Norfolk Terrier – The Small and Fearless Working Dogs

Small dogs are adorable. Combined with an affectionate nature and beautiful appearance, it is no doubt that many people are attracted to these little creatures. Because of their charming characteristics, many people call them “lapdogs,” which are dogs that fit perfectly on their owners’ lap. These lapdogs attract dog enthusiasts, mostly women, who are fans of small and adorable breeds.

However, in contrast to the common belief, not all small dogs could be called lapdogs. There are mini breeds that have a deceiving appearance, concealing their athletic and substantial bodies. A small dog known for this feature is the hard-working dog known as the Norfolk Terrier.

The Norfolk Terrier is a relatively small dog built for work. Don’t let its adorable appearance deceive you; it may be small like other toy dogs, but its sturdy body is capable of working on various types of canine tasks. Its characteristics mostly resemble a true-blooded terrier: strong, confident, and eager to work. The versatile skillset of this dog allows it to excel in diverse jobs, but one of its primary employment is hunting, wherein it used to hunt small rodents.

If you are looking for an adorable-looking dog that is packed with strong qualities, the Norfolk Terrier surely fits the role.

Origins of the Norfolk Terrier

Similar to other breeds, the Norfolk Terrier was created due to a necessity. We can trace back the origins of this breed to the early 20th century, wherein an English dog breeder called Frank “Roughrider” Jones, created a breed that is capable of working in the field as hunters – mainly for rodents and foxes.

During this time, Jones succeeded in creating a terrier breed that is suitable for the job. There were two variations of the breed: those who have their ears up and ears down. This variation is distinguished today as the Norwich and Norfolk, which is easily identified through their ears. However, during its early existence in England and North America, the breed was originally identified as Norwich Terrier, also known as the Jones Terrier.

Interestingly, the distinctive characteristics of the Norwich and Norfolk have been noticed by dog breeders, which led to a long-time debate about separating the two variations into individual breeds. That is why in 1964, dog breeders from the Kennel Club of England identified the Norfolk Terrier as a distinct breed. It didn’t take long for the Canadian and American kennel clubs to classify the Norwich and Norfolk as separate breeds.

Characteristics of the Norfolk Terrier

Height: 9 – 10 inches

Weight: 11 – 12 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12 – 16 years

Hypoallergenic: No

As mentioned earlier, there is no other way to best describe the Norfolk Terrier; it is a relatively small dog that could stand up to ten inches and weighs up to twelve pounds. Despite its small size, it is a trusted terrier capable of working in the field.

In terms of its appearance, the Norfolk Terrier pretty much resembles most toy breeds in the dog list. Its small size is combined with an attractive coat that is hard, wiry, and straight.  Most of its facial features are similar with the Norwich Terrier’s. However, one distinctive feature of the Norfolk Terrier is its ears; they are neatly folded over, unlike those of its close cousins. In addition to its ears, the Norfolk Terrier’s eyes showcase its gentle nature, as well as its fearlessness.

Interestingly, the Norfolk Terrier earned its reputation not as a beautiful show dog; it is known by many dog enthusiasts and breeders for its substantial and athletic body. Ever since its early existence, this dog was already employed as a ratter, along with its cousin. The long-term employment of the Norfolk Terrier as a ratter came to an end, opening new opportunities for the breed. Thanks to its diverse skillset, the Norfolk Terrier is able to cope with different jobs.

Furthermore, the Norfolk Terrier is a complete package. It is an adorable dog that is equipped with various excellent traits, including its appearance, finesse, and positive nature. It may be a fierce hunter in the field but it sure does never fail to maintain its sweet and affectionate behavior.