With their fluffy white fur, sheep are already cute animals, but one breed from Switzerland takes the cute factor up a notch. The Valais Blacknose is a domestic sheep that originates from the mountainous state of Valais. Though they have been documented since the 15th century, it wasn't until 1962 that they became a standardized breed. These days, they're not only known for their adorable appearance but also their winning personality.
In fact, Valais Blacknose sheep have become quite fashionable and are in high demand. They make wonderful pets due to their friendly disposition and calm nature. But, of course, it's their appearance that really sets them apart. Their distinctive black faces are set off by the white curls of their wool. Aside from their face, they also have black ears, knees, hocks, and feet. To top things off, both males and females have spiral horns.
Bred for both meat and wool, they make nearly 9 pounds of wool per head every year. As their wool is extremely coarse, it's typically used for carpets and felt. Though for centuries the Valais Blacknose could only be found in Switzerland, in recent years they've been imported into other countries.
In 2014, they were imported into the UK and can now be found across the country. Breeding programs are also underway in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia with the hopes of importing the breed to those countries. In the United States, however, this means crossbreeding to eventually get as pure a breed as possible, as USDA rules don't allow for the importation of live sheep or European sheep embryos.
If you won't be making your way to Switzerland anytime soon, take in photographs of the adorable lambs and scroll down to see how one woman in the UK fell in love with her pet Valais.
Valais Blacknose sheep are an adorable breed native to Switzerland.
They're known for their black faces and markings…
As well as the spiral horns that both males and females possess.
Until a few years ago, they were exclusively found in Switzerland, though have now been introduced into the UK.
Their sweet temperament makes them great pets.