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Breed History

Historical Norfolk Terriers

While every effort has been made to provide an accurate history of the Norfolk Terrier through pictures comments and information gathered from historical resources and reminiscences by breeders, no guarantee is made as to accuracy. This section is intended to offer you a visual glimpse of our breed's beginnings and how the early lines were developed as the breed evolved to modern day. It is with the deepest appreciation to those who have contributed to this section, in particular the Norfolk Terrier Club, Sandra Stemmler, Frank Rogers and Susan Ptacek, who have made significant contributions.

In the early days of development the Kennel Club in England and the AKC Stud Registry have gaps in which some of these "founding" dogs are not included in the respective registries, so some discrepancies will exist in progeny credited to a given Norfolk. In the UK each litter is fully cited in their Breed Record Supplement (BRS). That means that information on every dog that is registered becomes published. In the US the AKC Stud Book did the same until the early 1950’s, after which only sires and dams were recorded in it. That’s why there is more information on Norfolk in the UK as compared to the US. Additional gaps in the data appear from the Norfolk Terrier Club Pedigree Database as only prick ear dogs that appear in a drop ear pedigree are listed so that a given dog appears to be a singleton puppy when in fact it was the only prick ear of the litter to appear in a drop ear pedigree - thus the littermates are not documented. These odd prick ear dogs are referred to in this historical collection as "singleton" puppies.

For a brief period of time from July 1976 through January 1978 there was a glitch in how pedigrees were recorded in the UK’s BRS. the UK used an ill-advised modification to the BRS, whereby not every dog was listed in it. Only those dogs whose owners wished to show and/or breed them were given registered names and listed in the BRS. For the remaining dogs the only information we have on them comes from firsthand accounts. Luckily this period of confusion in the BRS was short-lived.

From the beginning of World War II until July 1946 all shows were suspended which is reflected in many of the early pedigrees with few champion progeny. There were only 3 recorded champions prior to WW II: Eng. Ch. Biffin Of Beaufin, Eng. Ch. Airmans Brown Smudge and Eng. Ch. Tinker Bell. Click on a link to see the picture pedigree and profiles of these dogs and other significant Norfolk Terriers in the list below.


For additional specific Norfolk pedigrees and breeding information, go to The Norfolk Terrier Club website.

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