A Parti Poodle is a head turner and a conversation starter primarily due to its unique hair coloration. But what makes a parti poodle different from the rest of the poodle colors?

A poodle is considered to be a parti only when white is the primary color and makes up at least 50% of the coat coloration. The rest of the 50% can be any of the acceptable poodle coat colors such as black, brown, chocolate, grey, etc.

Now you’re probably wondering about a few things.

Are there are any special requirements owners need to keep in mind? 

What makes a parti poodle different from any other colored poodle? 

How is a parti different from a multicolor poodle? 

What is the difference between a phantom poodle and a parti poodle?

All these questions answered and much more in this article.

What is a Parti Poodle?

Parti poodles are poodles that have white as the primary color and have irregular patches of other acceptable solid colors such as black, red, silver, beige, cream, apricot, etc.

This breed shows a variety of different colors but the parti coloration is truly unique.

On a healthy parti, the white base and the secondary color have crisp lines as boundaries rather than a secondary color just fading into white.

Patches on a parti are irregular and may fall at any part of the dog’s body. These patches are completely random and unique.

Parti Poodle Guide - PoodleGo

They are similar to the fingerprints on humans as no two fingerprints are the same.

To qualify as a parti, there is a standard that needs to be met.

  • White should be the primary color.
  • More than half of the dog’s coat should be white, followed by a secondary color in the form of irregular and random patches.

Parti Poodle History

The biggest misconception about the Partis is that they were somehow recently bought into existence by experimental or controlled breeding.

However, the truth couldn’t be any farther from that.

Where did parti poodles come from - parti poodle history
Where did parti poodles come from? (Via Pinterest)

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.

But throughout the time period of the 1400s up to the 1800s, a parti poodles was thought of whenever describing, imagining or painting a poodle.

An interesting fact about the poodles is that it was featured in the very first Dog Book of the United States back in the 1900s.

Under the Poodle Breed, there was a photo of a parti-poodle rather than a standard one.

Sadly enough by the mid-1900s, the horrifying act of killing parti poodles started as people began liking the standard poodle more.

Eliminating the Parti Poodle breed become some sort of trend back in that time. If it weren’t for some kennels who kept breeding partis, this color of poodles probably would have gone extinct as the people were working diligently to eliminate them.

There were mainly two ways people back in the 1900s tried to eliminate the parti poodles:

  1. By Killing Them – People just started killing parti poodles as it became a weird trend of sorts to like the standard-solid colored poodle.
  2. By Not Registering Them – Upon a parti’s birth people would just not register their poodles unless they were standards. Many people also used to kill parti poodle puppies upon birth as it was not desirable to the masses.

Both of these practices harmed the pedigree of parti poodles at large. These practices are still in play due to the ignorance of some breeders and only awareness can now stop such practices.

Parti Poodles Popularity Trends Over Time
Parti Poodles Popularity Trends Over Time

It can be clearly seen that this unique poodle color has dropped significantly in popularity and hasn’t been trending since July 2004. Without proper awareness about this breed, the numbers will continue to go down.

Parti Poodles are the most popular in the United States, followed by other countries such as Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

How To Breed A Parti Poodle – Parti Poodle Color Genetics

What color is my parti poodle going to be?

What patterns will my parti poodle have?

These are just some of the questions that get asked on a daily basis by breeders all over the world.

To put it, in short, there is no way of knowing what your parti poodle’s puppy is going to be like. Only with enough experience, one can make an educated guess about the

The random patches appear due to the MITF gen in parti-poodles. MITF genes are genes that provide instructions for making a protein called melanocyte inducing transcription factors.

Partis can only be registered at AKC, CKC, and UKC if it’s purebred.

They are not accepted in the AKC conformation ring which is the reason for lower prices of parti poodle puppies as compared to standard poodle puppies.

What the AKC conformation ring does is it sets a breed standard and compares how closely they match up to a standard of that particular breed.

The reason given for not including parti poodles was because the closer a dog’s appearance is to its breed’s standards the better the quality of that dog to produce puppies and since the

Since 2004 parti poodles became eligible to be shown in the UKC (United Kennel Club) Confirmation Ring which is the second-largest Kennel Club In the United States.

How To Find What Genes My Dog Has?

There are VetGen kits available that lets you know what genes your dog posses but we cannot recommend it to anyone. There have been loads of negative reviews everywhere suggesting the fact that it doesn’t quite work as advertised.

A much better and reliable alternative to VetGen is the Dog DNA Test kit available on Amazon, out of the hundreds of the toolkits available on the site, we recommend Embark Dog DNA Test Kit.

The best thing about this is everything is included in the price which means you will not have to pay for the swab to be sent back to their labs.

Parti Poodle Colors

Partis have a wide variety of coat coloration. It can have any of the acceptable colors available to a solid poodle as long as it has maintains white at least 5

0% of the total coat coloration.

Most of the parti poodle colors such as black & white, brown & white are quite common whereas parti colors such as blue & white and red & white almost rare.

Different Parti Poodle Colors - Black, Brown, Blue and Apricot
Different Parti Poodle Colors – Black, Brown, Blue, and Apricot (Via Pinterest)
Different Parti Poodle Colors - Cream, Red and Grey
Different Parti Poodle Colors – Cream, Red, and Grey (Via Pinterest)

Let’s Talk Mismark Poodles

Unlike partis, mismark poodles have less than 50% white and the other remaining percentage can be any acceptable other solid poodle colors.

This kind of coloration in poodles is also referred to as abstract among breeders and AKC show people.

The white markings are often observed around the chest area, paws, tail end or tip, chin, nose, or neck.

What are mismark poodles
What are mismark poodles? (Via Pinterest)

The terms Mismark or Abstract when attached with a poodle is enough to raise eyebrows, the name is unjust in our opinion and should be changed to something more apt for this beautiful and charismatic color.

If you have any suggestions, please let us know in the comments below.

Just like the Parti Poodles, Abstract Poodles are also not accepted inside the AKC Ring. However, it can be registered under the UKC.

The UKC identifies mismarks as a color but deems it as acceptable but not preferable.

If one had to take the differentiation a step further they can always shave their poodles. (Not recommended, please don’t shave your poodle all the way)

Partis, when shaved down to the skin, will have 2 different colors on their skin whereas if you shave down a Mismark or an Abstract, the dog will only have the main color of their coat as their skin color.

What is a Multi-Colored Poodle?

A poodle that posses more than one solid color is known as a Multicolored Poodle.

Parti Poodles are Multi-Colored Poodles.

What are multicolor poodles
What are multicolor poodles? (Via Pinterest)

These dogs just like partis and mismarks are not accepted in the AKC Ring however they are allowed in the UKC Ring.

Multicolor Poodles are not defective. As mentioned above, poodles originally had more than one color but over time they were bred to have a single color to look more appealing.

Parti Poodle With Spots – Parti Poodle Ticking 

Ticking in a poodle refers to the development of spots of dark colors such as black on light-colored solid poodles.

What Is Poodle TickingWhat Is Poodle Ticking? (Via Pinterest)

In most cases, ticking is the more dominant gene over no ticking i.e if you were to breed a ticked poodle with a non-ticked poodle the puppies will usually turn out to be ticked. 

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 Parti Poodles 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 had ticking in the United Kennel Club (UKC) confirmation Ring.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What does parti poodle mean?

A. The word parti refers to the particular coloration of the breed and poodle means ‘splash of water’ which refers to the breed being a water-dog.

Q. Do parti poodles fade?

A. Yes, some parti poodles do show the sign of fading. Parti Poodles fading mainly depends on two factors:
1. The DNA the dog carries.
2. The color of its coat.

Q. Where does the parti poodle come from?

A. Poodles were originally multicolored and were bred to be a single solid color for their appeal. Original Poodles were partis which can be seen in painting that date back all the way up to the 1400s. You can learn more about the Parti Poodle History here.

Q. Are parti poodles hypoallergenic?

A. Yes, parti poodles are hypoallergenic as they have a non-shedding coat which means that it will shed less any other dog breed. Hypoallergenic is a term that refers to the unlikeliness of a dog to have an allergic reaction.

Q. Can you show a parti poodle?

A. Parti Poodles are not allowed to enter the AKC, CKC or the AKBC confirmation show. The UKC allows the breed to be entered in the show but deems them as ‘not preferable’.

Q. How big does a parti poodle get?

A. Parti poodles can get as big as over 15 inches at the shoulder but most of them are in the range of 22 – 27 inches that is about 1.83 – 2.25 feet. They come in all sizes from a toy poodle to a standard-sized poodle. The thing that defines a parti is their coat color and not their size.

Q. Are Parti Poodles purebred?

A. Not Necessarily. They can be purebred and when they are they can be registered at AKC, UKC, and CKC. For some ignorant reason, partis are not preferred but they still show in the litters of a standard poodle from time to time. One thing that is for sure is that when a parti is bred properly it is sure to turn heads.

Q. How much does a parti poodle cost?

A. Parti Poodles can cost around $600 to $2000 without factoring in the deposit to reserve your parti and the shipping cost. The shipping cost usually upwards of $400 which includes an airline approved kennel and required health certificate. Trained parti poodles cost a bit more than untrained partis.

Over To You

Let me know what you think about parti poodles. Do you love ’em or nah?

Does their coat pattern have anything to do with your answer?

What do you think of the all the hardships parti poodles had to endure in back in the 1900s?

Share your valuable opinions and become a member of the PoodleGo family!


Parti poodles are one of the most unique out of the entire poodle color spectrum.

They have a rich history that is full of hardship and controversy.

I hope I was able to provide all the information that you were looking for.

If not, please let me know what else to cover!

Till then, stay hydrated, take your vitamins and have a wonderful day!

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This post has 16 Comments

  1. lol! The main picture on the page is my baby Tilly! If you want more pictures of her, let me know! She is now 10 months old and is a total cutie!

  2. I saw a parti yesterday. Didn’t know they even existed. This dog was stunning! Didn’t get a chance to talk to the owner, but wish I had.

  3. Honestly, parti poodles are the best. My husband and I have experience with different poodle colors and the parti poodle is hands down the easiest to train and control. Can’t believe people used to kill them because of their coat coloration.

  4. I have an 8 week standard parti puppy he was born black and white but after a couple weeks his black was replaced with chocolate brown which is shorter and courser than his white is this common?

    1. Hey Cindy!

      Your parti poodle changing his coat color is pretty common and there is nothing to worry about, they usually ‘clear’ their initial coat color by the time they turn 2.

      Do let me know which color he finally changes to!

  5. Thank you for this background. We acquired a beautiful red parti pup 3 weeks ago – now 3 months old – not choosing him for his color but for his disposition. I honestly didn’t care about color, but we love his coloration and he is indeed turning heads even at his young age. He’s almost solid white except for ears and face – where there are also “freckles” or ticking. 3 or 4 random patches on his body just as you describe. Now that we’ve been introduced to this coloration I must say I actually prefer it to most of the solids. And his personality can’t be beat. Even my now-tired vet and good friend who loves standards had never seen or heard of this coloration. Although he is AKC registered as are his dam and sire, we only want him for a family pet so don’t care about showing.. We have, however, begun obedience training!!!!!

    1. Hey Judy,

      Thank you so much for sharing, I’m happy to hear you went with this beautiful coloration. Super-excited to hear you’ve begun his obedience training, all the very best for the future! 🙂

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