Pet Insurance for Norfolk Terriers

Find out all about Norfolk Terriers and their common health conditions, then compare pet insurance options from some of Australia’s leading insurers.

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, updated on October 6th, 2023       

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Price range







Active, curious, alert

Coat length

Short-medium, double coat

Exercise needs




Life expectancy

12–15 years

Norfolk Terrier


The Norfolk Terrier, originating from England, is a small breed with a rich history. Bred in the early 19th century, they were originally used for hunting small game, particularly foxes and rats. Their compact frame, sharp expression and wiry coat make them easily recognisable.

Despite their diminutive size, Norfolk Terriers are known for their fearless and spirited nature. They exude confidence and possess a charming, affectionate demeanour. With an intelligent and alert disposition, they are quick learners and can adapt well to training. This breed is highly social and enjoys the company of both humans and other dogs. Due to their history as working terriers, they have a natural instinct for digging and exploring, making them lively and engaging companions.

In Australia, Norfolk Terriers have found their place as delightful household pets. Their small size and adaptable nature make them well-suited for urban living. They thrive in families that can provide mental stimulation and regular exercise, such as playtime and short walks. Their affectionate temperament and boundless energy make them excellent companions for those seeking an active and engaging canine friend.

Common diseases and conditions of Norfolk Terriers

  • Mitral valve disease (MVD): this heart condition is common in small dog breeds, including Norfolk Terriers. It affects the mitral valve, which separates the left atrium from the left ventricle of the heart. As the disease progresses, the valve becomes less efficient, leading to heart failure over time.
  • Patellar luxation: this is a condition where the kneecap (patella) moves out of its normal position. It can cause lameness and discomfort and is relatively common in small dog breeds.
  • Hip dysplasia: although not as prevalent as in larger breeds, Norfolk Terriers can still be prone to hip dysplasia. This is a hereditary condition where the hip joint doesn't develop properly, potentially leading to arthritis and mobility issues.
  • Dental problems: like many small breeds, Norfolk Terriers may be prone to dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dental check-ups and tooth brushing can help maintain oral health.
  • Ichthyosis: this is a rare genetic skin disorder that, while not life-threatening, can cause discomfort in Norfolk Terriers, characterised by dry, thick and scaly skin.

Breed-specific issues:  

Norfolk Terriers are known for their strong-willed nature, which can sometimes pose a challenge in training. They are naturally energetic and curious, which may lead to occasional digging behaviour. They are also quick to bark at anything they perceive as a potential threat or unusual activity. Additionally, Norfolk Terriers possess a keen prey drive, making them prone to chasing after smaller animals. As a precaution, it’s essential to supervise them around other pets or wildlife to ensure everyone’s safety.

How much does pet insurance cost for a Norfolk Terrier?

There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your Norfolk Terrier, including the following: 

  • Age: the older your dog is, the more pet insurance is likely to cost. This is because older dogs tend to have more physical health conditions and illnesses due to age, and so present a higher insurance risk.   
  • Type of insurance you choose:  there are three basic types of pet insurance available in Australia; accident-only, accident and illness, and comprehensive insurance. An accident-only policy is the cheapest type available, with comprehensive coverage costing the most. 
  • The policy annual limit: each pet insurance policy has an annual limit, which is the maximum amount that will be paid out on the policy in one financial year. Annual limits range from around $10,000 up to $25,000 or more.  
  • Sub limits: in addition to an annual limit, there may also be sub limits that apply to the policy, for example a $300 sub limit for consultation fees, or a $5,000 limit for cruciate ligament conditions.  
  • Benefit percentage: pet insurance may not cover 100% of the cost of your vet bill. Instead, it may pay a percentage of the total bill. This can range from 50% for cheaper policies up to 90% for top-of-the-range cover. 
  • Excess amount: this is the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket each time you make a claim on your policy. Some pet insurance policies do not come with an excess amount, while others do. 
  • Any add-ons you choose: it’s possible to add on more cover options to a basic policy, such as emergency boarding fees, routine care and dental care. These add-ons extend the scope of your pet insurance, but do increase the overall cost of the policy.
  • Discounts: some insurers offer discounts of between 5% and 15% if you have multiple pets insured together, if you pay your premium annually, or if you bundle your pet insurance with other forms of insurance with the same company.  

Types of pet insurance you can choose from

Why compare pet insurance with Savvy?

Common questions about Norfolk Terriers

Are Norfolk Terriers good with children?

Yes – Norfolk Terriers are generally good with children. They have an affectionate and playful nature that makes them excellent companions for kids. However, it's important to supervise interactions, especially with younger children, to ensure both the dog and child are comfortable and safe.

How much exercise do Norfolk Terriers need?

Norfolk Terriers are an active breed that benefits from regular exercise. They should have daily walks, playtime and opportunities for mental stimulation. Aim for around 30 minutes to an hour of exercise per day to keep them happy and healthy.

Are Norfolk Terriers suitable for first-time dog owners?

No – while they are affectionate, Norfolk Terriers can be a bit headstrong, which may require experienced handling. First-time owners may find it helpful to work with a professional trainer or seek guidance from experienced dog owners.

What sets Norfolk Terriers apart from other small terrier breeds?

The Norfolk Terrier is one of the smallest terriers. One distinctive feature is their folded ears, which differ from other similar breeds like the Norwich Terrier. Additionally, Norfolk Terriers are known for their lively and affectionate nature, making them charming companions for families and individuals alike. Their small size and playful disposition make them well-suited for both city and suburban living.

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Norfolk Terrier

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