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.
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?
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.
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?
You’d be amazed at how little people know about the origin of parti poodles.
Partis have actually been documented throughout history and within many countries around the world.
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:
- By Killing Them – Following the ban, breeders adopted an ignorant mindset and started killing partis as some sort of trend.
- 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?
. . . the spotted or pied, the best on scent and for intelligenceRegarding 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.
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?
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:
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?
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.
How Big Do Parti Poodles Get?
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.
* 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?
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
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?
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.
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.
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.