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The Saanen is solid white to light cream coloured, a Swiss breed that is well respected for its dairy qualities. Purebred Saanens were one of the first breeds imported to North America from Switzerland, and were found to be productive, cold-resistant and docile.

Because white is genetically dominant, the colour appears often in crossbred goats. Rarely, a purebred Saanen breeding will produce a coloured offspring; such kids cannot be registered as purebred but may apply for Special Registry status to enable their positive traits to be recognized and documented.