Finalised at the Old English Goat Society AGM 19 June 2005


Old English Goats are naturally adapted to the British Climate. Their constitution and hardiness are two of their greatest characteristics. They will eat a wide range of food and are not deterred from foraging by poor weather. They will drink water at the temperature of their surroundings.


  • The Old English Goat is small and ‘cobby'(1).
  • The adult height at the withers should be 26 ins for females (24″ to 28″ is acceptable) and 28″ for males (26″ to 30″ being acceptable).
  • The body is deep, and broad chested with a prominent breast bone and capacious belly.
  • The legs are short and well boned.
  • The back should be level from withers to hips, and then slope gently down to the root of the tail.
  • The udder should be well attached with well-spaced teats of even size and pointing slightly forwards.


The head tapers to a moderately fine muzzle(2), with a dished facial profile. Both sexes are bearded. The ears are ‘small'(3) and pricked. Most goats are naturally horned, although a minority are born without. The horns are usually set well apart, and should rise straight up to start with, then curve backwards (scimitar) or twist outwards (dorcas).


The neck should be free of tassels.


  • The outer coat may be any length from short to shaggy, but it is never smooth or sleek. There may be a fringe of long hair along the back and/or down the hindquarters.
  • The copious fine cashmere undercoat is particularly noticable in winter, but it should be detectable even in summer.


Colour is variable, usually shades of grey or brown and often with black markings. White patches are acceptable. ‘Swiss’ markings(4) are not acceptable.


  1. Cobby. The goat is short-coupled, and the legs short, so that the height from withers to brisket is the same as the height from elbow to ground.
  2. ‘Moderately fine’ muzzle. This is intermediate between the fine browsing muzzle of the Anglo-Nubian and the relatively broad muzzle of the Swiss-derived dairy goats.
  3. Small ears. The ear when folded forwards should not reach beyond the corner of the mouth, and a shorter ear than that is preferable.
  4. Swiss markings. This colour pattern, inherited as a package, includes prominent white stripes down the face, white ears, white legs below the knee and a white rump.