Lucy the Norwich Terrier at our Manteca Clinic

A breed from here
A breed from there
Mix ’em up
You’ll see them there

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Here, from our Manteca clinic is a picture of Lucy, the Norwich Terrier but the breed story is not simple since there are two Terrier breeds whose stories are hopelessly intertwined. Norwich is a city within the county of Norfolk in Eastern England, hence the confusion over the definition of the Norwich Terrier and the very closely related Norfolk Terrier. The derivation of the breed(s) dates to about 1860 when local sportsmen crossed local terriers with some Irish Terriers and various short terriers introduced by Gypsies. These newly developed terriers were popular due to their small size and suitability for life in a small house or the dorms of Cambridge University. The question about the differentiation of the two terrier types is as yet unanswered: Initially it was thought that the upright eared Norwich Terrier was the original type and was first registered in 1932. Later a drop eared variety was registered as the Norfolk Terrier and by 1979 these two varieties had been accepted on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to the difference in the ears, the two breeds look different and have different personalities and the story of the differentiation has now been changed. The current thinking is that the upright eared and the drop eared varieties always existed separately and alongside each other and therefore it was a mistake to ever group them together as the Norwich Terrier. Uhhhhh . . . . You get to decide!

– Geoffrey Antipa


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