in length to upper arm.
Front legs short, powerful and straight.
Round with thick pads.


Well muscled.
Well turned.
Hocks well let down and straight when viewed from rear; great propulsion.
Hind feet
Round with thick pads.

Gait and movement

True, low and driving. Moving straight forward from shoulder. Good rear angulation showing great powers of propulsion. Hindlegs follow track of forelegs, moving smoothly from hips. Flexing well at stifle and hock. Topline remaining level.


Hard, wiry, straight, lying close to body. Longer and rougher on neck and shoulders. Hair on head and ears short and smooth, except for slight whiskers and eyebrows. Excessive trimming undesirable.
All shades of red, wheaten, black and tan or grizzle. White marks or patches undesirable but permissible.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Ideal height at the withers: 25 cms.


• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy dogs.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.



Detailed history

A Basset Terrier is a Scottish Terrier, they say at first sight. The Norfolk and Norwich Terriers are typically English. But, by the way, why distinguish these two dogs, which really differ only in their "hairstyle"? The ears of Norfolk are falling while those of Norwich are erect, but does this justify the recognition of two races? No doubt we will find the explanation in their history.

At the end of the last century, in the districts of Cambridge and Norwich, in Norfolk County, there were small fire-colored Terriers, still smaller than most Terriers, which usually are not particularly small. giants. They were used to hunt fox and badger. Those possessed by Fred Law, among others, had gained some reputation in the country, so much so that he ceded some of them to the crews of dogs running the deer, including the crews of Jack Cooke and Jodrel Hopkins. However, despite all the daring that these dogs could endure, it is unlikely that they would be asked to help the Staghounds to pursue the fox; rather, they were to rid the buildings of all vermin and the surroundings of the "stink".

One of these boatswain's men was employing a man named Franck Jones, a man of great reputation, if we judge him by his nickname Roughrider. One day, Roughrider Jones quit his stingy job, but he did not fail to carry some of these little fire-terriers to which he had attached himself, among others a male named Rags, who is considered the ancestor of Norwich and Norfolk Terriers.

To get Rags and his ilk, it is said that Jones used the most diverse dogs: the Bedlington Terrier (who did not yet look like a worldly lamb) and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, but still a red Terrier, a kind of a small Irish Terrier on legs, chosen from among those a Mr. "Doggy Lawrence sold to Cambridge students to improve his ordinary. This already varied "cocktail" was completed by several subjects from the breeding of Colonel Vaughan of Ballybrick, established in the south of Ireland. The Colonel had gradually formed his lineage by crossing Irish Terriers, namely the Irish Terrier and the Olen of Imaal Terrier, with the Cairn (Scottish, that one). Indeed, what would become the Norwich-Terrier has some resemblance to this dog.

Jones was looking for working dogs with both the maximum efficiency and the smallest possible volume, but apart from that, the homogeneity of these dogs did not worry him too much. It may be noted, however, that of all the dogs he has used or is supposed to have used, many have a tawny or red coat, a shaggy coat, a somewhat low profile.

As it was, Jones's dogs had to be already typed, because from the beginning of the twentieth century, they began to look for a name. To pay homage to the former quintile, they were called "Jones Terriers". Then, after remembering that some of their ancestors attended Cambridge University, it was found that "Cantab Terrier" was more original (Cantab is an abbreviation of Cambrige, in the academic language), and, because they were then widespread in the Trumpington area, and "Trumpington Terrier" was also proposed. Many Terriers have a name that has a geographical resonance, why not that one?

The small size of these brave and hardy dogs was at the origin of their fame of workers, but it also made them very interesting as companion dogs. Being able to play on several registers, they took advantage of it to prosper. After the Great War, several pastoralists undertook to develop the breeding, among which Mrs. Phyllis Fagan, which was the first of the "modern" Norwich (and Norfolk, of course), and all of whose dogs came from those produced by "Roughrider" Jones.

Thus made more "presentable" without having lost their naturalness and their rusticity, these little ones of the Terrier family began to frequent the exhibitions, and that is how they managed to get noticed by the Kennel Club, which In 1932 he decided to recognize the race as the Norwich Terrier. At that time, the wearing of ears differed according to the subjects: some wore pointed and erect while others had fallen well against the cheeks, but both were admitted; a situation that is not common for a breed and explains the sequence of events. Soon, indeed, a preference was made among amateurs either for the falling ears or for the ears erected. And although dogs with straight ears and drooping ears could be seen, many breeders chose one or the other type. These dogs were bred as two separate breeds, although all were on the same show rings. This inconsistency lasted a few decades, after which an agreement was reached to ask the Kennel Club to split the breed in two. Never mind, two races, so twice as many rewards, that could only be happy. At the great Cruft exhibition in February 1965, Challenge Certificates were created for the "new" Norfolk. To tell the truth, only the Norfolk appellation was new, and not even quite so, since it was quite close to the Norwich name kept by dogs with erect ears. Be that as it may, Norfolk was a great success.

The neophyte will tend to think that there is nothing extraordinary. Voire. Stanley Dangerfield, one of the most prominent Terrier experts, says about this breed, "which has only officially existed for thirty years and is splitting into two recognized varieties," that it "does not exist in the canine world of another such example "and that" lovers of this breed claim that Norwich is unrivaled in other respects. "

It is certain that this Terrier, who came late to join his "cousins", had had some difficulty in finding an enviable place among them. This split was a sort of publicity stunt intended to attract the attention of dog and specialist dogs and, by extension, to give it a surplus of popularity, and it must be acknowledged that it produced its effect: if, before 1965 the Kennel Club registered 400 births per year for the breed, and in the following years Norfolk and Norwich together managed nearly 500 registrations, and today that number is 650.

Compared to other Terriers, Norfolk and Norwich are far from the band's stars (Staffie, Westie, and, to a lesser extent, Bull-Terrier and Cairn), but they do better than many others. well known (Bedlington, Irish, Kerry-Blue, Lakeland, Welsh or Sealyham). And when you notice that the modest and rustic Border Terrier now records 1,500 births a year, it's safe to predict Norfolk and Norwich a good career. Norfolk probably has more future than Norwich, which may be a bit too much of Cairn (for the general public). Norfolk has a more original appearance than his brother, thanks to his drooping ears (and a little hair a little shorter). Moreover, it is said to be more docile.

When Mother Nature, following a moment of inattention, forgets to give an individual an advantageous stature, she does not fail to compensate for this slight inconvenience by endowing the unlucky person with a surplus of energy. That's what happened to our two inseparable Norfolk and Norwich.

Indeed, with their 23 to 25 cm at the withers, the two friends do not measure much less than a Cairn, but, by weight, they "return" to the small Scots 4 pounds, or 1, 8 kg, difference that, when you take a dog in your arms, is not negligible. But beware! they are by no means miniatures: you have to know, for example, that they weigh twice the size of the Yorkshire Terrier.

Petulant, sparkling, quicksilver, so we can call the temperament of Norwich and Norfolk. The standard of one of them even uses the term "little demon". It is true that they are constantly happy and determined to play. This extroverted personality prepares them to become excellent games partners for the children, who lend themselves to all jokes and escapades, but who have a sufficiently strong character not to be mistaken for toys.

An important point (especially when it comes to Terriers), rightly emphasized by both standards, is that their liveliness never tends to be confused in aggressiveness: these dogs show tolerance towards their fellows and do not quarrel with them. It will also be noted that while, quite generally, their exuberant and sporty behavior does not predispose the Terriers to become city dwellers, Norfolk and Norwich are among those who can adapt to living in an apartment. Of course, they will not give up their demands for exercises and walks, and if given the choice, they would probably even prefer a little bit of garden. They also have undeniable ability to guard the house and property, never failing to report the arrival of visitors or an abnormal event. Whatever their size and the nature of their hair, we can classify all Terriers into two broad categories: "sophisticated" and "natural"

Norwich and Norfolk belong, of course, like the Border and the Cairn, for example, to the second. Their figure does not owe anything to any grooming. Their dress, weatherproof, requires only a good brush stroke from time to time, which also reduces the budget that must be spent on their maintenance. Even in exhibition, they must remain "nature". In Britain, they say they must be no topping and tailing, that is to say they must have their ports of head and tail natural, their "handler" can not under any circumstances assist them to present them in their best light. Although their official description states that any "glorious scars" should not discredit them with the judges, it must be admitted that they do not have much opportunity to show off their talents in the hunt on and underground. However, they have been selected for work and are "always able to do it". On occasion, if they can frolic in a corner of meadow, they will be happy to destroy rodents and will be passionate about hunting moles and field mice.

Small in size, very robust, maintenance-free, accommodating, tolerant, it can not be said that Norfolk and Norwich require much attention and care. However, they are never forgotten, thanks to their happy and relaxed nature, affectionate and attentive. You are so demanding that you look for a dog whose great presence at your side does not cause you the least concern? Why do not you think of one of these two Terrier brothers? You will probably have to wait to buy a Norwich (Norfolk is almost impossible to find in France), but you will not regret it.

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