Norwich Terrier Guide: The Ultimate Guide for Owning a Norwich Terrier

norwich terrier standing on dirt path

The Norwich Terrier: A Small & Rambunctious Breed

Norwich Terriers are small dogs that pack a punch. Norwich Terriers have the energy of a much larger dog, and they aren’t afraid to unleash this energy in front of their owners. Norwich Terrier puppies are some of the friendliest and most headstrong small dogs. Even though Norwich Terrier puppies are undeniably fun, they are a lot to handle. Norwich Terriers love wasting time and have half a mind to play tricks on their owners. Norwich Terrier puppies are as much mentally active as they are physically active. Because of this, potential Norwich Terrier puppy owners should be aware that Norwich Terrier puppies need an experienced owner to care for them.

Some dog breeds have a certain level of energy that can make it hard for them to focus during training sessions. If you guessed the Norwich Terrier puppy was one of those dogs, you’d be right! It’s crucial to have consistent training sessions with your Norwich Terrier.

As fun as Norwich Terrier puppies can be, they can often take things too far. Their devil-may-care attitude is why Norwich Terrier puppies are the best fit for experienced dog owners and not novice owners. For example, small Norwich Terrier puppies are known for barking excessively, but often an owner can train their small puppy out of this bad behavior with some positive reinforcement training. If you have a Norwich Terrier puppy that barks and you don’t immediately make them stop, they will continue to bark. Norwich Terrier puppies love to test the rules repeatedly, which is why repetitive and positive training lessons are a requirement for Norwich Terriers.

If potential owners aren’t sure they can dedicate regular training sessions to their pup, they should consider getting a less high-maintenance dog. Norwich Terriers aren’t high maintenance in any way other than their training requirements. But, if potential owners feel like they can provide that, that’s great news! The Norwich Terrier could be a great fit for you, and you’ll be delighted to know that Norwich Terrier puppies bond completely with their owners.

Norwich Terriers are brilliant dogs, and they can tell who is caring for them. Because of their innate intelligence, they quickly become attached to their owners and become unwavering sidekicks. Some owners might find this undying loyalty comforting throughout their day-to-day lives, but some pet parents find “velcro dogs” to be too attached. Pet parents who prefer more aloof dogs should look into rescuing a different breed of dog than these committed Norwich Terrier puppies.

Norwich Terrier puppies have small bodies with perky features, and Norwich Terriers only grow to be between 12 and 14 pounds. Norwich Terrier puppies stand at a whopping 10 inches tall maximum, although puppies in this breed can be smaller. Their scruffy fur and pointy ears complement the Norwich Terrier puppy by highlighting their adorable faces and awe-inspiring eyes. They are the most miniature working terriers. Because of how energetic they are, they often have more stocky and muscular features making them seem like a body-building Yorkshire Terrier.

Norwich Terrier puppies can have many differently colored coats. Some Norwich Terriers might have a coat with a tan base that fades to black, but you can find Norwich Terriers with red, wheaten, or grizzled colored coats. Grizzle-colored fur contains a combination of wheat and black fur without any pattern. Norwich Terrier puppies commonly went hunting alongside their owners throughout history, and because of this, the breed grew fur that was nearly weatherproof.

Because Norwich Terrier puppies adapted to their outdoor jobs, their fur became hard and wiry, quite the opposite of a Yorkshire Terrier’s fur. Norwich Terrier puppies have minimal shedding throughout the year but will shed more heavily during changes in the seasons. Just because Norwich Terriers don’t shed much doesn’t mean they are great for households with allergies. Norwich Terriers aren’t hypoallergenic, and families with dog allergies should look for a more hypoallergenic breed like any Poodle mix potentially.

Even though the Norwich Terrier puppy won’t fit into a household with allergies, they mold into most other homes. Even though Norwich Terrier puppies have excessive energy, they are great for apartment living because of their small, compact bodies. Potential owners who live in cities or small apartments should be glad to know that Norwich Terrier puppies only need a few walks around a block each day to fulfill their activity needs. This also means that owners with big homes and yards should know that these Norwich Terrier puppies would be just as happy to run around in a large, open field. Norwich Terrier puppies are almost guaranteed to be happy in any home, as long as their owners provide them with adequate amounts of exercise.

While Norwich Terrier puppies can undoubtedly be quite happy in many households, they would be most comfortable with families at home more often. Smaller Norwich Terrier puppies typically require more time with their family than larger dogs. Norwich Terrier puppies would appreciate a family of couch potatoes and homebodies so they don’t have to be alone. However, if you love going out, keep in mind that Norwich Terrier puppies are portable, and their small size makes it easy for them to accompany you whenever possible.

Some families leave home for the average eight-hour workday. If you are a single-family household and no one will be home during the day, potential owners could also consider getting a second animal along with a Norwich Terrier puppy. Norwich Terrier puppies are plenty friendly, and if they receive proper socialization lessons at a young age, they are sure to get along with any cat or dog siblings.

If you’re a potential Norwich Terrier puppy owner and you have human children of your own, you should know that this breed of dog typically gets along well with children. However, Norwich Terrier puppies are always spunky and are likely to try to boss children around, especially if the dog hasn’t received training lessons correctly. This means that Norwich Terrier puppies will get along great with children. Still, to ensure your dog doesn’t scare your child, potential owners must know how to provide training and socialization to their Norwich Terrier puppies. In addition to that, potential owners with children should also teach their children how to handle small dogs, such as Norwich Terriers. As stated earlier, Norwich Terrier puppies are very muscular and stocky, but they still only weigh an average of 13 pounds, so they are considered fragile.

Norwich Terrier puppies make excellent pets for the right families. Do not get this dog if you desperately want a Norwich Terrier but don’t want to provide the training. Norwich Terrier puppies show their best traits when they experience positive and repetitive training.

norwich terrier sitting in grass field

The History of the Norwich Terrier Puppy

When Norwich Terrier puppies first popped up in the late 1800s in East Anglia, a region of England, they weren’t initially called Norwich Terriers. At first, Norwich Terrier puppies had a few different names like Cantab, Trumpington, and Jones Terriers because the early versions of this breed were just  mixes of a lot of other small terrier breeds. In the late 1800s, hunters wanted small, friendly dogs to take on their hunts and take them home when they weren’t hunting. So, breeders experimented with different small breeds and created a very diverse group of Norwich Terrier puppies. At first, the breed had no consistent look, and many of these Norwich Terrier puppies looked different until the England Kennel Club recognized the Norwich Terrier puppy as a breed in 1923.

Now, you may be wondering where Norwich came from since they already had so many cool breed names. Trumpington has a certain ring that many dog breeds don’t have, but instead, England chose to name the dog Norwich. The area where Norwich Terrier puppies first appeared, East Anglia, had a smaller region called Norwich. Then, the England Kennel Club abandoned Trumpington’s beautiful name and replaced the breed name with Norwich, an equally fun word to say.

The Norwich Terrier puppy first got the name Trumpington Terrier because when this breed first appeared in England, it became wildly popular at Cambridge University. Around 1870 to 1880, many undergraduate students began adopting these dogs from a stable on a nearby street named Trumpington Street. Because of this history, Cambridge University is famous for the Norwich Terrier.

In the early 1900s, Norwich Terrier puppies made their way to the United States thanks to a fellow from Philadelphia named Robert Strawbridge. Strawbridge became the breed’s ambassador in the fox hunting community. The American Kennel Club recognized the Norwich Terrier breed in 1936.

When the Norwich Terrier puppy made its way to the United States, another group of terriers known as the Norfolk Terrier became part of this breed. Until 1979, the American Kennel Company saw the Norfolk and Norwich Terriers as the same breed, but in 1979, they made them two distinct breeds. The Norwich Terrier breed stayed the same, and the Norfolk breed still has many similarities. One of the only differences between the two dogs is that Norfolk Terriers have floppy ears, whereas Norwich Terrier puppies have perky standing up ears. This distinction separated the two breeds.

The Norwich Terrier puppy started helping hunters by attacking vermin such as rats on farms. However, Norwich Terrier puppies moved up in the hunting world and began hunting foxes from their dens. Even though many Norwich Terrier puppies today don’t hunt anymore, many owners can trust their Norwich Terrier puppies to rid their homes and yards of rats.

The history of the Norwich Terrier puppy means that these dogs have a biological sense to catch prey. Because of this, they can’t be let off leash under any circumstances because, at first sight of a critter, they’ll be gone in the flash of an eye. This sadly also means that Norwich Terrier puppies can quickly attack smaller animals like rodents, birds, or reptiles. Owners that have any rats, ferrets, lizards, or birds for pets should know that if a Norwich Terrier is properly socialized, they should be able to get along with another kind of these pets just fine. But owners should not trust them alone with more fragile creatures like rodents or lizards.

When people breed dogs for hunting purposes, they often create other traits in these breeds, whether on purpose or by accident. For example, because Norwich Terrier puppies are high-energy, they quickly escape unfenced yards if they are unrestrained. However, a bonus trait of their breed history is that many Norwich Terriers make great watchdogs. Norwich Terrier puppies received training throughout the history of their breed to find prey and bark when they do, which means if any unwanted intruders come into your home, your Norwich Terrier is sure to let you know.

norwich terrier standing in grass field

Norwich Terrier Breed Intelligence

The Norwich Terrier breed has above-average breed intelligence. Scientists and vets decide a breed’s intelligence by the number of times it takes them to learn a new command and how long it takes them to obey a command they already know. The Norwich Terrier puppy ranks #38 out of 100 dog breeds by these standards. This means that, on average, the Norwich Terrier puppy will need about 15 to 25 repetitions to learn a new command. A Norwich Terrier puppy can complete an order they already know on the first try at least 70% of the time. So 7 out of 10 times, your Norwich Terrier puppy should be able to complete a command they already know. However, if Norwich Terrier puppies don’t receive proper training, they will not be able to live up to these standards. Also, if your dog receives specialty training or you are a very focused owner who provides consistent and encouraging training sessions, your dog may become even more intelligent than the average Norwich Terrier.

Norwich Terrier puppies can be full of fun or hijinks, but often it takes an intelligent dog to break so many rules. This breed is brilliant, and as long as training is kept consistent, they can be well-behaved family members.

Norwich Terrier puppies actually have more mental needs than physical ones. For example, a walk around the block can be enough daily activity for them, but if you want to sit on a couch after that and watch the television, Norwich Terrier puppies could become depressed. Norwich Terrier puppies have tons of mental energy and need a lot of mental stimulation to keep them healthy.

Providing puzzle toys or training Norwich Terrier puppies on an agility track can be plenty to keep their minds active. Owners can rest assured that just because Norwich Terrier puppies need plenty of mental stimulation doesn’t mean they have to be entertaining their dog for hours a day. It means owners should know they need to teach their Norwich Terrier puppies to play with puzzle toys, and as your dog advances in learning these puzzles, provide them with newer and more challenging puzzles. Also, consider that Norwich Terrier puppies love learning new tricks, so keep in mind that you can teach your pocket-sized Norwich Terrier puppy to become the belle of the ball. Imagine all your friends come over, and you have your dog perform a trick where they hop up on someone’s lap and lay down. People would love that! And what’s more important is that your dog would love for you to teach them many tricks.

Norwich Terrier puppies rely on their owners to provide for their needs. If you aren’t willing to or don’t know how to train a dog to do exciting and adorable tricks, consider hiring an at-home dog trainer or take your dog to training classes. There are many ways to provide consistent training for Norwich Terrier puppies, and these options depend on your time, money, and willingness to teach your pup. With dogs as intelligent and mentally active as these Norwich Terrier puppies, any undesirable behaviors will magnify tenfold if owners cannot provide consistent training to break their bad habits. Potential owners who aren’t sure if they can offer this mental care should look into getting a less mentally active dog breed.

Health Conditions That Affect the Norwich Terrier Puppy

Norwich Terriers are at risk of developing many different health conditions, but many dogs in this breed live a long and healthy life unaffected by illness. The average life expectancy of a Norwich Terrier puppy is about 10 to 14 years. Owners looking to rescue a Norwich Terrier puppy should be ready to recognize a couple of health conditions these Norwich Terrier puppies are predisposed to experiencing.

Most health issues Norwich Terrier puppies are most at risk of experiencing are not life threatening. For example, Norwich Terrier puppies have a chance of developing epilepsy, allergies, eye diseases, and joint dysplasia. While any of the aforementioned health conditions can cause trouble in a Norwich Terrier puppy’s life, they will not end the dog’s life. Sadly, this breed is at risk of developing degenerative myelopathy — an incredibly rare disease, but a very deadly one. Even though it may be daunting to read about so many health conditions, potential owners should keep in mind that many Norwich Terriers live long, healthy lives without ever experiencing these health conditions.

two norwich terrier dogs on paved path

Norwich Terrier Puppy Psychological Health

Cognitive health

Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy is a health condition that affects Norwich Terriers in a major way by causing issues with their limbs. This condition often gets misdiagnosed or confused with other conditions while vets try to find a diagnosis. Degenerative myelopathy is a disease that affects white matter in the spinal cord. This condition makes the white matter break down and degenerate—the degeneration of white matter in the spinal cord results in weakness of the hind limbs. Sadly, degenerative myelopathy often leads to paralysis of the back legs. Over time, front legs can be affected as well. A gene mutation causes this condition, and Norwich Terriers have a risk of inheriting this mutation.

Vets have compared degenerative myelopathy to the human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Having a Norwich Terrier puppy go through this condition can be incredibly difficult for the owner and dog to experience. Still, this condition is not incredibly common in dogs, although the Norwich Terrier breed is somewhat at risk of developing this condition.

Norwich Terrier puppies will often present the first signs of this disease when they reach eight years of age or older. When symptoms progress, they do so quickly. A Norwich Terrier puppy may begin to have symptoms of swaying in their hind legs when they stand. This can lead to wobbling, difficulty walking, or they can begin falling over easily. Sadly, this disease can cause Norwich Terriers to have knuckling of the paws when they try to walk, or it can cause them to have their feet scrape the ground when they walk. Because of this, they can develop abnormally worn toenails.

The symptoms of this condition make regular life increasingly difficult for the average Norwich Terrier. For example, it will become harder to get up from a lying or sitting position as this condition progresses. Eventually, Norwich Terriers will begin to fall when they walk or stand. Once it progresses to an inability to walk altogether, vets will examine a dog and usually find the dog has complete paralysis in its hind limbs.

Sadly, there is no cure for degenerative myelopathy in Norwich Terriers. This disease will radically limit their quality of life and function. Treatments for this condition are given to help delay the progression of symptoms to try to provide a longer quality of life in walking. Norwich Terriers that get diagnosed with this disease are often encouraged to exercise more. This means that vets will advise owners to take their Norwich Terriers walking, swimming, and to physical therapy to prolong their dog’s leg movements.

Sometimes, owners get a special harness that focuses on the hind end to aid a dog in walking. This harness prevents foot damage from occurring and can increase traction when walking a dog on grass instead of concrete. Owners with this harness also place rugs on slippery floors, which can delay the need for euthanasia.

In the end, a Norwich Terrier puppy with degenerative myelopathy will have paralysis and be unable to move. Sadly, many Norwich Terriers diagnosed with this condition are put down within six months to three years after their diagnosis. Often vets encourage owners to consider euthanasia because degenerative myelopathy can cause respiratory failure, which can lead to a more painful death. Euthanasia can also become part of a vet’s conversation once a dog loses a significant portion of its movement and thus loses its quality of life.


Many dogs suffer from epilepsy. In fact, epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder seen in dogs, and out of all canine breeds and mixes, it appears in about 0.75% of the entire canine population. Abnormalities cause this neurological health condition in the brain and lead to repetitive and random seizures. Thankfully, many Norwich Terrier puppies with epilepsy receive treatment that lessens the frequency of the attacks they experience, and some Norwich Terriers can take medication that may prevent seizures from occurring altogether. Norwich Terrier puppies have somewhat of a predisposed risk of developing epilepsy.

There are multiple forms of epilepsy a dog can suffer from, but a vet cannot provide treatment for epilepsy until they know what type a dog has. Typically, vets don’t know to start testing for epilepsy until a dog begins experiencing seizures or epileptic symptoms.

There are many types of seizures that a dog with epilepsy may experience. Norwich Terrier puppies have a predisposed risk of experiencing epilepsy, and typically Norwich Terrier puppies experience focal and generalized seizures during their episodes.

Focal seizures originate from only one part of the brain and only affect a specific part of the body. Generalized seizures are essentially the opposite, and they begin on both hemispheres of the brain and present themselves on a dog’s whole body.

An epileptic dog may experience other seizures, including atonic, tonic, myoclonic, tonic-clonic, and cluster seizures. Tonic seizures appear in Norwich Terriers as if they flex their muscles for several minutes. Atonic attacks look as though a dog has a sudden loss of muscle mass for a few seconds or more. Tonic-clonic seizures occur when a dog experiences the tonic phase of attacks and quickly develops short clonic (jerking) movements for a few minutes. Myoclonic episodes appear as a brief contraction of muscles or entire groups of muscles. Cluster seizures are what vets describe as a dog with two or more seizures within twenty-four hours.

Other less common types of seizures that a dog may experience include reactive seizures and reflexive seizures. Unlike the previous episodes mentioned, these two types of attacks can occur in any dog and do not automatically mean a dog has epilepsy. Reflexive seizures occur after the same inciting incident, and Norwich Terrier puppies may experience reflexive attacks after flashing lights, loud noises, or traumatic events like thunderstorms. Reactive seizures arise because of specific stimuli causing this type of seizure, and metabolic derangements most often cause this type of seizure and are typically toxins. Although reactive seizures are not an indication of epilepsy, these types of seizures can actually give Norwich Terrier puppies epilepsy.

There are different types of epilepsy, and idiopathic, structural, and epilepsy of an unknown cause are a few types of epilepsy.

Idiopathic epilepsy is more common than any other type of epilepsy. This type of epilepsy is often passed by genetics and usually means an unidentifiable structural cause in the dog’s brain. Idiopathic epilepsy can occur because of genetic defects or vascular traumas like strokes. Any Norwich Terrier puppies that experience head trauma, intracranial tumors, or brain diseases can develop idiopathic epilepsy. Most Norwich Terrier puppies that receive an idiopathic epilepsy diagnosis are between one and five years old, and they often present with normal neurological functions.

Some Norwich Terrier puppies are born with structural issues in the brain and then develop structural epilepsy. Norwich Terriers with this type of epilepsy can receive a diagnosis after a vet completes an MRI. Typically, an MRI will offer a look into the structural issue, or an analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid can alert a vet that a dog has epilepsy. Norwich Terriers with this type of epilepsy often show neurological problems between seizures and are typically outside the age range that idiopathic epilepsy gets diagnosed.

Epilepsy of an unknown cause is what vets diagnose epileptic Norwich Terriers with when they cannot identify a structural malformation but suspect the cause of the seizures to be structural damage.

Refractory epilepsy is another type of epilepsy that can only receive a diagnosis once a dog gets medication for its seizures. When seizure medication is no longer effective, then Norwich Terriers have refractory epilepsy.

For vets to diagnose and treat this condition accurately, they will need the owner’s assistance in recognizing the dog’s symptoms. This means owners need to keep a detailed description of their dog’s behavior during and after seizures. Any voluntary movements that seem strange, like repetitive lip smacking, licking, or chewing, should be noted. Owners should write down their dog’s behavior between seizures and after them. Owners must keep track of the affected body parts, how long attacks last when the attacks occur, and any symptoms their Norwich Terriers might show. Some Norwich Terriers have temporary blindness, difficulty standing, sedation, or unconsciousness. Also, owners should note anything that happens right before the dog begins having a seizure since sometimes seizures can be a response to surrounding factors.

Treatment methods vary from dog to dog. Most cases of epilepsy can receive treatment with AEDs (anti-epileptic drugs), and this medication is supposed to make seizures much less frequent. Not all medicines work equally in all Norwich Terriers, and many AEDs have extensive side effects. Some owners provide their Norwich Terriers with CBD as it has some history in preventing seizures altogether, but this treatment method is still new. Owners should always consult their vets before treating health conditions. There is no way to prevent epilepsy, and there is no true cure for it.

three norwich terriers sitting in the grass

Paroxysmal Dyskinesia

Paroxysmal dyskinesia is a health condition that results in episodic movements that are involuntary. Often, because these movements appear as if they’re seizures, this condition gets mistaken for epileptic seizures by both owners and vets. Paroxysmal is a term that means symptoms occur very suddenly and appear at a time of normality. Dyskinesia is also a term that refers to an involuntary movement of the body. This means that even though a dog is moving beyond its own control, it is also conscious of what is happening and remains fully aware of its surroundings.

When paroxysmal dyskinesia occurs, most neurologists think it means that there is a brain dysfunction present. Even though many Norwich Terrier puppies can experience this attack with no neurological effect, this is a scary condition that alarms many owners. However, people should rest assured that often this condition results in random muscle spasms. Attacks can take a few minutes to pass by or last for many hours.

This condition can appear as if your dog is trembling uncontrollably. Sometimes, when Norwich Terrier puppies experience this condition, they can’t physically stand up and walk, so instead, they will try to crawl to the location of their choice. Some Norwich Terriers with this condition have increased muscle tone during an episode or simply experience a slight head tremor. Sometimes, pets develop trembling while they remain very abnormally quiet.

This condition is hard to diagnose because of its similarity to epilepsy. Typically, signs of this condition appear in young adult dogs, and testing for this disease can be tricky. Because it is so often mistaken for idiopathic epilepsy, vets need genetic testing, blood work, neurological tests, and clinical signs to diagnose this. Vets don’t have to perform all of these tests to make a final diagnosis. Still, because of the similarities with epilepsy, many tests are often needed to have a confident diagnosis.

In addition to being difficult to diagnose, it’s also frustrating for many owners to try to treat it. Often, vets treat this condition with anti-epileptic medication, and these medications often fail in animals suffering from paroxysmal dyskinesia. Because this condition isn’t damaging and typically doesn’t occur frequently, vets only advise treatment if the episodes occur once a week or more.


Separation Anxiety

Norwich Terriers are very anxious dogs, and many small dogs struggle with separation anxiety more than larger dogs do. This is due, in part, to the fact that most small dogs are supposed to be companions while many larger dog breeds were bred to complete specific tasks or jobs and therefore didn’t require as much time with their owners. Norwich Terrier puppies are very similar to other small dogs in this case and should not be left alone for long hours at a time.

When owners leave their dogs, Norwich Terriers often panic, thinking their owners have abandoned them never to return. This panic often results in destructive behaviors like couch chewing, loud barking, or scratched doors and walls. Some animals begin having symptoms of separation anxiety before their parents even leave the house. This is because Norwich Terrier puppies can tell when their owners are getting ready to go, and dogs like this may try to prevent their owners from leaving by barking, blocking the doors, or even becoming aggressive.

Some animals experience more severe symptoms when they have separation anxiety, and typically the more influential the fear, the more intense the symptoms. Some animals will bark, howl, chew, or dig when they’re left alone for too long. Some animals will try to escape their homes entirely, dig or find an exit route. Some animals urinate, defecate, or defecate and then eat their feces. It can be hard to tell if Norwich Terriers do this since the evidence would be gone, but owners may begin noticing strange stains popping up or a bad smell in the house upon their return.

Norwich Terrier puppies that get adopted from shelters are more likely to experience this condition than puppies raised in one home since birth. This is usually the case because shelter Norwich Terriers are typically abandoned or homeless before they get to a shelter. Norwich Terrier puppies like this are likely to experience more intense symptoms of separation anxiety when there is a change in their family, change in residence, or a change in their regular schedule.

Many Norwich Terriers can receive training to help them resolve their issues with anxiety, and owners can partake in counterconditioning or hire a trainer to work with their anxious dog on this. Counterconditioning can help a dog change their reaction from a scared and negative one to a happy —  or at the very least, indifferent — one. Applying this to separation anxiety would mean that the affected dog would no longer get anxious when owners leave. A dog that has finished this training will be happy for a new treat or feel indifferent when their family leaves, as they are more comfortable and confident that their family will return.

Severe cases of separation anxiety will need professional dog behaviorists to help treat them. Treatment for anxiety doesn’t have to be through counterconditioning, although it is an excellent way to work on a dog’s stress. Other options include anti-anxiety medications or calming treats like CBD treats.

norwich terrier looking up at the sky

Physical Health


Some dog breeds struggle with allergies more than other breeds do. Norwich Terriers are one of the breeds that have minor problems with allergies. In people, allergies often present themselves by affecting our eyes or nose, but dogs’ allergies show themselves on their skin. Skin allergies are referred to as “atopy” and appear most often on the feet, belly, skin folds, or ears. Norwich Terriers have a genetic predisposition to develop atopy.

When Norwich Terrier puppies suffer from this condition, they typically start having symptoms between one and three years old. Unless treated, Norwich Terrier puppies will often lick at their paws, rub their face, or have frequent ear infections. The way Norwich Terriers scratch their allergy spots can cause them to have patchy or inconsistent hair loss in certain areas. This can also result in hair loss and red skin or thickening of the skin. Luckily, there are many treatment options for allergies.

The most common causes for atopy in Norwich Terriers are fleas, food, inhalants, or contact allergies. Some Norwich Terrier puppies are hypersensitive to different bacteria, making them allergic to certain kinds of bacteria. The same inhalant and contact allergies people have can also be the same allergies Norwich Terriers have. For example, Norwich Terriers can get allergies from pollen, trees, dust mites, weeds, or molds. The best way to figure out if one of these things is causing your Norwich Terrier puppy to have allergies is to note the timing of the reaction. If your dog has year-round allergies, they may be allergic to dust or mold. However, repetitive seasonal allergies point to pollen or grass as the culprit.

Besides inhalants, Norwich Terrier puppies can also be allergic to specific foods. Sometimes owners believe that since their dog has been eating the same food their whole lives, their Norwich Terrier isn’t possibly allergic to their food. However, some animals develop allergies to different substances over time. Another mistake owners commonly make is believing that Norwich Terriers are only allergic to low-quality dog food. Other quality dog foods still share many similar ingredients, and an allergy can persist no matter the quality of the food. With that knowledge, owners should also know that lesser-quality dog foods usually put filler ingredients in that high-quality foods do not add. These filler ingredients often induce allergic reactions in Norwich Terriers.

Norwich Terriers can also experience allergies because of fleas. Often, Norwich Terriers with allergies aren’t allergic to fleas themselves but rather their saliva. Norwich Terriers do not have to be flea ridden for this allergic reaction to happen. Most of the time, it only takes one flea bite to cause an allergic reaction that can last up to a whole week.

As stated earlier, some Norwich Terriers are hypersensitive to certain bacteria. Norwich Terrier puppies with bacterial hypersensitivity have an overactive immune system, and it can be challenging to discern bacterial hypersensitivity. Still, this immune overreaction typically occurs when a Norwich Terrier puppy is already experiencing other allergies like inhalant or flea allergies.

Allergies are not dangerous to your dog’s health and are typically more irritating than serious. The best way to treat a dog for allergies is to take them to the vet for testing. Once a vet has discerned the type of allergy your Norwich Terrier puppy has, they can help find a treatment method.

Treatment for allergies like atopy depends on the type of allergy Norwich Terrier puppies have. Since it often affects the skin, atopy can be treated with medicated baths that aim at soothing injured skin and calming inflammation. Medicated baths are not regular baths and require antimicrobial or antifungal agents to be successful.

Some Norwich Terriers take antihistamines to calm their allergies. About a third of owners of dogs with atopy have success treating their dog’s allergies this way. Sometimes, this treatment has little to no effect and should be abandoned. Antihistamines are relatively inexpensive and have low side effects, so many owners experiment with different types of them before giving up on them. A good rule of thumb is to try at least three different antihistamines and if nothing happens, try a different allergy treatment method.

Antibiotics and antifungal medications can treat skin infections that result from atopy. Some owners use flea control to prevent any allergic reactions from flea saliva. Other treatment methods owners can try are supplements like Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acid supplements to improve a dog’s overall skin health. These supplements have virtually no side effects, and they aren’t harmful, but they are great for a dog’s skin.

If your Norwich Terrier ends up having a dietary allergy, they can try a hypoallergenic diet. A hypoallergenic diet consists of proteins and carbohydrates that your Norwich Terrier puppy has never tried before. Dairy, beef, and wheat are responsible for about 80% of food allergies in dogs, so owners should try to avoid these ingredients for Norwich Terriers with food allergies. Many Norwich Terriers with allergies benefit from proteins like venison, egg, duck, kangaroo, and other fish types that are not typically in pet foods. Some owners switch carbohydrates to potatoes, peas, yams, sweet potatoes, and canned pumpkin.

norwich terrier looking up at camera

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Ear Health

Norwich Terriers aren’t prone to ear issues like some dog breeds are, but they do need their owners to help keep their ears clean. Owners can provide ear grooming by checking their dog’s ears at least once a week and cleaning them out when they give their dog a bath. It’s important not to over clean your Norwich Terrier’s ears as this can lead to irritation and cause infections. A gentle ear wash to get rid of excess wax or any dirt in the ears is a great way to make sure your Norwich Terriers have clean ears.

Gut health


About 50% of dogs in the United States are obese. The most common reason this occurs is that the Norwich Terriers don’t get enough exercise. When a dog experiences obesity, this condition can lead to a multitude of other issues. Obese Norwich Terriers can develop osteoarthritis, especially in their hips, and any predisposed risk of developing hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia increases. Obesity is one of the driving forces of hip dysplasia in Norwich Terriers. Obese Norwich Terrier puppies are likely to have high blood pressure and may develop respiratory and heart disease.

Most Norwich Terriers are fed 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality small-breed dog food, and more active Norwich Terrier puppies will benefit from more food. While this measurement is usually fit for most dogs of this breed, owners of Norwich Terrier puppies should know that size, build, age, and a dog’s metabolism play significant roles in their daily nutrition.

While a dog’s nutritional needs can change based on its habits, the quality of dog food can also change how much a dog needs to eat in a day. For example, dry dog food with a lot of nutrition and supplements can offer your dog all their daily requirements in less food than less nutritious dog food.

An excellent way to keep a Norwich Terrier puppy at a healthy weight is to perform a weight test. Owners should be able to tell if their dog is overweight by looking at them. If you stand directly in front of your Norwich Terrier and look down, a healthy dog will have a visually present waist. Another way to tell if your dog is at a healthy weight is by testing their ribs. This means that you would put your hands on your dog’s back and rub your thumb along their spine with your fingers spread downwards. When you run your hand on their back, you should be able to feel your dog’s ribs with little to no pressure. Their ribs should not be visibly noticeable. However, your Norwich Terrier puppy is likely overweight if you cannot find your dog’s waist or feel its ribs without excessive pressure.

On average, Norwich Terriers with obesity live two and a half years less than their breed’s life expectancy.

If your Norwich Terrier puppies become obese, an increase in exercise and a decrease in food may be able to help them. Some Norwich Terriers don’t need a decrease in their food and only need more physical activity. To help a dog with obesity get back to a normal weight, owners should start feeding their Norwich Terriers measured amounts of food multiple times throughout the day. Norwich Terriers that lose weight will be hungrier than regular, so feeding them multiple small meals can keep them feeling full while simultaneously helping their metabolism get faster.

Sometimes, weight gain is a symptom of another health condition. In this case, a dog will not be able to lose weight healthily until it receives treatment for its underlying disease. Hypothyroidism is often a cause of obesity in Norwich Terriers and can make many animals gain weight without eating more.

norwich terrier standing on its hind legs

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Eye Health

Primary Lens Luxation

Norwich Terrier puppies have the risk of developing several types of inherited health conditions. One health condition they’re at risk of inheriting is primary lens luxation. This eye disease is a disorder where the lens of the eye moves out of its normal place and causes painful inflammation in the eye as well as glaucoma. Primary lens luxation results from a gene mutation. Sometimes, Norwich Terriers may only carry one copy of the disease’s gene mutation and will show no sign of this eye disease. However, Norwich Terrier puppies can still experience this condition even with one gene mutation.

This inherited disease appears spontaneously and will usually present itself in a Norwich Terrier puppy between the ages of three and eight years. When this eye disease occurs, both eyes are not typically affected simultaneously. However, in most cases, both eyes are eventually affected by this health condition.

Norwich Terrier puppies might show symptoms of this eye disease when they have watery, red, teary eyes. This eye disease is painful for any Norwich Terrier puppies affected by it. Also, because lens luxation can lead to inflammation and glaucoma in the eye, it can result in a painful, blinding outcome if it doesn’t receive the proper treatment.

Treatment for this eye disease begins with a vet performing a thorough examination of your Norwich Terrier puppy’s eye. If a vet notices this condition early, surgical removal of the lens can be done and is very beneficial. Sometimes, inflammation and glaucoma in the eye can heal or lessen in severity with a topical medication or an oral one. Sadly, in some more difficult situations, treatment options don’t work or cannot be afforded, resulting in the removal of a dog’s eye to relieve the pain.

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Dental Health

Periodontal Disease

Smaller dogs typically have crowded mouths and need more dental care and attention than larger dogs. Norwich Terrier puppies are no different, and they will need regular teeth brushing sessions. Norwich Terrier puppies will significantly benefit from daily dental cleanings, but many owners have difficulty doing this every day. At the very least, two to three brushes a week should remove the buildup of tartar and bacteria on your dog’s teeth. Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth is a great way to prevent gingivitis and severe issues like dental diseases from occurring. This also helps keep your dog’s breath fresh. Some owners can benefit from buying their dog dental treats.

norwich terrier sitting in the grass

Elongated Soft Palate

An elongated soft palate is typical in smaller dogs—specifically brachycephalic dogs, which means dogs with shorter snouts and smaller heads. Even though Norwich Terrier puppies fit this description and can inherit this health condition, they are not considered brachycephalic dogs. No matter, an elongated soft palate causes breathing difficulties and can cause secondary health problems.

This condition is caused by the soft palate being too long for the dog’s mouth. When a soft pallet is longer than the length of the mouth, it can partially block the entrance of the trachea (windpipe) in the back of the throat.

Norwich Terrier puppies with elongated soft palates will show snoring, snorting, gagging, coughing, or choking symptoms. Any dog with this condition will experience various symptoms, and some of them may be bluish gums, vomiting, difficulty breathing, or noisy breathing. Often the symptoms of this condition can get worse in hot or humid weather.

In severe cases of this condition, Norwich Terrier puppies can develop a complete collapse of their airway. Untreated cases of an elongated soft palate can cause other problems. Norwich Terriers with this condition can develop inflammation of other respiratory tissues, heart disorders, laryngeal collapse, or death.

Vets have a few different treatment methods for this condition, including surgery. Surgery is the typical treatment method, and the vet will amputate the soft palate to unblock the airway. As invasive as this may sound, this surgery is very simple and only takes several minutes to perform. Your veterinarian will decide which treatment method is the best fit for your Norwich Terrier dog’s condition, and in most cases, the prognosis is very good.

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Immune Health

Tracheal Collapse

Tracheal collapse is a progressive respiratory condition that occurs when tracheal rings of cartilage collapse. This health condition can cause your dog to have breathing problems such as windpipe collapses, resulting in a harsh, dry cough. Vets and scientists don’t know the cause of this condition, but they think a congenital disorder may cause this to appear in Norwich Terriers.

Many Norwich Terriers with this health condition will show symptoms in their breathing. Norwich Terrier puppies that have difficulty breathing or cough a lot might have this health issue. Some Norwich Terriers will cough when owners pick them up or when there is pressure on their necks. Some cases of this health condition cause symptoms like gagging, vomiting, or wheezing. Norwich Terrier puppies with tracheal collapse might have episodes where they can’t stop coughing and may have bluish mucous membranes.

Norwich Terriers with this condition might have spikes in symptoms after exercising. Excessively low or high temperatures can induce a coughing fit, and drinking water or getting excited can cause Norwich Terriers to have a fit of symptoms.

There are different classifications to separate the severity of tracheal collapse cases. Grade one of a tracheal collapse is when the structure that supports the dog’s trachea reduces by 25% but remains in its standard shape. Grade two means the supporting structure reduces to 50% and the cartilage is partially flat. Norwich Terriers reach grade three tracheal collapse when the supporting structure in their throat reduces by 75% and the cartilage in the throat is nearly completely flat. Grade four tracheal collapse occurs when the supporting structure has completely collapsed and the cartilage is flat. Vets can treat tracheal collapse with medication or surgery. Sometimes vets choose to use both of these methods to treat this health condition.

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Joint Health

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a devastating health condition that can take away a dog’s ability to walk. This health condition can drastically reduce a dog’s quality of life. Hip dysplasia is a skeletal condition that is very common in many different dog breeds, and Norwich Terrier puppies have a particular predisposed risk of contracting this condition.

The femur joins the hip socket as a ball-in-socket joint. This socket is supposed to slide when Norwich Terriers run or walk smoothly, but many Norwich Terriers are born with hip dysplasia or malformed hip joints and develop arthritis in this area. Too much or too little exercise can aggravate the symptoms of hip dysplasia and cause arthritis to set in earlier than usual.

There are a few other factors that can cause hip dysplasia to worsen. Obesity and improper rest can aggravate the hip joint, making the grinding on the joint more aggressive.

Because it can take years for hip dysplasia symptoms to appear, many Norwich Terriers suffer from this condition silently and develop arthritis in their hip joints. When arthritis affects their hip joints, the damage can become permanent.

Norwich Terrier puppies with hip dysplasia may experience symptoms of inflammation or degrees of looseness in their joints. Many Norwich Terriers see a decrease in activity, range of motion, and movement in general. Norwich Terrier puppies with worse symptoms of hip dysplasia will have reluctance rising, jumping, running, or using stairs, as well as lameness in their hind end. Often, when Norwich Terrier puppies experience this condition, they may develop a strange walk where they look like they are hopping or swaying.

Often, Norwich Terrier puppies with this condition lose thigh muscle mass and gain muscle mass in their shoulders. This happens because the Norwich Terriers use less weight on their back legs and compensate by overbearing weight on their front legs.

If owners have a concern that their Norwich Terrier puppies are suffering from hip dysplasia, it’s important to let your vet know as soon as possible. Vets can complete physical exams and might be able to diagnose this condition with a physical alone. More often, vets need to take x-rays and do further examinations.

Treatment for this health condition can vary depending on the dog, its age, and the severity of the condition. Many Norwich Terriers get supplements to treat any pain issues, and the same supplements are supposed to help slow the progression of arthritis in a dog’s hip. Once the hip dysplasia advances to the point that it causes dogs pain, vets may provide treatment in the form of lifestyle modifications or surgery. Some vets will prescribe weight loss to take the stress of the hip joint. Typically vets restrict certain activities that may worsen the dog’s symptoms, such as exercise on hard surfaces. Vets are likely to provide anti-inflammatory medication, joint fluid modifiers, or recommend surgery. In severe enough cases, an entire hip replacement may be done.

Patellar Luxation

Norwich Terrier puppies can have patellar luxation, a health condition which is common in smaller dogs. When patellar luxation occurs, the kneecap is out of place from its proper spot. Kneecaps naturally sit in a groove at the end of the thighbone just above the knee.

When a dog experiences patella luxation, they often show skips in their step but may return to walking normally just as quickly. Some Norwich Terrier puppies might run on three legs momentarily as well. Many Norwich Terriers tolerate their condition for their entire lives, never needing surgery.

Patellar luxation conditions are given grades to discern how severe the condition is. Usually, patellar luxation situations that are grade one do not need surgical repair. However, after grade one, all the other grades from two to four will likely require surgery. Suppose Norwich Terrier puppies with patellar luxation receive surgery before getting arthritis or other knee injuries. In that case, their prognosis is excellent, and they will likely return to full use of their leg after they are done healing. However, this condition can cause secondary knee injuries to occur, such as cruciate ligament rupture, or it can cause lameness in the leg. If a Norwich Terrier puppy with patellar luxation is getting other knee injuries, they would benefit greatly from surgery but may not have full use of their knee afterward. The prognosis for dogs with patellar luxation is very dependent on how bad their condition is and whether they experience any secondary issues because of this condition. Patellar luxation cannot be prevented.

norwich terrier licking a persons hand

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Skin & Coat Health

A Norwich Terrier puppy’s fur needs somewhat more special care than other dog coats typically do. Their fur coat has a wiry, straight topcoat that layers over a softer insulating undercoat. Norwich Terrier puppies have a signature hard, wiry texture in their fur. Sadly, if Norwich Terrier puppies get their fur trimmed, their fur will change in color and texture and ultimately be lighter, softer, and prone to shedding more often.

For example, to keep the near weatherproof coat of Norwich Terrier puppies, they’ll need to see a groomer for hand-stripping. Hand-stripping is the process of removing dead hairs from a dog’s coat by hand instead of cutting the fur. This keeps the coat clean and healthy and is usually done twice a year in spring and autumn. This grooming process often speeds up the natural growth and shedding process. If Norwich Terrier puppies don’t get to a groomer for hand-stripping, they risk losing their natural fur texture and even their color. Hand-stripping only needs to be done when Norwich Terrier puppies blow their coats.

Norwich Terrier puppies need relatively simple coat care other than hand-stripping. Aside from that, weekly brushing and occasional baths will keep their coats in peak health.

Are Norwich Terrier Puppies Right for You?

If you have gotten to the end of this article and aren’t confident you can provide the exercise requirements or grooming requirements of a Norwich Terrier puppy, then you should probably look for another breed. Norwich Terrier puppies are amazing pets, but they are still dogs that need responsible owners to care for them. Norwich Terrier puppies aren’t like the average low-maintenance small dog. Even though you don’t need to spend hours worrying about their physical health, they need hours of mental activity to stay out of trouble.

In addition to that, owners need to be sure they can provide for any potential health risks Norwich Terrier puppies may get. Typically, most dog diseases will present themselves in some way by the time a dog reaches two years old, so if you are worried about adopting a Norwich Terrier puppy with health conditions, rescue an older dog! Not only will that dog be so grateful for a new home, but you’ll feel more confident with a somewhat less risky, less hyperactive Norwich Terrier.

Norwich Terrier puppies would do best in a home that is as mentally exciting as they are. If you are a laid-back family that enjoys relaxing, reading, or watching TV, this dog may not be right for you. But if you are going to be home often, if you love playing around or going on quick walks, then Norwich Terrier puppies could be the perfect fit for your home. Be sure you’re prepared for all the requirements of taking care of smaller dogs. Norwich Terrier puppies would benefit from people who feel more confident about adopting a dog rather than those who are still unsure.

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