Feeding, Weight & Teeth

Feeding Your Norfolk Terrier

There are so many excellent brands of dog food currently on the market that feeding any type of dog (least of all a Norfolk Terrier) should not be a problem – Norfolk Terriers are generally very easy to please when it comes to feeding, in fact they will eat just about anything and everything they can get their paws on, which can be an issue in itself!   Depending on your circumstances and preference you can either go for a complete meal, the traditional meat and biscuits or a raw food diet. Obviously this is a very general guide to feeding; puppies and older dogs will have special requirements on which either your breeder or vet will advise you.  

The ‘issue’ mentioned above is not surprisingly the issue that Norfolks can very quickly gain unwanted weight, so whichever feeding regime is decided upon, care must be taken regarding the calorific content of the chosen food, and the amount they are fed! Norfolk owners should carefully watch not only the weight of their dog or bitch, but also their body condition. (see How Much Should a Norfolk Terrier Weigh? Below).

As with any dog, Norfolks appreciate the odd treat – raw carrot is a particular favourite of many Norfolks, and is a good healthy option, both for the weight and the teeth.

It is also important to remember that Norfolks have strong jaws so some chews may not be suitable for them, as they tend to demolish and swallow rather than chew.

Taking care of your Norfolk’s teeth

Norfolk Terriers don’t always have particularly good teeth, so it is important to choose a diet that doesn’t exacerbate this problem, and it is also important to take measures to keep their teeth clean and healthy. There are a lot of products (chews, sprays, food additives etc) on the market to assist with this, as well as the good old fashioned remedy of cleaning their teeth on a regular basis.

How much should a Norfolk Terrier weigh?

In 2013 we embarked on a project to weigh 100 Norfolk Terriers entered for shows run by the Club. To our knowledge this has never been done before, anywhere in the world. The project was initiated in response to numerous complaints from owners of Norfolk Terrier who were told that their pet dogs were overweight, when they looked perfectly fit. The breed weight charts in vets’ surgeries put both the Norfolk Terrier dog and bitch at 6.5 kg. And exactly the same figure for Norwich Terriers. This figure was suspect. As the results below show, Norfolk Terriers fit enough to show, were, on average, a different weight, and there was a greater range than was reflected on any weight charts we know of.

The Norfolk Terriers weighed included those from minor puppy (6 months, and older) right up to the veteran classes. This represents, therefore, the full age-range of dogs that may be presented to vets. We are fully aware of the fact that there are many reasons why two Norfolk Terriers of roughly the same size can be body weights that are very different. This is reflected in the figures.

 We encourage the use of these figures together with BODY CONDITION charts. These are easily available from your vet, or from the internet. Nothing, however, beats going over your dog with your hands: you should be able to raise the skin into a pinch easily; the dog has to have a distinct waist, which dips inward slightly when viewed from above; the back end of the sternum must be nearer the ground than the belly. These 3 tests, and the figures below, should tell you whether your Norfolk is overweight or not.



10.30 kg


7.30 kg


5.30 kg



8.70 kg


6.21 kg


4.10 kg

This information is the copyright of the Norfolk Terrier Club of Great Britain. Any further publication requires the permission of the Club.


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