Many people consider the Poodles to be of a solid color with the most common and popular ones being apricot, black, white and red.
Still, the color of the coat and the markings of the dog might be variable and the AKC recognizes them but only certain events allow their participation.
Here we will talk about:
Mismarks (a different color markings)
Parti (two colors) Standard, Miniature or Toy Poodles
Ticking (on miniature, toy and Standard Poodles)
Tuxedo (two-toned color)
What is a Parti Poodle
The Parti Poodles, unlike the phantom ones, have base coat which is more than 50 % white and with a second color which might be everywhere on the body of the pet.
One of the things that make the Parti Poodles that interesting is the fact that you never know how the dog will look for no two Partis ever look alike.
If the Parti Poodle is a well-bred one, its white color should look clear and crisp, while the secondary color should not fade into the white but should be with clear lines.
When the dog is still a puppy, the white colors on its coat may blend quite a lot. However, while the pup matures, many color changes will occur. You can only determine the final color and what the lines are (crisp or blended) when the dog is a fully-grown adult.
You can expect your Parti Poodle to have certain amount of tiny spots for many dogs of this type do. They may appear on the body or on the paws and are usually of black color. However, they should not be ticking in the dog’s white hair.
If two Partis are bred, they will always have Partis but no one can predict what will be the combinations of the color and where they will be. For example, in one litter there might be a black/white parti and another Parti being apricot/white with different falling spots of the colors.
The coloring of the Parti Poodles appears on different random body parts because of the MITF gene. While the Solid color is a very strong gene of which the MITF is recessive, both of the mated dogs should be Partis in order for a Parti to be produced. In addition, if a Parti Poodle is mated with a Solid one, then most likely the litter will be Solid.
At this point, the AKC do not accept Parti Poodles. Moreover, while this leads people to the wrong belief that the dogs cannot be registered in the AKC, they certainly can.
You can register your Parti with the AKC and there are pre-designated color numbers. You can also show the Parti Poodle in agility and obedience events. In some countries (like Germany, for example) the Partis can be shown on conformation and that is why many people believe that this will be true for the USA, in the near future.
The Partis has always been popular in the whole world. They were excluded from the show ring in the late years of 1900’s for reasons we have no record or knowledge of. Nevertheless, the owners have created the Multi – Poodle Club of America in 2002 and they had a conformation show of their own in 2006 on the same day when the IKC’s 12th annual show was held.
Parti Poodle Care
All two-colored Poodles (like the Phantoms and the Tuxedos) are only defined by the color of their coat and so do the Parti Poodles. This type is not different from the Solid Poodles, when it comes to grooming, general care or vulnerabilities to medical problems. They are not different from the Phantoms in regard of temperament or behavior. The color of the coat is due to the genomes and has no effect on the dog’s personality.
Mismarks (or Abstract Poodles, as they are sometimes called) on a Poodle are thought to be faults when it comes to conformation for a show.
A lot of people (and some breeders, too) think that Mismarks are the same thing as Partis or Tuxedo Poodles, thus, confusing the words but this is wrong, since they are really different, although both have white.
While the Partis are with more than 50% white coat, the mismarks are with less than 50% and their remaining part of their coat can have any other color.
The mismarks are type of Poodles which has main color different from white and has less than 50% light markings (mostly white). The white (or other light color) will be on all or any of the following parts:
The dog’s paws, neck, the tip of its tail, the chest and/or the chin. In addition, if a mismark is shaved down, its skin will be colored only in the main coat color.
While if a Parti Poodle is shaved down, its skin will be colored in 2 different colors – according to which you’ll be able to tell where were the white hairs and the hairs in the second color.
Multi-color Patterned Poodles
Some Poodles have multi-color patterns but these are rare. They possess more than only one acceptable color pattern, like a Parti Poodle that has phantom markings – both of these are acceptable color patterns but if you own such dog, do remember that the AKC show ring does not accept this Poodle type.
These Poodles received their name because on certain body areas there are special markings which literally can make you think of them as a tuxedo and there usually are:
White coloring down of the belly towards the front and the hind legs and paws of the dog
White bib – chest color that may or may not be around the neck of the dog
White belly, which “touches” the bib and forms continuous area with white color.
The entire back of the dog is with dark color, which is most typically, but not necessarily black, while tuxedos with red and white or blue and white are rare Poodles.
This look describes the perfect tuxedo Poodle. Still, some of these dogs’ belly color is not connected to the bib color, some of them may have a head with white markings, other may have only their front legs covered in white, etc.
If the white coat have slight spotting, then this is acceptable but it isn’t preferred, the dog to has heavy spotting on the white hairs (which is called ticking).
These two colors should not meet with “muddy” lines or blending but the line they form should be distinct and clear.
That term is used concerning spotting. If the Poodles have ticking, it consists only of small dots.
Usually the ticking in on the light hair and is of dark color (black, for example). If the dog has ticking, it might has somehow dirty or muddied appearance rather than clean, crisp and clear look.
Since the ticking comes from a dominant gene, many breeders think that dogs with spotting should not be bred.