Norfolk Terrier

Norfolk Terrier

Breed Characteristics

Energetic. Very playful. Excellent watchdog but not protective. Requires attention. Not reliable off leash. A digger and barker. Usually, undesirable behaviours such as barking, digging or destroying items at home only surface if they are not kept busy. When engaged actively, Norfolks are always well mannered pets.

Is the Norfolk Terrier approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?



England, 1800s.

Original Purpose

Ratting; farm dog.

Behaviour and Temperament

Lively, spunky, amiable, alert, game,. Norfolk Terriers are feisty and tenacious, whether they're chasing birds or other small animals in the park. Often persistent when demanding play with their humans. They are generally sociable and outgoing, usually no problems with meeting new people or other dogs.

What are some Physical Features of the Norfolk Terrier?

28 to 30.5cm; 3.5 to 4.5kg. Colours are various shades of red, wheaten, black-and-tan, or grizzle.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

Short and wiry. High maintenance; requires a comb-out every week and stripping of dead hair a few times a year. Clipping a Norfolk's coat will alter its texture, making it lighter and softer than the standard. Professional grooming is very desirable, especially for a show coat. Moderate shedding.

Life Expectancy of the Norfolk Terrier

12 to 15 years.

Have a Norfolk Terrier?

Health Concerns

Allergic dermatitis, collapsing trachea, mitral valve insufficiency.

Exercise Needs



Well suited to apartment life and urban areas.


Bonds to whole family. Norfolk Terriers play well with kids and can handle some roughhousing. However, be mindful and always keep a close watch as young kids may unintentionally hurt them with intrusive hugs and play, which can be reciprocated with snaps or bites. Good with other dogs and cats, not to be trusted with other smaller animals.


Low to Moderate. Norfolk Terriers are eager to please, but can be somewhat stubborn when it comes to training. Some can be slow to housetrain, but will learn control when taken outside on a routine. Basic obedience commands can be picked up in a jiffy, in a positive reinforcement setting packed with rewards.

Recommended Activities

Earthdog trials, agility.