Unlike the Norwich Terrier, the Norfolk is slightly longer than it is tall. Like the Norwich, this dog is a small alert dog who historically protected home and farm from rodents, working alone or in a pack. the Norwich Terrier is small, short-legged, and compact, with good bone and substance. The gait is low and driving. The double coat is weather resistant, with the outer coat consisting of hard, wiry, straight hair about 1.5 to 2 inches long, with a longer ruff. This dog wears a keen and intelligent expression and is a loyal companion.
The Norfolk Terrier shares an identical early history with the Norwich Terrier. During the development of these breeds, both prick and drop ears were seen, and neither could lay claim to being more authentic or original than the other. In the 1930s, soon after their entry into the show rings, breeders found that crossing the two types of ear carriage resulted in uncertain ear carriage in the offspring, so they began avoiding crossing the two ear types. The prick-eared type were more numerous; in fact, the drop-eared type almost vanished during World War II. The drop-eared strain owes its existence to the single-handed and determined efforts of Miss Macfie of the Colansays. In the 1940s, breeders came to her to renew breeding the drop-eared type of Norwich, and they soon caught up with the prick-eared type in popularity, although not in show awards. Eventually, amid some controversy, the breed was officially changed from one breed with two varieties to two separate breeds. This happened in 1964 in England and in 1979 in the United States.
Feisty, bold, inquisitive, game, scrappy, stubborn, and independent, the Norfolk is all terrier. It has been called a “demon” in the field, and it loves to hunt, dig, and investigate. It must be exercised in a safe area. It is clever and amiable but strong willed.
The Norfolk Terrier needs an exercise outing every day, either a short to moderate walk or a lively and boisterous play session. It especially likes to hunt and investigate, but it must do so in a safe area. It does best as a housedog with access to a yard. Its wire coat needs combing once or twice weekly, plus stripping of dead hairs three to four times yearly.