Breed History

The Norfolk Terrier is at heart a game little dog and began in England as a “ratter” used to control the rat population. When it became fashionable for students to keep these little Terriers in their rooms at Cambridge University England they were known as the Cantab Terrier.

Norfolk and the Norwich Terriers originated in England and share the same ancestry. Today’s Norfolk began as a drop-eared Norwich Terrier and started its show career in the 1930s.

Since World War II there was little interbreeding of ear types and on October 4, 1964 the  English Kennel Club separated the breed names and standard to create the Norfolk Terrier. Fifteen years later (1979) the America Kennel Club recognized the Norfolk Terrier and transferred all Norwich Terrier drop-ears to the new Norfolk Terrier breed stud book.

While the breeds were separated the parent club in America was known as the Norwich and Norfolk Terrier Club of America until it was separated into two clubs, one for each breed in 2009.


Today the Norfolk Terrier is a distinctly recognizable breed with differences from the Norwich Terrier beyond ear carriage.

Additional References:

The Norfolk Terrier by Joan R. Read

Norfolk Terrier by Muriel P. Lee

Norfolk Terrier Club Annual Publications