Activities for Norwich Terriers

Norwich terriers truly desire human companionship and are happy, inquisitive creatures. They can be energetic or quiet and peaceful depending upon their environment and the mood of the moment. Their outgoing personality makes them loving members of the household. As a breed they are smart with a desire to please and are not difficult to train. However, they are terriers at heart and their basic instinct and working background emerges if they spot a squirrel or small prey.

In addition to a Norwich’s first task of providing faithful company for humans, they are adept in AKC conformation, performance and companion events. The Norwich enjoys and excels in agility, obedience, rally, tracking and earthdog events. All are good outlets for a Norwich’s abundant energy. Norwich also make excellent therapy dogs. The American Kennel Club website ( has a wealth of information about conformation shows and performance and companion events.


Agility work is an athletic event that requires training and teamwork. Dogs and owners negotiate an obstacle course against the clock. Agility is a great form of exercise for both dog and owners. Taking an agility class offers many benefits. Many people start the sport just for fun but get bitten by the agility bug and become lifelong competitors!

Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Work

The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The two-part program stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. CGC can also be a foundation for other AKC activities such as obedience, agility and various performance events. Therapy dogs, along with their owners, volunteer in various settings such as schools, hospitals and patients in long term care. Therapy teams work together to bring cheer to the lives of other people.

Conformation Shows

“Conformation” is the official name for “dog shows.” While they may seem glamorous, the true purpose of conformation showing is to evaluate breeding stock. The dog’s conformation—his overall appearance and structure— is what is being judged. New exhibitors can get started in dog shows by finding a mentor, sometimes the breeder from whom they acquired their puppy. Many clubs also offer handling classes to teach owners how to present their dog to a judge at a dog show.


Earthdog tests offer our small terriers (the word terrier means “go to ground”) a standardized gauge to measure their dogs’ natural aptitude and trained hunting and working behaviors when exposed to an underground hunting situation. The non-competitive program begins with a basic introduction to “den work and quarry” and progresses through gradual steps to require the dog to demonstrate that it is willing to perform the required tasks, including seeking and locating its quarry underground. Fear not, rodent lovers: The rats are safely caged and are not harmed.


Obedience work demonstrates the usefulness of a dog that is trained and conditioned to behave well in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs. AKC trials and tests allow exhibitors and their dogs to enjoy companionship as they work together and compete.


Rally, a more free-form of obedience, is fun and engaging as the canine/owner team advances at their own pace. Rally was designed with the traditional pet owner in mind, but still can be challenging for those who enjoy higher levels of competition. Rally is an avenue for dogs to learn to behave in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs but is not as rigorous as standard obedience training or competition.