I know there is much discussion regarding height in Dexters. It seems to me they are going about the problems they are trying to solve the wrong way. There has always been a tall Dexter here and there. Easily resolved. Today, in my opinion, due to a modern leadership that could not be trpubled to learn the roots of the breed, a very high percentage of Dexters in the US are no longer Dexters. They are pretenders and frauds. Outside to the naked eye, but the bigger calamity..on the inside. The US just took the height to 50 inches. Setting height standards (or guidelines) is the equivalent of approval. A 50 inch cow or bull can produce 36 inch Dexters, but not if the only thing available to breed is a four foot tall mate. The weight standard was the means to maintain the size and height of the breed as it was founded. All groups giving themselves license to make decisions for the Dexter breed should return to the weight standard.
It has been frustrating to watch a leadership, guide a membership, to create from exceptional......mediocrity.
A Dexter whose exterior replicates the appearance of a Dexter, but whose interior mirrors any breed but.....is not a Dexter. It was not just size thst made Dexters unique and special. It was that in the tiny dwarf package of a Dexter, you mirrored every special quality for which all other breeds valued, and then there was more. And in a small package that could be maintained on far less sustenance.
it is a tragedy that will be recorded in the history books of agriculture unless we can bridge the past to the present for the future.
Weight and height/body-style are very closely related.
The 1900 breed standard says
"Body.--Shoulders of medium thickness, full and well filled in behind, hips wide, quarters thick and deep and well sprung, flat and wide across loins, well ribbed up, straight underline, legs short (especially from knee to fetlock), strong, and well placed under body, which should be as close to the ground as possible. Dexter Bulls should not exceed 900 Lbs., live weight, when in breeding condition "
The standard describes a 900 pound short and thick and beefy bull, set low to the ground. Any bull meeting that description couldn't be more than about 42" tall before he would exceed 900 pounds.
If you exceed 42" in height, and still tried to stay within the 900 pound limit, you'd have to ignore the parts of the standard that describe short legs and a full, thick and round frame set low to the ground.
If you want to follow the 1900 breed standard exactly, then you've got to breed for thick and beefy true-short animals, ALL set low to the ground and likely under about 42 inches.
The 1900 Dexter Breed Standard describes a breed where every individual is short and thick with shorter legs.... That is a description of true-breeding true-short non-chondrodysplastic Dexters like this one
It's like a doctor saying "in a typical year, I see adult women who weigh anywhere between 70 and 500 pounds, but most are between 110 and 250 pounds"... And then he advises that they should avoid weighing too much or too little.
The ADCA is simply reporting the fact that if you look around, you can see some bulls up to 50 inches, but they are also saying that most should top out at 44 inches.
If you wanted to get rid of too tall Dexters, the best way would be to exterminate the Chondrodysplasia genes, and then put a strict standard in place, eliminating all bulls over perhaps 45 inches.
Chondro helps masks too-tall genetics and only works 50% of time, but does nothing to get rid of those tall genes.
If you want to get rid of too tall Dexters, don't outcross them to other than Dexters!
The point is, with each relaxed "guideline" offered by the ADCA to accomodate larger animals, you are encouraging mediocrity in what had been the smallest Breed of cattle. If you want Angus sized carcasses, get some lowlines.
Stick with the weight limits which have worked for a hundred years, and keep your Ethnic Cleansing urges to yourself.