What does a Parti Poodle look like, and are they popular?

A head-turner with a unique coat coloration, Parti Poodles, sure is unique dogs.

These purebred poodles have a coloring quite like any other, and if you have one of these dogs of your own, you are sure to start conversations wherever you go.

Parti Poodle balancing on an a-frame
Spotted (Particolor) Standard Poodle on an A-frame at Dog Agility Trial

Want to know more about Parti Poodles, what makes them unique, and how they differ from other Poodles? Keep reading to discover all this and more.

Where do Parti Poodles originate?

Dogs considered Parti-colored have more than 50% of their coat as white. The remaining half can be any color, with the fur broken into irregular or random patches of this secondary shade.

In Parti Poodles, these colors can be any of the accepted Poodle colors, such as brown, black, apricot, cream, red, grey, cafe-au-lait, truffle, silver beige, or blue.

A red Parti Poodle smiling
Meet Cosmo, a happy walking Parti Poodle – Image source

Random patches of color on the white Parti coat appear due to the MITF gene that’s responsible for creating the melanocyte protein, which transcribes color. 

While some people think that white Parti Poodles result from the designer and hybrid dog breeding craze, this is NOT the case.

In fact, between the 1400s and the 1800s, the Parti Poodle was the more well-known color variant, and Poodles with a multi-colored coat are seen to appear in paintings of this era. 

By the mid-1900s, the Parti Poodle was considered undesirable, and these dogs were killed in favor of solid-colored Poodles.

Poodle fanciers bred the dogs to remove the multi-colored variants, often not registering or even killing any Parti Poodle puppies that appeared in litters. Unfortunately, some ignorant breeders still do this.

If it weren’t for a select few individuals who continued to keep the Parti Poodle alive through breeding programs, these beautifully hued dogs would likely have become extinct. 

Although recognized by the American Kennel Club as purebred Poodles, Parti Poodles are not eligible for the conformation show ring at AKC, CKC, or AKBC shows. 

In 2004 Parti Poodles were deemed eligible for the show by America’s second-largest kennel club, the United Kennel Club. However, despite being suitable for show, Parti Poodles are still considered not preferable by the UKC. 

Although rare in the United States, Parti Poodles are most commonly found in America, with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom also have small populations of Parti Poodles. 

What do Parti Poodles look like?

Three Parti Poodle with different collar color
Image source

Parti Poodles have a predominantly white base coat, plus one other color.

The secondary shade of a Parti poodle appears in several different patterns, ranging from an almost solid white to a patchwork effect which can occur all over the dog’s white coat and have clear boundaries rather than a faded effect. 

The patches are also unique to that specific animal. In just the same way that no two human fingerprints are the same, no two Parti color Poodles will have the same coat patterns.

As a result, it is impossible to predict precisely how a Parti Poodle puppy’s coat will look. 

Three distinct color patterns generally occur in Parti Poodles, namely Tuxedo, Spotted, and Abstract.

Tuxedo Parti Poodles have a white collar on the neck, white markings on the legs, and white on the belly, extending through to the chest. Most white Tuxedo Poodles will have color on their legs and back. 

Spotted Parti Poodles can have large or small spots, known as ticking. These tick marks are found all over predominantly white dogs, with the ticking on the legs can even look like stripes.

These dogs are sometimes mistakenly referred to as merle colored.

Abstract poodles have white on the chest and random white splashes all over the rest of the body, including white feet that make the dog look like they are wearing socks.

A white and brown fur Parti Poodle puppy enjoying the outdoors
Meet Max, a chocolate Parti Poodle puppy standing and posing for a photo – Image source

As Parti Poodles are purebred dogs, they have all the other physical characteristics you would expect from the Poodle breed.

This includes a square body with a broad chest, long legs, small feet, an elongated neck, and a medium-length tail.

The face will be elongated with floppy ears. Most Poodles have dark brown eyes and a brown nose, no matter the coat color.

What is the difference between a Parti Poodle and a Phantom Poodle?

While Parti Poodles are considered multi-colored, BUT not all multicolor poodles are Parti Poodles.

As mentioned, to be called Parti colored, the dog must have more than 50% white on its body. This means that black Partis or brown Partis are not Partis at all. 

You also get Phantom Poodles, Brindles, or even Tri-colored Poodles. Phantom Poodles can have a secondary color on a range of solid backgrounds, not ordinarily white.

So with Phantom Poodles, you can get black and apricot, black and silver, brown and apricot, or silver and cream colored dogs. 

With Phantom Poodles, the markings must occur on specific parts of the dog’s body, including above the eyes, the cheeks, the chest, the legs, and under the tail. 

When shaving a Parti Poodle, you will see two colors on the dog’s skin, whereas Phantom Poodles will only have their primary coat color on the skin.

Meet a super cute Miniature Phantom Poodle in this video:

How big does a Parti Poodle dog get?

Parti Poodles can come in a range of sizes, just the same as regular solid-colored Poodles. This includes the Parti Standard Poodle as well as the Toy and Miniature Poodle varieties. 

This means that Parti Poodles can be as small as 10 inches (25 cm) and as big as 25 inches (64 cm) tall. The defining characteristics of a Parti Poodle refer to their coat color and not their height or weight.

Do Parti Poodles’ coat colors fade?

A black and white Parti Poodle on a couch
Meet Bailey Rae, a labradoodle sitting on a couch and leaning on a red pillow – Image source

The coat of the Parti Poodle can fade as your dog gets older.

Whether or not your dog’s coat will fade depends on your particular dog’s DNA, as well as the color of its fur, with the darker colors, like black and blue, more susceptible to fading.

The most common colors for a Parti Poodle is brown and white or black & white, with red & white and blue & white being the rarest. Other color variations include silver & white and apricot & white.

No matter the color, the coat of the Poodle is one of the reasons why this breed is so popular. These dogs are known for their curly coat that forms a water-resistant barrier to protect the dog and doesn’t shed.

This hypoallergenic coat makes this breed suitable for owners that are allergic to other pets. 

Does the Parti Poodle’s color affect their temperament?

A Parti Poodle sticking out its tongue
Meet Sigmund, a Parti Poodle enjoying the heat of the sun – Image source

Poodles are known for their loyal, affectionate, and friendly natures. They are also known to be one of the smartest dog breeds around.

They are great for first-time owners and families with kids because of their loving nature and willingness to learn, making them easy to train.

The coat color of your Poodle won’t affect the personality of your Poodle.

However, do be warned that these dogs tend to pick up bad habits quickly without proper training and can quickly establish themselves as the alpha of your house. 

And even though alert and excellent guard dogs, they are not a naturally aggressive breed, so they will get along with other dogs and animals.

Taking care of your Parti Poodle

While they’re a popular choice with many owners who don’t want dog hair around the house, this does mean that they have higher maintenance needs than some other breeds. 

Their thick coat also means they can adapt well to a range of environments, but as people-loving companions, they will want to live indoors with their family.

Exercising your Parti Poodle

Parti Poodle jumping and trying to catch the pink ball
Image source

Just like any other colored Poodle, this breed needs exercise. These dogs love to bounce and play outdoors and make good exercise companions as they can run and swim well.

Poodle history does show these dogs being bred as duck hunters after all! 

Their high intelligence levels also mean that Parti Poodles do exceptionally well at skill-based challenges, such as obedience and agility tasks.

Around an hour of daily exercise will be sufficient to keep your Poodle happy and healthy. 

Do Parti Poodle dogs shed?

A groomed Parti Poodle standing on grass
Image source

All Poodles are considered hypoallergenic as they do not shed. However, this does mean that they need to be groomed regularly.

Your dog’s coat should be clipped at least every six weeks as their coat can tangle and mat easily. If your dog is not kept in a short, sporting clip, you will also need to brush them daily to ensure these mats do not occur. 

Poodles should also be bathed regularly to prevent cords from forming and a nasty smell from developing.

When washing your dog, also be sure to check their low-hanging ears for any signs of infection, which are more common in this breed as the ears tend to retain moisture. 

As Parti Poodles have a predominantly white face, they can also get tear stains from weeping eyes, a condition that is common in Poodles.

Your dog’s eyes can be cleaned daily with a damp washcloth or alcohol-free wipe to remove this brown goop and prevent the stains from forming.

Parti Poodle Food Consumption

Parti Poodle waiting for food
Meet Toran, a Parti Poodle living in Korea, smiling and waiting for food – Image source

How much food your Parti Poodle will consume will depend on the size of your dog. These dogs will benefit from a high-quality dry kibble rich in protein due to their high energy levels.

Poodles tend to eat more than they need, and this overindulging can lead to obesity and a myriad of health issues, so be sure not to give your dog too many extra treats.

Are Parti Poodles a healthy breed?

Parti Poodles have a lifespan of between 12 and 15 years. During this time, some severe conditions to look out for include Sebaceous adenitis, Epilepsy, Hip dysplasia, Cushing’s disease, Bloat, and many eye disorders. 

The National Poodle Club recommends health screenings for hip dysplasia and an ophthalmologist evaluation.

Simultaneously, Miniature and Toy (or Teacup) Poodles should also get tests for Patellar Luxation and Degenerative Myelopathy. You may also want to consider a skin punch for your dog.

How much does a Parti Poodle puppy cost?

A Parti Poodle puppy celebrating its 10week old day
Meet Harlow, a 10-week old Parti Poodle sitting on the first step of stairs – Image source

Parti Poodles are often found at a lower price than a standard Poodle puppy in a solid color because they are not accepted in the conformation ring.

These dogs typically go for between $600 and $2,000, which excludes additional expenses such as training, transportation, and all the accessories you need when buying a puppy. 

Parti Poodle breeders

As Parti Poodles are not preferred, they sometimes make a rare appearance in the litters of solid-colored dogs. Also, some breeders specialize in puppies that display this unique coloring.

A well-bred Parti Poodle will no doubt turn heads.

Looking for a Parti Poodle breeder with available puppies? Here are some for you to look at:

  1. Heart Song Standard Poodles, Huntsville, Alabama
  2. Tropical Toy Poodles, Ocala, Florida
  3. Smith Standard Poodles, Little Rock, Arkansas

Parti Poodle rescue / for adoption

While finding any color purebred Poodle up for adoption is rare, you might just be lucky. If you don’t mind an adult dog or a Toy or Miniature Parti Poodle, you will be more likely to find a Poodle looking for a new home.

Want to give a rescue dog a new home? Try looking for a Parti on these specific Poodle specific rescue sites:

  1. Carolina Poodle Rescue, Carolina
  2. Poodle Rescue of Houston, Texas
  3. Florida Poodle Rescue, Florida

Who should get a Parti Poodle?

A Parti Poodle loving the grass
Meet Scout, a Parti Poodle laying on tall grass – Image source

With a complicated history, Parti Poodles are some of the most unique Poodles that you can find.

Boasting all the Poodle’s special characteristics, with gorgeous unique coloring, these dogs are perfect for owners looking for their first dog and families.

That is granted you have no plans of exhibiting your Poodle at a dog show or breeding them further.

Further reading: Poodle mixes

Read more about some fantastic Poodle mixes here:

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