Showsight Presents the Norfolk Terrier


By Barbara Miller


he Norfolk and Nor- wich terriers were once one breed; the Nor- wich terrier prick ear and the Norwich ter- rier drop ear. It wasn’t

at bay. Fortunately, Rags, a red coated male and Nell a female with a dark coat was the results of this breeding. Both had prick ears and Hopkins labeled them “ Th rumpington Terriers.” In 1901 Frank Jones better known “Roughrider” who worked for Jack Cooke, master of a pack of staghounds, bred his small red terriers that he brought to England with him from Ireland to “Rags.” All resulting whelps had pricks ears. A few years later, Podge Low owned a little bitch that he named “Ninety” with most probably a bit of Dandie Dinmont in her background, pure white with fl y away ears and leggy to boot was sold to a graduate of Cambridge, Richard Hoare. He bred her to Rags and the drop ear was born. It wasn’t until 1932 that Bif- fi n of Beau fi n was born and became the breed’s fi rst champion in 1935 in Eng- land. England recognized the breed as Norwich prick and drop ear in 1932. Gordon Massey of Maryland imported the fi rst drop ear champion in 1936, With- erslack Sport; that same year the AKC rec- ognized the breed in our country. Both the drop and prick were exhib- ited as one breed until January 1979 in our country. Having two breeds stand alone in the ring brought out the quali- ties of each. The Norfolk Terrier began to shine as they were no longer in the shadow of the prick ear. We learned quickly that the Norfolk required a bit more than tidying as we all got accus- tomed to using trimming knives; some more skilled at it than others. A glow- ing coat and one free of dead hair adds to the Norfolk’s health and well being. Stripping out these dead hairs hastens the growth of the new coat. A good Norfolk coat is weather resistant and in most instances red yet black and tan and grizzle are acceptable colors. The

coat is harsh, never soft and f luffy. Nor- folks are alert and most often responsive to their handlers when in the show ring. Norfolk have never lost the spirit of going to ground and today there are many trials open to the breed for competition. Yearly more Norfolk owners are taking part in this performance activity earning titles in this area of our sport. Agility is anoth- er endeavor the Norfolk and his owner enjoys. Th is breed is the perfect family pet for the city or country. If not being exhib- ited brushing and combing a few times a week are su ffi cient to maintain the coat. Th e Norfolk breed is easily trainable and always willing to learn if the owner puts in the time required to teach the young pup commands. Some in the breed are train- ing their Norfolk for Canine Good Citi- zen whereby owner and Norfolk can go to nursing homes and hospitals to help ease the pain of the elderly or those who are ill. Th is breed is willing to please its owner and for the most part is non quarrelsome still it is wise to introduce the Norfolk to other dogs in a neutral area. As a family companion they rank high on anyone’s list requiring low maintenance but requiring the attention of family and friends. Fortunately in January 2009 we earned the right to become our own club, the Norfolk Terrier Club serving our mem- bership well. As a young organization we have thrived continuing to have a yearly fun weekend combined with our Match show. We recognize our membership with medallions, club pins, and trophies for the e ff orts they put into making our little breed, the guys at the end of the ter- rier line, outstanding terriers in the fi eld, show ring or as the family companion. We owe our forefathers a great deal of thanks for their fortitude in seeing to it this breed was developed with the skill they brought with them as breeders. S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2014 • 241

until January 1979 that the breeds earned the right to become two; the Norfolk ter- rier and the Norwich terrier. Until the 1930s the prick and drop ear were inter- bred. Th e Norfolk terrier came from sim- ple beginnings and now are considered a force in the Terrier group ring on either side of the big pond. Th is game and hardy little fellow with expressive drop ears, ten inches at the withers weighing about 12 to 14 pounds thinks of itself as a giant canine with a heart of gold. Th e Norfolk is the smallest of the working terriers. It is active and compact, free moving, with good bone and substance. Th e coat is weather resistant and its short legs make it a perfect demon in the fi eld. Th is little guy is a bundle of energy and fi ts right at home in the busy family household. Th ere’s a tendency in today’s fast mov- ing world to think of “Now” and forget- ting “When.” As custodians of our breed we surely must give some time and e ff ort to remembering the past because it is only then as breeders we can move into the future. Th e background for our little breed began in the 1880s in England with a man named “Doggy” Lawrence who produced a small terrier breeding a Yorkshire to an Irish terrier. His cleaver little dogs were sold mainly to the stu- dents at Cambridge University to clear out the vermin in the dormitories. His dogs were referred to as “Cantab Terriers” one of which, a red, was bred to a Scot- tish type terrier owned by Jodrell Hop- kins in 1900. As a graduate of Cambridge he wanted a small dog for his livery stable on Th rumpington Street to keep the rats

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