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5 Wonderful Qualities of Norfolk Terriers

...Unconditional Love and Loyalty from This Breed

Photo courtesy Michael Ugulini - Norfolk Terriers - Amber (left) Lexi (right)

There exist arrays of dog breeds with unique characteristics that endear them to their respective owners. Whether purebreds or mixed breeds, dogs of all shapes, sizes, and colors are certainly the best friends they’re trumpeted to be. Sometimes, selecting one to become a part of your family can be overwhelming with the abundance of choice available.

A little research into dog breeds can give you the foundational info you need to make an informed choice. Talking to different owners of different breeds is also a wise course to take. This gives you insight into how a certain breed behaves with children, other pets, and such.

My wife Cathy and I own two beautiful Norfolk Terriers, Lexi and Amber (half-sisters), or the “LA Connection” as we affectionately call them. Here are 5 wonderful qualities of Norfolk Terriers that we have come to observe in our experience with them.

1. They love everyone they meet.

It’s sometimes difficult to get Norfolk Terriers out for a sustained brisk-paced walk. The reason? They’re social butterflies so-to-speak. If someone is walking the sidewalk and approaching them, Norfolk Terriers stop, tails wagging like high speed wipers, waiting to meet this new individual.

The LA Connection parks in the middle of the sidewalk to ensure they’re acknowledged by passersby. If someone rushes past without acknowledging them, you can see the disappointment in their faces. They typically also love every dog they meet. Although ours are a little unsure of cats as they’ve experienced swift swipes by cats at their faces.

2. They’re great couch companions.

Norfolk Terriers are perfect house dogs at roughly 12–15 pounds, depending on their build. They love to snuggle on a blanket or on someone’s lap on a couch. They’re intrigued by TV and they provide great warmth on cold winter nights as they stretch across your legs and provide body warmth akin to a comfortable electric blanket.

3. They’re true feisty hunters.

This breed is noted for its hunter instinct. They were originally bred in England to clear the landscape of vermin (ratting or ratters) and running off foxes, and such. As the Norfolk Terrier Club of Canada notes, “The present day Norfolk is still an ardent ratter. This breed retains all its prey-driven hunting instincts, but the emphasis has changed from the ideal of being 'game' and a 'demon in the field' to being a sweet natured, affectionate companion - but still a terrier.”

It’s truly a beautiful sight to behold when a Norfolk Terrier is in full hunting mode while out on a walk or in the backyard when they see a squirrel. They go on "high alert" and the craftiness, speed, and hunting strategy of the breed is a magnificent thing to witness.

4. They’re clever.

Norfolks are thinkers. They’re intelligent and you have to be aware of their scheming while out on walks. They are independent and have a mind of their own. They will try to dictate the course of a walk and are determined to get their way as to what direction they want to go and what they want to investigate. I say all of this in a positive way as it’s fun to engage with them in all of this.

I remember one training class when Lexi was a pup. The process was to get her to stand (Step #1), then sit (Step #2), the lie down (Step #3), in sequence on command—to be rewarded with a small treat. Lexi decided she would skip the middle step. She looked the trainer in the eye and immediately lay down and expected her treat. The trainer exclaimed, “Lexi, you’re cheating.”

5. They’re devoted to their owners.

This is their most endearing quality. Norfolk terriers are devoted to owners who treat them with great love and respect. They reward said owners with unconditional love and loyalty. We have bad days as human beings and can get crusty/cranky with others and even our dogs.

Norfolks give their love at all times. Consider that dogs have bad days too, but you wouldn’t know it with this breed. Their affection and devotion is something amazing and a true gift to their owners.

Norfolk Terriers have great dispositions. It’s a joy when they greet you with unbridled enthusiasm at the door after you’ve been out for the day. It’s also great to just spend time chillin’ with them on the patio or in front of the TV at night—their wonderful temperament is sure to uplift your spirits. 

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5 Wonderful Qualities of Norfolk Terriers
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