Norfolk Terrier Traits

We Norfolk Terriers are described by the Kennel Club Breed Standard as:

“one of the smallest of terriers, a ‘demon’ for its size. Lovable disposition, not quarrelsome, hardy constitution”

This is a very accurate description for us Toosey Norfolk Terriers!   The Kennel Club also recommends no specific health tests for Norfolk Terriers. This is important for you to know.

It is said that our personality and behaviour as Norfolk Terriers is determined by our breeding and our upbringing. A good start in life, being loved and taught our boundaries is essential. We Toosey Norfolks are much loved and have been to school to learn what is right and what is wrong behaviour for such cute little dogs like us! 

We are alert, fearless and outgoing for such a small breed of dog and love being part of the family. We are happy to share our home and have all been well socialised with family, friends, children, other dogs, cats and many other farm animals.


As Norfolk Terriers we all have double coats which are quite thick and waterproof.  The top coat hair is hard, straight and wiry and provides the waterproof qualities with the coat around the ears and face being much shorter and softer. Bathing us regularly is quite unnecessary and frequent use of shampoo may harm our coats removing the natural oils making our coats dry and brittle. It is therefore best to only bath your Norfolk Terrier when it is absolutely necessary and only use a good quality shampoo made specifically for dogs. When we return home muddy from a walk, which is more often than not as after all we only have short legs, we are rinsed in the sink with luke warm water and dried off with a towel. We then lie by the Aga and have a well deserved rest!

Norfolk Terriers love to be brushed every day to remove the loose and dead hair and we are no exception. This is a fun time and we are all given treats at the end!

Now this is very important - Norfolk Terriers should always be hand stripped and never clipped. This should be done at a professional grooming parlour until you have the necessary experience to do this yourself at home. We are hand stripped twice a year although Sasha who has a gorgeous thick, slow growing coat only has to be done once a year. This involves removing the dead top coat hair with a finger and thumb or a stripping tool. The coat will be left the same length throughout our main body area with a longer skirt left alongside the underneath of our body and the top of our legs. Our ears will be trimmed so that no excess hair remains. Rather bizarrely we all love being groomed and having our coats stripped and afterwards we love to show off our gorgeous new coats!

We Toosey Norfolks still retain many terrier like features within our temperaments and we require a confident, well informed, owner to set boundaries and establish routines from the very beginning. Historically, Norfolk Terriers were bred for country life and have always been a ‘ratter’. We all love to go out and about looking for mischief and something to chase. Our size and ability for endurance made us ideal for hunting rats; shame there are not too many left for us to find!  So today although we think it is fair to say that we still retain many features of our ancestors, we have evolved to become a great companion and a firm family favourite who loves to sit on your lap and have a cuddle!

Finally, we should tell you that we are not known as a noisy breed but we will alert you to the postman or visitors knocking on your door. We are very active dogs who love to be out and about and are most happy when we are included in all the family activities. We are also well socialised and learn from being engaged in stimulating activities. Regular exercise is a must for any Norfolk Terrier and we Toosey Norfolks love meeting new people and going on long walks!

Just remember…   ‘A Busy Norfolk Terrier is a Happy Norfolk Terrier’

Lots of Love, The Toosey Norfolks!