1927 Breed Standard

1927 Breed Standard

In the early 1900s, demand for high quality hand knitted garments increased and knitters throughout Shetland adapted to satisfy that demand.

Their industry was then threatened by a reduction in wool quality - through cross breeding, to improve carcase quality.

In order to preserve the characteristics of the Shetland breed, the Shetland Flock Book Society was formed, on Shetland, in 1927 and its members drew up the Breed Description that is still in use today. 

The 1927 Breed Standard Description and Scale of Points - [Score out of 100]

  • General character & appearance - Horned or hornless - [9]
  • Head - Good width between ears, tapering rapidly to base of nose, which should be broad and with little taper to the muzzle, hollow between cheeks and nose well marked. - [9]
  • Face - Medium length of face from eyes to muzzle, nose prominent but not Roman, small mouth. - [5]
  • Eyes - Full, bright, and active look. - [3]
  • Ears - Fine, medium size, set well back, carried slightly above the horizontal. - [4]
  • Neck - Full, tapers into a fairly broad chest. - [4]
  • Shoulders - Well set, top level with back. - [6]
  • Chest - Medium width and deep. - [5]
  • Back - Level, with as much width as possible. - [9]
  • Ribs - Well sprung and well ribbed up - [4]
  • Rump - Good width with well-turned rounded hips - [5]
  • Tail - Fluke tail. Wool at root forming the broad rounded part, and tapering suddenly to barely covered fine point. This is a strong character, and any crossing is easily made out by it. Length varies according to the size of sheep, rarely exceeds six inches, or thereby. - [9]
  • Legs of mutton - Light, but very fine in quality. - [4]
  • Skin - Varies according to colour of wool. In white no blue or black colouring - [2]
  • Wool - Extra fine and soft texture, longish, wavy, and well closed. Wool on forehead and poll tapering into neck, likewise wool on cheeks. Colours: white, black or brown, moorit (from reddish to fawn). Greys (including Shaela). Other known colours - Mirkface (brownish spots on face); Katmoget (dark under parts from muzzle to tail and legs), Burrit (light underparts); also Blaget, Flecket, and Sholmet. - [20]
  • Carriage - Alert and nimble, with a smart active gait. - [2]

Total Points - 100


  • Long heavy tail, broad to point.
  • Bad wool, coarse and open.
  • Very coarse wool on breeches.
  • Deformities of jaws.
  • Undersized animals.
  • Defective coloured or badly shaped animals as sires.
  • White hairs in moorit and black, and dark hairs in white.


Reproduced from The Shetland Flock Book Society Bye-Laws & Regulations 1927 'Objects & Standard of the Society'

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