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Pygmy goats were used in West Africa for meat, where their small size is an advantage for survival under adverse conditions. The breed is blocky, with a relatively short neck, rounded shoulders and hips, and a wide body. Pygmies must be less than 21 inches tall at the withers. Any colour is allowed but standard markings are required.

A Type Classification system has been set up for this popular pet breed, whereby breeders may have their animals evaluated against the ideal. This can help serious breeders, and buyers at a distance from the farm, to select breeding stock which will improve their herd.

Breed Standards:

Erect ears, dished profile, any body colour with standard markings allowed. Required standard markings – muzzle, forehead, eyes and ears are accented in tones lighter than the dark portion of the body in goats of all colours, except those which are SOLID BLACK. In the case of all animals whose basic body is not DARKER, the front and rear hooves and cannons (socks) must be dark as well as the crown, dorsal stripe and martingale (in bucks only). For CARMAMEL and WHITE AGOUTI goats, light vertical stripes on dark socks are acceptable. All other patches are seriously faulted but do not disqualify the animal.

(B) Optional markings: light areas (on darker backgrounds) that appear as complete or partial girth belts are acceptable.