The Norwich Terrier, one of the smallest Terriers, is a small breed of dog that originates in the UK, and was bred to hunt small vermin or rodents. Due in part to their low litter size and the common need for C-sections, this dog is relatively rare. The breed has been in existence since at least the late 19th century and was a working terrier of East Anglia, England. They were good as ratters in stable yards, as fox bolters during hunts, and family companions. Small red terriers that were descendants of Irish Terriers had existed in the area since at least the 1860’s.
These might be the ancestors of the Norwich Terrier, or it could also possibly be a descendent of the Trumpington Terrier, a breed that no longer exists.
As one of the smallest terriers he stands 9-10 inches tall at the withers and weighs in at 11-12 pounds. He has a slightly foxy expression, with small, dark, and oval shaped eyes. The skull is broad and is slightly rounded and should have good width between the ears. The muzzle is wedge-shaped and is strong, with a scissor bite. His ears are medium sized and will be erect. They will set well apart with pointed or pricked tips. The tails is medium length and docked. This breed has a hard wiry coat that is straight, lies close to the body and has a definite undercoat. The colors of the dog include all shades of red, wheaten, black and tan or grizzle.
This is a small but hardy dog and can be courageous, affectionate, and intelligent. While they can be assertive, it is not usual for them to be aggressive, or shy. While they are every eager to please they tend to have a mind of their own. Kennel living or outdoor living is not recommended as they enjoy the companionship of their owners. While they are normally one to unnecessarily bark, they will warn of an approaching stranger. However, once they realize there is no potential threat, they will become immediate friends. This breed is generally good with children and other household pets if introduced to them as puppies. However caution should be observed around rodent pets as the dog may mistake it as prey.
The life expectancy of the breed is 13-13.5 years. While this is generally considered to be healthy breed there are some health concerns within the breed. This includes; cataracts, epilepsy, narrow tracheas, luxating patellas, hip dysplasia, and mitral valve disease. Portosystemic shunts, atopy, and incorrect bites of the teeth.