Parti Poodles – A Curious and Unique Color Type

Categorized as Poodle Colors, Poodle Breed Information
Parti Poodles – A Curious and Unique Color Type
Parti Poodles – A Curious and Unique Color Type

Parti poodles are one of the original poodle colors. These poodles have been growing in popularity over the last 10 – 15 years.

They’re intelligent and have a friendly temperament, making them great pets.

While everyone knows all the popular poodle colors like red poodles and apricot poodles. Not everyone knows what a parti poodle is.

So, what is a parti poodle?

Parti poodles are one of the many different poodle colors. These poodles have a coat that has a white base with random and uneven patches of any of the solid poodle colors such as black, silver, blue, brown, cream, red, or apricot.

In this article, I will tell you what a parti poodle looks like, different parti poodle colors, parti poodle history, how to take care of them, how much they cost, and much more.

Parti Poodle Vital Stats

  • Origin: Germany, France
  • Other Names: Caniche, Barbone, French Poodle, Teddy Poodle, Pudel
  • Coat Color: Parti (At least 50% white and the rest can be any solid poodle color)
  • Size variations: Standard, Miniature, and Toy
  • Lifespan: 12 to 18 years
  • Coat: Curly, Long
  • Rarity: Depends on the parti color
  • Exercise: > 30 minutes
  • Personality: Intelligent, Versatile, Eager to Please, Active, Energetic, Confident, Agile, Loyal, Shy, Sharp
  • Traits: Intelligent, Highly Energetic, Non-Aggressive, Decent with other dogs, Good with children, Highly affectionate with family members, Low Shedding (Hypoallergenic), Require Regular Grooming, Less Likely to Drool, Highly Playful, Highly Trainable, Very Vocal, Needs a lot of Mental & Physical Stimulation, Highly Open to Meeting New People

What is a Parti Poodle?

What are parti poodles?

Parti poodles are poodles that have white as the primary color that makes up at least 50% of the coat and the rest of the coat can be irregular patches of other acceptable solid colors such as black, red, silver, beige, cream, apricot, gray, silver, brown, and blue.

Parti poodles, not to be confused with party poodles, is short for PARTIcular poodles.

The patches on these poodles are similar to the splotches on that of a dairy cow.

Patches on a parti are irregular and may fall at any part of the dog’s body. These patches are completely random and unique.

On a healthy parti, the white base and the secondary color have clear lines as boundaries rather than a secondary color just fading into white.

What’s also interesting about parti is the fact that not only are their patches random and unique, but they also come in a variety of colors.

There simply is no other color that matches the uniqueness of parti poodles.

With other poodle colors, there is a set standard of what a poodle’s eye color, nose color, lip color, etc should be. However, when it comes to partis, it isn’t possible to just set a single standard for their features.

A brown parti colored poodle has a liver-colored nose, eye rims, lips, dark-colored toenails, and dark amber-colored eyes.

Black partis, silver partis, gray partis, blue partis, and cream partis all have black-colored noses, eye-rims, lips, toenails, and very dark-colored eyes.

In the case of red partis and apricot partis, they have either black or liver-colored noses, liver-colored eye-rims, lips, and either amber-colored or very dark-colored eyes.

Regardless of the color of a parti poodle, these poodles, when properly groomed, can be seen carrying themselves proudly, and have an air of distinction about them. 

The eyes of these poodles are oval (almost almond-like) shaped which gives these dogs an active and alert look.

Are Parti Poodles Purebred?

Before I answer this question, it is important to first understand what the term purebred truly means.

According to Wikipedia,

When dogs of a new breed are “visibly similar in most characteristics” and have reliably documented descent from a “known and designated foundation stock”, then they can then be considered members of a breed, and, if an individual dog is documented and registered, it can be called purebred.

With this definition in mind, Parti Poodles can be purebred.

Many believe that if you mix two different solid poodle colors you will end up with parti-colored poodles in the litter – this isn’t always the case.

While it is possible to have a parti puppy pop up in a litter of otherwise solid-colored poodles, it is not always guaranteed.

Where Did Parti Poodles Come From?

Parti Poodle HIstor- Where did parti poodles come from
A painting of a black parti poodle sitting on a study desk

You’d be amazed at how little people know about the origin of parti poodles.

Parti poodles were one of the original poodle colors along with white poodles and black poodles.

Partis have actually been documented throughout history and within many countries around the world.

Parti Poodles – A Curious and Unique Color Type 1
Various painting of parti poodles across centuries

The “parti poodle” is the original poodle. When describing, drawing, or painting a picture of a poodle in any century from the 1400s to the 1800s, it was most often depicted as parti-colored.

The lesser-known fact about the poodle breed is that they were originally multicolored and over time they were bred to remove the multicolor out of them.

Based on the mentions and depictions of parti poodles in books and paintings across centuries, it’s clear that partis were clearly a part of the historic record.

By the mid to late 1900s, the fascination with solid color poodles grew among the French and the British, and multicolored poodles (parti, sable, phantom, etc.) were excluded when the Poodle Club of America was established in 1931.

It is speculated that the decision to exclude multicolor poodles was made due to political reasons at that time but it is not clear why the Poodle Club of America will not update its guideline to include partis.

The ban on parti-colored poodles started a horrifying trend amongst breeders to kill any and all parti-colored poodles that may pop up in a litter.

There were mainly two ways people back in the 1900s tried to eliminate the parti poodles:

  1. By Killing Them – Following the ban, breeders adopted an ignorant mindset and started killing partis as some sort of trend.
  2. By Not Registering Them – Upon a parti’s birth, breeders would purposely not register the puppies that were parti-colored and would only register solid-colored poodle puppies.

Both of these practices have significantly harmed the pedigree of partis at large.

If it wasn’t for some notable kennels like the Vulcan Kennel or the Nunsoe Kennels, who kept breeding parti poodles even when everyone was out to kill them, the partis we see today may just have been a thing of the past.

These practices are still in play due to the ignorance of some breeders and only awareness can now stop such practices.

Another popular theory that may explain why multicolor poodles are excluded is that the person who originally wrote the standard for poodles back in the 1900s had a strong bias toward solid color poodles based on the rising popularity of solid-colored poodles.

Whatever, the reason may be for banning parti-colored poodles, it’s about time that these bans be lifted and parti poodles be allowed to compete with other solid poodle colors.

Can You Show a Parti Poodle?

Can you show a parti poodle

. . . the spotted or pied, the best on scent and for intelligence

Regarding parti (pied) poodles from Vero Shaw’s The Illustrated Book of the Dog (London: 1879-1887)

As evident from this quote, even in books from the late 1800s, parti (pied) poodles were praised to be exceptionally intelligent and for having a keen sense of smell.

While there is no research that claims that some poodle colors are more intelligent than others, those who believe in this theory, strongly believe that parti poodles are the most intelligent and the healthier of all other poodle colors.

Partis are born superstars and naturally possess show-dog-like qualities that are evident in their very first year.

All of this is still not enough for the American Kennel Club to make changes to their Poodle Breed Standards that were written over a hundred years ago!

Yes, even as of 2022, parti poodles are not accepted in AKC run conformation ring.

While multicolor poodles cannot compete in the AKC run confirmation ring, they are allowed to compete in the AKC run events such as obedience and agility.

Here’s a quote that sums up AKC’s guidelines on allowing parti poodles in the conformation ring;

Parti-colored dogs shall be disqualified. The coat of a parti-colored dog is not an even solid color at the skin but is of two or more colors.

from AKC’s Official Standard of the Poodle

Whether people accept it or not, the fact remains that parti poodles were the original poodle ancestors and that is clearly evident based on the various paintings as well as text accounts that feature parti-colored poodles.

A video of a black parti participating in a grooming competition

Luckily, unlike AKC, other significant Kennel Clubs like the United Kennel Club (UKC) allow multicolor poodles to compete in both conformation and agility events.

Parti Poodle Temperament

If you’re looking for a friendly, energetic dog that’s easy to train, consider the parti poodle.

This is a dog with a big personality—they are one of the most intelligent dogs in existence and they love to learn new tricks.

Partis are suitable for agility, obedience, and even advanced games like hide-and-seek.

They are also great with kids and are devoted family pets.

Too devoted, at times.

They love being the center of attention, so much that they can get resentful if you don’t include them in family activities.

If you leave a poodle alone for too long or don’t give the dog enough attention, it may develop stress behaviors associated with separation anxiety—including snappy barks and passive-aggressive acts like chewing up furniture.

Owners of poodles must resist the temptation to baby their dogs, especially miniature and toy parti poodles.

The cute size and silky hair of these little guys is a magnet for people who want to coddle them, but that’s not how they were bred to be.

Poodles who are carried on their owners’ shoulders or in handbags will develop a habit of wanting to be carried all the time.

To make the most of a poodle’s intelligence and willingness to please, every poodle parent should begin obedience training as soon as possible.

How Long Do Parti Poodles Live For?

How long do parti poodles live

Parti poodles are healthy dogs that have a long lifespan of 10 to 18 years on average based on the size of the poodle. Toy and miniature poodles in general live longer than standard poodles.

Here’s a table in which you can see the average expected lifespan of different poodle sizes:

SizeLife Expectancy
Standard Parti10 to 15 Years
Miniature Parti12 to 18 Years
Toy Parti12 to 18 Years
Life Expectancy of Different Poodle Sizes

Now, you’re probably wondering, if the standard, miniature, and toy are all different size variations of the same poodle breed – then why is there a difference in expected lifespan?

Research conducted by the University of Washington that included over 2.3 million dogs concluded that larger dogs had a shorter life expectancy as compared to smaller dogs.

In the same study, the researchers concluded that purebred dogs had a shorter lifespan than mixed-breed dogs.

The reproductive status of the dog, that is whether the dog is spayed/neutered or not, also has a significant effect on a dog’s life expectancy.

In this research, spayed females had the longest life expectancy out of neutered males, intact males, as well as intact females.

The difference in lifespan was found to be around 30 weeks when comparing spayed female dogs to intact female dogs.

In the case of male dogs, the difference was far less than in female dogs.

Comparing the difference in lifespans between neutered males and intact males, the difference was found to be about 3 weeks which is still a positive relationship between neutering a dog and an increase in life expectancy.

Are Parti Poodles Healthy?

Are parti poodles healthy?

Parti poodles, like any other solid poodle color, are generally considered healthy dogs which is evident by their long lifespans.

Like any other poodle color, partis are vulnerable to diseases such as Hypothyroidism, Legg-Calve-Perthes, Hydrocephalus, Patellar Luxation, Sebaceous Adenitis (SA), Bloating (GDV), Epilepsy, Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and Von Willebrand’s Disease.

Here are 7 steps you can take to make sure your parti-colored poodle stays healthy, disease free, and lives a long life:

  • Schedule regular vet visits
    • This will give your vet the best chance to make sure your poodle is healthy and catch any health issues early on before it develops into something that’s more difficult to treat.
    • The typical recommendation for taking your poodle to a vet used to be once a year but has now been increased to twice a year.
    • Visiting your vet also gives you the chance to ask them questions about your poodle’s health.
  • Consider purchasing health insurance for your poodle
    • Treatments for some diseases can be very expensive. So, if your poodle got sick or injured, it won’t be too much of a financial burden.
    • Some pet insurance plans also cover routine vet visits, so you don’t have to worry as much about costs while sticking to your poodle’s check-up schedule.
  • Stay up to date with your poodle’s vaccinations
    • Vaccinations for poodles can be classified into two categories: Core Vaccines and Non-core Vaccines.
    • Core vaccines protect your poodle from deadly diseases and are always given to a dog. Ex: Vaccines for rabies, distemper, and parvovirus.
    • Non-core vaccines also protect your dog from diseases but your poodle may not need all of them.
    • It’s important to talk with your veterinarian about which vaccines are right for your poodle.
  • Regularly check up on your poodle
    • Run your fingers over your poodle’s body, legs, and underside to check for any bumps or lumps that shouldn’t be there.
    • Check her paw pads to make sure nothing is stuck.
    • Check the inside of your poodle’s ears for any redness, swelling, or discharge.
    • Check your poodle’s eyes and look out for excessive tearing, squinting, twitching, yellow or greenish discharge, excessive tearing, redness, rapid blinking, or any noticeable wounds on or around their eyes.
  • Regular exercise
    • At least 40 minutes every day
    • The intensity of exercise depends on your poodle’s lifestyle (sedentary or active)
    • Some poodles can be fine with walks whereas others may need more than that
    • To stay healthy, poodles need physical as well as mental simulation
  • Feed your poodle a balanced diet
    • Poodles need a balanced diet that includes high-quality protein, carbohydrates, and fats
    • Vitamins and minerals—such as B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid), vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and iron—are also needed to make the food balanced.
  • Groom your poodle regularly
    • You can follow this grooming schedule or create your own.
Poodle grooming schedule
Poodle Grooming Schedule

How Big Do Parti Poodles Get?

Parti Poodles – A Curious and Unique Color Type 2

How big a parti gets is based on two major factors: their size variation (toy, miniature, moyen, or standard) and the gender of the parti poodle (male or female).

The official poodle standard recognizes three different poodle sizes: toy, miniature, and standard.

However, over time people have created their own unofficial classifications such as the Moyen Poodle (aka Medium or Klein Poodle) and Teacup Poodle (aka Micro Poodle).

Here’s a table that shows you a range of height and weight of fully grown partis based on their size variation.

Parti Poodle SizeParti Poodle Height (in inches)Female Parti Poodle Weight (in lbs)Male Parti Poodle Weight (in lbs)
Standard Parti 15 to 24 in.40 to 50 lbs.60 to 70 lbs.
Moyen Parti*16 to 20 in.20 to 35 lbs.25 to 40 lbs.
Miniature Parti 10 to 15 in.10 to 15 lbs.10 to 15 lbs.
Toy Parti6 to 10 in.6 to 9 lbs.6 to 9 lbs.
Teacup Parti*5 to 8 in.4 to 6 lbs.4 to 6 lbs.
How Big Can Fully Grown Parti Poodles Get?

* There are no official height and weight standards for moyen and teacup poodles. The height and weight range presented in the table above are the ones that are generally accepted in the poodle community.

According to AKC’s Poodle Breed Standard:

  • A standard parti is over 15 inches tall at the highest point of the shoulders.
    • Standard poodles that are less than 15 inches tall are not allowed to compete under standard poodles and are disqualified.
  • A miniature parti is over 15 inches tall at the highest point of the shoulders.
    • A miniature poodle that is over 15 inches tall and is 10 inches or under is not allowed to compete under miniature poodles and is disqualified.
  • A toy parti is 10 or under 10 inches tall at the highest point of the shoulders.
    • A toy poodle that is over 10 inches tall shall not be allowed to compete under toy poodles and will be disqualified.

In general, irrespective of size and color, female poodles are smaller than their male counterparts.

What is the Parti Gene in Poodles?

Parti poodle genetics

To understand the parti genes, it is important to first understand what the term parti constitutes.

The term parti in poodles refers to the pattern of the coat. The pattern being the random and uneven patches on top of the white base.

The gene responsible for the parti coloration is known as the piebald gene.

This piebald gene is responsible for having a variety of white marking from a few white hairs on a solid-colored poodle to entirely white poodles, to parti-colored poodles.

Poodles that have a single copy of this piebald gene can result in dogs being a certain solid color with no white markings, or they could have a few markings, especially on the chest, stomach, head, or white at the end of a poodle’s tail.

Poodles that have two copies of this piebald gene often result in poodles that have over 50% white coloration – which is the criteria for a parti.

So, that is how the genetics of a parti-colored poodle works.

Now, the production of the random patches alongside the white base is a little more complex.

The random patches appear due to a gene called the MITF gene. MITF genes are genes that provide instructions for making a protein called melanocyte-inducing transcription factors. This is how the random and uneven patches are produced.

Parti Poodle Colors

If you remember what makes a poodle a parti poodle then you may recall that a parti must have a white base that covers at least 50% of the coat, and the rest of the coat is covered in random and uneven patches that can be any of the solid poodle colors.

The ‘at least 50% white colored base‘ is referred to as the primary color and the color other than white, the color of the patches is referred to as the secondary color.

This secondary color can be blue, silver, black, red, apricot, brown, gray or cream.

Here are all the different parti poodle colors:

  • Apricot Parti (Apricot and White) Poodle
  • Black Parti (Black and White) Poodle
  • Blue Parti (Blue and White) Poodle
  • Brown Parti (Brown and White) Poodle
  • Cream Parti (Cream and White) Poodle
  • Gray Parti (Gray and White) Poodle
  • Red Parti (Red and White) Poodle
  • Silver Parti (Silver and White) Poodle
Different Parti Poodle Colors - Black, Brown, Blue and Apricot
Different Parti Poodle Colors - Cream, Red and Grey

Do Parti Poodles Fade?

Yes, all parti poodles fade.

Some parti colors fade more significantly than others.

Some parti colors fade or change their color too quickly while others retain their color fairly well for a long time.

Apricot poodles are known for their dramatic color changes over the years and the apricot parti is no different. Parti colors like apricot and red partis will fade quickly around the two-year mark.

Parti Poodles – A Curious and Unique Color Type 3
A cream parti is very difficult to identify. Making the cream parti’s hair wet makes it easier to identify.

Similarly, cream poodles are known to lose their color quite significantly, so much so that a cream toy poodle will often fade to the point that their hair becomes completely white. So, is the case with cream partis.

Coming to black partis, a black parti fades when the puppy reaches the two-year mark. Both silver poodles and blue poodles are born with a black coat, which makes it very easy to identify these poodles at birth.

The same is the case with blue partis and silver partis – both of these parti colors are born with a black coat which makes people think they have a black parti but as the poodle changes his color they realize the parti’s actual color.

A blue parti fading to a different color can be seen as early as 4 months, whereas in case of a silver poodle the color change can be noticed as early as 6 weeks.

Are Parti Poodles Rare?

Some parti poodles can be rare whereas other parti poodles can be common.

Colors like black are far more common as compared to some of the rarer colors like apricot or red.

What this means is, common colors like black partis are common whereas colors like apricot and red are rare.

Moreover, dominant color genes like black and brown are naturally more common than diluted or recessive genes like apricot, cream, red, silver, or blue.

Using all of this, we can conclude that parti colors like black parti and brown parti poodles are the most common, Silver and gray partis are less common, and colors like red, apricot, and cream are the rarest.

Are parti poodles Hypoallergenic?

The answer is – no. Parti poodles are not hypoallergenic.

Let me explain.

Are poodles hypoallergenic

According to a study conducted by the researchers at Henry Ford Hospital, there were no findings that could support the claim that households with hypoallergenic dogs had fewer allergens as compared to homes with non-hypoallergenic dogs.

So why is it a widely accepted ‘fact’ that parti poodles are hypoallergenic dogs and they don’t trigger any allergies?

Here are a few theories as to why that may be.

Toy poodles have hair instead of fur.

The main difference between dogs that have fur and dogs such as toy poodles is the fact that fur is denser, grows quickly, and sheds often.

Whereas a poodle’s hair grows out very slowly, which means they shed far less than dogs with fur.

Unlike breeds that have fur instead of hair, such as Huskies and German Shepherds who are known for shedding a lot – poodles don’t shed nearly as much.

Notice I said don’t shed nearly as much instead of poodles don’t shed at all – this is exactly the part that breeders fail to mention.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies.

In fact, allergies are one of the top six chronic illnesses causing conditions in America.

Breeders see these numbers as an opportunity to make money so they twist the facts to make wild claims such as poodles not shedding at all, or poodles being 100% hypoallergenic dogs that won’t trigger any allergies.

But that’s not how it should be and this needs to change.

While parti poodles are considered to be hypoallergenic dogs, there are no previous allergy studies that could confirm this claim.

So, if you or someone you live with suffers from an allergy, I highly recommend talking to a qualified medical professional to get their opinions before welcoming your new furry friend to your family. 

Are Parti Poodles More Expensive?

Are Parti Poodles More Expensive?

There are several factors that decide how much a parti poodle is going to cost, they are as follows:

  • Color of the parti poodle: Colors like red are one of the more popular poodle color, so, naturally a red parti poodle will cost more than some of the other parti colors
  • The rarity of that parti poodle color: Colors like red, apricot, blue, or cream which are rarer than other colors cost a lot more than common parti colors like black.
  • Size of the parti poodle: A standard toy poodle costs less on average than a miniature poodle which cost less than a toy parti poodle.
  • Gender of the poodle: Female parti poodle cost a bit more on average than male parti poodles

How much do standard parti poodles cost?

Standard Parti poodles cost $2025 on average, however, prices range from as low as $1200 to over $2800 depending on the standard parti coloration, gender, and perceived quality of each poodle.

Standard Parti ColorationAverage PricePrice Range
Apricot and White Standard Parti Poodle$1750$1260 – $2175
Black and White Standard Parti Poodle$1800$1200 – $2150
Brown and White Standard Parti Poodle$1860$1475 – $2500
Red and White Standard Parti Poodle$2550$2200 – $2760
Silver and White Standard Parti Poodle$2160$1500 – $2800
Average prices of some of the popular Standard parti poodles

How much do miniature parti poodles cost?

Miniature Parti poodles cost $3080 on average, however, prices range from as low as $1400 to over $6300 depending on mini parti coloration, gender, and perceived quality of each poodle.

Miniature Parti ColorationAverage PricePrice Range
Apricot and White Mini Parti Poodle$2260$1750 – $2700
Black and White Mini Parti Poodle$2160$1400 – $2950
Brown and White Mini Parti Poodle$2400$2200 – $2500
Red and White Mini Parti Poodle$5380$2800 – $6300
Silver and White Mini Parti Poodle$3200$3200 – $3200
Average prices of some of the popular miniature parti poodles

How much do toy parti poodles cost?

Toy Parti poodles cost $3250 on average, however, prices range from as low as $1650 to over $5800 depending on the toy parti coloration, gender, and perceived quality of each poodle.

Here are the average prices of some of the toy parti poodle colors:

Toy Parti ColorationAverage PricePrice Range
Apricot and White Toy Parti Poodle$2660$1650 – $3200
Black and White Toy Parti Poodle$2460$2000 – $2750
Brown and White Toy Parti Poodle$4400$4360 – $4440
Red and White Toy Parti Poodle$4280$1720 – $5800
Average prices of some of the popular toy parti poodles

Generally, you have to pay a deposit fee that comes to around $1000 to $1500. Think of the deposit fee as a type of ‘reservation fee’ that you have to pay when you first get matched with the parti puppy.

The rest of the amount you will have to pay when you pick up the puppy.

What Is the Difference Between a Parti Poodle and a Phantom Poodle?

What Is the Difference Between a Parti Poodle and a Phantom Poodle?

The coat pattern of a phantom poodle is similar to that of a Doberman or a Rottweiler.

Phantom poodles are said to be a subset of parti-poodles.

Like, partis, phantom poodles have a ‘dual tone’ coat color.

And just like partis, phantom poodles are also banned from competing in AKC run conformation rings.

That’s a lot of things in common, let’s talk about what makes them different.

A phantom poodle has a coat pattern that is similar to that of a coat on a Doberman or a Rottweiler. A phantom poodle will show markings above his eyebrows, parts of his muzzle, parts of his legs, sometimes his ears, as well as his bottom.

The markings of a phantom poodle are hard to miss and become apparent soon after birth.

Generally, phantom poodles are born with a dark color such as black, blue, brown, silver, café au lait, or beige. The pattern or the marking can be any light color such as red, apricot, cream, or white.

Parti poodles, on the other hand, have a white colored base instead of a dark one. Their markings or patches are not uniform and do not have set places where they may appear.

The markings or patches of a parti are random and uneven.

Another difference between a phantom and a parti is that the gen responsible for parti coloration is the piebald gene also referred to as the parti gene in poodles.

Whereas, the gene responsible for the markings on a phantom poodle is completely different and falls on the A locus.

Is a Parti Poodle a Merle?

If you’re looking to buy a poodle puppy, you may have heard of merle poodles and parti poodles. These are variations on the standard poodle that can add some extra flair to your companions’ appearance.

We’ve found that many people who are interested in these dogs have trouble telling the difference between them, so here is why they are different.

Parti Poodles – A Curious and Unique Color Type 4
Parti Poodle (Left) and Merle Poodle (Right)

Merle poodles and parti poodles are different.

That’s because a merle poodle is a poodle that has its coat patterned with patches. This creates a look that’s also known as “pied.”

If you’ve ever seen a horse with spots on it, that’s kind of what merle looks like. It’s caused by the merling gene in poodles.

A parti has a coat that has at least 50% white with the secondary color being any of the standard poodle colors.

The secondary color can either be spread throughout the body, on one side of the dog, or in patches as long as it accompanies at least 50% white on their body.

Parti Poodles With Ticking 

Parti poodles – particularly black and white – have spots of different colors referred to as ticking. When a poodle comes from a line of other poodles that are ticking, you likely have a poodle that will develop ticking of its own.

If your dog isn’t from a ticked line and it has the typical solid color, your dog was born with a recessive ticking gene that is carried by many different breeds of dogs and will most likely become obvious when your dog gets older.

It is also related to when in the dog’s life he was bred; the early years will have far less ticking than when bred as an adult.

Parti Poodles – A Curious and Unique Color Type 5

This is fairly common in poodles, while the common perception among breeders is that ticking is some sort of defect, we personally think they look absolutely beautiful and give the dog a unique coat.

Many breeders also consider it a good practice not to breed Partis and Poodles with ticking as it may produce somewhat of an odd pattern or color.

Poodles with ticking are not accepted in the AKC Conformation Ring. However, the UKC deems ticking as “acceptable but not preferred”.

The reason it is acceptable is because of the fact that the first successful parti poodles in the United Kennel Club (UKC) conformation Ring had ticking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Parti Poodles Be AKC Registered?

While it is true that parti poodles are not allowed to participate in AKC organized conformation rings, the American Kennel Club places no restrictions on registering parti poodles.

What Does Parti Poodle Mean?

The term “parti” is short for PARTIcolored poodles. The term refers to the coat coloration which consists of a white-colored base that covers at least 50% of the coat whereas the rest of the coat is covered in random and never patches of any of the solid poodle colors.

Are Parti Poodles More Expensive?

Whether a parti poodle is expensive or cheap depends on the parti-color and the rarity of that color. Rare parti colors like red parti and apricot parti cost a lot more than some of the common parti poodle colors such as the black parti poodle.

Do Parti Poodles Shed?

Though parti poodles do not shed nearly as much as some of the breeds infamous for shedding such as the Husky or the German Shepard, they still shed some hair from time to time.

By Nancy Williams

Hi! My name is Nancy Williams, and I'm a poodle owner. I started PoodleGo because I was tired of not being able to find high-quality information about how to care for my poodle. I wanted to help others who were also frustrated with the lack of good poodle information on the internet. I spend every spare moment reading about poodles, talking to other poodle owners, and learning more about best practices for caring for my dog. I love seeing a healthy, well-groomed, happy poodle—and hope that my site will help you get there!


  1. lol! The main picture on the page is my baby Tilly! If you want more pictures of her, let me know! She is now 10 months old and is a total cutie!

  2. I saw a parti yesterday. Didn’t know they even existed. This dog was stunning! Didn’t get a chance to talk to the owner, but wish I had.

  3. Honestly, parti poodles are the best. My husband and I have experience with different poodle colors and the parti poodle is hands down the easiest to train and control. Can’t believe people used to kill them because of their coat coloration.

    1. I “bought”a parti in the early 70s. I had never seen one before. The lady at the breeder told me that “usually we destroy these dogs”. She was absolutely without a doubt the best dog I ever owned. I have had 6 different breeds since then. Again I wanted another poodle, I found a rescue parti. She is amazing so far, she is still settling in.

  4. I have an 8 week standard parti puppy he was born black and white but after a couple weeks his black was replaced with chocolate brown which is shorter and courser than his white is this common?

    1. Hey Cindy!

      This is pretty normal for your parti poodle, and you have nothing to worry about, they usually clear their initial coat color by the time they are two years old.

      What color did he finally change to? Do let me know!

  5. Thank you for this background. We acquired a beautiful red parti pup 3 weeks ago – now 3 months old – not choosing him for his color but for his disposition. I honestly didn’t care about color, but we love his coloration and he is indeed turning heads even at his young age. He’s almost solid white except for ears and face – where there are also “freckles” or ticking. 3 or 4 random patches on his body just as you describe. Now that we’ve been introduced to this coloration I must say I actually prefer it to most of the solids. And his personality can’t be beat. Even my now-tired vet and good friend who loves standards had never seen or heard of this coloration. Although he is AKC registered as are his dam and sire, we only want him for a family pet so don’t care about showing.. We have, however, begun obedience training!!!!!

    1. Dear Judy, Thank you for sharing, I am glad to hear that you chose such a gorgeous color. I am delighted to hear that you have begun his obedience training. Best wishes for his future!

  6. Most Toy Poodles live long, happy, healthy lives thanks to the efforts of dedicated, responsible breeding which is exactly what we do here at homebred poodles.
    Poodles of any size are very active dogs who require good exercise every day to suit their high energy level. Poodles are eager for all kinds of activity, and they enjoy keeping busy. Swimming is a great exercise for them, and most Poodles love to get in the water. Bred as hunting dogs, their impulse is to retrieve, so tossing toys, sticks, or balls for them will exercise both their mind and body. They also thrive on going for jogs or long walks with their human.

  7. Love the article! It was educational for me, as I am a new Parti Poodle mom to an 8-week old pup. After deciding on the breed, I chose him for his special markings. He has 3 black spots and his head is all black, like a helmet. After reviewing some parti pics online, I noticed many with black heads. Is the black head a signature trait or coincidence?

    1. Thanks Cour, I’m glad the article was helpful! Yes, the “black heads” are some sort of a recognizable trait. Although markings are random, there are certain spots such as the head, the chest, the tail, etc. where the markings are more likely to appear.

  8. Thank you for this informative article.

    We have two parti standards. Our boy, black and white tuxedo markings, 26” and 62 lb. our girl dog black and white ‘cow’ style markings with mostly black head like her ‘brother’, 24” and 52 lb. Both have ticking.

    I’m astounded that the parti color is so often not allowed, lol. We have nothing but compliments on them in public. Many people want to know what exotic breed they are and where we got them. We’ve had people yell compliments out of car windows!! Ah, well. No accounting for taste, I guess!

  9. I recently bought a standard parti poodle girl. I like the parti coloring much better than the typical colors. I find them much more interesting and beautiful! I was wondering if my pup had ticking or Merle. Didn’t know poodles had ticking.
    My pup is a doll and a charmer with everyone, right before she goes full shark and nips them😂
    Great article, thanks for the info

  10. Getting my first Parti …now know it will be an Abstract (black with white paws and tail tip) after reading your blog, in 6 weeks – can’t wait!! A little brother for our current chocolate solid boy of 7 years💕🐩🐩

  11. Greetings! My family has owned poodles of all different sizes and colors my whole life (mostly black or white). I’ve always wanted a parti poodle and just got a female standard black and white puppy. She’s gorgeous, with the characteristic black head, ticking on the front legs, two spots on her back, a black tail with a white tip, and one of her back legs is black and the other white. She’s absolutely brilliant and I can’t wait to see how she develops. As with many trends in breeding, some colors are more in fashion than others (unfortunately). Let’s hope the parti poodles are on the upward swing now and will eventually get let into the ring with the others. I also have never seen a parti poodle in a shelter. I looked and looked before purchasing this one from a breeder. I also looked at many poodle rescue organizations and could not find one near where I live. It would be great if when someone sees a poodle in a shelter, to please notify one of the poodle rescue organizations. They exist for purposefully placing these beautiful and smart creatures into loving homes. Best wishes to you all. @GreenbellyStudios

  12. Hi Nancy can you confirm for me if a litter has only one parti parent will they be all called parti factored ?
    Cheers and Thankyou Diana 🙋‍♀️Australia

  13. Hi, can I send you a picture of some pups which we are considering adopting? A friend stated they might be Parti-poodles and I’d love to know more. Please let me know how I can send a photo to you. thanks in advance.

  14. I have a Parti poodle with ticking, she is so beautiful, lovely nature. But people think that she is part poodle, like Dalmatian and poodle. So I always have to explain that she is a Parti poodle. Thanks for this info now I will have more to tell them. Yes she gets a lot of attention where ever we go.

  15. Thank you for your very extensive article on parti poodles! We have a black and white boy, and he is the smartest and best dog we’ve ever had. Your article answered a lot of questions for us.

  16. I like to ask your opinion about the phantom poodle and the painter parti,
    I wanted to get a poodle, but” recently I learned about the phantom and painter parti, and I don’t seem to stop thinking about it, and I would love to get one. Is there away, for me to find a reputable breeder.
    Thank you, your a devised would be very much appreciated,

  17. Your article was a breath of fresh air, informative, and fun to read. Thank you for taking the time to provide readers with your knowledge!

  18. We have a 11 month old Parti standard poodle. She is all black except her chest is white and all her legs looked like they were dipped in white paint and I realized her eyes are green and round not almond shape. Is this part of the Parti Poodle?

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