An introduction to THE NORFOLK TERRIER
Year by year Norfolk Terriers continue to grow in popularity and no wonder: they are visually appealing, easily portable (their height at the shoulder is 10 inches, 25 cms), reasonably cheap to feed and make great companions. If you are considering getting a Norfolk though, there are a few points you need to bear in mind!
Norfolks, like all living creatures, need daily exercise - real exercise (not just a mooch around the garden) to keep fit. Norfolks are terriers: they dig, they catch mice and rats and have been known to dispatch a bird or two - although their temperament is generally true to the Standard, which is for a ‘lovable disposition, not quarrelsome’.
Many Norfolks adore water and never miss a chance to wallow in the muddiest puddle. Tragically too, they have been drowned in swimming pools and ponds, having fallen in and failed to get out.
Another potentially fatal danger lies in wait for Norfolk Terriers: they have no road sense and their subtle colouring and small size make them difficult to see and tragically liable to accidents. Extreme vigilance is needed at all times. Never believe that ‘heel’ is as good as a lead.
If you have a garden it is essential that it be securely fenced for, although not all Norfolks are escapologists, some love hunting or are just inquisitive, with possible dire consequences. Special care should be taken with the dog living in town to prevent accidents.
Regular grooming and hand stripping, not clipping, of the coat is needed to maintain a weatherproof coat. A routine of nail cutting and teeth cleaning will help to keep a Norfolk in good health. Norfolks as a breed are reasonably long lived – 14 years is not uncommon.
Norfolks are generally good with children but remember that they are terriers and were originally bred as ratters and definitely not as lap dogs. Each animal is different and has its own individual temperament, so if your puppy is to live with young children it is a good idea to discuss this with the breeder.
Provided that children treat a puppy with respect and not as a toy or plaything there should be no problems, but owners should, from the start, insist on correct behaviour from the puppy and the children alike so that they will all grow up together in harmony. It pays to be a knowledgeable owner and puppies need training from a young age, with firmness, love and understanding.
Many Norfolks are good with cats, especially if they are brought up with them, and some are trustworthy with other small animals but it is always better to be cautious. Remember, as with all terriers, that their instinct is to hunt and kill vermin. This is their nature.
Leash your Norfolk...
Still keen? Then if you are lucky enough to find a Norfolk Terrier, you will gain a delightful pet. He, or she will love you and your family and make a wonderful companion for years to come.
The removal of dogs' tails is banned in England and Wales (wef 6th April 2007 and 28th March 2007 respectively), excluding therapeutic and for working Norfolk Terriers; this is governed by regulation. Dogs born after 6th April 2007 cannot be shown with docked tails at fee paying shows in England and Wales - including overseas exhibits. All dogs that were legally docked before these dates may be exhibited in the United Kingdom.
In Scotland tail docking except for therapeutic reasons was been banned on 30th April 2007). Dogs born after 6th April 2007 cannot cross borders to be docked.