American Dairy Goat Breed Description
The Saanen dairy goat originated in Switzerland. It is medium to large in size with rugged bone and plenty of vigor. Does should be feminine, however and not coarse. Saanens are white or light cream in color, with white preferred. Spots on the skin are not discriminated against. Small spots of color on the hair are allowable, but not desirable. The hair should be short and fine, although a fringe over the spine and thighs is often present. Ears should be erect and alertly carried, preferably pointing forward. The face should be straight or dished. A tendency toward a Roman nose is discriminated against.
The Sable dairy goat is medium to large in size with rugged bone and plenty of vigor. Does should be feminine, however, and not coarse. Mature does must be at least 30 inches (76 cm) in height and weigh at last 135 pounds (61.36 kg). Mature bucks must be at least 32 inches (81 cm) in height and weigh at least 170 pounds (77.27 kg). Their hair is short; ears should be erect and alertly carried, preferably pointing forward. The face should be straight or dished.
The Sable dairy goat, either purebred or American, must be the offspring of purebred or American Saanens, Sables, or Experimental (when of wholly purebred or American Saanen bloodlines). The Sable must also meet the color requirements; a Sable may be any color or combinations of colors, solid or patterned, EXCEPT solid white or light cream. This would include goats who are basically white but have dark spots, ticking, etc., which preclude them from entry into the Saanen herd books.
This breed is presently not recognized by the American Dairy Goat Association, but the standard is published as a guide for breeders who are working with colored Saanens.
The Saanen may appear almost as rangy as the Alpine, but she will be larger and heavier, containing more “substance.” The length of the head resembles the Alpine, but the ears may be longer and the eyes more mellow. The muzzle will be wider and deeper, and the bridge of the nose will be nearly straight, with less “dish” than other breeds. The Saanen must be pure white with no markings, although shades of cream may be acceptable. The hair often grows quite long, and it may tend to be heavier and perhaps coarser. The pure white color refers to hair color only. Spots of black pigment on the skin, like freckles, are normal.
The Sable is a colored offspring of registered, purebred Saanens, so the conformation is about the same as for the Saanen. The color can be any color other than cream or white.
National Breed Club
National Saanen Breeders Association
Justine Gilchrist, Sec-Treas.
8555 Sypes Canyon Road
Bozeman, MT 59715
When you belong to NSBA, you receive our award winning newsletter Saanen News Quarterly, can have your special Saanens featured on the club breed page of United Caprine News, can participate in the club’s All-American & Production Awards programs, receive inside information on Saanens throughout the country, & have the opportunity to join in active promotion of the Saanen breed. We also hold Saanen Specialty shows across the nation.