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I truly appreciate all this information. There is a local (1 hour away) breeder. Found him through AKC, and he has all the things on his website you advise to watch out for as bad. PayPal, cost starts at $6000 and goes up from there, ships all over the country, no genetic testing. He has a phantom available as of today, previously reserved, family backed out. I am so confused.
Run away from that breeder! There are red flags all over the place! Instead of using AKC, look for breeder recommendations from the nearest poodle club. You can find one by going to www.poodleclubofamerica.org. On the main page there is a box below the picture that says "Looking for a Poodle". Click on it to begin researching reputable breeders in your area.
 

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Yup. AKC may dictate breed standards in the USA but their rigidity does nothing good for tracking breed lines and what is real for the breed. My opinion. I say, because Poodles originated from multi crossings throughout their evolution, brindles had to come out of sighthound Whippets, Greyhounds and such somewhere. Recognition of all their combinations could quelch the mystery and track what is a fact of their nature and give accuracy to their lines. Black and gray doesn't imply a solid color either for registration. It should be an International standard.
First of all, it is not the American Kennel Club that dictates standards. Standards are set by the national breed organization. For poodles, it is the Poodle Club of America.

Brindle does not necessarily come from a cross to sighthounds. It could have been incorporated many years ago from a number of other backgrounds. However, since the standards of every country that I know of specify solid color for poodles, there were very few brindles seen in the past because reputable breeders simply did not use them in their breeding programs when a brindle cropped up. That applies to abstracts, partis, and phantoms, too. In recent years, there have been people breeding dogs who know very little about breed standards, so they have seized on anything uncommon and touted it as rare and desirable. Back in the 1980s, we had a brindle crop up in our lines. We sold it as a pet with an agreement to have it neutered and spayed/neutered the dogs that produced it.
 

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PCA is not the only arbiter of standards; also in the US, the UKC has a poodle breed club, which embraces both solids and multi-colored dogs.
Sorry, I never think of UKC - there are almost no UKC events within 400 miles. When the UKC started becoming more common (1980s, I think) it seemed that the people who were most interested were people who did not like the AKC for whatever reason.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that most, if not all, poodle breed standards around the world specify solid color.
 
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