Norwich Terrier Breed Profile
One can sum up Norwich Terrier personality as human-centric, gregarious and curious. Above everything else these little terriers love the company of people. Norwich Terrier owners, with their dogs in tow, often trade stories of their dogs’ astonishing ability to elicit interaction. Norwich greets everyone as a long lost friend, and the more attention he can draw out in return the better. Originally bred in England to control rodents, Norwich terriers retained the inborn curiosity and reflexes of hunters. They notice everything in their environment but at the same time they are the most easy-going among terriers. They get along with children, with other dogs and cats, but given their hunting origin they might not be the best buddies with pet rodents.
The seemingly easy, wash-and-go appearance of Norwich Terrier is deceiving in regards to the grooming needs. The coat requires a special grooming technique referred to as “stripping”, a process of pulling out entire hairs by experienced terrier groomers. Pigment in Norwich Terrier’s fur is distributed along the very end of each hair. Cutting the hair means cutting off the pigmented portion of hair, therefore dogs that have not been properly groomed and had their coat cut instead of “stripped”, lose the depth of color and texture. A red dog becomes wheaten, while a black and tan dog appears silvery. A Norwich coat properly maintained by an experienced terrier groomer has wiry texture that does not attract much dirt. Along with its waterproof qualities, a correctly “stripped” Norwich fur does not require frequent bathing.
Although a hardy breed, with relatively few health problems, Norwich Terriers are prone to Upper Airway Syndrome (UAS). The condition varies from very mild, where the dog might be reluctant to exercise in hot weather, to severe where the dog’s quality of life is seriously compromised. UAS means an anatomical obstruction in the airway. It most often involves elongated soft palate and everted laryngeal saccules. A surgical correction is usually very successful, but limiting the dog’s exposure to hot temperatures and keeping him fit and in good weight might be all that is needed. Responsible breeders carefully select the parents to ensure that Norwich terrier puppies have the best chances to not develop UAS.
Forever seeking their owners’ attention, Norwich terriers learn fast. Being sensitive and emotional, they respond especially well to positive training methods. Show a Norwich a treat and he will do anything to earn it.
Norwich terriers bond equally well with very young and very old and anyone in between. On the flip side, their extreme human-centricity makes it difficult for them to cope with long absences of their owners. People who travel a lot and cannot bring a dog with them, or those who leave home for long hours each day, should not get a Norwich terrier. For all others, these little terriers do not disappoint.
Article by Magda Omansky