BREED HISTORY OF THE NORWICH TERRIER
The exact origin of the Norwich Terrier is difficult to determine. They likely evolved from the countrymen's sporting companions which were a result of crossing many different small red and black-tan terriers.
In the 1880's small ratting terriers became a fad among undergraduates at Cambridge University. At this time Charles "Doggy" Lawrence, of Chesterton bred small red terriers out of a mix of small Irish, Yorkshire and native east Anglican red terriers (gypsy dogs) to develop his Cantab Terriers for the university students.
E. J. Hopkins upon graduation from Cambridge University in 1899 developed a strain which became known as the Trumpington terriers. These dogs became popular in Norwich and Leicestershire. These Trumpington Terriers were then bred by other breeders and are also behind many of our modern day Norwich.
It is said that many small red harsh coated terriers were bred by Roughrider Jones, a renowned horsemen. He apparently used a dog called "Rags "owned by his previous employer, Jack Cooke of Brooke Lodge near Norwick.
Roughrider Jones used to breed and buy these small terriers in Norwick. He in turn sold them to sportsmen who came to the district to hunt from abroad and the USA. This is how they first came to be called Jones Terriers. However, when asked one day what breed they were he said "Norwich Terrier", because that was the area where he purchased many of them from. This was at the beginning of the century and he was apparently getting as much as 25 pounds for these small dogs, a phenomenal price in those days for a dog.
It is very likely that they came from more than one source. Another theory is that many small red terriers were also found in east Anglia. Mr. R. J. Read literally found one running through the streets in the market town of Aylsham, in Norfolk one day. He purchased him from his owners and this little red dog, Aylsham, is behind many of our modern day Norwich Terriers descending from the Horstead Terriers. All of the above and more are likely behind the Norwich Terrier of today.
Finally in 1932, the Kennel Club of Great Britain recognized the breed as Norwich Terriers and that began the stabilization of the breed as it is today. However, there is one more part to the story. In the beginning, all of the ears were cropped. Once this became illegal to do, the breed was found to have both drop (Norfolk) and pricked (Norwich) ears. This was allowed for many years, but because of the difference in the amount of winning that was done in the show ring, there became a conflict among the club members. In actual fact, the prick and drop ears had been separated by the breeders themselves years earlier because the crossing of the two resulted in such unpredictable ear carriage. In 1964, the Norfolk Terriers were separated from the Norwich Terriers and became their own breed.