The Tennessee Fainting goat is known by a number of names such as Stiff-leg, Nervous, Wooden-leg, and Scare Goat. They are generally a medium size breed. Their breed type is determined by distinctive head and facial features along with body conformation and an inherited muscle condition called myotonia congenita. This inherited trait leads to an increase in their overall muscle mass. Young animals should show visible signs of increased muscle mass and this increased muscle mass becomes more apparent as the animal matures. Fainting goats should be stocky, with obvious width for height. Their body is full, wide, and deep with heavy muscling evident throughout. They are alert, good-natured animals with a conformation that is smooth and functional.
Head: Short to medium long with a fairly straight profile, not convex (Roman nosed) as seen in Boer or Nubian breeds.
Nose: medium in length, wide and flat. Muzzle broad and slightly rounded not snippy. Jaws should be full and well formedwith an even bite. Forehead is broad and the eye orbits are prominent, especially from above. They protrude outwardfurther than in other breeds, giving the head a distinctive appearance with the eyes prominent and obvious. This eye feature is often referred to as bug-eyed or pop-eyed. Normally an evident dip is present at the level of the eyes,separating the head from the facial region. Ears are usually medium in width and length, most often held horizontally fromside of head, with possibly a slight twist at the base making them somewhat forward facing. The ears may have a noticeableripple halfway down the length of the ear, at which point they may bend slightly downward. Both horned and polled animalsare typical.
Coat: Coat length varies from short and smooth to long and shaggy. Some animals show a skirting effect around their front and back legs even though the rest of their coat may be short or medium long. Many animals grow abundant cashmere during the winter. The only coat which is not acceptable is one that hangs from the animal in curly ringlets like seen in the Angora breed.
Color: Though it has been told that the original color of these goats was black and white, today all colors, combinations, patterns, and markings exist. Though the most common coloration remains black and white all colors and color schemes are acceptable with no one color or combination being better than another.
Neck: Well muscled, moderate length. Rounder and more full than dairy breeds. Females more slender and feminine, with males more muscular and masculine. The neck skin on many males tends to be thick and wrinkled.
Forelimb and Chest: Forelimb should be somewhat muscular, well angulated from the side, and tightly attached to the body. Point of the shoulder should be somewhat behind the most anterior portion of the sternum. Legs from the front should be straight from the shoulder down. Joints should be broad, and legs should show good bone density. Chest should bemoderately broad.
Back and Barrel: Back strong and level, broad and well-muscled. Ribs well sprung, providing for large capacity in chest and abdomen. The body should be deep and full.
Rump: Neither steep nor level with medium width and length. Tail should be symmetrical, wider at base narrowing at tip, usually carried over the back. Hips show some dairy character. Pin bones slightly lower than hips, wide and fairly pronounced. Thurls placed high and wide apart. Muscling evident throughout.
Rear limbs: Rear limbs should have good angles from the side with no tendency toward excessive straightness (postiness). From the rear leg set should look moderately wide apart, and should be reasonable straight with little tendency to be cowhocked. Pasterns should be resilient, short, and straight. Rear limbs should show good bone density and muscling should be very evident throughout.
Feet: Feet should be proportional to the goat, strong, well-shaped, and even. Hooves should be symmetrical with good heel depth.
Skin and Hair coat: Skin should be clean and resilient with a clean shiny coat. Skin and hair coat reveal the general health of an animal.
Mammary System: Udder proportionately medium to large in size with no tendency to be pendulous. Texture to be free of lumps and scar tissue, fairly firm and smooth. Rear attachment should be symmetrical, high, with halves evenly balanced. Front attachment should be well forward without pocket, blending smoothly to the body. Teats should be two of uniform size and length, symmetrically placed on the udder and free of deformities.
Reproductive System Bucks: Testicles should be 2 of equal size, fully descended, and showing firmness. Teats should be 2, symmetrical and nonfunctional. All bucks entering the IFGA herd book shall have no more than 2 symmetrical and nonfunctional teats.