A good Southdown should catch the eye with its alertness and balanced appearance, displaying the following characteristics:

Head and face

  • Wide, level between the ears with no sign of horn. Not too long from eyes to nose, particularly rams.
  •  Hair of an even mouse colour.
  • Eyes large and bright and clear of wool.
  • Ears of medium size and covered with short wool.
  • Nose dark, not pink.

Neck and shoulders

  • Neck wide at the base and well set on the shoulder. Shoulders neither too wide nor too narrow and top level with the back.

Legs and feet

  • A leg at each corner, straight and well up on the pasterns. Neither cow-hocked, nor knock-kneed. Horn of hoof black.

Chest and ribs

  • Deep over the heart, but not too wide. Ribs well sprung.

Back and rump

  • Long, wide and level, evenly fleshed and firm to handle. Rump not pointed.


  • Broad and well set up and level with chine


  • Wide, deep and well filled

Wool and skin

  • Wool fine and dense and of even colour, not black, covering the whole body down to the hocks and knees. Skin pink.