Let’s face it, all puppies are cute, and most puppy buyers would have a hard time distinguishing between a purebred Norwich Terrier puppy and a Norwich-Cairn or other mix at 10-12 weeks of age, the usual age when puppies are placed in new homes.
The best way for a puppy buyer to be assured that they are purchasing a purebred Norwich puppy is to be well-informed: learn more about the breed by reading, meet Norwich terriers and their owners at local dog shows, and communicate with reputable Norwich terrier breeders that belong to the NTCA or who have been personally recommended.
“At least do as much research as you would do before purchasing a new major home appliance …” Your Norwich Terrier is going to be a member of your family and will live with you for many years (remember, 12-15 years is the average lifespan) so get the Norwich that is right for you. A good breeder will discuss the health and temperament of the Norwich puppies they have bred, and the results of health screens done on the parents; they may ask you to fill out an application form so they can get to know you and match you to the puppy best suited to your household; they may introduce you to their other dogs at home or introduce you to owners of dogs they have bred; they may show their dogs, and belong to local and national dog clubs.
Buying a “Norwich” puppy sight unseen off an internet website, whether the puppy is AKC-registered or not, increases the possibility that you are purchasing a “Faux Norwich” whose pedigree may contain ancestors that were not Norwich. The puppy may be very nice, but it may not look like a typical purebred Norwich Terrier as it grows up or have the breed type, temperament, and good health that responsible breeders strive to produce with each litter.