(aka: Jones Terrier, Cantab Terrier)
The Norwich Terrier is one of the smaller terriers, standing only about ten inches tall at the withers. It has a distinctive double coat, which can appear in several hues (although red is by far the most common.) The dogs are known for their excellent ratting skills, as well as for their extremely companionable personalities, high energy levels, and generally willful and intelligent terrier personalities. The breed is not to be confused with the Norfolk Terrier, who are closely related but who differ in terms of ear shape: the Norfolk Terrier has drooping ears, while the Norwich Terrier's ears are always "pricked" and straight.
Norwich Terrier Temperment
A hardy, adaptable, and inquisitive little dog, the Norwich Terrier is a small dog with a big personality. These dogs, cousins of the Norfolk Terrier, have plenty of energy, and love to play, exercise, and have fun. Early socialization is important with the Norwich Terrier to ensure an even temperament and to reduce the risk of timidity. These dogs can be hardy, headstrong, and determined, which means that the owner needs to be assertive and confident in order to establish leadership. Therefore, the Norwich Terrier is best suited to more experienced dog owners with some knowledge of training. With the right training, the Norwich Terrier will fare well, as he is intelligent and a quick learner. Although he is suited to apartment living, the Norwich Terrier needs daily walks or a safe and secured area in which to play and exercise.
The Norwich Terrier can be very possessive when it comes to his food or belongings, and can be jealous of other pets. He will get along well with children that are gentle and those he has been brought up with. This breed should be introduced to cats from an early age. With strangers some Norwich Terriers will be friendly, but others may be more reserved. Those with beautiful gardens should be warned that the Norwich Terrier is a very keen digger, and if you are looking for a quiet life this may not be the ideal choice, as he also loved to bark. However, he will bark to raise an alarm too, and this makes him an effective watchdog.
The grooming requirements for the Norwich Terrier are moderate, and the coat simply needs to be brushed once a week. The hair around his bottom will also need to be trimmed regularly for hygiene reasons. Every few months the coat of the Norwich Terrier may need to be clipped, and for show dogs the dead coat will need to be stripped. The Norwich Terrier may prove ideal for allergy sufferers, as he is a low shedder.
The Norwich Terrier was first recognized in East Anglia in the mid-1800s. Believed to be a descendant of the Irish Terrier through unknown channels of cross-breeding, Norwich Terriers were used as ratters and hunting dogs from their earliest years, and by all reports were thought to excel at both duties. Norwich Terriers were most commonly relied on to flush foxes out of underground hiding places (when the foxes had "gone to ground"), allowing horses and other hunting dogs to continue the hunt.
Until 1964 Norfolk Terriers were also classed as Norwich Terriers, but the two were separated in the 1960s because the Norfolk Terrier has folded ears and the Norwich Terrier has erect ones. The breed was registered with the AKC in 1936.
Norwich Terriers are highly intelligent, and thus highly trainable--if you're willing to remember the central rule of training terriers, which is to recognize the fact that terriers invariably have their own will. Effective training of a terrier--even one as comparatively friendly and companionable as a Norwich Terrier--will require your learning how to turn that stubborn will to your own purposes by making it enjoyable and interesting for your dog to learn good behavior and respond quickly to commands.
The way to do this is through positive training, never through negative/aversive training. Negative training will not allow you to turn a dog's will to your own purposes--not without breaking the spirit and personality of the dog, which is the principal joy of all terriers (and arguably the particular joy of the amiable Norwich.) Positive training, on the other hand, allows your dog to use his or her intelligence, to be rewarded for it, and to feel both pride and pleasure at the successful performance of a command or the successful following of good behavior--which leads to an increased willingness to perform and behave well, which leads to a well-trained dog.
One crucial area to focus on when training a Norwich Terrier is the set of commands for controlling dogs while on the leash or in an open area. Norwich Terriers are bred to chase, hunt, and dig, and these inherent drives--as well as their inherent wariness around other animals--preclude their being off the leash or their being left unsupervised in a yard. These drives also preclude their being on the leash if they don't know how to behave themselves and return to your side when (and if) they forget themselves with the sight of a darting squirrel or cat. So begin training early, and focus as quickly as possible on the leash commands--heel and sit in particular--while using positive rewards to accelerate the process. You'll not only avoid your dog's harming any other animals or damaging property through digging, but you'll avoid having to chase your Norwich (or simply drag him or her home, barking all the way.)
There are a number of health problems associated with this breed, and this includes: epilepsy, collapsing trachea, elongated palate, luxating patella, heart problems, allergies, and HD. The parents of the Norwich Terrier puppy should have OFA certificates.