OVERVIEW OF THE NORWICH TERRIER
Norwich Terriers are one of the smallest terrier breeds, initially bred to hunt vermin and foxes. These happy-natured little dogs are around 10 inches tall with a weight averaging 12 pounds. They are playful, have loads of energy, and thrive on being with their human family.
The breed is often confused with their similar-looking cousins, Norfolk Terriers. In fact, until 1964 the two were classified as the same breed. Now recognized as two different breeds, you can tell them apart easily by their ears. Norwich Terriers have pointed ears while Norfolk Terriers’ ears are folded over.
Norwich Terriers get on well with other dogs but with their high prey drive, they’re not a good choice for homes with pet hamsters, rabbits, or other small animals. They are wonderful family dogs, although best suited to families with slightly older children. They can get very attached to their human family and want to be part of everyday activities.
This energetic terrier needs to be kept in a fenced yard since the sight of a mouse or squirrel is likely to send them off on a chase into the road and far beyond.
They can adapt well to apartment living if they get plenty of opportunities to go out for walks and play. They are not as vocal as their Norfolk cousins which is another reason they can be great apartment pets. If they don’t get the activity they need or get bored, they will, however, alert you by barking until the problem is solved. They’re always keen on an adventure, so make sure to include them in plenty!
Train and socialize your little terrier early on so they get used to being around other people and other dogs. They are generally friendly to everyone but will bark if they sniff out something suspicious. They perform well in agility, earth dog trials, and obedience.
One thing to know about these terriers is that they love digging. If this is a problem, you have a greater chance of success if you train them to dig in a certain place than not to dig at all.
If you’re thinking of welcoming a brave and alert Norwich Terrier to your home, here’s what you need to know to give them the care they deserve.
NORWICH TERRIER FOOD AND HEALTH
Although Norwich Terriers are generally healthy dogs, ailments sometimes experienced in the breed are tracheal collapse, epilepsy, and an elongated soft palate.
Tracheal collapse is seen in other small dog breeds too. When the tracheal rings weaken and start to flatten they obstruct the airway. Signs may include coughing that sounds odd, fainting, and the inability to do much exercise. It can be treated with antibiotics and steroids, or surgery.
An elongated soft palate occurs when the roof of the mouth extends too far back, obstructing the airway. Surgical treatment will be necessary to fix it.
Epilepsy is a hereditary disorder that causes seizures. It cannot be cured but it can be well managed and treated with medication.
To avoid hereditary disorders and other diseases, it is imperative that your breeder shows you health clearances for the puppy and both parents before you take your new pet home. For Norwich Terriers, it is recommended to see clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for hip and elbow dysplasia and hypothyroidism. You’ll also want clearances for von Willebrand’s disease, thrombophilia, and that their eyes are healthy. You can verify health clearances on the offa.org website.
When it comes to feeding your terrier, it is important that they get high-quality nutrition. With their small size, they don’t need much, even though it is said that they’ll eat anything that doesn’t first eat them. This trait, of course, makes them prone to gain weight quickly.
Adult Norwich Terriers only need half to one cup of food daily. Divide this amount into two portions. Keep daily feeding times consistent and only put out the suitable portion size. Your pet pal’s activity level and lifestyle will impact how much food they should get. Keep in mind that training snacks and kibble also count towards their daily calorie intake. Opt for low-calorie training treats or divide them into smaller pieces to last longer.
Regardless of the adorable puppy-face, your pet pal makes while you are eating dinner, don’t feed your dog table scraps. Besides one bite of your food likely containing half their caloric allowance for an entire day, there are also many human foods that are toxic to dogs. These include simple items like onions, garlic, raisins, chocolate, grapes, xylitol, and caffeine, among others. High fat, high sodium, and sugary foods should also be avoided.
If your dog is still a puppy, it should not be given adult dog food. Puppies have different nutritional needs. To meet these needs and ensure healthy development, get food specifically formulated for puppies and follow the recommended feeding guidelines on the packaging.
LEASHES AND COLLARS FOR YOUR NORWICH TERRIER
Since Norwich Terriers were originally bred as working dogs, they’re happiest when they have a job to do. They are also wonderfully keen walking companions. They are intelligent, naturally independent and enjoy learning if it is interesting and non-repetitive.
To make training effective, keep it consistent and always positive with lots of encouragement. Forceful commands or harsh training methods should never be used. Despite being little master hunters, these dogs are very sensitive. Harsh methods will negatively influence your relationship with them long-term.
Norwich Terriers need at least 30 minutes of vigorous walking and playing daily. This can be in one or two shorter sessions.
They have an inherent chase instinct which means you should always keep them on a leash when outside a secured area. Since the breed is prone to trachea problems, never walk them with the leash attached to a collar. The pressure from the collar can cause severe permanent damage as well as causing thyroid and neck problems. A back clip harness is the best choice for these small dogs since it eliminates any pressure against their neck or throat.
If you want a collar for your dog for an identity tag, make sure it is not too tight and also that it won’t get caught in anything while they are playing. Remove it in the evenings or when your pet is at home. Leaving the collar on can cause rashes, infections, matting, or bald patches around the neck.
Check the size of the collar and harness frequently as your puppy grows so you can upsize as soon as it’s needed.
BEST CRATES, BEDS, AND DOG HOUSES FOR NORWICH TERRIERS
Norwich Terriers are companion dogs who love being with their human family. Since they are small and don’t shed much they are ideal indoor dogs and likely won’t need an outdoor dog house.
Crate Training can be useful for training and can help prevent accidents in the house.
It can also serve as their own indoor retreat to take a nap. If you are getting a crate, make it a comfortable place by adding a mattress or blanket and a toy. Although it will be used for training, never use it as punishment. Your pet should view it as a positive place where they can rest. They should never be left in there all day.
Crates are available in fabric, metal, and plastic types. Whichever type you choose, make sure it allows for plenty of airflow and that your dog can turn around, stand, and stretch out comfortably inside. Take into account that the mattress or dog bed will also take up some space.
If you are going to continue using the crate after training, a crate cover for evenings can make it cozy. Choose a cover that is breathable and machine washable. The cover should have a flap door that allows your pup to enter and exit as needed. Alternatively, you can also partially cover the crate with a soft blanket.
There is a large range of dog beds available for small breeds in different styles, colors, fabrics, and designs. To make it easy for yourself, an odor-resistant bed with a removable cover that can be washed in the machine is a convenient option. Make sure your dog fits comfortably on the bed without any limbs hanging off the edge or over bolsters.
BEST TOYS FOR NORWICH TERRIERS
Besides their daily walk, Norwich Terriers need play time with you. They should also be socialized with other dogs at a young age. Puppy kindergarten classes can be a great way to socialize your pup. A bored Norwich Terrier will entertain itself by chewing, digging, and barking.
Starting from the puppy stage, good toy options are teething toys. These textured or flavored toys can help ease itchy and achy gums. They also give your puppy something to chew on rather than furniture, their bed, or your shoes. Once your pup is older, other chew toys such as flavored ropes and teeth cleaning toys are also great to have around. Even though they are good for your dog’s teeth, they do not replace the need for brushing.
These active dogs are great at earth dog, obedience, and agility activities. An outdoor agility training kit will keep your pet pal physically and mentally engaged and make training a lot more fun. These sets can include a mix of hoops and tunnels for them to jump through as well as jump poles and weave poles.
Erratic balls and Kongs are fun for playing fetch since they bounce in unpredictable directions. Some snowman-shaped Kong toys can hold a treat inside. Once your furry pal retrieves the toy and returns it to you, they can receive the treat inside as a reward. Remember that the dogs are small, so keep the fetch toys size-appropriate if you expect them to be returned to you.
GROOMING INSIGHTS FOR NORWICH TERRIER OWNERS
Norwich Terriers have a double coat. The undercoat is soft and downy while the top coat is wiry. They come in various shades including black, tan, wheaten, red, or grizzle. These terriers have a bit of a shaggy look with the fur around their shoulders and neck forming a protective mane. Although they do need regular grooming they are fairly low maintenance.
Brush your terrier’s coat one to two times weekly. Use a pin brush to ensure you get down to the undercoat to remove dead hairs and tangles. Brush lightly against sensitive areas such as their legs, belly, ears, and whiskers. During their weekly brush time, check their eyes, mouth, skin, and ears for any irregularities to catch infections, sores, or rashes before they become serious.
Depending on your pet pal’s environment and activities, they only need a bath once a month. Use gentle, pet-friendly shampoo when washing them. They should be stripped twice a year to remove the dead top coat. Without stripping your pup may shed more and look a little scruffy.
All dogs need their nails clipped once a month if they don’t wear them down naturally. If you are doing the nail clipping, make sure you know how since dogs have blood vessels in their nails. This can make a slightly wrong clip bloody and painful. You might prefer to have a professional groomer do this for you.
Your terrier’s teeth need to be brushed daily as far as possible to prevent gum disease and tartar build-up. Make sure to use toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs since human toothpaste is harmful to them.
Get your Norwich Terrier accustomed to being groomed and having its paws handled from the puppy stage. Always make grooming a positive experience with encouragement and praise. Not getting your terrier used to being checked can make grooming and vet visits unpleasant for both of you when they’re older.
BEST NORWICH TERRIER ACCESSORIES
For long days out in the park or even if you do a hike, get a pet portable water bottle. The water bottle lid forms a small drinking bowl for your dog so they can stay well hydrated on the go.
If you often take walks before sunrise or after sunset, make sure your terrier’s leash and harness have reflective strips. You can also get them a reflective collar. This will keep your pup visible to traffic and other people.
To learn more about small breeds like the Norwich Terrier, check out our breed hub page.