Temperament

They are small, energetic and assertive, and like a Ridgeback dog, require intelligent, thoughtful training. This applies to all animals but to some more so than others. Because they are small it is easy to work with them and a great advantage if you are a small woman like me! I will however concede that compared to a Devon, Dexters have “attitude” and can be obstreperous. Nevertheless, it all comes down to your temperament and the ability to see the funny side as you get shoved into a river by a heifer you are attempting to walk on a halter. Devons are calmer but just size makes for more effort.

Calves are nosey and very curious. My Ridgebacks and I spend pleasant hours in winter messing about in the cow shed playing with calves. These calves as adults don’t forget this experience and become friendly and biddable. The same technique applies to my much larger breed of Devon cattle, but the sheer smallness of Dexter calves makes working with them easier.

They are intelligent and learn quickly. Equally, they do remember bad or unkind treatment. Those who find them hard to manage are those who have either been harsh with them or inconsistent with them.

Ashott Poster
Merlin