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Norfolk Terrier Temperament and How to Bring One Home

Fearless, fun, and feisty—these are a few characteristics that describe the Norfolk Terrier temperament!

Norfolk Terriers are intelligent and active little dogs. They are a perfect choice for anyone who is looking for a big personality in a pint-sized package.

These adorable, scruffy canines generally weigh no more than 11 or 12 pounds.

Happy Norfolk Terrier Temperament in Park

There is nothing more exciting than the idea of bringing home a brand new Norfolk Terrier puppy or giving a loving home to a rescued Norfolk Terrier.

However, the Norfolk Terrier temperament is not for everyone, so let’s take a closer look at the personality traits of this breed.

It is crucial to get to know the attributes of this unique dog before adding one to your family.

History of the Norfolk Terrier

Understanding the history of the Norfolk Terrier will help you gain a better understanding of your dog’s temperament and training needs.

Norfolk Terriers were bred to hunt rats, foxes, and other vermin.

The breed originated in England in the early 1900s. Older terrier breeds such as the Cairn Terrier and the Border Terrier are thought to be ancestors of the modern Norfolk Terrier.

Norfolk Terriers were originally grouped together with their close relatives, the Norwich Terriers. However, in 1979 the American Kennel Club recognized them as two distinct breeds.

The two breeds remain similar in appearance but can be differentiated by their ears.

The Norfolk Terrier’s ears flop over while the Norwich Terrier’s ears stand erect.

Photo of Two Norfolk Terriers in the Park

Norfolk Terriers may be small, but they were bred for a purpose.

Norfolks were not developed to be lap companions like other small breeds.

These dogs were bred to patrol the outbuildings of farms—sometimes in snow, rain or oppressive heat. Therefore, Norfolk Terrier breeders created a hardy, rugged breed with a strong drive to work.

Norfolk Terriers sometimes hunted in packs with other dogs, and they usually worked independently from their masters.

Unlike herding dogs or sporting dogs that waited for their owner’s commands, Norfolk Terriers often carried out their work without human supervision.

This explains why many Norfolk Terrier owners describe their dog's temperament as clever, independent, and occasionally stubborn!

These dogs have a long history of making their own decisions.

Norfolk Terrier Temperament

Norfolk Terriers are active and energetic.

If you add a Norfolk Terrier to your family, you should expect to provide it with plenty of physical exercises and mental stimulation.

These a