Frequently Asked Questions

Wildgoose Puppy
Sam and his Cat friend


  1. Are Norwich Terriers good with Children? 
    Norwich Terriers love children.
  2. Are Norwich Terriers good with other Pets? 
    Generally, they get along with all other pets. When introduced as a puppy to existing family pets they rarely have any difficulties. Norwich Terriers were bred to be ratters, barn dogs and to bolt fox from their dens. Keeping that in mind, gerbils, mice, birds and other small caged pets will likely be viewed as vermin to be hunted.
  3. Do Norwich Terriers Shed?
    All dogs shed. In fact, there is no such thing as a hypo-allergenic dog despite some people's claims. That said, Norwich are very low shedders to the point where it is a challenge to find their hair. They have very little dander. That is why many people who are allergic to dogs have no reactions to Norwich Terriers.
  4. How much Exercise do Norwich Terriers need? 
    A good daily walk of about 20-30 minutes or a good bout off lead in a securely fenced area will keep Norwich fit and happy. Other canine activities such as obedience training, agility training, lure coursing, earth dog or go-to-ground events all keep the dogs mind thinking and active.
  5. How long do Norwich Terriers live?
    The average life span is from 12 to 15 year. Some live longer.
  6. Why are Norwich Terriers so hard to Find? 
    The 2018 American Kennel Club (AKC) average litter size of Norwich Terriers is 2.5 puppies (2.7 in 2008).  There were 100 Norwich Terriers litters registered for total of 253 puppies (788 puppies in 2008). Compare that with Labrador Retrievers that average +11,000 registrations per month. You can further reduce those Norwich puppies since the Breeders often keep something for themselves. That means there is usually one puppy possibly available in a litter! So it is very common to wait a year for a puppy. The key to finding a puppy is patience, perseverance and a little luck.
    The reason for the significantly 65.8% less litters/68.1% less puppies since 2008 may be attributed to breeders getting older and abandoning their breed lines.  Those statistics are comparable with the average litters/puppies for all registered breeds in the AKC.  For the Terrier Group the statistics are 70.2% less litters and puppies
  7. What is the difference between the Norfolk and Norwich Terrier? 
    Norwich Terriers, including the drop-ear variety later called Norfolk Terriers, were officially recognized as a breed in 1932 by Great Britain's United Kennel Club. The breed was later split into two separate breeds first in Great Britain in 1964 and later by the American and Canadian Kennel Clubs in 1979. The splitting of the breeds was done to recognize that they were perhaps always two distinct breeds, the original error was classifying them as one. In our experience, having bred and lived with both Norfolk and Norwich Terriers for many, many years, the differences between the two breeds are numerous. Many breeders who breed one or the other will tell you they are the same but those that breed both will tell you they are positively not the same dogs.
    1. The most obvious physical difference is the ear set: Norwich have prick ears and Norfolk have drop ears. Erect ears and keen eyes give the Norwich a more alert expression than the softer look of the folded ear Norfolk. 
    2. The outline or silhouette of the breeds finds the both the Norfolk and Norwich to moderate proportioned, compact, short backed dogs with good substance and bone. The Norfolk is slightly longer in body. 
    3. Norwich tend to appear slightly heavier for their size, and are more short backed than the Norfolk due to their shorter back coupling and more moderate angulation front and rear. 
    4. Norfolk also seem to have slightly larger feet than Norwich. 
    5. Norwich coats are generally a harder wire than the Norfolk's. 
    6. Some say Norwich tails quiver and Norfolk tails wag. 
    7. Norfolks have a considerably higher pitched bark whereas Norwich barks are much lower and do not carry.
    8. Norwich can be difficult to breed, many breed lines are now routinely cesarean section births. The Norfolk continue to be predominantly free whelpers. 
    9. Temperament wise, Norfolk are much, much more prey driven, independent and have focused concentration to the point that some actually watch TV. Norwich are more settled in different surroundings.
    10. Norfolk say, "What is in it for me?" and Norwich "What can I do for you?" 
    11. Norfolk may have greater concentration and hence are formidable as ratters.
    12. Norfolk are very food oriented. They are also good swimmers. 
    13. Norfolk can be more jealous than Norwich. Norwich seem to prefer the company of humans over other dogs, though they readily accept their heritage of being pack dogs. 

      These are generalizations. We have Norfolk who think they are Norwich and vice versa. What differentiates Norwich Terriers from the remainder of the Terrier Group, aside from their physical appearance of being the smallest of the Terriers, is their loyalty and keen affection for humans as well as their non aggressive nature. They are the softest of the Terrier group. That said, they are barn dogs. They are fearless hunters of vermin, true to their Terrier nature. Any small animals up to the same size as themselves, a Norwich or Norfolk would be willing, if not keen, to chase and even kill given the opportunity. Norfolks are much more vocal than the Norwich, and neither are particularly yappy dogs though they will warn of a stranger approaching. Neither are they preoccupied with digging, like many other Terriers, though like any other dog, if left unattended too long they may get themselves in to trouble (i.e barking and digging).
  8. Are Norwich Terriers easy to train?
    Any owner must make the effort to train their dog. Generally, Norwich will learn anything for you for nothing more than your affection, and their eagerness to please you. Being Terriers they can be independent minded. The trick to training is to convince them it was their idea! Norwich Terriers will look to humans for leadership in their new family. We strongly encourage basic obedience training as means to establish your human-canine communications. You are going to live together for a long time, so the sooner the rules are communicated and set the better for all.
  9. What is a Responsible Breeder?
    In a 2015 study in the USA, less than 5% of dogs in shelters are pure bred dogs. With creating life comes responsibilities. We strongly believe that, as a minimum, Responsible Breeders must: 
    1. Breed dogs with a view to breeding better dogs than their current breeding stock, in accordance with the national kennel club standards; 
    2. Ensure that all breeding stock and off-spring are registered with the legitimate national kennel club authority; 
    3. Consider the health of the dog and follow national kennel club policy, regarding the maximum age and number or frequency of litters;
    4. Permanently identify breeding stock by one of: DNA profile, microchip, or tattoo; 
    5. Make use of health screening testing, relevant to the breed, on all breeding stock: DNA testing, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye conditions and heart conditions where appropriate;
    6. Make sure that whelping facilities accord with requirements for good practice;
    7. Adequately socialize the puppies and provide written advice on future training; 
    8. Provide written advice on feeding and suggest vaccine programmes;
    9. Provide a written record of the immunization measures taken; 
    10. Provide reasonable post-sales telephone advice; 
    11. Provide a reasonable, time limited money back or replacement guarantee; and 
    12. Re-home the dog if required at any time during the dog's life. 

      Also have a look at the our "Responsible Breeding" page which provides a number of links to other websites views on responsible breeding and how to check up on a breeder that does genetic testing on recognized open registries.
  10. What is a Backyard Breeder?
    A backyard breeder:
    1. Lets puppies go before they are 8 weeks old (6 weeks is way too early ... We keep our puppies until they are 12 weeks old). 
    2. Doesn't have homes for their puppies before they are born. Rather, they post that they have puppies on chat list and sell them first come first serve without screening potential owners. 
    3. Doesn't have their vet check their puppies the week prior to them going to their new homes. 
    4. Doesn't provide a written contract. 
    5. Doesn't insist that pet puppies are sold on AKC limited registration / CKC non-breeding agreements. 
    6. Gives advice on spay / neuter as to if and when this should happen. 
    7. Has never shown their own dogs (even though they might be able to point to a champion somewhere in the pedigree), but thinks all their puppies are show and/or breeding quality.
    8. Doesn't guarantee their puppies ... in the written contract. 
    9. Doesn't promise (in the contract) to take their puppies back ... whenever, for whatever reason.
    10. Can't explain, or worse yet, never heard of genetic disorders in the breed. 
    11. Can't show you the health checks on the parents that should have been done before the breeding ever took place: These should be available on-line for the new owner to check (see ).
  11. What are the Health Issues associated with Norwich Terriers?
    While there are incidence of health issues in the breed they are considered as minimal by breeders that test their breeding stock. Responsible breeders do genetic testing precisely to make responsible decision in their breeding programmes. Scientific testing is now so far advanced there is no reason to make breeding choices blindly. Breeders that don't test don't know what health issues they are dealing with and likely don't care. The health issues for Norwich Terriers include incidence of: Upper Airway Syndrome; Atypical Seizure Disorder / Paroxysmal Dyskinesia; Luxating Patellas; Hip Dysplasia; andEye Disorders. For more details please view our “Norwich Health” page. 
  12. Do Norwich Terriers Bark a lot and dig too?
    Despite that every dog is different most Norwich Terriers are not yappy. They generally bark for a reason such as to give alert to a stranger or something approaching their territory. Most dogs of any breed will bark or dig if bored, left alone too long or not exercised sufficiently. Accompanying your dog outside and giving positive reinforcement will help ensure proper behaviour.
  13. How old are the puppies before they are old enough to go to their new homes?
    Scientific studies indicate that puppies are only capable of learning once the brain is fully developed at about 7 weeks old. Behaviour from birth to about 7 weeks is mostly instinctual. Mom actually starts teaching her puppies after the third week. The period of 7 to 12 weeks is a puppy's most impressionable age. During this period, responsible breeders have a profound opportunity to teach puppy basic manners (like what is acceptable behaviour) and start toilet training. Some studies suggest that puppies go through a "fear phase" from 8-12 weeks. That also reinforces that the best person for the puppy to be with during these weeks is the experienced breeder. Eight weeks is the best time for the breeder to do an evaluation of the litter's conformation and determine what might be a show prospect. Also during the period 7 to 12 weeks conscientious breeders continuously evaluate the puppies to ensure the right dog is placed in the right home for a lifetime of mutual companionship. To let a puppy go to it's new home on the rationale that it was weaned (usually 5-7 weeks) is to invite behaviour deficiencies (i.e. shyness, aggression) and deny a puppy the full socialization it requires to be the best companion it can be.
  14. What is the difference between a show versus pet quality? 
    Sometimes puppies are referred to as show or pet quality. Conscientious breeders carefully select sires for their dams based on research of pedigrees, genetic testing and knowing the temperaments of breed lines as well as of specific dogs bred. Obviously, all dogs in the same litter share the same dam and sire and will have an identical genetic make-up, health history, and anything else attributable to their ancestry. Despite all the planned commonalities every puppy will grow to be somewhat individualistic. Different personalities (the leader or the follower), different coat markings (red or black and tan or grizzle) are a few factors that are considered in determining whether a dog is show prospect or better served to be a loving companion. At the breeders exactly the same effort goes in to the raising of all the puppies. A true "show quality puppy" is older, has its adult teeth (to ensure the bite is correct) and has some basic show training to confirm the potential showmanship of the puppy. Sometimes something as cosmetically simple as a lighter coloured eye can prevent an otherwise spectacular dog from a show career.