The Royal Dublin Society established Dexters as a true breed in 1890. Here are the 1890 Irish Dexter breed standards:
1. Roundness of form and shortness of legs.
2. Short legs, and a small space from the knee and hock to the hoofs.
3. Tipperary Beef down to the heels.
4. Roundness and depth of carcase.
5. Red or black…. A tiny bit of white is allowed.
6. Horns optional (no mention of horns).
Any high-quality animal of any breed and any background, that met these standards, could be registered as a foundation Dexter.
They expected 100% of Dexters to meet these standards. They considered chondrodysplasia to be a problem to be eliminated because it interfered with the ability to have 100% of animals meet these standards.