Dorper & White Dorper

The Dorper and the White Dorper are separate breeds of sheep sharing the same outstanding attributes. The one exception of course being… the colour. Separating themselves from the Dorper breeders in South Africa during the 1940s, the breeders of White Dorper crossed the Dorper, with the Dorset Horn X Van Rooy and Ronderib Afrikaaner” in their breeding program, calling this breed a Dorsian. They founded a separate Breeders’ society but decided in 1964, to affiliate with the South Africa Dorper Sheep Breeders’ Society, since their aim was the same with the exception of the colour. Crossing Dorper and White Dorper sheep produces cross bred lambs of neither breed. The Canadian Dorper Sheep Association represents breeder of both breeds of sheep

Medium size sheep Body long, deep and wide

Well muscled

Average mature weights; rams 90-105 kg., ewes 70- 95 kg.

Strong, long and medium in width

Eyes large and widely placed

Ears horizontally set

Covered with short dullish black hair (White Dorpers have white hair)


Medium length and broad

Blends smoothly into shoulders


Firm, broad and strong

Blends smoothly into the body


Moderate width and deep

Brisket protrudes moderately beyond the shoulders

Back, Loin and Rump:

Back long and straight

Loin broad and full

Rump is long and wide

Ribs well sprung

Inner and outer twist are deep and well fleshed in adults

Feet and Legs:

Legs strong and well placed

Forelegs straight

Strong pasterns

Hooves not widely split

Colour Patterns:

(Dorper) – white sheep with black confined to head or head and neck with the black not on the shoulder or chest fully pigmented under the tail, on the udder and teats is ideal. Black spots to a limited extent on the body and legs are permissible.

(White Dorper) – white sheep, fully pigmented around the eyes, under the tail, on the udder and teats is ideal.


Short, loose, light covering of hair and wool with a natural clean kemp underline is ideal

Undesirable traits:

Dished forehead

Exclusively coarse hair

Exclusive wool (long and dense)

A coarse hair mane

Deviating too far from either one of the two accepted colour patterns.