The Norfolk and the Norwich Terriers take their names, obviously, from the county and the city, but in the early and mid-1800s there was no such distinction between these breeds, both of which were considered simply as general farm dogs. It is thought by some that Glen of Imaals, red Cairn Terriers and Dandie Dinmonts are among the breeds behind these East Anglian terriers. Both the Norwich and Norfolk were shown together as one breed – the Norwich Terrier - until 1964.
The Norfolk is a typical short-legged terrier with a sound, compact body, and was developed for catching small vermin and he is predominantly described as a ratter. He has a delightful disposition and, although totally fearless, is not one to start a fight.
As a worker, he does not give up in the face of a fierce adversary, and his standard’s reference to the acceptability of ‘honourable scars from fair wear and tear’ is a good indication of the type of dog the breeders require.
His ears should drop forward at the tip, whereas those of his cousin, the Norwich Terrier, should stand erect when the dog is at attention.
The Terrier Breed Group
Dogs originally bred and used for hunting vermin. 'Terrier' comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough, and to pursue fox, badger, rat and otter (to name but a few) above and below ground. Dogs of terrier type have been known here since ancient times, and as early as the Middle Ages, these game breeds were portrayed by writers and painters.