You’ve probably heard of cow hugging or even goat cuddling as forms of therapy these days. People online are raging about places that offer cow hugging sessions with clean, fluffy animals as a way to relieve stress and boost one’s mood.
Well, owning a heavy cow as a pet is pretty impractical (except if it’s a mini cow), but cows aren’t the only animals so fluffy you’d want to sleep on them.
These incredible Valais Blacknose (Ovis aries) sheep would have you thinking you’re staring at stuffed animals – only to see them move, blink, or go Baa!  These wooly creatures are a special breed of sheep, originating from the Valais region of Switzerland. They are dual-purpose livestock farmed for their meat and incredible wool. Outside of Valais and its surrounding regions, it’s difficult to find pure breed Blacknose sheep.
These cute animals have coarse wools, spiral horns, and are so-named for their black faces. Generally, sheep aren’t given some much thought by farmyard guests. They come off as really… dumb (for lack of a better word), and people seem to prefer interacting with goats and cows. When most people hear the word ‘sheep’, here’s all they can imagine:
Well, they don’t all look that creepy. Look at this guy. Don’t you just want to snuggle them already?
These lovely animals have been around since the year 1400, roaming the mountains of Switzerland and adapting to impossibly cold weather – hence, their thick wool coats . They are groomed for their wool during the summer when the temperatures are moderate, but they need the wool coats for the terribly cold weather in the Swiss Alps during winter.
The wool on this breed of sheep is so coarse and thick that it’s not normally used for clothing. Yarn spun from the fiber is better suited for making carpets, rugs, foot mats and wall hangings.
Well, most people in the home country of these cute mutts have decided to start keeping them as pets. When they are well-cleaned, sprayed, vaccinated and brushed out, you could have the most adorable snuggle buddies in the world. The animals are known to be gentle, friendly, and easy to tame, and they make great pets and companions for kids. Sheep are usually very laid-back and you can trust these ones not to get out of control.
If you’re already in love with these cuties and you want one for yourself, there might be a bit of a problem buying one. It’s a tough sell to find them pure-bread anywhere outside of Switzerland. The United States began cross-breeding Valais sheep and other species in 2016, so you’re going to find a lot of cross-breeds that don’t quite look the same.
Or maybe you could just go for an adorable mini cow?
- Chris James. Blacknose Sheep Look Just Like Stuffed Animals And Make Great Pets. Awesome Jelly. https://awesomejelly.com/blacknose-sheep-look-just-like-stuffed-animals-and-make-great-pets/. Retrieved 24-03-2020
- Breeds of Livestock – Valais Blacknose Sheep. Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science. http://afs.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/valaisblacknose/index.html/. Retrieved 24-03-2020
- Christina Maxouris. This bed and breakfast’s ‘cow cuddling’ option may be exactly what we all need in life. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/24/us/cow-cuddling-bed-and-breakfast-trnd/index.html. Retrieved 24-03-2020
- Mateja Lane. Miniature Cows Exist and Here Is the Adorable Proof. Wide Open Pets. https://www.wideopenpets.com/miniature-cows-exist-and-here-is-the-adorable-proof/. Retrieved 24-03-2020