The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

The Purebred Norfolk Terrier

Information and Pictures

A small soft looking tan dog with long scruffy looking hair on his face looking like he has a beard, long eye brows and a mustache with small ears that hang down to the sides laying on the back of a tan couch.

Ivy the Norfolk Terrier at 2 years old


NOR-fuhk TAIR-ee-uhrspeaker


The Norfolk Terrier is a strong, sturdy, short, little dog. The head is slightly rounded, and wide with a good amount of space between the ears. The wedge-shaped muzzle is strong, with a well-defined stop. The small, oval shaped eyes are dark in color. The ears are small, hanging tight to the cheeks. The legs are straight and the feet are round with black toenails. The medium-sized tail is set high, level with the topline and is usually docked by half. Note: it is illegal to dock tails in most of Europe. The wiry, straight coat is about one and a half to two inches long. Coat colors include red, wheaten, tan, black and tan, or grizzle with or without dark points and occasionally with white markings.


The Norfolk Terrier is among the smallest of the working terriers. Active, courageous, affectionate, balanced and without any nervousness or quarrelsomeness. It is easy to train and needs consistent rules to follow. These little dogs love everyone and are good with children. Because of their ratting instincts they tend to love anything you can toss for them to chase after, such as toys, balls, sticks or bones. If left outside for a long period of time with nothing to do, without providing a long pack walk to drain their energy, they can become barkers and diggers. This breed is generally good with other pets such as cats and dogs, but should not be trusted with small animals such as hamsters, pet rats, mice or guinea pigs. Do not allow this little dog to develop Small Dog Syndrome, where the dog believes he is pack leader to humans. This can cause many varying degrees of behavior problems including, but not limited to, separation anxiety, jealousy and guarding behaviors. They can be difficult to housebreak.

Height, Weight

Height: 10 inches (25 cm)
Weight: 10 - 12 pounds (4½ - 5½ kg)
These are the smallest of the terriers.

Health Problems

Some lines are prone to back problems and genetic eye diseases, but are generally healthy.

Living Conditions

Norfolks will do okay in an apartment if they are sufficiently exercised. They are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard.


These little dogs were bred to work. They are energetic and thrive on an active life, and need to be taken on a daily walk. They can jog for short distances. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. Teach them to enter and exit all door and gateways after the human.

Life Expectancy

About 12-15 years

Litter Size

About 2 to 5 puppies


The shaggy, medium-length, waterproof coat is relatively easy, but daily combing and brushing is important. Little clipping is required. Take extra care when the dog is shedding. Bathe and dry shampoo only when necessary. This breed is a light shedder.


Developed in East Anglia, England, the Norfolk and Norwich Terriers used to be the same breed with two different ear types; both were referred to as the Norwich Terrier. The English were the first to separate them in 1964. In 1979 the AKC officially deemed them as separate breeds, the Norwich having small, perked ears and the Norfolk with dropped ears. Another slight difference is the Norfolks are angular in shape and the Norwich Terriers are more round. The dogs were used as barnyard ratters and to bolt foxes that had gone to ground during a fox hunt. Their small size allowed them to get in and out of fox dens easily. After the foxes were flushed from their dens, hunters on horseback would resume the chase with their hounds.

  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CET = Club Español de Terriers (Spanish Terrier Club)
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club
A tan small dog with thick hair on his muzzle, eye brows and ears with wide round dark eyes and a black nose sitting down on a tan couch.

Ivy the Norfolk Terrier at 2 years old

A small soft but shaggy looking puppy with a black nose, dark eyes and small v-shaped ears that hang down to the sides sitting on the lap of a person belly-out.

Ivy the Norfolk Terrier as a puppy at 9 weeks old

Side view - A red Norfolk Terrier puppy is laying on a black blanket and it is looking towards the screen. There is a persons foot next to its back paws.

Jessie the red Norfolk Terrier puppy at 9 weeks old

A long coated wiry, tan Norfolk Terrier is sitting on a hardwood floor wearing a royal blue, baby blue and white jacket.

Belle the Norfolk Terrier looking good in her sporty jacket

Right Profile view from the top looking down at the dog - A wiry, tan Norfolk Terrier is laying across a green carpet looking up.

The AKC standard calls for Norfolks to have their tails docked. Belle’s owners decided to not cut Belle’s tail, leaving it natural. Belle is not the only Norfolk to have a natural tail; in parts of Europe it is illegal to crop dogs’ ears or dock their tails.

view from above looking down at the dog - A tan Norfolk Terrier is standing on a hardwood floor looking up.

Belle is a happy Norfolk!

Close up side view head and upper body shot - A fuzzy looking, black with red Norfolk Terrier puppy is laying down on a hardwood floor looking forward.

Brody as a puppy at 7 weeks old; he is a red-colored Norfolk Terrier.

Front side view - A fuzzy looking, short-legged, black with red Norfolk Terrier puppy is walking down a hardwood floor, its mouth is open and its tongue is out.

Brody as a puppy at 7 weeks old; he is a red-colored Norfolk Terrier.

A fuzzy looking, black with ted Norfolk Terrier puppy is sleeping on a hardwood floor.

Brody as a puppy at 7 weeks old taking a nap; he is a red-colored Norfolk Terrier.

See more examples of the Norfolk Terrier