What Color Poodle?

Poodles come in a variety of colors. The color you choose may simply depend on what color the breeder you select has available. You may, however, seek out a breeder who specializes in the color you prefer.

Color Generalizations

Theories (some say myths) abound about the effects the color of a poodle has on his personality. Generalizations -- such as brown poodles are clowns, silvers are especially sweet, whites are sensitive, and blacks are especially smart -- float around among poodle lovers. These generalizations are not factual or reliable. Perhaps because some poodles of the same color are related to one another, these theories sometimes can appear to be true. But the truth is that all dogs are individuals, and there are plenty of sedate browns, super-smart silvers, and sweet-as-pie blacks.

Like all silver poodles, this puppy will eventually turn from black to silver as he grows up.

Your choice of color should be based on more practical considerations, like whether your poodle will be spending a lot of time around mud (in which case a white poodle might not be the best, though black poodles show off mud very well too), what color you find most visually appealing, and, perhaps most importantly, the color of the poodles available from the very best breeder you can find.

Particolored Poodles

The Poodle Club of America breed standard states that poodles must be solid in color. Those that are of more than one color may not be shown. But that doesn't mean that poodles of more than one color (known as particolored) don't exist. They certainly do -- and in some people's eyes, they're even more striking than solid-colored poodles.

Starting in mid-2004, nonsolid poodles are eligible to be shown in United Kennel Club-licensed conformation shows. Solid and multicolored poodles are judged separately, with a best of breed chosen from both categories.

Although particolored poodles are still disqualified from being shown in the American Kennel Club's conformation ring, they are eligible for registration in the AKC. They can also compete in obedience and agility and all other events open to solid poodles.


The Standard Poodle that won Best of Variety at the poodle national specialty in 2003, Ch. JC Pioneer's Kaiser, is the son of a silver-and-white particolored poodle. Kaiser's breeders, Sarah Gessner and Julie Rossi, are leading an effort for inclusion of particolored poodles in the AKC conformation ring.

Reputable breeders do produce particolored poodles, as an accident of genetics. These dogs can make great pets. They can even be part of a responsible breeding program. However, a breeder who tries to charge you more for a "rare" parti poodle is probably not a reputable breeder.

Phantom Poodles

The phantom poodle is one with tan-pointed marks, like a Doberman. These are not as common as particolored poodles and are different genetically. They can come with black, brown, red, or silver base coat, with various color markings. The most common is the black and apricot. Like particolored poodles, phantom poodles would not be allowed in the AKC conformation ring, although they can make wonderful pets.

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