Norwich terrier, breed of small, sturdy terrier developed in England in the second half of the 19th cent. It stands about 10 in. (25.4 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs about 11 lb (4.9 kg). The harsh, straight coat lies close to the body and is weather-resistant. It may be red, red wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle in color. The Norwich was originally bred as a compact hunter for work on rats and rabbits. Very soon after the Norwich made its debut as a new breed, owning one became a fad at the Univ. of Cambridge. This early popularity did much to insure the permanence of the breed, as a number of students went on to raise the Norwich after they graduated. Today it is kept chiefly as a pet. See dog.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.