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Norwich Terrier - Temperament & Personality

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Norwich Terrier


The Norwich is a classic terrier breed: fearless, strong, sassy, loving and independent. Norwiches make excellent family dogs as they consider their family to be their “pack” and will want to be included in as many group activities as possible. They never tire of playing ball, and many owners report that their Norwich Terriers chased balls with the vigor of a puppy well into their older adult lifetimes. This breed has a zest for life, approaching new tasks and situations with vigor, and make an excellent family pet, though they shouldn't be raised alongside toddlers. Their trainability and generally even temperament makes them a good choice for first time dog owners.

Activity Requirements

Norwich Terriers need moderate exercise to maintain health and happiness. Daily walks and some active ball-chasing will meet his activity requirements. The Norwich's compact size makes them fine apartment dogs, and they are generally easier to handle than other noisy terrier breeds. These little dogs are not couch potatoes, however. Even indoors they are eager to engage in activity that works both mind and body, so make sure that your Norwich has lots of toys to keep him occupied, especially when you are gone for the day. If left alone too long with nothing to do, they will occupy themselves by barking, chewing and digging.

Norwichs should never be left off leash or in an unfenced area for exercise. They maintain a strong desire to chase, and will take off like a shot after small animals and they aren't likely to respond to calls home.


Norwich Terriers like to be in charge, but when trained from a young age are not difficult to handle. They are incredibly smart, and repetition can bore them, so make sure sessions are mixed up and kept lively to maintain interest. Positive reinforcement and treats are the best method for training this breed, as treating a terrier harshly will only lead to defensive behavior.

When basic obedience has been mastered, Norwich Terriers can graduate on to advanced training, agility or Earthdog activities. Agility courses allow Norwiches to exercise their minds and bodies, and Earthdog allows them to hunt and dig for vermin (who are kept safely out of reach of the dogs). They will enjoy the exercise, appreciate the time to use their sharp minds, and will eat up the extra time spent with you.

Behavioral Traits

Though they are less yappy than other terrier breeds, Norwich Terriers are still prone to barking, especially if left alone for long periods of time with nothing to do. Walking your dog before leaving the house, and leaving him with interesting toys to play with can cut down on the barking. Companion dogs also help. Norwiches are pack animals and when raised together, bond well with other canines.

Cats should not be introduced into the Norwich home. These little dogs will chase small animals, and can sometimes be aggressive. Introducing another dog into and adult Norwich's home can also be a challenge. The Norwich is fine in a multiple-dog home only when raised alongside other dogs from puppyhood.

Norwichs have the urge to dig in their DNA. They were originally used to chase foxes and other animals out of their dens, and modern Norwichs are still champion diggers. If left alone in a yard, they can make quick work of flower beds. Enrolling your Norwich in Earthdog activities can give him a constructive outlet for digging.

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