Breed Standard

A more complete discussion of selecting for the Valais Blacknose Sheep Standard of Type can be found in the VBSS blog, at the link above.

Standard of Type

The Valais Blacknose has a robust and large-framed physique.

The black nose should be centered and it is preferred that it extend up to the eyes. The ears are also black and extend up to the base of the head. There should be black colorations on the ankles and on the front knees. The females have black tail spots. 

Helical or spiral-shaped horns are typical of both ewes and rams and should be well balanced.

The head and the legs should exhibit wool growth evenly and be well covered.

Breed Type

Nose to the center of the head, black
Black eye rims, both sides connected to the nose coloring preferred
Black ears
Uniform, black spots on the ankle and the front knees
In females a tail spot is desirable but it must not be too large
Short, dressed head
Wide mouth, broad forehead and Roman nose
Ears medium length and set
Distinctive head shape in males
Short, well-muscled neck


Spiraling, well separated in the horizontal direction of the jaws
Occasional black streaks are tolerated

Chest, shoulder, withers:

Wide and deep chest
Shoulder close fitting
Withers broad and closed
Good spring of ribs


Back, loin:

Long, straight and broad back
Wide loin

Height (from two years):

Female: 72 – 78 cm
Male: 75 – 83 cm
Weight (from two years):
Female 70 – 90 kg
Male: 80 – 125 kg



Strong and well placed
Not cow-hocked and not bowlegged
Wide-legged position of the front legs (not knock-kneed)
Solid bone structure



Fineness 5 -4
Staple length about 10 cm (5-6 months growth – sheep should be shorn twice yearly)
Balanced and natural all over the body, including the head and legs
Uniformly white, the neck be scattered black hair tolerated (in the males to 18 months, there is a reason for exclusion)
Balanced fleece

*Docked tails must be in line with the top of the black markings on hocks.



Jaw: Condensed mandible or jaw unequal length
Teeth: If teeth are not up to the gummy plate or fitting (up 18 months,both male and female)
Testicular sac rupture or chryptorchidism

Colors Features:

In males body spots within the fabric boundary (above the abdominal line), tail spots and the absence of a color feature


an excessive number of guard hairs
mixed-colored wool up to the age of 18 months

It should be noted that scurs are expected as part of the upgrading program with polled foundation breeds. Evaluation of registered individuals will be undertaken with successive upgrading and will become a criteria for evaluation in the American Purebred and acceptable reference sires.