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Phantom Poodles: What is a Phantom Poodle?

phantom poodles - picture

The most common Poodles are the Solid ones.

Still, the coloring of the Phantom Poodles offers us plenty of things to discuss here:

What is a Phantom colored Poodle?

Are they purebred Poodles?

Are there any other differences between Phantom poodles and solid colored ones except the coat color?

Let us see why these colors exist and what explains them.

What is a Phantom Poodle

Phantom Poodle puppy - photoThe name is pronounced as ‘fantom’ and this type differs from the Partis, the Mismarks and the Tuxedos.

These dogs are not a different breed or type. There are simply Poodles and the word “phantom” describes a particular coloring of the coat.

Many owners prefer this color for it is really magnificent but the AKC conformation doesn’t accept it.

The phantoms and the Parties both are double colored but the Phantoms are much different Poodles. This term is used only for Poodles with solid background and specific markings. Usually the solid coloring is:

White, brown, apricot, black, silver, red or cream

There are several different types of phantoms’ groups:

Red Phantoms – which are with red and apricot.

Black Phantoms, which are with black and red or cream, or brown, or silver, or apricot, or gray.

Silver Phantoms – which are colored in silver and cream.

Chocolate Phantoms – which are colored in brown and apricot.

Phantom Poodles Marking

Phantom Poodle - picture

The markings should be on specific parts of the coat.

They are sometimes called Dobie markings (with the Dobie part being short for Doberman).

Still, the same pattern can be seen on Yorkies, certain Coonhounds, certain Spaniels, Dachshunds and Manchester Terriers.

Where should be the markings:

On the sides of the cheeks

Down the legs

Above each of the eyes

Under the tail

Across the chest

Phantom Poodles - pictureThe Phantom Poodles have their markings since birth and this cannot happen while the dog matures.

The genetics of the Phantoms links them to the Brindle Poodles and that is why a Phantom Poodle might have brindle puppies in his/hers litter and a Brindle Poodle might has phantom puppies in his/hers litter.

Usually the term brindle means that the coat is striped with a pattern of intermingling light and dark hairs.

However, when it comes to the Poodle breed, this term is used to denote “sable”. If you hear this word, this means that the coat has only one color with black tips of the hairs.
The black tips of the hairs of most dogs will disappear or fade out as they age.

Phantom Poodle Issues

Phantom colored Poodle - photoIn Germany the Phantoms until 2005 could only be bred with other Phantoms.

The German Poodle Club would not allow an apricot puppy to breed.

But this led to too much inline breeding which is a term used to denote breeding of closely related dogs (father to daughter, for example).

Because of the inline breeding, the bloodlines developed premature color fading, overbites, too long lower jaw or incorrect number of teeth, thus, the Phantoms were allowed to be bred with black

Poodles or with apricot Poodles, which helps the mentioned above flaws to start decreasing.

At this point, the Phantoms are not recognized in AKT Conformation events. Still, they can take part in Obedience and Agility.


The Phantoms must be with ky/ky genotype (this is a non-solid black and it allows the expression of other colors) plus an E (which allows brindling) or EM (which gives black mask), and to be at/at (this gene gives the tan points).


Phantom toy Poodle - pictureAll double-colored Poodles (Tuxedos, Partis, etc.) including the Phantom Poodles, are only defined by the color of their coat and do not differ in grooming, general care needs or vulnerabilities to health problems from the solid Poodles.

In addition, no differences in temperament or behavior are seen between the Phantoms and the Solid Poodles. The color of the coat is due to specific genomes, thus, it has nothing to do with the dog’s personality.

Are there Toy Phantom Poodles?

Yes, the Phantom coloring may occur on all Poodle sizes including toy, miniature and phantom standard Poodles.


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