A parti Poodle is always very interesting to look at because people are more used to seeing its solid-colored counterparts.
But did you know that parti Poodles, with their fascinating color combinations, were actually how Poodles originally looked like when they were first discovered?
Parti Poodles are also more than just their appearances. Behind their quirky coloring are intelligent, playful, and fiercely loyal dogs that make a great addition to your family.
Here’s everything you need to know about them.
What Is a Parti Poodle? Are Parti Poodles Purebred?
A parti Poodle is a subtype of the Poodle that is known for intelligence, loyalty, and its dense and curly fur often clipped into elaborate hairstyles. Parti Poodles differ from regular Poodles with their coats, which are two-toned with many colorways that make them interesting to look at.
Parti Poodles are just like the Poodles you already know and love, just with a unique color combination – primarily white, with another color of either black, apricot, silver, cafe au lait, cream, or red.
While the combination is usually half of each color, the patterns can vary per dog, so no two Poodles ever look alike.
While there are other types of multi-colored Poodles including Mismarks, Ticking, and Tuxedo, parti Poodles are the most popular kind. In fact, it was the original coloring of the Poodle before solid-colored ones rose to prominence and became widely accepted.
The name ‘parti’ Poodle comes from the term “particularly colored.” However, some people also say it may have been derived from “partial” or its French translation, “partiellement.”
The color of parti Poodles is not indicative of their pedigree. They may or may not be purebred.
What Does the Parti Poodle Look Like?
The parti Poodle has a two-tone coat with 50% white and 50% any other common Poodle color. These secondary colors often occur in dark patches over the eyes and ears, with a clear contrast between them.
This distinction sets them apart from other multi-colored Poodles. The Tuxedo Poodle has white markings down its chest, belly, and legs (hence the name), while Mismark Poodles have less than 50% white fur that occurs in smaller spots.
The size of a parti Poodle can vary. The standard parti Poodle grows beyond 15 inches and weighs anywhere between 40 to 70 pounds.
The mini parti Poodle grows between 10 to 15 inches and weighs between 10 to 20 pounds. Meanwhile, the toy parti Poodle is smaller than 10 inches and can be as light as 5 pounds.
What Is the Difference Between a Parti Poodle and a Phantom Poodle?
Phantom Poodles and parti Poodles share similar characteristics that make them easily mistaken for the other. They both have two colors, and phantom Poodles are usually classified as a subset of parti Poodles.
The main difference between them is that the patches of the parti Poodle can occur as a random pattern on the dog’s coat.
The phantom Poodle, on the other hand, gets patches specifically on the muzzle, the chin, the eyebrows, the paws, and the butt. The pattern is similar to what you find on Dobermans, Dachshunds, Yorkies, and Terriers.
Parti Poodle Genetics: How Do You Get a Parti Poodle?
The markings of the parti Poodle are caused by a gene called MITF (microphthalmia-associated transcription factor), which also influences other factors such as eye color and skin color.
The MITF gene is recessive, so a parti Poodle mating with a solid-colored Poodle will almost always produce a solid-colored Poodle. To get a parti Poodle, you need to breed two parti Poodles.
While this guarantees a parti Poodle, it’s still hard to predict exactly how parti Poodle puppies will look like.
Do Parti Poodles Fade as They Grow?
Since the colors of parti Poodles are standard to solid-colored Poodles, they are similarly prone to fading (“clearing”) to a lighter color as they grow older. How fast their fur color fades is dependent on what color they start with and their genetics.
Parti Poodles with a secondary color of black may eventually fade into a blue, while true blacks will stay black. Red fur may clear into something more apricot or even lighter like cream.
Are Parti Poodles Rare?
Parti Poodles are not rare, but they tend to be less common than their solid-colored friends. Despite being the original looks of a Poodle, one-color Poodles became more widely accepted and recognized, especially in conformity dog shows by the biggest kennel clubs around the world.
Over the years, this has encouraged breeders to focus on solid-colored Poodles, which has led to parti Poodles being bred less. However, they are rising in popularity, and more breeders are now producing them.
Parti Poodle Color Combinations (With Pictures)
While no two parti Poodles will ever look alike, there are several popular parti Poodle color combinations. Black-and-white is one of the most striking mixtures because of the contrast in their colors.
On the other hand, cream-and-white is more subtle, though as the parti Poodle puppy grows older, one color will become more dominant than the other.
Other parti-color combinations include white-and-gray, white-and-apricot, white-and-silver, and white-and-brown.
Rarer color combinations include blue-and-white and red-and-white. Red, especially, is one of the newest colors in the breed, so producing them for either a one-colored Poodle or a parti Poodle has been elusive.
White and Cream Parti Poodle
White and Apricot Parti Poodle
White and Black Parti Poodle
White and Gray Parti Poodle
White and Red Parti Poodle
Do Kennel Clubs Recognize Parti Poodles?
Parti Poodles are recognized under the American Kennel Club (AKC), the most famous and sought-after purebred registry of dogs. They even have their own designated marking codes. However, they can only join obedience and agility shows and are excluded from conformation shows.
They are also recognized in the United Kennel Club (UKC), the second-largest kennel club in the United States. Since 2004, they have been allowed in conformation shows.
They are not recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, the world’s oldest kennel club, which currently only acknowledges solid-colored Poodles.
Parti Poodle Temperament: Do They Make Good Family Dogs?
Parti Poodles are some of the most intelligent dogs in the world. They are easily trained, especially when they are still parti Poodle puppies. This makes them one of the best breeds for new dog owners to start with.
Since they love company, parti Poodles will love being part of a household and will be intensely loyal to their owners. They’re also very alert, which makes them excellent guard dogs.
Parti Poodles are active and playful, so owners should make time to take them out on walks, a playdate at the park, or even a day at the beach. However, they can be naturally intuitive, so owners need to invest in obedience training to keep them in check.
Just like most dogs, socialization is important for a parti Poodle so they can get used to the company of other people and dogs in public.
How to Care for Your Parti Poodle’s Basic Needs?
Food and Diet
Parti Poodles need a good diet to fuel them throughout the day and stay healthy. Go for a quality brand of dry kibble, which is easy on their stomach and good for teeth and gums.
Home-cooked meals will also be ideal for your dog. Choose proteins such as beef, salmon, and chicken; vegetables like spinach, carrots, and potatoes; eggs, and cheese.
To avoid canine bloat, consider feeding your dog smaller meals throughout the day instead of a big meal once a day.
Parti Poodles are best suited for homes with fenced yards so they can run around and release excess energy as needed. They can adapt to a small apartment or staying indoors most of the time as long as their owners endeavor to take them out for walks and exercise regularly.
These dogs love company and don’t like to be left behind, which is something to consider if you are planning on getting a parti Poodle.
Training and Exercise
Since they are active in nature, parti Poodles need frequent exercise or else they’ll get bored. Restless dogs can often get destructive if they don’t have an outlet for their energy.
Parti Poodles can be great workout buddies. Take them out for a brisk walk or a run every day, or bring them to the park or the beach where they can run around, whether on-leash or off-leash. They are also playful and love a game of catch.
Fun fact: They are actually natural retrievers and are often used for waterfowl hunting.
Cleaning and Grooming
Parti Poodles require regular maintenance, especially if you plan on having them look like the classic Poodle with a distinctive haircut. Even if you prefer not to, their coats need to be brushed daily so they can be mat-free.
Parti Poodles require frequent bathing more than some other dog breeds to keep them hygienic. Take care not to rub shampoo or the towel on their fur to prevent clumps. Rinse them thoroughly to avoid any skin infections.
Ears should also be cleaned regularly since their ears drop down and are thus more prone to infections. Their teeth should also be brushed to prevent dental problems, and their nails trimmed short.
Here is a video of a parti poodle puppy getting groomed for the first time:
Parti Poodle Health Issues
The average lifespan of a parti Poodle is between 12-15 years. However, toy parti Poodles and mini parti Poodles may live beyond that. Standard parti Poodles tend to have a slightly shorter life span, although there are many health factors to consider.
- Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV): Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) is a common issue often seen in standard parti Poodles. Also known as canine bloat, this condition usually affects big breeds, especially dogs with deep chests. This condition manifests through an enlarged stomach and erratic behavior and can easily turn fatal when dogs are not rushed to the vet.
- Addison’s Disease: Addison’s disease, in which the dog’s adrenal glands don’t produce enough cortisol, is another medical condition often seen in parti Poodles. This disease causes weakness, abdominal pain, and weight loss, among other symptoms. However, it can be managed when caught early.
- Hypothyroidism: Parti poodles are also prone to hypothyroidism. Symptoms include weight gain without an increase in appetite, lethargy, dryness of their skin or coat, and behavioral changes. Thyroid problems can be managed accordingly.
There are other health issues relatively common to parti Poodles, most of them often similar to the solid-colored Poodle as well as other large-breed dogs.
It’s important to note, however, that parti-coloring does not affect poodles genetically. These diseases may be hereditary or develop on their own.
Parti Poodle Prices and Expenses: How Much Does a Parti Poodle Cost?
Owning a parti Poodle can be costly, most especially a purebred one. From reputable dog breeders, a parti Poodle puppy can cost anywhere between $700 to $1,500, and the price can go up to $2,000 for toy and mini variants.
Another factor for the higher cost is also if you’re after a rare color combination. Alternately, you can get parti Poodles cheaper—or even free if you find one up for adoption or rehoming at your nearest animal shelter.
The expenses don’t stop once you already have a parti Poodle, because your new pet will have needs to be taken care of:
- Dog food
- Food and water bowls
- Dog shampoo
- A crate or a bed
- Collar and leash
- Dog tag
- Spaying or neutering
- Flea and tick preventions
Professional grooming services are another expense to keep in mind, especially if you want your parti Poodle to maintain the haircut (called a clip) that it is known for.
You can expect to spend anywhere between $50 to $100 a month to take care of your new dog.
Places to Find Parti Poodle Puppies for Sale and Adoption
If you’re set on getting a parti Poodle, look for a reputable breeder through the Poodle Club of America, which has a directory of breeder referral contacts. You can also attend kennel club events like Obedience and Agility Shows to scout for clubs and breeders.
Pet stores often get a negative reputation in general because of how they breed and treat animals, though they may not necessarily apply to all of them. You can do your research and vet them thoroughly if they are a more convenient option for you.
You may also chance upon a parti Poodle that is up for adoption at a local animal shelter. Pets here may have grown up already or not have the color combination of your preference, but it can be much cheaper than buying and you’re giving a dog a forever home.
Here are some places you can find parti Poodles for sale:
- AKC Marketplace: AKC Marketplace takes pride in being an expert source for canine connections. They have numerous listings for Poodles, some of which are parti Poodles.
- DreamTime Kennels: DreamTime Kennels is a small and in-home breeder of toy and miniature Poodles in a variety of colors, including parti Poodles. Their dogs are registered with the AKC.
- Tropical Toy Poodles: Tropical Toy Poodles is based in North Central, Florida, specializing in AKC-registered toy Poodles. A lot of them are parti Poodles.
- Blue Willow Standard Poodles: Blue Willow Standard Poodles specializes in standard poodles, including partis, which can have dual registration in the AKC and UKC. They are located in the Pacific Northwest.
What Is the Rarest Color of a Poodle?
Red is currently the rarest color for a Poodle because it comes from a gene that is recessive to all colors except white. It can be extremely tricky to deliberately breed a red Poodle, which in turn makes a parti Poodle combination of red-and-white even rarer.
The AKC only formally recognized the color red for Poodles as recently as 1980.
How Many Poodle Colors Are There?
The AKC recognizes 11 colors for Poodles:
- Cafe au lait
- Silver beige
Parti Poodles can be a combination of white and any of the other colors, which range from common to rare.
Do Parti Poodles Shed?
Contrary to popular belief, parti Poodles actually do shed but do so in very minimal amounts that don’t trigger allergies aggressively. The hairs often get trapped underneath their curls, so you don’t see them falling out as much compared to heavy shedding dogs.
It is important, though, for parti Poodle owners to brush their dogs’ hair frequently to remove these hairs and prevent them from matting.
Final Thoughts: Is the Parti Poodle the Right Dog for You?
A parti Poodle would be an exciting addition to any home. It is a friendly and loyal dog that would enjoy being part of a family that can give it sufficient love and attention. Its quirky color combination also makes it interesting and one-of-a-kind, and it will be a head-turner wherever you go.
It’s important to be committed to the idea of owning a parti Poodle. They can be high maintenance with their frequent bathing requirements, daily brushing, and their need for regular exercise and constant attention. It can become quite lonely and bored when left on its own, which might have consequences.
With that said, a parti Poodle is highly intelligent and easily trainable, which makes it a great option for first-time dog owners. Given a little patience to train it early on, the puppy will reward you with loyalty and an easy-going relationship as it grows up.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.