What Were Norfolk Terriers Bred For?

When it comes to charming and lovable dog breeds, the Norfolk Terrier definitely tops the list. With their adorable appearance and playful personalities, these little canines have won the hearts of many pet owners around the world. But have you ever wondered what exactly Norfolk Terriers were bred for? In this blog post, we will delve into their fascinating history and discover their original purpose.

A Brief History of Norfolk Terriers

The origins of Norfolk Terriers can be traced back to England in the early 19th century. These spunky little dogs were developed in East Anglia, a region known for its agricultural activities. They are believed to be descendants of various small terrier breeds that were commonly found in that area during that time.

Ratting Champions

Norfolk Terriers were primarily bred as working dogs on farms to control vermin populations, especially rats. Their small size, sharp intelligence, and fearless nature made them excellent ratting champions. These tenacious terriers would dive into burrows or crawl through tight spaces with ease to catch rats and other pests lurking underground.

Lapdogs with a Job

In addition to being remarkable hunters, Norfolk Terriers also served as loyal companions and lapdogs for farmers’ families. Their friendly temperament and affectionate nature made them perfect pets for children as well as adults who relished their company after long days spent laboring on farms.

Fearless Fox Hunters

Another impressive skill possessed by Norfolk Terriers is their ability to hunt foxes. Farmers often faced troubles when foxes posed a threat to livestock such as chickens or lambs. The agile and quick-witted Norfolk was trained alongside larger dogs like Foxhounds to chase and flush out foxes from their dens, assisting in protecting farm animals.

Show Dogs and Beloved Companions

Over time, Norfolk Terriers’ popularity grew beyond the agricultural community. In the late 19th century, they became a fashionable breed among dog enthusiasts who admired their striking appearance and friendly demeanor. Consequently, Norfolk Terriers found themselves transitioning from working dogs to show dogs. Breeding programs were established to refine their physical attributes and temperament while preserving their original terrier spirit.

Today, Norfolk Terriers are cherished as delightful family pets, beloved companions in households around the globe. They still retain many of their hunting instincts but are primarily treasured for their charming personalities rather than for fieldwork.

In Conclusion

Norfolk Terriers have come a long way since their early days as ratting champions on English farms. Their versatile skills as fearless hunters and loyal companions have earned them a special place in our hearts. Whether it’s curling up next to you on the couch or valiantly chasing intruders away from your backyard, these little terriers continue to bring joy and happiness wherever they go!