Norwich Terrier

The breed has existed since at least the late 19th century, as working terrier of East Anglia, England. The dogs were useful as ratters in the stable yard, bolters of fox for the hunt, and family companions. It was the mascot of students at Cambridge University. Small red terriers had existed in the area since at least the 1860s, and these might be the ancestors of the Norwich, or it might have come from the Trumpington Terrier, a breed that no longer exists. In its earliest history, it was also known as the Jones Terrier and the Cantab Terrier.

These small but hardy dogs are courageous, remarkably intelligent and wonderfully affectionate. They can be assertive but it is not typical for them to be aggressive, quarrelsome or shy. They are energetic and thrive on an active life. They are eager to please but have definite minds of their own. They are sensitive to scolding but 100% Terrier. They should never be kept outside or in a kennel setting because they love the companionship of their owners too much. Norwich are not given to unnecessary barking, but they will warn of a stranger approaching. Once they realize that there is no threat, they will become immediate friends. Norwich are good with children. If introduced to other household pets as a puppy they generally co-habit peacefully, though caution should be observed around rodent pets as they may be mistaken for prey.

The life expectancy of the Norwich Terrier is 12–16 years. While the Norwich Terrier is considered a healthy breed, there are some health issues for which responsible breeders do preventative genetic health testing, thereby reducing the incidences.

The Norwich Terrier has two coats – a harsh, wiry topcoat and a soft warm undercoat. Ideally, the coat is combed with a steel comb daily to once a week to remove the loose, dead hairs and prevent matting. Proper maintenance of the Norwich coat, like other hard wiry coats, requires “stripping,” or pulling the oldest hairs from the coat (using fingers and/or a “stripping knife,” a special grooming comb). Stripping results both in the coat retaining its proper appearance, and in the health of the dog’s skin and coat.

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