We follow the recommendations of the Norwich Terrier Club of America for health testing. These tests include - hips, patella and eyes. We use the results of these tests to determine who we breed to whom. We post the results of these test on the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals website so other breeders can see the results. Concerned breeders look for dogs who have "good" results when breeding to males and females outside of their own bloodlines, posting on the OFA site lets others see test results.
Norwich Terrier Upper Airway Syndrome (UAS)
We also test our breeding stock for UAS - only a handful of other breeders do. Over the last 5 years or so, the NTCA has sponsered studies that have described a condition that breeders have known of for decades - Norwiches are raspy breathiers. Studies conducted at Michigan State University and UC Davis have determined that Norwich terriers have excessive tissue surronding the larynx which makes it difficult them dogs to breath The affliction varies from minor to severe depending on the dog, but is very strongly associated with fat dogs. We are very lucky and started our breeding program with dogs that were not servely affected. We have also made certain to not breed too closely within our bloodlines so as to allow for genetic diversity.
We want to continue our good fortune and have started testing (scoping the airway) our dogs for UAS. We've worked with Dr. Lynelle Johnson at UC Davis for more than a decade to determine the best breeding stock to promote airway health. We factor in airway scores when selecting breeding pairs. Other breeders have taken note of our dog's test results and ask us to use our dogs for improvement of their stock.
Most Norwich terrier breeders plan elective c-sections; we don't unless we know by x-ray that a girl is carrying only one pup. All of our other females try to have pups on their own. If they don't progress in their labor, we take them for emergency c-sections. We have lost pups because a mom simply couldn't push out a huge pup.
Even though it is awful to lose a pup, we strongly believe that most births should be natural. Over the years Norwich breeders, because they have chosen to not allow the mom's to try and whelp on their own, have kept females that simply can't deliver babies. We beleive that Norwich terriers being unable to deliver on their own is a greater health issue than UAS.
Food for Norwich
Dogs are omnivores, they eat both plant and animal matter. We feed our dogs high quality kibble and top dress it with a chicken stew that Andrew makes weekly. The stew is made from chicken thigh, brown rice, carrots and peas.
We've been asked by potential puppy buyers about vegan diets for puppies. We will NOT sell a pup to a family that wants to impose their dietary restrictions on a pup. Just because you choose a vegan diet (which is totally ok with us), doesn't mean it's healthy for a young pup that needs lots of animal protien for growth.