In the 1880s, sportsmen of East Anglia developed a working terrier.
The Norwich Terrier and later the drop-eared variety now known as the Norfolk Terrier, it is believed to have been developed by crossing local terrier-like dogs, small, short-legged breeds and the small red terriers used by the Gypsy ratters of Norfolk.
They were first called the Cantab Terrier when they became fashionable for students to keep in their rooms at Cambridge University. Later, they were called the Trumpington Terrier, after Trumpington Street where the breed was further developed at a Livery stable. Then, just prior to WW1, a prominent Irish horse rider Frank Jones sold quantities of the short-legged terriers to the USA, so there they were called Jones Terriers. It was Jones who designated the terriers were from Norwich.
In 1932, the Norwich was granted acceptance into the English Kennel Club and the first written standard was created. The Kennel Club reclassified the drop-ear variety as it its own breed, the Norfolk Terrier, and the prick-eared variety retained the name Norwich Terrier. After many generations, these two breeds have developed as two distinct breeds both in physical looks and in temperament. Of note, there is literature that suggests that the Norfolk and Norwich were always two distinct breeds and the original mistake was classifying them as one
The Norfolk Terrier is among the smallest of the working terriers. Active, courageous, affectionate, balanced and without any nervousness or quarrelsomeness.
Norfolks are a classic terrier breed: fearless, strong, loving and independent. They are a bit more social than other terriers, as they were bred as pack dogs. They are still standoffish towards new people and other dogs, but they aren't as apt to bark their little heads off when they see something new. Norfolks make excellent family dogs as they consider their family to be their “pack” and will want to be included in as many group activities as possible. This breed has a zest for life, approaching new tasks and situations with vigour, and make an excellent family pet. Their trainability and generally even temperament makes them a good choice for first time dog owners.
Norfolk Terriers need moderate exercise to maintain health and happiness. They will do what you want to do go for a walk or just stay in. The Norfolk's compact size makes them fine apartment dogs, and they are generally easier to handle than other noisy terrier breeds. These little dogs are not couch potatoes. Even indoors they are eager to engage in activity that works both mind and body, so make sure that your Norfolk has lots of toys to keep him occupied, especially when you are gone for the day. If left alone too long with nothing to do, they will occupy themselves by barking, chewing and digging.
Norfolks should never be left off leash or in an unfenced area for exercise. They still maintain a strong desire to chase, and will take off like a shot after small animals and they aren't likely to respond to calls home and have no road sense at all.
Norfolks are easier to train that other terrier breeds. They are incredibly smart, and repetition can bore them, so make sure sessions are mixed up and kept lively to maintain interest. Positive reinforcement and treats are the best method for training this breed, as treating a terrier harshly will only lead to defensive behaviour.
When basic obedience has been mastered, Norfolks can graduate on to advanced training, agility or Earthdog activities. Agility courses allow Norfolks to exercise their minds and bodies, and Earthdog allows them to hunt and dig for vermin (who are kept safely out of reach of the dogs). They will enjoy the exercise, appreciate the time to use their sharp minds, and will eat up the extra time spent with you.
Though they are less yappy than other terrier breeds, Norfolks are still prone to barking, especially if left alone for long periods of time with nothing to do. Walking your dog before leaving the house, and leaving him with interesting toys to play with can cut down on the barking. Companion dogs also help. Norfolks are pack animals and when raised together, bond well with other canines.
Norfolks have the urge to dig in their DNA. They were originally used to chase foxes and other animals out of their dens, and modern Norfolks are still champion diggers. If left alone in a yard, they can make quick work of flower beds. Enrolling your Norfolk in Earthdog activities can give him a constructive outlet for digging.
Norfolks were originally bred as barn dogs to rid the barn of vermin. Some literature suggest that they were also occasionally used on the hunt to bolt animals of equal size from their den. To some extent they are still used in that capacity in continental Europe.
Norfolks are pack animals and hence expected to get along with other dogs while working or in the home. As a pack dog, they take turns working their prey.
They are fearless and their courage is incredible. Today, of course, they are household companions and must have an agreeable disposition for living with people.
The Norfolk Terrier is one of the smallest terriers, with a hardy constitution. A “demon” for its size, it is not quarrelsome and has a lovable disposition.
The Norfolk Terrier is not known for exaggerated physical features of any kind.
The Norfolk Terrier has no known breed-specific health problems and, therefore, no breed-specific health tests or schemes administered by the Kennel Club.
The Belleville Norfolk Terrier show Kennel is committed to assuring the continued good health of the breed.
The breed has existed since at least the late 19th century, as working terrier of East Anglia, England.
The dogs were useful as ratters in the stable yard, bolters of fox for the hunt, and family companions. It was the mascot of students at Cambridge University.
Small red terriers, descendants of Irish Terriers, had existed in the area since at least the 1860s, and these might be the ancestors of the Norwich, or it might have come from the Trumpington Terrier, a breed that no longer exists. In its earliest history, it was also known as the Jones Terrier and the Cantab Terrier.
Since its earliest identification as a breed, puppies have had either drop or prick ears, and both were allowed when the Norwich was first recognized in the show ring in 1932 by The Kennel Club (England). Drop ears were often cropped until it became illegal to do so. This intensified a long-standing controversy over whether drop-eared dogs should be allowed in the show ring and whether the primary difference was simply the ears or whether other, deeper, personality and structural differences marked the drop-eared variety.
Starting in the 1930s, breeders increased their efforts to distinguish the breeds. While Norfolk and Norwich Terriers were inter-bred for a number of years today they are positively two distinctive breeds. In fact some historical texts indicate that they were distinctive breeds before they were inter-bred.
Both ear types continued to be allowed in the ring until The Kennel Club recognized the drop-eared variety as a separate breed, the Norfolk Terrier, in 1964, and the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, and Canadian Kennel Club did the same in 1979. Until that time the breeds were designated by the AKC as Norwich Terriers, P.E. (prick ears) and Norwich Terriers, D.E. (drop ears).
The Norwich Terrier has a wire-haired coat which, according to the various national kennel clubs' breed standards, can be "all shades of red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle."
They are one of the smallest of the working terriers. They are active and compact, free moving, with good substance and bone. Good substance means good spring of rib and bone that matches the body such that the dog can be a very agile ratter, the function for which it was bred.
Norwich terriers are moderately proportioned dogs. A too heavy dog would not be agile. A too refined dog would make it a toy breed.
The ideal height is 9 to 10 in (23 to 25 cm) at the and weight is about 11 to 12 lb (5.0 to 5.4 kg)
Click on this link for the full Kennel Club Breed Standard,
Outside of Canada and the United States, the docked-tail profile of the Norwich Terrier is changing. In Australia tail docking is optional. But in NSW it is illegal. In the United Kingdom tail docking is only permitted for working dogs and is banned for dogs bred as pets or showing.
Some countries banned general tail docking for a number of years e.g. Norway since 1987, Sweden since 1988. In the last four years Cyprus, Greece, Luxembourg and Switzerland have decided to introduce a ban on tail docking.
In the United States, a docked tail is currently considered "strongly preferred" for success in the show ring.
Proponents of docking argue that a docked-tail dog can be extracted from a hole by the tail with less risk to the dog's spine. Opponents of tail docking note that docking severely damages the important canine tail-signalling system, so vital to dogs' social encounters, and also cite the historical basis of docking in the UK to avoid taxation of sporting dogs.
These small but hardy dogs are courageous, remarkably intelligent and wonderfully affectionate. They can be assertive but it is not typical for them to be aggressive, quarrelsome or shy.
They are energetic and thrive on an active life. They are eager to please but have definite minds of their own. They are sensitive to scolding but 100% Terrier.
They should never be kept outside or in a kennel setting because they love the companionship of their owners too much.
Norwich are not given to unnecessary barking, but they will warn of a stranger approaching. Norwich are good with children.
If introduced to other household pets as a puppy they generally co-habit peacefully, though caution should be observed around rodent pets as they may be mistaken for prey.
Norwich were originally bred as barn dogs to rid the barn of vermin. Some literature suggest that they were also occasionally used on the hunt to bolt animals of equal size from their den. To some extent they are still used in that capacity in continental Europe.
Norwich are pack animals and hence expected to get along with other dogs while working or in the home. As a pack dog, they take turns working their prey.
They are fearless and their courage is incredible. Today, of course, they are household companions and must have an agreeable disposition for living with people.
The life expectancy of the Norwich Terrier is 12–16 years. While the Norwich Terrier is considered a healthy breed, there are some health issues for which responsible breeders do preventative genetic health testing, thereby reducing the incidences.
The Norwich Terrier does have a predisposition for some health issues but studies to determine the exact mode of inheritance or the exact frequency in the breed are unknown or have not been conclusive.
At present there are no disorders identified as "most important". Of secondary magnitude, cataracts are recognized as a disorder that has been reported sporadically and may be inherited.
Of a secondary magnitude there are instances of epilepsy, narrow tracheas, luxating patellas, hip dysplasia, mitral valve disease, atopy(allergic inhalant dermatitis)] and incorrect bites (how the teeth meet when the jaws are closed). This later issue is not a problem to the dog's health it's a bit like us humans having petruding upper teeth or a petruding lower jaw.
Like all dogs, Norwich Terriers can have autoimmune reactivity to rabies vaccinations. Rabies-Vaccine-Induced Ischemic Dermatopathy, or RVI-ID, is a non-fatal but potentially serious reaction to chemicals called adjuvants in the vaccine. RVI-ID is often misdiagnosed, but if correctly diagnosed, is treatable. Symptoms may include: symmetrical dark spots or lesions at the tips of the ears; swelling, hard lumps or dark spots in the vicinity of the injection site.
Higher volume Norwich breeders are seeing more dogs with breathing concerns, and the Norwich and Norfolk Terrier Club (USA) has formed a new "Health and Genetics Sub-Committee for Research on Upper Airway Syndrome in Norwich Terriers".
Upper Airway Syndrome (UAS) covers all abnormalities that can occur in the upper airway, including: elongated soft palates; too short soft palates; narrow/misshapen tracheas; collapsing tracheas; stenotic nares (nasal passages that are too small); swollen tonsils; everted laryngeal saccules. These upper airway disorders can occur singly or in combination with one or two others. All compromise the airway and the dog's ability to breathe normally; the dog's breathing often sounds raspy or moist. It may be that shorter muzzles may have increased incidence of such issues.
Norwich Terriers generally have small litters of 1 to 3 puppies. Generally, if a female is healthy, its optimal breeding period is between the ages of 2 (after all genetic health testing is complete - heart, eyes, hips and petellas) and six years. At seven years of age dogs are considered geriatric. The small supply and the high price of a pure bred Norwich Terrier - often around £900.00 - has attracted fraud, as unsuspecting buyers pay full price for Cairn Terriers with docked tails, or mixed-breed puppies.
Over the years we have carefully bred our dogs so that we have no current issues with UAS. But future Norwich owners must understand that these are living creatures and, like us may fall ill in the future.
In ancient times
One theory is that some of the rugged Asian herding dogs were captured by the Berbers, a people who spread slowly across the face of North Africa to Morocco. Their descendants, the Moors, arrived in Portugal in the 8th century, bringing the water dogs with them.
Another theory purports that some of the dogs left the Asian steppes with the Goths, a confederation of German tribes. Some, (the Ostrogoths), went west and their dogs became the German poodle, called in German the poodle-hund or puddle-dog, that is, water-dog. Others, (the Visigoths), went south to fight the Romans, and their dogs became the Lion Dog, groomed in the traditional lion cut. In 400 CE, the Visigoths invaded Iberia (modern Spain and Portugal, then known as Hispania) and the dogs found their homeland.
A Portuguese Water Dog is first described in 1297 in a monk’s account of a drowning sailor who was pulled from the sea by a dog with a "black coat, the hair long and rough, cut to the first rib and with a tail tuft".
These theories explain how the Poodle and the Portuguese Water Dog may have developed from the same ancient genetic pool. At one time the Poodle was a longer-coated dog, as is one variety of the Portuguese Water Dog. The possibility also exists that some of the long-coated water dogs grew up with the ancient Iberians. In early times, Celtiberians migrated from lands which now belong to southwestern Germany. Swarming over the Pyrenees, circulating over the whole of Western Europe, they established bases in Iberia, as well as in Ireland, Wales, and Brittany. The Irish Water Spaniel and Kerry Blue Terrier are believed by some to be descendants of the Portuguese Water Dog.
The PWD was a breed on the verge of extinction when, during the 1930s, Vasco Bensaude, a wealthy Portuguese shipping magnate, began to seek out fishermen's dogs and utilize them in a breeding program to re-establish the breed. Bensaude's kennel was named Algarbiorum, and his most famous dog was Leão (1931–1942), a very "type-y" fisherman's stud dog who was bred to so many different females that about half of the pedigreed Portuguese Water Dogs in existence can trace their lineage back to him. Bensaude was aided by two Portuguese veterinarians, Dr. Francisco Pinto Soares and Dr. Manuel Fernandes Marques. His work was carried on by Conchita Cintron de Castelo Branco, to whom he gave his last 17 PWDs and all his archives.
Dr. António Cabral was the founder of the Avalade kennels in Portugal. Ch. Charlie de Avalade (Charlie), a brown-coated dog, and C. B. Baluarte de Avalade (Balu) were two of his many famous PWDs. He registered his first PWD in 1954, after Bensaude had pioneered the re-establishment of the breed in Portugal. Cabral worked with Carla Molinari, Deyanne Miller, Sonja Santos and others to establish PWDs in the US. The "Mark of Cabral" is a triangular shape of different colour/textured hair, usually a few inches from the base of the tail. You can see it more easily on a fresh lion clip—it can look like the clipper got too close.
Deyanne Miller is the single person most responsible for the rise of the PWD in America. In 1972, the Millers, along with 14 other people, formed the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, Inc. (PWDCA).She worked with dogs from both the Cintron and Cabral lineages to establish a stable genetic pool of PWDs in the United States at her Farmion kennels. Another early US breeder of PWDs was the actor Raymond Burr (Ironside).
From the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America Revised Standard for the Portuguese Water Dog come these descriptions of the two coat types:
"Compact, cylindrical curls, somewhat lustreless. The hair on the ears is sometimes wavy."
"Falling gently in waves, not curls, and with a slight sheen."
White is one of the less-common colours among PWDs Black and white wavy. If left untended, the hair on a PWD will keep growing indefinitely. Problems associated with this include the hair around the eyes growing so long as to impede vision, and matting of the body hair, which can cause skin irritations. For these reasons, PWDs must be trimmed about every two months and the coat brushed every other day. This is not the breed for those humans wishing to have a low maintenance breed. This breed requires daily exercise and consistently firm yet positive training techniques. Although it is possible to groom them at home, many owners find it easier to pay a professional groomer and, to avoid matting, they brush out the coat regularly between groomings.
Improper coatOccasionally, a dog may have what is termed an "improper" coat. This genetic condition causes the dog to have an undercoat. Because improperly coated PWDs do not adhere to the breed standard, they may not be shown in conformation competition. Otherwise they are completely healthy and have all the excellent traits of the breed. They should not be used in breeding programs, because improper coat is an inherited condition.
Portuguese Water Dogs are active and well-suited to many dog sports. They make excellent companions. They are loving, independent, and intelligent and are easily trained in obedience and agility skills.
Once introduced, they are generally friendly to strangers, and enjoy being petted, which, due to their soft, fluffy coats, is a favour that human beings willingly grant them.
Because they are working dogs, PWDs are generally content in being at their master's side, awaiting directions, and, if they are trained, they are willing and able to follow complex commands. They learn very quickly, seem to enjoy the training, and have a long memory for the names of objects. These traits and their non-shedding coats mean they excel at the various Service Dog roles such as hearing dogs (assistance dogs for the deaf), mobility dogs, and seizure response dogs. They also make unusually good therapy dogs.
A PWD usually stays in proximity to its owners, indoors as well as outdoors. This is typical of the breed. Though very gregarious animals, these dogs will typically bond with one primary or alpha family member. Some speculate that this intense bonding arose in the breed because the dogs were selected to work in proximity to their masters on small fishing boats, unlike other working dogs such as herding dogs and water dogs that range out to perform tasks. In any case, the modern PWD, whether employed on a boat or kept as a pet or a working dog, loves water, attention, and prefers to be engaged in activity within sight of a human partner. This is not a breed to be left alone for long periods of time, indoors or out.
As water dogs, the PWD's retrieving instinct is strong, which also gives some dogs tugging and chewing tendencies.
A PWD will commonly jump as a greeting. Owners may choose to limit this behaviour. Some PWDs may walk, hop, or "dance" on their hind legs when greeting or otherwise enthusiastic. Some PWDs will stand upright at kitchen counters and tables, especially if they smell food above them. This habit is known as "counter surfing" and is characteristic of the breed. Although it can be a nuisance, many PWD owners evidently enjoy seeing their dogs walking, hopping, standing up, or "countering" and do not seriously discourage these activities.
While they are very good companions to people who understand what they need, Portuguese Water Dogs are not for everyone. Because of their intelligence and working drive, they require regular intensive exercise as well as mental challenges. They are gentle and patient — but not "couch potatoes", and boredom may cause them to become destructive.
The Portuguese Water Dog is a breed of working dog as classified by the Kennel Club. They are originally from the Portuguese region of the Algarve, from where the breed expanded to all around Portugal's coast, where they were taught to herd fish into fishermen's nets, to retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and to act as couriers from ship to ship, or ship to shore.
Portuguese Water Dogs rode in bobbing fishing trawlers as they worked their way from the warm Atlantic waters of Portugal to the frigid fishing waters off the coast of Iceland where the fleets caught cod to bring home. Portuguese Water Dogs were often taken with sailors during the Portuguese discoveries.
In Portugal, the breed is called Cão de Água (pronounced Kow-the-Ah-gwa; literally "water dog"). In its native land, the dog is also known as the Algarvian Water Dog ("Cão de Água Algarvio"), or Portuguese Fishing Dog (Cão Pescador Português). Cão de Água de Pêlo Ondulado is the name given the wavy-haired variety, and Cão de Água de Pêlo Encaracolado is the name for the curly-coated variety.
The Portuguese Water Dog is a fairly rare breed; only 15 entrants for Portuguese Water Dogs were made to England's Crufts competition in 2002. Though some breeders claim they are a hypoallergenic dog breed, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that hypoallergenic dog breeds exist. However, their non-shedding qualities have made them more popular in recent years
The closest relatives of the PWD are widely thought to be the Kerry Blue Terrier, Barbet and Standard Poodle. Like Poodles and several other water dog breeds, PWDs are highly intelligent, can have curly coats, have webbed toes for swimming, and do not shed.
However, Portuguese Water Dogs are more robustly built, with stout legs, and can have a wavy coat instead of tightly curled. If comparing the structure to that of a Poodle, there are significant differences between the two breeds.
The Portuguese Water Dog built of strong substantial bone; well developed, neither refined nor coarse, and a solidly built, muscular body. The Portuguese Water Dog is off-square, slightly longer than tall when measured from prosternum to rearmost point of the buttocks, and from withers to ground. Portuguese Water Dog eyes are black or various tones of brown, and their coats can be black, brown, black and white or brown and white.
Male Portuguese Water Dogs usually grow to be about 20 to 23 inches (51 cm to 58 cm) tall, and they weigh between 40 and 60 pounds (18 kg to 27 kg), while the females usually grow to be about 17 to 21 inches (43 cm to 53 cm) tall, and they weigh between 35 and 50 pounds.
PWDs have a single-layered coat that does not shed, and therefore their presence is tolerated extremely well among many people who suffer from dog allergies. Some call PWDs hypoallergenic dogs, but any person with dog allergies who would like a dog with these qualities should actually spend time with the animals before purchasing, to test whether the dog is truly non-allergenic to them.
Most PWDs, especially those shown in conformation shows, are entirely black, black and white, brown, or silver-tipped; it is common to see white chest spots and white paws or legs on black or brown coated dogs. "Parti" or "Irish-marked" coats, with irregular white and black spots, are rare but visually striking. "Parti" dogs are becoming more common in the United States. However, in Portugal the breed standard does not allow more than 30% white markings. Overall, white is the least common Portuguese Water Dog colour, while black with white markings on the chin ("milk chin") and chest is the most common colour combination.
PWDs are vulnerable to certain genetic defects. Due to the limited gene pool for this breed, conscientious breeders carefully study pedigrees and select dogs to minimize the chance of genetic disease and improper coat. Unfortunately, like many breeds, a growing popularity has encouraged breeding by people who are not knowledgeable about the breed.
PWDs are vulnerable to hip dysplasia. However, the risk of a PWD developing hip dysplasia can be greatly reduced by thoroughly checking the pedigrees and health clearances in both the sire and dam of your dog. Hip dysplasia is a congenital and developmental problem with the hip joints.
Cataracts, PRA, and distichiasis:
Cataracts and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) are two eye diseases found in PWDs. As with hip dysplasia, some lines carry these defects more frequently than others. PRA, which causes "night blindness", may lead to complete blindness. Fortunately this is a simple recessive gene. DNA testing is now available which can identify a dog carrying the gene for PRA. Known as "Optigen Testing" a "normal" or "A" dog does not carry the gene for PRA. A "carrier" or "B" dog carries one copy of the PRA gene and the dog will NOT express the disease but may or may not pass the gene to offspring. An "affected" or "C" dog has two copies of the PRA version of the gene and will probably express the disease as late onset Progressive Retinal Atrophy. A "B" or "C" dog should be bred only to an "A" dog to ensure that any offspring will not express the disease.
Ingrown eyelashes (distichiasis) occurs in some curly-coated breeds, but is not particularly common in PWDs. Ingrown eyelashes will rub the eye causing extensive corneal ulcerations. The condition is minor so long as it is not ignored, and can be surgically treated if necessary.
The curly coat type:
A dog with this type of coat can be susceptible to distichiasis.
GM1 Storage Disease, one of a family of conditions called GM1 gangliosidoses, is a recessive, genetic disorder that is inevitably fatal. It is caused by a deficiency of beta-galactosidase, with resulting abnormal storage of acidic lipid materials in cells of the central and peripheral nervous systems, but particularly in the nerve cells. Because PWDs are all rather closely related to one another and share a limited gene pool, PWDs who were GM1 Storage Disease carriers were able to be genetically identified, and the condition has now been almost entirely eliminated from the breed.
All breeding stock should be tested for GM-1 storage disease or GM1 gangliosidoses, which is a fatal nerve disease that typically appears when a puppy is approximately six months of age. The affected puppy will show clinical signs of cerebellar dysfunction including ataxia, tremors, paresis, and seizures. The pet may also exhibit a change in temperament. Lesions of the retina and clouding of the cornea may occur. GM-1 storage disease is a recessive deficiency of betagalactosidase. The condition has been genetically identified and is no longer common.
Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy:
Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a rare, fatal condition caused by an autosomal recessive gene. It affects young dogs, who succumb to heart failure before reaching adulthood. As a simple recessive gene, it had been difficult to identify and was particularly heart breaking as seemingly healthy puppies would suddenly die, often shortly after joining their adopted families. Since a recessive gene is responsible, that means if at least one parent is "normal" (that is, it does not carry a copy of the cardio version of the gene), its offspring cannot contract the disease.
In 2007 a genetic linkage test became available which appears promising. This is not a test which confirms if a dog has, or does not have the disease; nor will it definitively predict the disease, as even if a dog is a JDC carrier this does not guarantee its offspring will suffer the disease. It only links certain strains of DNA as carriers of JDC. This is significant in that these strains can now largely be deselected for in the breeding process, as has been successful with GM1 Storage Disease (see above). The test is not yet complete for every bloodline, and why the identified strains are implicated is still unknown, and so in essence the cause of the condition remains a mystery to be solved.