During the mid- nineteenth century it became the vogue
to create local strains of terriers particularly suited to various
districts in England. Each would be of a size, structure, and working
ability compatible with local conditions. In this way, it is assumed,
the Norwich Terrier-the working terrier of East Anglia-came into
being. The interesting point is that while many breeds created
failed to stand the test of time, the Norwich not only survived
but from the original breed a second breed now called the Norfolk
was derived. It is not known for certain which breeds were used
to create the little red terrier but most authorities assume that
small specimens of the Irish Terrier played a major role.
What has been recorded is that in the 1870s a breeder
by the name of' Lawrence did a brisk business in small red terriers,
many of which were sold to students of Cambridge University- so
many, in fact, that at one time the little dogs were known as Cantab
Terriers. Over the years other names have been given them, including
Trumpington and Jones Terriers.
As working terriers the little dogs proved their gameness
and many were adopted as hunt club favourites. They became dual-purpose
dogs that could go to ground for the fox when necessary and act
as stable yard and house pet at other times. The record states that
early specimens were of mixed type until about 1914 when a Mr. Fagan
became interested in stabilizing breed type. This was achieved by
1923 when the breed became known as the Norwich Terrier and in 1932
it was granted separate breed status by The Kennel Club (England).
At this time both the prick- and drop-eared varieties
were classified under the single breed name of Norwich Terrier.
In 1936 the breed was recognized in the United States, where both
varieties arc still known under the single Norwich classification.
In Canada, as in Britain, the drop-eared variety now has separate
breed status under the name of Norfolk Terrier.