Do Norfolk Terriers make good guard dogs?

No, the Norfolk Terrier would make a poor guard dog. Their small size prevents them from physically deterring intruders, while their friendly temperament does not lend itself well to being protective or defensive of property.

Are Norfolk Terriers the right size to be guard dogs?

Norfolk Terriers are one of the smallest working terrier breeds, weighing 11-12 pounds. While compact and sturdy, their diminutive size does not pose an intimidating deterrent to intruders.

Does a Norfolk Terrier have the right temperament to be a guard dog?

The breed tends to be happy, fearless, and friendly. While lively and always alert, they are not inherently wary or defensive toward strangers. More inclined to greet newcomers than guard against them.

Can you train a Norfolk Terrier to be a guard dog?

Smart and eager to please, Norfolk Terriers excel at learning commands and tasks. However, teaching them to be aggressive watch dogs goes against their inherently friendly nature, making them poorly suited for guard roles despite trainability.

Have Norfolk Terriers ever been used as guard dogs?

Originally used to hunt small quarry like rodents, contemporary Norfolk Terriers focus on being lively companion pets. They have no modern role as guard dogs and their friendly temperament is ill-suited to protective tasks.

What are the Pros and Cons of using a Norfolk Terrier as a guard dog?


  • Small yet sturdy build
  • Eager to please owners


  • Far too tiny to deter threats
  • Extremely friendly by nature

While lively household companions, Norfolk Terriers’ tiny size and overly friendly disposition stands opposite to the required traits and instilled behaviors of effective, intimidating guard dogs for protecting property.

Final Thoughts

Requiring daily walks and play, the smooth Norfolk coat needs weekly brushing. Their hunting past means teaching them to get along with other household pets. Early socialization also helps them welcome newcomers.

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