Phantom Poodle: What Does Phantom Color Mean in Poodles?

Sable phantom Poodle

Poodles are known for being icons of style, and as expected, all its color varieties including the phantom Poodle live up to this reputation.

If this is the first time you heard about the phantoms, let me clarify that they are not some sort of ghost or a special breed. They just possess a unique color pattern that is sought after by many Poodle fanciers.

Want to know more about them? Continue reading as I share everything I know about this patterned pooch.

What Is a Phantom Poodle? What Does Phantom Color Mean in Poodles?

Quite the contrary, a phantom Poodle is just an ordinary Poodle with a phantom type of coat. You will know that a Poodle exhibits phantom coloration if it has a two-toned coat and markings in specific parts of its body.

The Poodle breed has several types of coat colors which you can categorize into solid and multicolored. Under those with multicolored coats is the phantom Poodle.

In Poodle jargon, the phantom color refers to a combination of a solid background with patches of another color in specific areas. The phantom is noticeably multicolored because the color combinations are usually composed of a darker and lighter color.

There is a common misconception that the phantom Poodle is not purebred because of its mixed color. Here’s an interesting trivia: In Poodle history, this European breed was originally multicolored.

Breeders wanted to make solid-colored Poodles the norm so they found ways to breed them more. As a result, you are more likely to come across a solid-colored Poodle than multicolored ones.

What Does the Phantom Poodle Look Like?

The phantom Poodle has a look that all Poodle varieties share. In terms of body structure, it is squarely built with muscle hidden in a coat of dense, curly hypoallergenic hair. It is considered high-maintenance because its coat requires regular grooming at least every three to six weeks.

Typical of its breed, the phantom Poodle comes in three sizes: toy that is no taller than 10 inches, miniature that is no more than 15 inches, and standard that stands 15 inches at the shoulder.

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Because there are different kinds of patterned coats, you might get confused with what a phantom Poodle looks like.

What makes this type of Poodle distinguishable is not the color pairs but rather where its markings are located. While other coat patterns are random, the phantom Poodle has splotches of color in certain areas of its face and body.

These markings are similar to that of the Doberman breed earning the nickname Doble markings. This pattern style can also be seen in Dachshunds, Yorkies, Manchester Terriers, and some spaniels.

You can usually spot these markings in the following areas:

  • Above the eye or by the eyebrows
  • Sides of the muzzle or cheeks
  • Chin
  • Throat
  • Across the chest
  • Legs
  • Paws
  • Beneath the tail

Want to see exactly how phantom Poodle pups look like? Watch this video!

boys phantom puppys

A phantom Poodle has two colors: one for its solid background coat and another for its markings. It has sub-categories depending on the hair color it carries. There are four kinds of phantom Poodles with different color combinations.

Black Phantom Poodle

Jet black with patches of color best describes a black Phantom Poodle. This phantom has black as its solid background coat and another color as its markings.

There are six possible color combinations for a black phantom. These are black and apricot, black and cream, black and red, black and gray, black and brown, and black and silver. Color patches of this kind of phantom are more pronounced because of its rich black coat.

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Red Phantom Poodle

Red Poodles are such a sight because of their beautiful color. When it comes to Poodles and most dogs, red does not necessarily mean bright red. It can refer to different shades of red and orange hues.

In general, red Poodles including red Phantoms have coats that may range from light, medium, to dark red. For the red phantom Poodle, its main coat is red paired with apricot markings in certain spots of the body.

Chocolate Phantom Poodle

The chocolate phantom Poodle is called such because it precisely looks like its name. The background coat of this Poodle variant shares the color of rich chocolate which may come as light and milky or dark.

This brown coat is combined with apricot patches to create a cute pup that resembles a chocolate bar.

Silver Phantom Poodle

Silver is one of the Poodles’ most beautiful color variants because it gives the pooch a unique look. This Poodle coat color may range from light silver to dark grey.

The silver phantom Poodle has cream markings on top of the main silver coat. These cream markings look like a lighter shade of apricot color.

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Phantom Poodle vs. Parti Poodle: What’s the Difference?

The Poodle breed is diverse in terms of coat colors that even the multicolored ones still have different kinds. Two varieties that often cause confusion are the parti Poodle and phantom Poodle.

Some argue that the phantom Poodle is just a subset of the parti Poodle. This stems from their similarity of having a dominant color and another color for the markings. While the two may seem identical, interchangeable even, true Poodle lovers know that they are really different.

Both have coats with two colors so how do we differentiate one from the other? Simple, their patches of color will tell you which is which.

Parti Poodle Patches

The patches of the parti Poodle can have any pattern on any part of the coat. They say that parti is short for “particularly” because this kind of coat is particularly colored.

The said markings may come in irregular shapes and sizes. Aside from that, parti Poodles can come in different color pairs such as black and silver, white and red, and blue and white, to name a few.

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Phantom Poodle Patches

The phantom Poodle, on the other hand, has more detailed specifications. As I described earlier, the patches of the phantom Poodle are found in certain areas of the dog’s body. There are also specific color schemes for this kind.

Mistaking one as the other is a common error when determining the variety of Poodle you have. By taking note of these markings, you can easily spot what coat your pooch has.

Phantom Poodle Color Genetics: How Do Poodles Develop a Phantom Coat?

Canine genetics is really interesting because you will never know what you will get. Everything is possible, even having puppies of different colors being born in the same litter. This uncertainty also applies to the phantom Poodle.

The ky/ky genotype makes it possible for the phantom Poodle to have its coat colors. Because of this genotype, other colors aside from black can manifest.

Aside from the ky/ky genotype, other genetic makeup elements include the genotypes E for brindling, EM for a black mask, and at/at for tan points.

The genetic makeup of the phantom Poodle is linked to the brindle Poodles. Brindle Poodles have two-colored coats that create a striped pattern.

A phantom Poodle, regardless of female or male, can create a litter of brindle Poodles the same way a brindle Poodle can have phantom pups.

Do Phantom Poodle Puppies Change Color as They Grow?

Phantom Poodle puppies are born with their color markings. The color patches that make them phantom Poodles stay on their coats throughout their lives.

There are some cases wherein these markings fade as the dog enters adulthood or as they age. This usually occurs in certain colors such as silver.

Do Kennel Clubs Recognize Phantom Poodles?

Kennel clubs exist to help set standards for different dog breeds. The treatment of kennel clubs on the recognition of phantom Poodles differs.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes solid-colored and multicolored Poodles.

However, multicolored Poodles including the parti Poodle and phantom Poodle are disqualified from taking part in AKC conformation shows. These color variants can still join obedience and agility competitions, though.

For the United Kennel Club (UKC), their standards for Poodles listed the phantom Poodle. All three sizes are acknowledged which include the phantom toy Poodle, phantom mini Poodle, and phantom standard Poodle.

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Phantom Poodle Temperament: Do They Make Good Family Dogs?

Aside from its looks, the Poodle breed is also known for being confident, energetic, and intelligent. The phantom Poodle carries these loved traits as well.

The phantom Poodle has a well-proportioned build which makes it look graceful as it moves. It exudes confidence as it walks and moves around.

Brimming with energy, the phantom Poodle needs regular exercise. It is best to provide enough space for this athletic breed to get its much-needed physical activity. Kids will enjoy spending playtime with this pooch because it is playful and can match their energy level.

Intelligence is also something Poodles are known for. You may find it easy to train phantom Poodles. Just a few sessions and they will understand your commands in no time. They enjoy playing both physical and mental tricks and games that you can use as bonding time for your family.

If you want your pooch to get along well with your family and other dogs, you must ensure that they are exposed to others at an early age. Socialization is important in dogs regardless of breed and helps them deal with others easily.

On top of it all, the phantom Poodle is loving and loyal to its family. You should give it the attention it needs for it to grow into a well-mannered dog. If you have seniors and kids in your household, you should not worry as the phantom Poodle is great for individuals of all ages.

One special characteristic about the phantom Poodle is that it is hypoallergenic like the other varieties of its breed. People who have allergies, especially severe conditions, will love having a phantom Poodle around because the dog’s hair won’t cause irritations.

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Phantom Poodle Lifespan and Health Issues

What makes the phantom Poodle unique is its coat color. Apart from that, this color variation is just like any other Poodle. As such, phantom Poodles experience the same health issues that the Poodle breed encounters.

It is no question that we want our dogs to live long and healthy lives. You need to give your phantom Poodle proper nutrition and exercise for it to enjoy 12 to 15 years of its doggy life.

More than that, you should also be aware of these health risks for phantom Poodles:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This eye problem that involves the dog’s retina may lead to blindness. Progressive Retinal Atrophy is caused by the deterioration of cells in the retina, leading to night vision problems, poor eyesight, and more.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Phantom Poodles who suffer from hip dysplasia have a dislocated thigh bone because it does not fit its hip socket. This common illness is hereditary with symptoms manifesting as early as five months old.
  • Bloat: Though it may sound simple, bloat or gastric dilatation-volvulus can be fatal. Bloat occurs when the stomach dilates, making it hard for food or gas to be expelled.
  • Addison’s Disease: Phantom Poodles suffer from Addison’s Disease when their adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol. This hormone is supposedly responsible for stress response, weight control, and defense against infection. Lack of this may lead to your pup being lethargic, vomiting, and digestive issues.
  • Canine Hypothyroidism: Canines have hypothyroidism when they do not have enough production of thyroid hormones. This may lead to hair loss, a compromised immune system, and excessive hunger.
  • Epilepsy: Like humans, phantom Poodles may also suffer from this seizure disorder.

How Does a Phantom Poodle Cost? Are Phantom Poodles More Expensive?

Poodles have that reputation of being high class because of their physical attributes and temperament. The price of this dog also speaks for itself.

Compared to solid-colored Poodles, the phantom Poodle may be pricier as they are less common. A phantom Poodle pup may cost $800 and more, sometimes up to $2500.

If a high-quality phantom Poodle is what you want, you should prepare to spend a sum of money. Phantom Poodles that have a good lineage, training, and breeder reputation will definitely cost you more.

Places to Find Phantom Poodle Puppies for Sale or Adoption

Even though phantom Poodles are less common than solid-colored, you can still find pups for you through breeder or adoption sites.

Planning to buy a phantom pup? Check out some of these places:

  • American Kennel Club (AKC) Marketplace – You are assured to get a healthy puppy when you check the AKC Marketplace as they only list breeder members. Pups from champion bloodlines are also available here.
  • The Poodle Club of America National Breeder Referral – A breed club dedicated to Poodles, the Poodle Club of America has a database of breeders who can provide you the pup you are looking for.
  • PuppySpot – PuppySpot helps link potential fur parents with high-quality breeders. This site shows a list of available Poodle pups of all color variants.

If you are open to getting older or rescue dogs, you can consider adopting. Refer to these groups and sites:

  • Poodle Club of America Rescue Foundation, Inc – This breed club foundation has been saving Poodles and giving them new homes since 2006.
  • Adopt-a-Pet – Adopt-a-Pet is a North America-wide adoption website where you can find the perfect phantom Poodle for you.
  • Poodle Rescue – You can look for rescue Poodles up for adoption in your area with the help of this site.

Commonly Asked Questions

What Is the Rarest Poodle Color?

Some say that the rarest Poodle color is red while others argue that it is apricot. There are still many unanswered questions regarding the genetic makeup of red and apricot Poodles. One of which is if red is a darker version of apricot or if apricot is a diluted red.

What Is the Most Popular Poodle Color?

Black is the most popular and common Poodle color. The black Poodle has a solid black coat with no traces of another color.

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Final Thoughts

The phantom Poodle is a beautiful color variation of the adored breed with its color patches that make it unique. It is a good furry friend to have because it is smart, active, and loyal. Regardless of age, the phantom Poodle can socialize well with every member of the family.

One thing to remember when getting a phantom Poodle is that it is high maintenance. You need to give it the playtime it needs and regular grooming for its coat.

If a dog that is both fashionable and playful is what you are looking for, the phantom Poodle is for you. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic so it keeps your allergies away.

John Carter

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.

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