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Dexter -bull- Ireland

(most common name)
(transboundary/brand name)

(local/other name):
• Dexter (UK)
• Dexter-Kerry

The Dexter is a dual-purpose dwarf/miniature breed from County Kerry in the southern part of Ireland.

Short-legged cattle (displaying chondrodysplasia) in Ireland were first reported in 1776. The breed name ‘Dexter’ comes from selective breeding by a man named Dexter who, it is believed, came to Tipperary County in Ireland in 1750. A full report of the Dexter was made by David Low in 1845 and the breed was first introduced into England in 1882.

The Dexter has two recognized types: short legged (dwarf) and non-short (miniature). Miniature cattle have normal conformation, but are small. Compare the short-legged (dwarf) Dexter shown here with the Miniature Texas Longhorn.

The Dexter is usually black, but can also have a coat of red or dun.

NOTE: In cattle and other animals, chondrodysplasia is a hereditary condition where the cartilage fails to grow and results in short limbs. In humans, dwarfism is also caused by the failure of cartilage to grow, is also a hereditary condition, but is called achondroplasia. (Achondroplasia, in addition to short limbs, can also result in a small face relative to skull size.)

This page was last updated on: 2023-05-16

You can also go to:

My Daily Cow® Ireland and read about other Irish cattle breeds.

The Cow Wall® A-Z Cattle Breed Picture Reference to see other breeds of cattle in the world.