Whatever background breeding was to create the Norwich
Terrier also applies to the Norfolk. It is assumed that small Irish
Terriers were used initially. Later these were crossed with other
terrier breeds. Two that are suggested are the Border and the Cairn.
For thirty years two ear types persisted in the Norwich Terrier-the
drop and the prick. Both varieties were shown together under the
same breed classification and the two varieties were inter-bred.
However, it seems that such interbreeding created problems with
ear carriage, and breeders discontinued the practice. Thus only
prick-eareds were mated to like, and drop-eareds to drop-eareds.
After a few generations of this it became evident that two quite
different types of terrier were evolving, and what seemed grossly
unfair was that in the show ring the prick-eareds were consistent
winners over the drops. Because of this, supporters of the drop-eareds
sought to have this variety recognized as a distinct breed.
In 1963 separate breed standards for the two varieties
were submitted to The Kennel Club (England), and two years later
separate breed status was granted. The newly recognized breed became
known as the Norfolk Terrier.
Like his very close relative, the Norfolk is a game,
working terrier that loves horses and the stableyard. These are
the smallest of the terriers weighing about eleven pounds (5 kg)
and standing about ten inches (25 cm) at the shoulder. It is said
that their harsh, wiry, close lying coats make them the ideal companion
for those wanting a terrier that stays neat with a minimum amount
of grooming attention.
Following Britain's example The Canadian Kennel Club
recognized the Norfolk Terrier as a separate breed in 1977.