This spirited dog, one of the smallest of the working terriers, is sturdy and stocky, of square proportion. Historically, the breed’s small size and large teeth were an asset when following game down tight passageways. The double coat has a hard, wiry, and straight outer coat that lies close to the body and is thicker around the mane for protection. The dog bears a slightly foxy expression.
Short-legged ratting terriers have long been valued in England, but only in the 1880s did the breed that would eventually become both the Norwich and Norfolk Terriers emerge from obscurity. At that time, owning one of these small dogs became a fad among Cambridge University students. The little terriers became known as CanTab, and later Trumpington, Terriers. Around 1900, a Trumpington Terrier named Rags came to a stable near Norwich. He sired countless offspring and is the patriarch of the modern Norwich. One of his sons came to America and proved to be an amiable ambassador for the breed. To this day, many people still refer to the Norwich as the “Jones” Terrier, after this dog’s owner. The AKC recognized the breed in 1936.
The Norwich Terrier, like the Norfolk, is a true terrier at heart, always ready for adventure and excitement. This dog may chase small animals, given the breed’s hunting background. The Norwich is a pert, independent, amusing—but sometimes challenging—companion, best suited for people with a sense of adventure and humor.
The Norwich needs a good walk or short run every day. This dog especially likes combining a run with a chance to explore, but any such off-leash expeditions must be done only in a safe area. The wiry coat needs combing one to two times weekly, plus grooming of dead hairs three to four times a year.