American Gotland Sheep Society

Breed Standards

General Appearance:
Gotland sheep are a medium sized, solid colored, luster long wool with clean head and legs. Bold and alert appearance with fine bone and good breadth and depth of body. Ears extend gracefully outwards.

Gray fleece, solid color with shading allowed, no distinct patterns or spotting. Fleece color ranges from light silver to dark charcoal. Head and legs are generally solid black. Lamb birth coat is black, becoming gray within several months. Small white markings on head, legs and tail are accepted but discouraged; shall be less than 30% of those areas. (Note that light grey eye circles and muzzles are not white markings.)

Medium size and substance. Ewes generally weigh from 120 to 155 lb. Rams are heavier weighing 165 to 190 lb at mature body weight. The ideal height range for mature Gotland ewes is 25.5" to 30"; for mature Gotland rams it's 29.5" to 32" at the withers.

Solid colored head generally free from wool. Bold eyes, alert medium sized ears set slightly above horizontal. Small, neat and straight muzzle with even jaw and teeth set squarely on the pad. Both males and females are generally and preferably polled.

Neck and Body:
Slender neck and shoulders set smoothly into a level back with generous length, good depth and reasonable breadth of body. Well suited for market production.

Naturally short, hair tipped tail measuring less than 6" as measured at the underside. Generally broader at the base and tapering to the tip.

Slender legs well spaced and upright. Solid color and generally free from wool.

Fleece is fine, long, lustrous and dense with clearly defined curl and staple, soft to the touch. It is typically 29 to 34 microns in diameter at 18 months of age, as measured midside at the last rib. Lambs wool is typically in the low to mid 20's micron range.


  • Any fleece color other than gray.
  • Long heavy tail, broad to end. Docked tail.
  • Uncharacteristic wool. Double coated, dull or straight locks. Indistinct lock formation. Overly coarse or harsh wool.
  • Deformities of jaws.
  • Greatly undersized or oversized animals. Overly coarse or cloddy animals.
  • Distinct pattern or spotting in wool. Small "sliding" white spots - spots in the fleece adjacent to the head or legs - are disqualifying in rams, discouraged in ewes. In ewes, these spots shall be smaller in area than the adjacent portion in the non-wooled area.
  • De-horned animals, trimmed horns, horns growing into the animal (fatal horns).
  • Rams without two normally descended testicles of approximately equal size.
  • Any sheep judged to be generally unthrifty, unworthy, or unsound.