Norwich Terrier

  • Overview

    Norwich Terriers are surprisingly hardy for their small size. Although they don't stand taller than 10 inches or weigh more than 12 pounds, these dogs have a boundless amount of energy and are tenacious in their desire to explore. These entertaining little terriers can adapt to the activity level of any home, but they appreciate plenty of time to explore, burn off energy and walk around surveying their surroundings. Norwich Terriers make cheerful, involved companions for families and individuals who appreciate the company of a vivacious little dog.

  • Personality

    Norwich Terriers are confident in their abilities and brimming with importance. They know they're capable, despite their size, and they love being given jobs or tasks to prove themselves. Norwich Terriers are happy, loving dogs who enjoy nothing more than spending time playing with their families. They are loyal dogs who will bark to defend their owners, but they don't have much desire to yap otherwise. They also love toys and delight in playing fetch or rough-housing with their owners over a toy.

    Although these little dogs have a strong drive to work and please their owners, they are easily distracted. They love to dig, chew and stir up trouble in the yard. As a result, they appreciate having consistent rules to follow. Consistency and positive motivation help them learn to emphasize their good manners. Norwich Terriers get along easily with other dogs because they were bred as pack hunters, but they will benefit from socialization with other people and children. They tend to be possessive of their owners. Without socialization, they won't be thrilled to turn their owner's attention over to strangers.

  • Coat Care

    Like their relative the Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terriers have wiry, weather-resistant coats with a defined under coat. Their coats are either black and tan, grizzle, red or wheaten shades. The hair hangs in an even length around the body, but it is longer in a ruff around the neck, under the belly and on the back of the legs. Some owners choose to dock their tails, but the tail should remain long enough so that the working Norwich can be pulled up by his tail from dangerous situations or underbrush.

Norwich Terrier
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Brush you Norwich Terrier's hair routinely with a metal comb to keep it looking tidy and help it maintain its terrier shape.

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With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but wire-coated dogs can be done with greater frequency, often within a four-to-six week range. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. The coat should be fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair.

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Hair Clipping

Trim the hair around the Norwich's footpads if he seems uncomfortable. Keeping the hair short will help him stay comfortable while he moves quickly. The coat can benefit from hand-stripping several times a year to help maintain its healthy texture and shape. Without stripping, Norwich Terriers can get a little scruffy and they tend to shed more.

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Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

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Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Wire coated dogs have sensitive ears covered in hair that  need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. West Highland Terriers and other small terriers with white coats are prone to developing tear stains around the eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

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Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.