Standard of excellence for Dorset Horn and Poll Dorset



Bold, masculine appearance, with good length, strength and of robust character, and head of great beauty. With regard to the Horn Ram, strong and long horns growing from the head well apart on the crown in a straight line with each other and coming downwards and forwards in graceful curves as close to the face as may be without cutting.


Appearance bright with feminine characteristics. With regard to the Horn Ewe the horns much smaller and more delicate that in the Ram.


HEAD: Broad, full and open at the nostril, well covered with wool from brow to poll, face white with pink nose and lips free from pigmentation.

EARS: Medium size, white and firm, well covered with hair.

MOUTH: Even, well set jaw with flat chisel shaped teeth, meeting a wide pad with a firm bite.

NECK: Short to medium length and round, well sprung from the shoulders, with no depression at collar, strong and muscular, especially in the Ram.

CHEST: Well forward, full and deep.

FORE FLANK: Full, with no depression behind the shoulders.

SHOULDERS: Well laid and compact.

BACK & LOINS: Broad, long and straight, with well sprung ribs.

QUARTERS: Full, broad and deep with flesh extending to the hocks and well muscled thighs.

TAIL: Well set up in a line with the back, wide, firm and fleshy.

RIBS: Well sprung from the back and deep at the sides.

LEGS & Medium length, well placed at the four quarters and free moving, straight between

PASTERNS the joints, with strong bone, well woolled to the knees and hocks with pasterns well set up and straight.

WOOL: Fine “down” type wool, dense and firm handling, free from kemp and colour.

COLOUR: White, with pink skin.

RAMS: Bold, masculine appearance, and may weigh up to 113.5 kg (250lbs) when mature.

EWES: Medium size and naturally prolific, so that depending on management, lamb crops may attain any figure from 130% - 170% or more. Growth rates of up to 0.45 kg (1lb) per day are frequently recorded producing carcasses from 16 kg (34 – 36lb) dressed carcass weight at 10 – 16 weeks of age. Ewes have a bright appearance, skin colour is pink, whilst the face, legs and ears are white.

WOOL: Fleece of good staple and quality, compact and firm to the touch.

The breed is recognised for its docility and ability to breed naturally out of season. This wide breeding pattern allows the ewes to take the ram at most times of the year and they are ideally suited to lambing three times in two years. The outstanding milking ability means that lambs will finish sooner with little, or no additional feeding.

The Dorset is noted for its early maturity in both the males and females. It is also a long lived breed and this combined with its longevity gives a highly productive and profitable sheep.

The rams are noted as being especially active workers and increasing use is being made of them as prime lamb sires. This prime lamb makes an excellent carcass for the present requirements and is available at any time of the year, and therefore times of peak market prices.

Dorset ewes have excellent maternal characteristics as well as being milky and produce a good return on investment being early maturing and long lived. Versatility and adaptability come naturally to the

Dorset for climate, altitude, traditional or intensive production methods.

Back to blog