DCSNZ Regulations

DCSNZ Guidelines



DCSNZ Breed Standard

Breed Objectives

  • To encourage improvement in the quality of Dexter Cattle herds.
  • To encourage the preservation of the natural characteristics and traits in Dexter cattle.


  • Wholly black, red or dun are of equal merit.
  • A small amount of white is acceptable providing it reaches no further forward than the navel on the underline of females and is restricted to the testicular area of males.
  • A small amount of white is acceptable on the tip of the tail.

Skin & Hair

  • The skin should be loose and pliable.
  • Hair short and sleek in summer, longer and thicker in winter.


  • The Dexter is a dual purpose breed with both beef and dairy qualities.

Head and Horns

  • Short, broad head tapering gracefully towards a broad muzzle.
  • Jaw should be wide enough to accommodate well placed teeth with an even bite.
  • Eyes bright and prominent.
  • Horns should be moderately thick with an inward, upward curve.
  • Animals may be polled or dehorned and shall not be penalized in the show ring.


  • Deep and thick, but not too short, blending well into the shoulders.


  • Ample chest with well-sprung ribs giving plenty of room for the heart and lungs, wide across the loins.
  • Quarters thick and deep, broad full hips, well-rounded rump.
  • A straight topline with tail set level with spine.
  • Good width between both front and back legs.
  • Legs should be of moderate length in proportion to body size, squarely placed under the body, wide apart and perpendicular when viewed from the rear.
  • Feet should be well formed but can be proportionately broader or larger than in other breeds, with toes that may also point slightly inwards.


  • Udder should be well attached with high and wide rear attachment and a strong suspensory ligament.
  • The four teats should be of medium size and well spaced on the udder, hanging plumb and of equal length.
  • All four quarters should be of equal size.


  • Large well hung testicles of even size.
  • Four well defined teats evenly spaced.


  • Cows: The preferred height is between 96 cm and 108 cm at the rump.
  • Bulls: The preferred height is between 100 cm and 114 cm at the rump.