Dexter is one of the oldest European breeds whose history dates back to the Stone Age. Dexter comes from southern and southwest Ireland, where it has spread between small farms in mountain areas. The breed was known as "poorman's cow". The earliest official records of this cattle (according to the Royal Dublin Society) date back to 1879. A year later, a herd book was published. The breed was exported from the country of origin to several areas of England for the first time in 1882. It had quickly gained popularity there, so only in ten years the Dexter / Kerry Cattle Society was founded. Whereas it had gradually almost disappeared from the Irish pastures, it has been continuously maintained as a pure breed in a number of small herds in England.