The smallest of the working Terrier breeds, the Norfolk Terrier is a short-legged dog with a wiry coat and expressive, rounded, drop ears. They are sturdy little dogs, slightly longer than they are tall, with a level topline. The muzzle is wedge-shaped and tapered and the teeth should ideally form a scissors bite. The eyes are dark and oval in shape, with black rims. The high-set tail is carried straight and is customarily docked. The hair is longer and thicker around the neck, base of the ears and throat. The hair on the head is short, but the eyebrows and whiskers are long. The Norfolk coat may be red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle.
Size and Weight
The average height for a Norfolk Terrier is from 9 to 10 inches at the shoulder, and females tend to be smaller than males. They weigh about 11 or 12 pounds, and the weight should be in good proportion to the dog's height. They are slightly longer than they are tall.
Coat and Color
The Norfolk Terriers sports weather-resistant, wiry coat with a unique, shaggy and somewhat unkempt look to it. The under coat is soft and downy while the topcoat is harsh. Because of the makeup of the coat, this breed sheds minimally. The hair is longer and thicker around the neck, base of the ears and throat. The hair on the head is short, but the eyebrows and whiskers are long. The Norfolk coat may be red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle. Dark points are permissible for show dogs, but white markings are not allowed. There are no markings, however, that prevent a Norfolk from being an excellent family companion.
Though the look of a Norfolk Terrier is to be shaggy and unkempt, grooming is required to maintain the coat's health and appearance. The dog should be brushed several times per week with a slicker brush or a metal comb and he should be trimmed or thinned with thinning shears when areas of the coat get too thick or long. Hand-stripping is required for show dogs and should be conducted twice per year.
The ears should be checked on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean them with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal. Small dogs are prone to dental problems, and teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.