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The Norfolk Terrier is a small British dog that was bred for hunting. This pooch is best known for being adventurous, fearless, energetic, friendly, and a loyal family companion. It has an independent streak and can be stubborn sometimes. But having a well-behaved pet is quite possible with proper training and socialization.
One of this dog’s appeals is its shaggy, unkempt look. But it can also leave you wondering whether or not this breed sheds a lot. It’s important to know a particular breed’s shedding tendencies as it determines how much cleaning you’re going to do, not to mention it can be a life-threatening situation for people with allergies.
So, do Norfolk Terriers shed? Yes, they do. But on the bright side, they shed minimally throughout most of the year. Being double-coated, they are bound to experience increased shedding during certain times of the year. But with proper grooming and a nutritious diet, you won’t find large clumps of hair in your house.
For owners who do not want to deal with fur in their homes, cars, or even offices, the Norfolk Terrier is worth considering. But there’s more to this breed’s shedding than just saying it’s a low shedder. You probably want to know when do Norfolk Terriers shed, how much, and what you can do to minimize the shedding. Are they generally low maintenance?
Understanding all this will help you determine when your canine is shedding healthily or if they need to see the vet. Stay with me as I take you through the Norfolk Terrier shedding so you can decide whether or not it’s the right pet for you.
How Much Do Norfolk Terriers Shed?
These dogs are categorized as low shedders and will shed a negligible amount. Compared to other popular breeds, they will shed a similar amount as the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, a bit less than the Fox Terrier and much less than the Pug. While you can expect some hairs living with this breed, it’s nothing that will require daily vacuuming.
One of the reasons these dogs shed less is due to their size. According to the AKC, they are one of the smallest terriers on record. The smaller the dog size, the less fur they have to lose compared to larger breeds. Secondly, the thick texture of the coat catches loose hairs and dander, meaning not much is shed to the ground.
That being said, all dogs tend to shed more during seasonal changes, particularly in spring and fall. They shed more to grow coats better suited for the upcoming seasons. Norfolk Terriers go through this increased level of shedding but nothing too extreme compared to many other double-coated dogs.
Why Do Norfolk Terriers Shed?
All dogs shed, and they do for one simple reason, to get rid of old, dead hairs and grow new healthier ones. Your Norfolk Terrier’s fur will undergo a growth cycle that includes the growth stage, resting phase, and lastly, the shedding stage. Imagine if your dog grew hair from birth until old age; how would they look like? As nature would have it, they shed to remove old hairs.
Dogs, especially the double-coated ones like the Norfolk Terrier, go through seasonal shedding, where they experience increased shedding to grow coats that are better suited for the upcoming season.
That being said, it’s not just these natural forms of shedding you’ll see in your Norfolk Terrier. Like any other dog, this breed is prone to unhealthy shedding if not fed well, groomed properly, or if they have an underlying infection or illness. Keep reading to learn more on do Norfolk Terriers shed unhealthily and what you can do to prevent it.
Shedding Seasons and Frequency
When do Norfolk Terriers shed? You already know to expect little shedding from these dogs. But you probably want to know when they shed to prepare for it. While you can expect minimal shedding throughout most of the year, Norfolk Terriers are double-coated dogs who also experience seasonal shedding.
This happens in fall when they shed to grow a thicker coat to keep them warm in winter. It also occurs in spring, when they shed the heavy winter jacket to grow something lighter for the hot summer weather. It’s not very extreme with the Norfolk Terrier, though, compared to other double-coated dogs. As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons these dogs shed less is their small surface, which means they have less hair, to begin with.
If you have an indoor dog, they may not experience seasonal shedding because the artificial heat and light in your home don’t provide the seasonal signals to control when shedding occurs.
While shedding is a natural occurrence in all dogs, sometimes the cause of shedding can be a health issue that needs to be addressed. Common causes of unhealthy shedding include stress, malnutrition, allergies, skin infections, parasitic infections, hormonal imbalances, lack of grooming, etc. There are also certain illnesses with hair loss as one of their symptoms, such as cancer.
As a low shedder, it’s quite easy to tell if your Norfolk Terrier is not shedding right because they will be exhibiting excessive shedding. Other signs of unhealthy shedding include bald spots, open sores, dry skin, dull fur, matted fur, and lumps, to name a few.
If you notice any of these signs, visit the vet as soon as possible. Unhealthy shedding is quite serious, but the good news is once you resolve the underlying condition, it stops.
What Type of Coat Does a Norfolk Terrier Have?
As mentioned earlier, the Norfolk Terrier is known for its shaggy, unkempt look. This dog is double-coated, meaning it has two layers of fur: an undercoat and an outercoat. The soft, downy undercoat acts as an insulator, regulating the dog’s body temperature, so they stay warm or cool as needed.
On the other hand, they have a short-medium outercoat that is nearly weatherproof and made of harsh, wiry fur. Expect the hair around the neck and shoulders to be longer. Hairs on the ears and head will be short and smooth, except for eyebrows and whiskers.
This dog’s fur is usually short, but it can grow long if left untrimmed. You can also hand-strip your terrier to remove old outer hairs and excess undercoats to allow for new hairs to grow in. These dogs’ coats can be black, brown, or tan with white markings on the chest and feet.
How to Manage and Reduce Norfolk Terriers Shedding?
You can’t stop a healthy dog from natural shedding, and neither should you try. These canines need their fur as it is for protection against the elements. This doesn’t mean you have to live in a house full of fur. Using simple tips, you can ensure healthy shedding and reduce it to an absolute minimum. First off, regularly groom your pup and provide them with a healthy diet.
Norfolk Terriers Grooming
Grooming your furry friend is one of the simplest and most effective ways to manage and reduce how much they shed. The reason for this is twofold. First, it allows you to capture loose hair before it gets a chance to fall out and spread all over the house.
Secondly, brushing helps distribute the skin’s natural oils, thus encouraging healthy hair growth. And a healthy coat only sheds when necessary.
Since Norfolk Terriers are low shedding, there’s no need for daily grooming, and once a week should suffice. But you may need to increase the frequency of brushings during seasonal shedding to keep up with the increased shedding. Many owners find that a metal greyhound comb or slicker brush works best with this breed’s dense and wiry fur.
The Norfolk Terrier’s coat will require hand-stripping twice per year to help remove dead fur. This process requires professional grooming. Most importantly, don’t cut the fur, as this ruins the texture.
Norfolk Terriers Diet
There’s no special diet required for the Norfolk Terrier to minimize shedding. But a high-quality diet is essential for ensuring coat health. Cheap canine food often consists of corn and grains, which your pup can be allergic to or have difficulty digesting.
It would be best to focus on a more natural diet with meat as its main ingredient. Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for healthy fur. So, include foods like salmon, sardines, flaxseed, chia seed, and soybeans in your terrier’s diet.
As you feed your pet quality food, ensure they always have access to fresh, clean water. Otherwise, dehydration will cause the skin to dry out and be prone to shedding.
Bathing is another important part of grooming your canine. Like brushing, it allows you to remove loose, dead hairs from the dog’s coat before they end up on your furniture, clothes, beddings, or floors. But while bathing is important, be careful not to do it frequently. This can strip off the skin’s natural oils, leaving it dry and prone to shedding. Unless they roll in something muddy or smelly, you should bathe your Norfolk Terrier no more than once per month.
I mentioned earlier that a nutritious diet is vital for healthy fur. But perhaps your terrier cannot get the important nutrients from their current diet. This is pretty common in a sick pet or pregnant bitch. In that case, supplements are your best friend. By supplementing omega-3 and some vitamins in your dog’s diet, you are helping them secure a firm coat that doesn’t shed unnecessarily.
Are Norfolk Terriers Hypoallergenic?
We’ve determined that these dogs shed, but do Norfolk Terriers shed enough to cause allergies? This is an important topic to understand, especially for people with severe allergies, as it could result in a life-threatening situation. But before I answer this question, let me explain what hypoallergenic means, to those who may not know. These dogs are less likely to cause an allergic reaction, probably because they shed and/or drool less. Note that I said ‘less likely,’ meaning you’re not completely out of the woods.
Back to the Norfolk Terrier, these dogs are considered hypoallergenic because they are remarkably low-shedding. Though fur is not the main culprit of canine allergies, low shedders are believed to produce less dander; hence, they are less likely to cause allergies.
That being said, you can further minimize the chances of this dog causing your allergies to flare up by regularly grooming them and providing a proper diet. As for allergens already in your house, you can remove them by regularly vacuuming your house and using a HEPA air filter. You may also want to keep your pet out of your bedroom and teach them to pee in a designated area to avoid allergies caused by pet urine.