Dear Norwich Owners: We received the following inquiry looking for Norwich participants in a survey of dog vocal behavior. If you wish to participate, the link is below. For reference, this survey asks for height at the withers in centimeters (cm). Most Norwich measure 20-22 cm. It also asks for weight in kilograms (kg). The conversion  is 1 lb = 0.45 kg. 

My name is Samantha Brierley and I am a master’s student of Zoology with Animal Behaviour at Bangor University. My research investigates vocalisation behaviour in the domestic dog, and its potential to vary by breed. I am collecting behavioural data via an owner-directed questionnaire which asks about the typical vocal behaviour of a person’s dog.

This type of empirical research into vocalisation behaviour is the first of its kind for the species, allowing us to finally explore whether breeds show a consistent level of vocality, regardless of individual personality or environment, as is anecdotally assumed by many. This research can provide potential dog owners with scientifically accurate information regarding how vocal or noisy a breed typically is, and in what ways, prior to acquisition of a dog. My aim is ultimately to reduce the rate of dogs unnecessarily relinquished to shelters due to unmet or violated behavioural expectations.

I am writing to you to request your aid in distributing this research questionnaire. Unfortunately, Norwich Terriers are routinely underrepresented or ignored in empirical studies. They are so uncommon that often, any data we do have for them cannot be appropriately analysed because there are too few individuals. During my third year dissertation, I reviewed behavioural literature for 162 breeds. Norwich Terriers were only included in one study; this is very low in comparison to breeds such as Labradors, that were represented in 19/25 studies. In addition, this single study was a group study in which they were combined with several breeds in their kennel club group during analysis (the terrier curse), meaning we cannot discern anything about the Norwich Terrier’s typical behaviour. This is usually done when the number of representatives for a breed is too low to be analysed individually. I am also unaware of any vocalisation stereotypes with Norwich Terriers, so it would be very interesting to see their results in this study! Your participation in this survey will allow us to properly investigate the vocal behaviour of this unique breed and represent them adequately in at least one part of the domestic dog behaviour field.

The survey is totally anonymous and requires ~10 minutes to complete. It asks several non-identifying demographic questions and experimental questions regarding the dog’s behaviour. The contents of this questionnaire have passed ethical review according to the University of Bangor’s code of research practice. Our digital survey tool and photograph-submission tool are GDPR-compliant and retain no identifiable or sensitive data.

We ask if you would distribute this survey to the members of your organisation. The survey is entirely voluntary, so it could be circulated via emails to members or provided as a link on your website/Facebook page, or both! The questionnaire is intended to be available for at least 6 weeks, dependent on the rate of responses. We would greatly appreciate you alerting your members to this opportunity to represent their breed in our research.

Here is the active link to the survey:

Kind regards,

Samantha Brierley (MZOOL Zoology with Animal Behaviour)
School of Natural Sciences
Bangor University