Poodles are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They have been members of American households since the early 1900s and their popularity shows no sign of slowing down.
Poodles come in many colors and varieties. The colors range from solid whites, tans, and black to combinations of browns, blacks, and creams. When it comes to variety, poodles can be standard, miniature, or toys with a wide range of coat colors and patterns available in each size.
But what are sable poodles and what makes their coat so different than the rest?
The coloration of a sable poodle’s coat is characterized by dark tips on hairs that are mostly black. The background can be any solid color, and there is no particular pattern or location designated for such hairs.
In this article, we’ll explore sable poodles by looking at what makes them special and things you should know before owning one!
What Is a Sable Colored Poodle?
The sable-colored poodle is a color of a poodle that is quite rare throughout the poodle color spectrum.
There are some people who think that the coloration of a sable poodle’s coat is not very attractive and others who adore this coloring.
What makes the sable-colored poodle so special?
Most interestingly, this sable color has been passed down to the poodles from their wolf ancestors as this color comes from the wolves themselves.
With its curious coat, the sable poodle is known for the dark tips of hair that give its coat a distinctive sheen.
Such hair can be found anywhere on the poodle’s coat with the background being any of the solid colors available in the poodle spectrum. There is no specific pattern or location where these hairs will be designated.
While the tips of such hair are mostly black, it’s not uncommon to find them being dark brown or dark blue.
Do Sable Poodles Fade?
The answer to this question is actually quite interesting, and a little bit surprising.
If you were to look at a single hair from a sable poodle puppy, you’d be surprised to find that the hair is actually multi-colored. What I mean by multi-colored in this situation is that the tip of the hair would be darker in color and the bottom would be lighter.
What’s even more interesting about this is that it only happens on PUPPY sable poodles—not adults—and doesn’t happen if you shave or cut your poodle’s hair.
A poodle’s hair never stops growing, which means they have to get cut or trimmed quite a bit to keep it in good condition.
Because of the way in which poodles’ hair grows, their dark tips will eventually disappear as they age.
The reason for this is that their hair never stops growing, and eventually, the tips will be trimmed or cut off. This leads to a sable poodle eventually looking like a solid color as they get older.
Most owners tend to let the fur on the ear of their sable just grow and grow. You may see that some sables keep the dark tipping in their ears. If you see this, it may be because the owner did not cut the fringe.
Are Sable Poodles Rare?
If you’re poodle-obsessed, you might have heard that sable poodles are rare. But are they really? The answer: It depends.
Let me tell you why.
There’s no doubt that sable poodles are hard to come by.
Technically speaking, however, sable poodles are not rare. When puppies are born, it’s not uncommon for them to have dark (mostly black) tipped hair. In fact, some puppies with “solid” coloring may actually be sables in disguise!
So while those dark-tipped hairs won’t stick around forever, puppies born with sable coats are fairly common.
However, sable poodles are considered to be rare finds because the dark-tipped hairs they were born with will fade over time as they age or be trimmed while grooming them. This means that it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll run into an adult sable poodle.
So if you’re looking for an adult sable poodle, your best bet might be to find a poodle puppy with a sable coat.
How Many Sizes of Sable Poodle are There?
If you’re thinking about getting a sable poodle, you might be wondering how many different sizes of a sable poodle there are.
Well, good news! Sable poodles come in all of the usual sizes that other poodle colors come in. So if you’ve got your heart set on a sable color, but you’re worried about the size options, now’s not the time to fret. You’ll have plenty to choose from.
Sable poodles come in all three poodle sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The standard size is over 15 inches tall and weighs between 45 to 70 pounds. The miniature comes in between 11 and 15 inches tall and weighs around 15 to 17 pounds. The toy is 10 inches tall or less and weighs between 4 and 6 pounds—and it’s guaranteed to be cute as a button!
Unofficially speaking, however, it is also possible to have a Micro, Teacup, Moyen or even a Royal Standard sized sable poodle.
I say unofficially because these sizes are not recognized by the AKC and are surrounded by a tonne of backlash and controversy by the poodle community.
If you’re interested in learning more about Teacup and Micro Poodles, check out my article. I’ve included all the info you need to know about these two sizes of dog. What Are the Differences Between Toy, Teacup, and Mini Poodles?
Let me know what your thoughts are on these “unofficial” sizes, do you think they are just a marketing ploy or is there some truth to it?
Sable Poodle AKC: Are They Official?
The American Kennel Club (AKC) is sometimes mistakenly thought to make “rules” about the color of poodles.
The AKC is a national organization that promotes responsible dog ownership and canine health, but they don’t make the “rules” about breed standards—that’s done by the breed clubs which in the case of poodles is the Poodle Club of America.
The AKC simply accepts the standard of each breed that is decided by its respective national breed club.
Sable Poodles are recognized as purebred by the Poodle Club of America. Unfortunately, the PCA decided many years ago that sable poodles were not eligible to compete in “conformation,” which is the process of selecting a dog to represent the breed in competitions.
What this means is that while sables are recognized as Poodles, they aren’t able to compete in American Kennel Club conformation.
There is another main club, the UKC, which allows any color except merle.
Sable Poodle Genetics
Sure, they’re cute and full of personality—but if you’re interested in getting a sable poodle, there are a few things you should know about what makes this color different from the rest.
The first thing to know is that the sable coat is pretty different from the other colors out there, genetically speaking. Sable poodles have a totally unique set of genes that make them stand out from the rest.
Genetically, the sable poodle’s fur color is “Ay” and it is a dominant A locus gene.
All sables—except brown—should have dark eyes. The pigment on the rims of their eyes, the tips of their noses, and their lips and paw pads should be inky black.
A sables’s nails should be black. For browns/reds the nails would be “liver” colored.
As for the nose, a brown sable should have liver points; a red should have black points and dark eyes; an Apricot can have liver points with amber eyes, but it’s generally considered as undesirable.
Because sable can appear in so many different colors and patterns, color testing is essential to making a proper diagnosis.
If you’re looking for a way to get a detailed report about your dog’s DNA, I recommend Embark Breed Identification Kit.
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Sable Poodle Colors
Sable is a relatively tricky color in poodles, and produces a wide range of colors and patterns. This means that if you’re looking for a specific shade of dog, chances are good you’ll be able to find it in a sable poodle.
Sables can have cream-colored coats, but don’t confuse them with apricot poodles. Apricots have the same base hair color as sables, but their hairs are tipped with red instead of black.
If you want to learn more about apricot poodles, I wrote an article about them. You can read it here: Apricot Poodle – All The Facts About This Rare Coat Color.
Sable poodles can also have gray or brown coats, or any other color so long as their base hair color is cream.
A sable poodle’s coat may also have varying amounts of white areas on it, which can make them look more brown or gray depending on the dog’s exact coloring.
One of my favorite things about sable poodles is that their coats change so much as they grow up.
Many people believe their sable puppy’s coat will darken or fade as they get older, and others think it will turn white. The truth is, you can’t tell what your puppy’s coat will look like until he or she is an adult!
One thing you can be sure of is that your sable poodle puppy will grow up to be gorgeous no matter the final pattern of his or her coat—because if there’s one thing we know about sables, it’s that they’re going to have a beautiful coat!
Sable Poodles and Phantom Poodles
Genetics can be confusing, and it’s easy to mix up different types of poodles that share similar traits. However, there are some key differences between phantom poodles and sable poodles that make it impossible for a poodle to be both.
It’s not just appearance that can lead to this confusion—both phantom poodles and sable poodles are located on the A locus in genetics.
This means that while there could be an overlap in some of the physical traits that define each type of poodle, genetically they are not able to be combined into one dog.
If you’re interested in learning more about the phantom poodles, check out our full article here: Phantom Poodle – What It Really Means To Be This Color
Sable Poodles and Parti Poodles
Parti poodles and sable poodles are both super-cute poodle types that you can never go wrong with.
The term “parti” refers to a poodle where their hair is white and a second color, in contrast to just one solid color. Parti poodles come in a ton of different colors, including chocolate and apricot.
For a poodle to qualify as a parti, they need to have at least 50% of the coat to be white followed by a secondary color that can be any of the solid color that poodles come in.
Unlike phantom poodles, it’s totally possible for parti poodles to be sables as well. Sable is a pattern that makes a dog look like it has multiple layers of hair color—they will have dark hair on the surface, with lighter tips underneath. This makes them look a little bit like they’ve been dipped in paint or dyed in some way—but it’s actually just genetics!
And interestingly enough, parti poodles can also be phantoms too! When you combine these two factors (partis and phantoms), you’re left with a dog that has multiple colors and layers at once. It’s pretty wild! Partis sure have an interesting set of genes.
Want to find out more about the parti poodles? Check out our full article here: Parti Poodles – A Curious and Unique Color Type
Sable Poodles and Black Poodles
So, you want to know if there is a connection between black poodles and sable poodles? We can help.
Let’s start with some basic facts about black poodles.
Black poodles are among the most popular varieties of this iconic breed, and they’re also much more common than sable poodles. It’s worth pointing out that they do have a genetic connection to sable poodles, though these connections are pretty complex.
Black poodles are an adorable, popular doggy color that we love. We wrote this article to give you some more information about black poodles — and to share a bunch of cute pictures. Check it out here: Black Poodle – Find Out More About This Popular Color
The thing that connects black and sable dogs is recessive black. This is the last gene in the locus chain, and it’s also a recessive gene—it just shows up as “a” on genetic tests.
Since it’s so recessive, if a dog has one copy of it, then that dog will still express the dominant pattern on the “a” locus; so, for example, if a dog is Ay/a (which means it has both the sable gene and a copy of the recessive black gene), then that dog will still be visibly sable.
But if two dogs that carry the recessive black gene mate, they can have a solid black puppy!
Sable poodles as adults are one of rarest of the poodle colors. They come in all the different sizes that poodles come in, and their unique coloring is recognized as purebred by the AKC, but sable poodles are not allowed to compete in the confirmation ring.
While many people think that sable poodles are quite rare, they’re actually one of the more common colors when a litter is first born. Sable puppies have dark-tipped hair, which either gets trimmed while grooming or just fades away as they age. By adulthood, very few sables can be found which makes them rare.
Sable poodles come in all the different sizes that poodles come in, from toy through standard.
You might be wondering if a phantom poodle can be a sable, and the answer is no—a phantom has oddly-colored patches on its legs, feet and face.
A parti poodle can be a sable, though. Parti poodles have two colors on their coat— at least 50% white and another color.
If you’ve managed to read this far, I’m going to assume you’re a sable poodle lover. Or maybe you just like reading about sable poodles—either way, thanks for coming along for the ride.
I hope that by now you’ve learned all about sable poodles and what makes them so special. If there was anything I missed or that you want to know more about, shoot me an email at [email protected] or comments down below and let me know—I’d love to hear from you! If you’re a current or former sable poodle owner, I would also love to see pictures of your dog if possible.