Norwich Terrier Breed Information Guide: Quirks, Pictures, Personality & Facts

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

August 31, 2019

Intro / Overview

(All dogs are individuals, which means any single dog from any breed can be any number of ways, both good and not so good. Keep that in mind as we discuss breed generalities!)

Norwich Terriers are one of the smallest terrier breeds and were originally bred to hunt small vermin. Today, they are mostly a companion dog because of their friendly, affectionate personality. This makes them a perfect fit for becoming another member of your family!

Though they may look small and cuddly, they are still a terrier breed, which means they have a lot of energy. They are happy to play outside all day and will accept your cuddles once they’re all tired out. They are usually great around other people and dogs and may have some separation anxiety, as they love to be around their people. Overall, this little dog has a big personality that can charm anyone they meet.

Also Known As…

Norwich. Jones Terrier. “Big dog in a small package.” 


Norwich Terriers were bred in the late 19thcentury to be ratters in East Anglia, England. They were needed as working terriers and also doubled as companions for their families. They were most likely bred from descendants of Irish Terriers which were also in the area. They derived from the Trumpington Terrier, which is a breed that no longer exists, and were originally known as Jones Terriers, after Frank Jones, someone who helped develop the breed.

Norwich Terriers have a shared history with Norfolk Terriers, which are the drop-eared variety of the breed. In 1964, England’s Kennel Club split the varieties into two distinct breeds, and the American Kennel Club followed suit, splitting the breeds in 1979.


Most Norwich Terriers are around 10 inches tall.

Weight Range

Norwich Terriers weigh around 12 pounds on average.  


Norwich Terriers are affectionate dogs that tend to be happiest around their family. They thrive when they’re around people and are ready to become your new friend! Though they may look like a classic lapdog, they are energetic and playful terriers who may surprise you with their spunky personality. They can be curious, intelligent dogs, which may translate to stubbornness sometimes. With lots of early socialization and training, your Norwich Terrier will be a happy-go-lucky member of your family. 

Intelligence / Trainability

Because of their desire to please their owners, Norwich Terriers often excel in training. They want to make you happy, so it’s important to make clear guidelines during training. Their high intelligence helps the process but it also means they can become stubborn if they are bored during their training sessions. They also have tendencies to bark and dig, so it’s important to be patient with your Norwich. 

They are working dogs who like to have a job to complete, so training can be a great way to satisfy this need. Because of their intelligence and history as a working dog, they often excel in obedience and agility training. Both of these are a great way for your dog to keep busy and to get some of their energy out. 

Best Training Techniques For Norwich Terriers

Norwich Terriers are sensitive dogs and will not respond well to scolding. Positive reinforcement helps to ensure that positive behaviors will be repeated in the future. Keeping consistent expectations during training sessions can help keep them from getting confused. These expectations will make training go more smoothly because they will know what they need to do to please you. 

This breed is intelligent, so long training sessions may become boring for them. Keep training an exciting time and create variation in your training, while keeping consistent rules, to keep your dog interested in what they’re doing. 

Ideal Environment

Norwich Terriers need exercise daily, but they are a small breed than can adapt to apartment living. Of course, this is only possible if your dog is getting enough exercise and enough time outside every day. When your dog is outside, they should be on a leash or in an enclosed area, as they are prone to running off when they see a small animal or hear a noise. 

Norwich Terrier’s coats have two layers and the inner layer helps to insulate them from heat and cold, so they can adapt to a variety of climates. As long as they are getting enough exercise and time with their owner, they can adapt to living in many different places.  

Good For Families And Kids?

Norwich Terriers tend to do well with children and can be a great dog for a family. Their energy and playfulness can be a good match for a kids’. As with all dogs, playtime between your Norwich Terrier and a child should be supervised to make sure they are both happy and safe! 

This breed loves being around people, so they can be a perfect addition to a family. They want to be around their owners and get lots of time showering you with their affection.   

Average Lifespan

On average, Norwich Terriers live between 12 to 15 years.


Norwich Terriers tend to be very health dogs, but certain health issues should be screened for. These include hip dysplasia, epilepsy, degenerative myelopathy, and upper airway syndrome. Because of this, it’s recommended that they have hip evaluations along with ophthalmologist evaluations. This breed may also develop some teeth issues, so it’s important to keep good dental hygiene for your dog!  


Like most terriers, Norwich Terriers are an energetic breed that needs a lot of exercise to stay happy and healthy. They have an outgoing personality and were bred for hunting, so they need time exercising with you to be at their best. This can include running around in an enclosed yard, playing fetch, or going on walks with you. Without enough exercise, they may become bored and have destructive habits.  

Friendly With (Dogs? Strangers? Cats/Other Pets?)

Norwich Terriers tend to get along well with other dogs. They have a friendly personality and most often don’t ever become aggressive with other dogs. 

Just like with other dogs, Norwich Terriers are friendly with strangers. They love meeting new people, but may be a bit reserved when they meet someone new. Early socialization to a lot of different people can help prevent them from being scared around new people. Even if they are not outright best friends with a stranger, they rarely show aggression. 

Norwich Terriers can learn to live happily alongside cats if they are socialized with them early on. However, animals that are smaller than cats may bring out your Norwich Terrier’s hunting instincts. They tend to like to chase small animals. 

Coat & Grooming

Norwich Terriers have a double coat consisting of an outer, weatherproof layer that is courser and an inner layer that is softer and helps provide insulation in heat and cold. The breed sheds, so hand-stripping can remove the old outer hairs to allow for new hair to grow in. Cutting the hair can affect the coat’s color and texture. Occasional baths and brushing will keep your terrier looking as beautiful as they can look!  


There are not many Norwich Terriers around as they are difficult to breed and have small litter sizes. 

Toys Norwich Terriers Would Like Best

Norwich Terriers were bred as ratters, so most of them love to play fetch. Small balls or stuffed toys are great options for keeping them busy with a game of fetch. It’s a perfect way for them to get some of their energy out as they run back and forth chasing their toy. They’ll also enjoy the time they get to spend playing with their owner.  

To keep your Norwich Terrier busy, puzzle toys are a great toy for this intelligent breed. They’ll be excited to have a task to complete and the treats they find in the toy will be a perfect surprise that will keep them wanting to play. 

Squeaky toys for tossing around or chewing on can also be a good choice for your Norwich Terrier. The high pitched noises will keep them entertained while they play. 

Recommended Diet Or Supplements

Norwich Terriers should eat a healthy diet to keep up with their high energy playtime. They should be eating enough calories for their size and activity levels. This breed has a risk of overeating, so it’s important to monitor how much your dog is eating. Overeating can lead to obesity in your dog which can cause further health problems.

Joint supplements can also keep your dog comfortable and healthy, to try to prevent joint problems that may develop later in life.  As always, consult your vet before administering anything.

Glucosamine Supplement For Hip & Joints

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This supplement is veterinarian-formulated, made with all natural ingredients (glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid), and comes in the form of 150 soft chews. Basically, it looks and tastes just like delicious treats, and it could really help your Norwich with their hip and joint issues. ($32.99.)

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil

BARK’s Full Spectrum Hemp Oil is made of organically grown whole plants, grown in Colorado, and is non-psychoactive. It comes in 100mg, 250mg, and 500mg varieties, and can help with pet anxiety and pain relief. ($17.99-22.99.)

Recommended Products

Norwich Terriers have a risk for some joint problems, so they deserve a comfortable place to relax every day! An orthopedic dog bed is a great choice for keeping your dog happy and comfy, especially after a long day of playing with their family.

Orthopedic Ultra Plush Memory Foam Bed

BarkBox Best Dog Bed English Springer Spaniel

This dog bed is great for supporting your pup’s tired body. A high quality combination of ergonomic memory foam and gel foam helps ease body aches, joint pain, hip dysplasia and arthritis. This bed offers the best therapeutic support for your hardworking pal. ($27.99-64.99.)

Notable Rescues to Find the Norwich Terrier of Your Dreams

Notable Instagram Norwich Terriers






***Looking for a gift to blow your Norwich’s mind? Spoil them with BarkBox! Every month BarkBox delivers 2 original toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and a chew. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <– This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription! 🙂


Featured image via Zo_Zoolander_Terrier/Instagram

Want More Breed Guides Like This?

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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

August 31, 2019


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.