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Poodle Colors & Patterns

Poodles historically come in all kinds of colors and patterns!  Want to learn more about the genetics behind poodle colors?  Visit thePoodle Genetics page.

Solid Colors

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Black

Black poodles are deepest black with black noses, eye rims, and lips.  They remain black as they age.

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Blue

Blue poodles are born black and clear to a dark gunmetal color that can almost look black.  Blue poodles can take several years to clear and it can be difficult to tell them apart from black poodles at a young age.  Blue poodles can vary greatly in shade with some staying quite dark and some looking more like a dark silver.

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Silver

Silver poodles are born black and begin to fade quickly.  Their silver roots are apparent around 4 weeks of age but it takes up to 1-2 years to fully clear to their adult coloring.

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Brown

Brown poodles are a deep chocolate brown with brown noses, lips, and eye rims.  They often fade with age to have more of a silverish tone to their brown.

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Cafe au Lait

Cafe au lait is a brown poodle with one copy of the progressive greying gene (what makes black turn blue or silver).  They are born darker brown and will fade to a milky coffee color with age.  Noses, eye rims, and lips are brown.

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Silver Beige

Silver beige is a brown poodle with two copies of the progressive greying gene.  They are born darker brown and will fade to a very light tan color with age.  Noses, eye rims, and lips are brown.

Photo by Lisa Beagley Lewis

Patterns

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Sable

Sable poodles can vary greatly in color, usually starting out fairly dark and fading very quickly.  Some look like they have phantom points at birth but they can be easily distinguished from phantoms as their bodies start to fade.  Some sable poodles stay darker like the one pictured, some end up almost white with dark ears and tail.

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Brindle

Brindle poodles often look like sable poodles at birth but once their faces and feet are shaved their stripes become more visible.  Brindle poodles have stripes of light and dark (color and intensity varying from dog to dog) all over their body.  Sometimes they have a darker face and ears.

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Agouti

Agouti gives the hair different bands of color and often looks quite close to sable.  Agouti is quite rare in poodles and is not often seen.

Photo by Anna-Ash Poodles

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Black Phantom

Also known as tan point, black phantom poodles are a black based poodle that has lighter areas on the legs, chest, muzzle, bum, and eyebrows.  These tan points can range from a dark red to almost white.  Phantom poodles are often born with minimal markings and the markings appear more striking within the first 8 weeks.

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Brown Phantom

Also known as tan point, brown phantom poodles are a brown based poodle that has lighter areas on the legs, chest, muzzle, bum, and eyebrows.  These tan points can range from a dark red to almost white.  Phantom poodles are often born with minimal markings and the markings appear more striking within the first 8 weeks.

Photo by Bohemian Poodles

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Brindlepoint Phantom

Brindlepoint phantom is a phantom poodle (with a base color of black or brown) with brindling of the phantom points.  This is often only visible in the shaved areas of the points such as the face and feet where the stripes can be seen.  Shown is a black brindlepoint phantom.

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Red

Red poodles are caused by a recessive gene that modifies black or brown poodles to red.  This same gene is responsible for all red-based colors such as red, apricot, cream, and white.  Various intensity genes are responsible for how dark or light the red is.  Recessive red also masks any K-locus based patterns such as sable and phantom.  Red poodles are often born dark red and fade to a darker apricot color as they age.  Red poodles have black noses, lips, and eye rims.  Red poodles that occur from brown-based dogs will have brown noses, lips, and eye rims, however red poodles should be black based according to the breed standard.

Photo by Bohemian Poodles

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Apricot

Apricot poodles are caused by a the same recessive gene that modifies black or brown poodles to red, but other modifying genes lighten that red to an apricot color.  Apricot poodles are often born a warm orange and fade to a lighter apricot color as they age.  Apricot poodles should have black noses, lips, and eye rims but it is possible for them to be brown-based and have brown pigment instead.

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Cream

Cream poodles are caused by the same recessive gene that modifies black or brown poodles to red, apricot, or white.  Cream poodles are often born a light tan with darker ears and fade to a light cream or almost white as they age.  Cream poodles should have black noses, lips, and eye rims but it is possible for them to be brown-based and have brown pigment instead.

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White

White poodles are also a form of the recessive red gene.  They are often born with cream ears and their cream coloration fades within the first year.  They should have black noses, eye rims, and lips but it is possible for them to be brown-based and have brown pigment instead.

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Parti

Parti (short for particularly colored) adds white to a poodle's normally solid color.  Parti poodles can come in any color or pattern.  Some parti have small areas of color and some are more heavily colored.  Some parti have ticking where they have little flecks of color within the white areas.

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