Norwich Terrier Characteristics and Appearance

Norwich Terrier Characteristics

  • Apartment Living
  • Active Lifestyle
  • Watchdog Ability
  • Child Friendly
  • Dog Friendly
  • Cat Friendly
  • Shedding Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • Social Needs
  • Grooming needs
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Health Issues
  • Trainability
  • Adaptability
  • Norwich Terrier is the smallest terrier in the group of terriers. It was bred in England, the county of Norfolk, the city of Norwich in the second half of the 19th century. Breeders bred a new hunting breed by crossing three types of terriers. The offspring inherited from the ancestors all the positive features: an excellent hunting instinct, high intelligence, friendly character, courage and caution. Destination Norwich Terrier in those days was the hunt for small rodents. To date, the Norwich Terrier is a dog-companion which has not lost its hunting abilities.

    Norwich Terrier Appearance

    In the 80s of the XIX century, the Norwich Terrier breed received a different name - the Cambridge Terrier for its incredible popularity among students of Cambridge University. In addition, many considered this sweet and brave terrier as talisman.

    In 1932, the Norwich Terrier was recognized as the "official breed of England".

    Only in 1936, the Norwich Terrier breed was awarded the right to the title of champion. The color of the breed and the shape of the ears became the subject of controversy, because only dogs of black and red colors were allowed. The title of champion was assigned to both with hanging and with standing ears.

    Until 1964 they were crossed, but with the separation of Norwich and Norfolk Terriers into separate breeds. The standard provided for Norwich terriers only the erect form of the ears, and for Norfolk Terriers - hanging. Since then, terriers of the same breed are bred separately.

    Norwich Terrier Characteristics

    Origin: Great Britain.

    Utilization: Terrier.

    FCI Classification: Group 3 Terriers. Section 2 Small-sized Terriers. Without working trial.

    General Appearance of Norwich Terrier: small, stocky, keen dog with compact and strong body.

    Behaviour/Temperament of Norwich Terrier: Lovable disposition, not quarrelsome, tremendously active with hardy constitution. Gay and fearless.


    • Skull: slightly rounded, wide, good width between ears.
    • Stop: well defined.

    Muzzle: wedge-shaped and strong. Length about one third less than measurement from occiput to bottom of stop.

    • Lips: Tight-lipped.

    Jaws / Teeth: jaws clean and strong. Teeth are large, strong with perfect, regular scissor bite (upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws).

    Eyes: relatively small, oval-shaped, dark, full of expression, bright.

    Ears: erect, set well apart on top of skull, medium size with pointed tips. Ears perfectly erect when Norwich Terrier aroused and can be laid back when dog relax.

    Size of Norwich Terrier

    Neck is strong and good length, commensurate with correct overall  balance, flowing into well laid shoulders.

    Body: compact.

    Topline: level.

    Back: short.

    Loin: short.

    Chest: ribcage is long and well sprung. With good depth.

    Coat of Norwich Terrier

    Tail: docking previously optional.

    • Docked: Tail is medium docked. Set on high, completing perfectly level topline. Carried erect.
    • Undocked: Tail of moderate length to give a general balance to Norwich Terrier`s body. Tail is thick at root and tapering towards tip, as straight as possible. Carried jauntily, not excessively gay, completing perfectly level topline.

    Only the American Kennel Club demand for a medium docked tail (long enough for a man's hand to grasp), although a natural tail is not a disqualification. In Canada and most of Australia, tail docking is optional. In New South Wales, this procedure is illegal. In the United Kingdom, tail docking is only permitted for working dogs and is banned for show-dogs and pets.

    Tail docking is also banned in Norway (1987), and Sweden (1988). In the last four years Cyprus, Greece, Luxembourg and Switzerland have also decided to introduce a ban on tail docking.


    • Elbow: close to body.
    • Forearm: legs short, powerful and straight.
    • Metacarpus (Pastern): Firm and upright.
    • Forefeet are rounded (cat-like), pads are elastic, claws are strong. Forefeet are directed straight forward in the stance and in motion.

    Hindquarters: are broad, strong and muscular.

    • Knee: well turned.
    • Metatarsus (Rear pastern): hocks low-set, with great propulsion.
    • Hind feet are rounded (cat-like). Pads are elastic, claws are strong. Forefeet are directed straight forward in the stance and in motion.

    Gait / Movement: forelegs should move straight forward when moving.  Hind legs follow in their track. Hocks parallel and flexing to show pads.

    Adult Norwich Terrier

    Coat of Norwich Terrier is hard, wiry, straight, lying close to body with a thick undercoat. Hair is longer and rougher on neck and forming a ruff to frame face. Hair on head and ears is short and smooth, except for slight whiskers and eyebrows.

    Size of Norwich Terrier:

    • Height at the withers: 25-26 cm
    • Weight: 5.5 kg

    Faults: 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.

    Disqualifying Faults:

    • Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
    • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.


    1. Male should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
    2. Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.

    Color of Norwich Terrier

    Color of Norwich Terrier
    • All shades of red
    • Wheaten
    • Black and tan
    • "Grizzle".

    White marks or patches are undesirable.