Sunday, October 26, 2008

Norwich Terrier Colors

It's disappointing to see so many Norwich mixes and faux Norwich Terriers advertised online. Many are APRI registered rather than AKC. I'm amazed at how many don't even resemble Norwich, and it doesn't take a professional to figure out why. The acceptable colors in the Norwich Terrier are all shades of red, wheaten, black & tan, blue & tan, and grizzle. Red is simple, ranging from a light puppy born without pigment called a Pink, to deeper reds. Wheaten is a lighter tan color. Black & Tan are born with the markings as seen in the doberman, but the head and legs turn red as they mature, leaving the saddle back pattern seen in adulthood. Blue & Tan are more gray in color with the same markings. Grizzle is the most misunderstood color and is what many "breeders" are either taking advantage of buyers that don't know the difference, or they are misinformed themselves. I'm seeing many "Norwich" advertised online as grizzle that have the brindle gene. Norwich Terriers do not come in brindle, the Cairn Terrier does. The brindle gene causes a striping pattern in the undercoat seen at birth, as in this photo of brindle Cairn Terrier puppies. Brindle adult Cairn Terriers can vary from lighter brindle to very dark almost black brindles. The striping pattern can be seen in the undercoat and the top coat is more evenly mixed. The Norwich Terrier grizzle will be born with a lighter variation of the black & tan markings like a doberman. As adults they will have a light saddle back with a mixture of red & black hairs. It can become confusing when looking at adult Norwich because some of the black & tan's saddle fades enough that they look like a grizzle saddle back. But there is one thing that is not confusing, and anyone can tell the difference, the Norwich should NOT look like a brindle Cairn! To see many examples of Norwich Terrier color, visit this link It's an excellent example of colors from birth to adulthood. Please don't be fooled by sellers who either fraudulently sell Cairns as Norwich for inflated prices, or who are so misinformed that they believe their brindle is a Norwich. Simply having papers does not mean that they are accurate or even reputable registries.

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