Showsight Presents the Norfolk Terrier

THE VERSATILE NORFOLK TERRIER by LARRY HOTTOT

L ooking for a little, high-powered dog to add to your family? Th is little dog was originally bred in the farm lands of Europe as barn dogs to rid the barn of vermin and used on occasion to bolt query on a hunt. Today’s Norfolk Terrier retain many of those origi- nal breeding characteristics. Th eir cour- age is incredible with the natural hunter instincts with a strong drive for prey for small vermin, rats, squirrels, chipmunks and such. Norfolk’s typical temperament is happy, spirited, self-confident and thrive on human contact. Th e Norfolk Ter- rier is an active, energetic, fearless, feisty, sociable and charming, all rolled into one, small dog. Th ey are assertive without being aggressive and usually get along with other dogs. However, the Norfolk should not be left home alone around gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, birds and other small family pets as their hunting instincts will “kick in”. Th e Norfolk Terrier needs daily exercise and enjoys walking and jog- ging. He will take as much exercise as you can give. Th ey also enjoy agility, Earthdog tests, tracking, obedience and the confor- mation ring. Th ey should always be on lead or in a fenced area, as they do not know the dangers of the road, often said to not be road smart. Th ey will take o ff after a squir- rel and run right into tra ffi c. Th e fence must be secure and without openings as they are talented escape artists. Th ey love children and are well-behaved with respectful kids. Many are good with other family pets if introduced as a puppy and allowed to grow together. Most are not yappy, but they will bark if someone knocks on the door, rings the doorbell or is seen walking by. Th ey do make good watchdogs, but once someone is inside your home, the Norfolk Terrier loves everyone! Th ey will bark and/or dig if they are bored, lonely or unexercised. Th ey are trainable but learn slowly and look for- ward to reward treats. Th ey are willing to please, but always independent-minded. Th ey are usually quick to housetrain. Th ey are loyal, devoted and loving and will want to be included in all family life aspects

and activities. Th e Norfolk Terriers love to take rides in vehicles to see di ff erent sights, people and locations, which is helpful to sooth the fears of only going in a vehicle for grooming or vet appointments. Norfolk Terriers love to participate in many di ff erent events, excelling in all. From conformation, agility, Barn Hunt, obedience, Earthdog (or going to ground), to dock diving and therapy dogs. Th e following are some of the events that may interest the owner or the dog. Most have a by-product of gaining exercise for both the handler as well as the dog, while allowing the Norfolk to be the Terrier Th e sport of showing one’s dog in the show ring dates back decades and contin- ues today. Originally, the owners exhib- ited their own dogs, showing to judges who are trained to know and understand the Breed Standards, for the award of Champion in the breed. For Norfolk Ter- riers, the most notable was English-Amer- ican Champion Cracknor Cause Celebre, “Coco”. Handled by Beth Sweigert and Peter Green, Coco went Best in Show at the AKC Invitational in 2003 and 47 oth- er BIS in 2003. Th e high point in 2003 was Coco winning BIS for all four shows of the Montgomery Weekend which had never been done before. Th e pièce de résistance was winning Best in Show at Crufts 2005—a great Ambassador for the Norfolk Terrier breed. DOCK DIVING they are. IN THE CONFORMATION RING Dock diving or dock jumping is an activity that surfaced in 1997. Th e AKC o ffi cially became involved in 2014 with introducing title recognition for dogs competing in the North American Diving Dogs events. Dock jumping is a competi- tion in which a dog runs o ff the dock into a pool or body of water. Known as jump- ing a wave, the team of dog and handler, are measured by how far the dog jumps

into the pool. Jumps begin qualifying at 0.1" to over 30 feet. Th e sport is open to all breeds and mixed breeds. Events are held indoors and outdoors and in con- junction with AKC All Breed Shows. Th e lap dog competition is for breeds under 16" at the withers; this is where the Nor- folk Terrier fits in. OBEDIENCE Norfolk Terriers remain a rarity in the obedience ring. With the right person, the Norfolk Terriers are certainly capable of learning high-precision work. Th ey are attentive and have an overwhelming desire to please. While it is gratifying to receive the high scores and blue ribbons, it is important for the dogs and handlers to have a really good time in the ring. AGILITY Norfolk Terriers do very well in the sport and the sport has a lot to recom- mend it to Norfolk Terrier owners. Th e Norfolk Terriers are busy little dogs, who can easily get themselves into all kinds of trouble when bored. Th ey’re also a bunch who appreciate their food and treats, lead- ing to a relatively high incidence of obe- sity in the breed. What better than a sport that entertains them and keeps them fit. Norfolk are inventive little dogs. You need a creative and creative trainer to

160 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2015

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