Norwich Terrier

Last updated April 2017

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch information related to this breed for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However, if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as highly undesirable, it must not be rewarded in the show ring.

General appearance

Small, low, keen dog, compact and strong with good substance and bone. Honourable scars from fair wear and tear not to be unduly penalised.


One of the smallest of the terriers. Lovable disposition, not quarrelsome, tremendously active with hardy constitution.


Gay and fearless.

Head and skull

Skull broad and slightly rounded with good width between ears. Well-defined stop. Muzzle wedge shaped and strong. Ratio of muzzle length to skull length is 2:3.


Relatively small, oval-shaped, dark, full of expression, bright and keen.


Erect, set well apart on top of skull. Medium size with pointed tips. Perfectly erect when aroused, can be laid back when not at attention.


Tight-lipped, jaws clean and strong. Rather large, strong teeth with perfect, regular scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Strong of good length, commensurate with correct overall balance, flowing into well-laid shoulders.


Legs short, powerful and straight; elbows close to body. Pasterns firm and upright.


Short back, compact with good depth. Ribcage long and well sprung with short loin. Level topline.


Broad, strong and muscular, well-turned stifle. Low-set hock with great propulsion.


Rounded, well padded and cat-like. Pointing straight forward standing and moving.


Docking previously optional.

  • Medium docked. Set high, completing perfectly level topline. Carried erect
  • Tail of moderate length to give a general balance to dog, thick at root and tapering towards tip, as straight as possible, carried jauntily, not excessively gay, completing perfectly level topline


Forelegs should move straight forward when travelling; hind legs follow in their track; hocks parallel and flexing to show pads.


Hard, wiry, straight, lying close to body, thick undercoat. Longer and rougher on neck forming a ruff to frame face. Hair on head and ears short and smooth, except for slight whiskers and eyebrows.


All shades of red, wheaten, black and tan or grizzle. White marks or patches are undesirable.


Ideal height at withers 25 cms (10 ins).


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

*Note for prospective puppy buyers

Size – The Kennel Club breed standard is a guide and description of the ideal for the breed; the size as described does not imply that a dog will match the measurements given (height or weight). A dog might be larger or smaller than the size measurements stated in the breed standard.