Finding A Reputable Norwich Terrier Breeder
There are some truly fine breeders of Norwich Terriers. These are people who love and respect the breed, who health test their dogs, and who breed for good health and temperament. On the other hand there are some unscrupulous types who breed dogs who have known health problem such as Upper Airway Syndrome (UAS), epilepsy, structural problems, and even allergies. They breed dogs despite bad temperaments. There are some who are so deceptive that they cross breed Norwich Terriers with Cairn Terriers and charge the unwitting public for the price of a purebred Norwich Terrier. Buyer Beware!
Finding Your Norwich Terrier
A Good Start
A good place to start your search is the Norwich Terrier Club of America. Not only can you learn more about the breed from those who care the most – those who live with, show, and breed their dogs, but you can get contact information for breeders who choose to abide by the national club’s code of ethics. You can also visit the AKC website for more breed information.
I would encourage anyone who is looking to buy a Norwich Terrier, to attend AKC sanctioned dog shows. You can meet breeders, and their dogs there and ask questions. Since Norwich Terriers are still a fairly rare breed in the U.S., you may not have the opportunity to see one in person, so attending a show would be a great place to get acquainted. Prior to attending a show, see if you can set up an appointment to speak with some breeders after they have finished showing their dogs. Responsible, caring breeders are happy to answer your questions and help educate you on their breed. They will give you an honest assessment of the breed and help you to know whether or not it would be a good match for you.
• The breeder’s number one goal is to improve and strengthen the breed. They not only breed to the standard, which includes correct temperament, but they breed for excellent health.
• The breeder’s dogs are registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) which maintains the registry for purebred dogs in the U.S., they sanction dog events, and they teach responsible dog ownership. Canadian breeder’s dogs are registered with the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). Both of these registries assure that your dog’s pedigree is legitimate.
• The breeder shows his/her dogs to their championship in conformation shows. A “finished” dog means it is as close to the standard as possible.
• The breeder rigorously health tests their dogs for hips, knees, elbows, and eyes. Some breeders have begun having their dogs scoped for possible Upper Airway Syndrome (UAS) related problems prior to breeding. Test results are posted on the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) website.
• Each breeding is planned for the express purpose of improving the breed. The breeder studies pedigrees and selects the best prospect to help achieve their set goal. The breeder has potential homes lined up for any puppies that might not be suitable to be kept and included in their breeding program.
• The breeder rigorously screens prospective homes for suitability of placement.
• The breeder invites a prospective owner to visit their home and see their dogs.
• The breeder offers a health guarantee.
• The breeder offers a contract that includes a stipulation that the dog will be spayed or neutered at the appropriate time. Breeder also includes a stipulation that for any reason the the purchaser can no longer care for the dog, the dog will be returned to the breeder. This indicates a life-long commitment to any dog they helped bring into this world.
• If the puppy is going to a show home, breeder agrees to mentor the new owners.
Responsible breeders and responsible pet owners
are not the reason we have overcrowded shelters and unwanted dogs!
Irresponsible breeders who do not screen potential homes, and irresponsible
pet owners who do not buy a dog with careful consideraton are to blame!
Photos on this page courtesy of Geri Gentile, Sarum Norwich Terriers
Some Hallmarks of a Reputable Breeder
Norman at approximately 4 months of age. He was then known as Ted E.Bear