The Norfolk Terrier is the smallest of the working Terriers, bred originally to rid barns of vermin. It was developed in the 1880s in England by British sportsmen by crossing Cairn Terriers, Irish Terriers, and small red terriers used by Gypsy ratters in Norfolk. The breed may have also helped with hunting when it involved prey of a similar size. The breed has been known by several names: first the Cantab Terrier, then the Trumpington Terrier, then the Jones Terrier. It can be designated from the Norwich Terrier by its dropped ears. This drop-ear dog was classified as its own breed in the 1960s
The Norfolk Terrier stands 10 to 12 inches high and weighs around 12 pounds. It is a compact, well-proportioned breed which is agile and can cover ground quickly. The coat of the breed is harsh and wiry and can be red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle. It has a soft undercoat.
The breed is fearless, yet not aggressive. It is a confident breed which carries itself with dignity, holding its tail and head erect. The breed tends to get along with other animals, and it thrives on human contact. The Norfolk Terrier makes an excellent companion pet and should cohabitate well with other members of the household if properly socialized and trained. The breed is fairly active, but its activity level is also typically reflective of its environment. The Norfolk does well indoors, and when outdoors it becomes a natural hunter with a strong prey drive.
Ideally, the dog should be combed daily, or at least weekly in order to remove dead hairs and prevent matting. It also needs to be stripped twice a year.
The breed can live on average from 12 to 16 years. It is typically healthy but can have issues with mitral valve disease, hip dysplasia, luxating patella, and oral problems.