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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was tootling around online looking at Standard Poodles online. I am trying to train my eye to good conformation & such. After a nasty comment about my pup, "OH, you got a parti" & parti was said like a dirty word, I started looking at all the different colors of Standard Poodles. That lead me to have questions.

Is brindle & merle normal (or naturally occurring) color patterns in the Standard Poodle?

Also, does anyone know why the Parti Standard Poodle is not allowed in the show ring? How did this color pattern come into existence & why isn't it treated the same as solid ones? Or simply be given it's own category in the ring?
 

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The standards for poodles in the USA, Canada, the UK, Europe (FCI) and Australia state that poodles must be a solid color.

I think the reason that parti-colors are not allowed in the breed standards of all those countries is that the coat texture can vary by color and that makes it harder to groom. Poodles have for many years been carefully bred to be solid colors. White on the chest, toes, and tail tip has always occurred from time to time, but when it did occur, such dogs were sold as pets with a requirement that they be neutered - and the sire and dam were never bred to one another again.

Until a very few years ago, I had never heard of brindle or merle occurring in poodles. For that reason, I strongly suspect there have been outcrosses to other breeds to obtain those patterns.

Many (most?) breeds have color requirements - poodles are allowed a wide range of colors in the US so long as it is a single color. Shading is allowed (think of apricots and silvers) so long it's a uniform color at the skin.

Incidentally, it is the national breed club that sets the standard, not AKC. AKC simply has the requirement that dogs are to be judged by the standard set by the national breed club - in this case the Poodle Club of America.
 

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I am no expert but I definitely know that Merle is not a poodle color. Poodles had to be crossed with another breed to give blue merle puppies. If you buy a merle «*poodle*» you’re not not buying a true poodle.

I don’t know about brindle but it’s true we never saw those not so long ago. Maybe mixing with another breed had to occur as well ?
 

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IMO there are some who assume that those who own partis have chosen coat color over quality.
Quality in what way? Coat texture? Bone structure? Pretty face? Temperament? Pedigree? Health? Gender? Show potential? Or their own preferences which do not include Partis?

There are people who would criticize your poodle even if it was a solid color. Who cares what they think? You like the way your dog looks and acts and that's enough.

However it sounds like maybe you'd like to show your poodle? If so, I'm sad with you that they way AKC dogs shows were set up, this isn't a thing.

From a conformation show perspective, I think Partis (as well as Phantoms) should be able to compete in AKC if they are otherwise structurally sound and meet the standards of the breed beyond color. Maybe when the older people retire who are running things are replaced by younger ones in the future, that rule will change. In the meantime, you can show your dog in UKC; I've read these are more relaxed in general and with the rules but please check.

Here are some quotes I like that gets me past negativity I encounter:

“When dealing with critics always remember this: Critics judge things based on what is outside of their content of understanding.” - Shannon L. Alder

“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you." - Criss Jami, Killosophy. That ties into the above quote and that person looking down his or her nose at your ownership of a parti. If being nasty makes their day, pity them.

And this, by JFK: "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought" , to which I'll add, "and facts."

It might have been only the opinions of those hosting the earliest dog shows that partis should be excluded. Or perhaps back then there were other concerns, I don't know. However, by history, partis have been around for centuries. I'll venture a guess that none of the early folks setting the standards owned a parti.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
IMO there are some who assume that those who own partis have chosen coat color over quality.
That's the impression I got by comments the person made after I posted my questions here. She assumes (incorrectly) that I was looking for a flashy dog. Which is laughable because I didn't want a parti colored Poodle at all... I think they are beautiful but it was the underlying working temperament that I was after & basically whatever color pajamas the pup came in, I took. So I didn't go for flash over quality. But as you say, it's an assumption.

My foundation was started in the Doberman breed. Back when my folks bred them there might have been two colors but no breeder permitted a fawn or blue. Ever. Heaven only knows what would have happened if any of them ever produced a white pup came out. Black & rust was the gold standard & Red was the color the breed color noted but the color was actually brown & was the color of a melted Hershey candy bar with just a hint of cinnamon to the coat color. Pigments were dark & rich. Honestly back then people kind of poo pooed a little on the brown dogs as they tended to have issues from time to time with skin issues. There were certain lines that produced smudge on the rust markings & those could be really good working dogs. That's not even starting on the little oddities the proper bred Dobies do, they make some of the neatest noises you've ever heard (the woodpecker chatter, front end bouncing, smiling guardian that terrifies everyone except those who knows him, etc...). So having been in on that as a very small child... I get a little fascinated by what was compared to what is now.

Your dog, btw, is drool worthy. What a beautiful dog & beautifully groomed!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am no expert but I definitely know that Merle is not a poodle color. Poodles had to be crossed with another breed to give blue merle puppies. If you buy a merle «*poodle*» you’re not not buying a true poodle.

I don’t know about brindle but it’s true we never saw those not so long ago. Maybe mixing with another breed had to occur as well ?
That explains why those pups don't look quite right to my eye when compared to other Standard pups. Head shape, conformation, etc.. look a little different. Now I have seen some gorgeous brindle Poodles. In fact I almost bought one on accident. When the breeder presented me with a picture, the puppy was a very dark sable. Gorgeous pup. No red flags as far as what the puppy looked like. When I see a lot of the merles there's red flags flying everywhere. But this pup looked great. The breeder got weird (ever heard of someone saying they won't allow you to come to their facility to pick up their puppy & citing the reason as security reasons? Come to find out she's positive among puppy buyers is a murderer that's going to get them... sigh). So I walked away deciding either it's paranoia or she's hiding something. But when I saw later pictures of the puppy, she had very faint tiger stripes.

What I'll never understand is why anyone would want to put the merle into the poodles. Yes, it's a beautiful color but it's not without complications which can further weaken the breed. But I've also seen apricot looking puppies that look more like Golden Retriever puppies than Poodle puppies. Which is scary
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Vita, you are right & the person's comments really didn't phase me so much. People really don't realize what a pandora's box they open when they say such things to me. It only makes me curious. I found my most treasured trainer that way. People kept talking trash about this man so much, so loudly, and with so much jealousy that I had to check him out. Come to find out you'll be harder pressed to find a man who is more in it for the dog than this guy (he's retired now). I flew out of country to go to him with my dog & the experience was life changing. So their snarkiness just makes me curious. :) Yes, some might say I'm quite a pain... lol
 

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I am knee-deep into this exact question! I absolutely love partis/abstracts, mostly because of a gorgeous red and cream girl I met. She swept me off my feet! ?

I figured it would be a pretty simple matter to find a breeder with interest in partis (or mismarks of any type!), but I've since learned it's not so easy. I can understand why some people assume partis come from inferior breeders because as I've been searching around for them, I've found many are listed by high-volume breeders and even poodle/doodle breeders.

I'm still searching for that goldilocks breeder...one with a solid reputation for health and temperament but who is also interested in non-solid coats. I won't compromise what really matters for an aesthetic I favor, but if I can have both, all the better. ?
 

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I'm still searching for that goldilocks breeder...one with a solid reputation for health and temperament but who is also interested in non-solid coats. I won't compromise what really matters for an aesthetic I favor, but if I can have both, all the better. ?
Spirit poodles in Minnesota also has a line of parti colored poodles using kennel name Vintage. They have that reputation for health and temperament, and produce really nice dogs.
 

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Spirit poodles in Minnesota also has a line of parti colored poodles using kennel name Vintage. They have that reputation for health and temperament, and produce really nice dogs.[/QUOTE]

Thank you! I just looked them up and I'm finding some great information on their site.
 

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I think adding parti’s into AKC conformation would be good for the breed. There is certainly historical precedent, in early poodle art. They’re flashy looking to me, and if they can compete on all the points categories with the solids, why not? I’m rooting for another color of poodle to win a marquis show besides white or black.
 

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I think they are all beautiful. I'm not showing my dogs in conformation so it wouldn't bother me what color my dog was. My only concern is that I buy a healthy well tempered pup. I certainly wouldn't let someones opinion influence me either.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think adding parti’s into AKC conformation would be good for the breed. There is certainly historical precedent, in early poodle art. They’re flashy looking to me, and if they can compete on all the points categories with the solids, why not? I’m rooting for another color of poodle to win a marquis show besides white or black.
It just seems very short sighted to me. I could understand excluding a color or coat pattern that is associated with health problems but I don't find evidence of that. I would think it would be a good thing to have those parti's in the conformation show ring. If they don't want the parti Poodles competing against the solid colored ones, then give them their own slot. Like most I have favorite colors. I love silvers (especially the soft pale silver). Pierre that I worked with all those years ago... he always reminded me of a puff of smoke. I LOVE sables & phantoms. I've got a soft spot for the apricot & creams. The whites are so majestic but living in the country with the dirt road & allowing the pups to be pups... Mr. Layne's white is just ugh. Poor guy, I feel guilty about his dingy white but he's so happy I just clean him up... again :) But I have to tell you, his breeder had what I believe will turn out to be a silver beige party girl that was Mr. Layne's sister. If she hadn't already been sold, I would have snapped her up in a heartbeat. Just stunning. It's just a shame that the parti's are excluded from something that is supposed to help improve the breed so it doesn't make sense to me :(
 

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"Self-portrait in oriental attire with poodle"

Rembrandt
Date: 1631
Style: Baroque
Genre: self-portrait
Media: oil, panel
Dimensions:66.5 x 52 cm

But art history could be wrong!
 

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It just seems very short sighted to me. I could understand excluding a color or coat pattern that is associated with health problems but I don't find evidence of that.
There are a few recent forays by geneticists into canine genetics and health that I hope answer these questions once and for all. Veterinary Genetics Lab at UC-Davis seems to be the leader, but U-Minn has a similar program, and there may be others.

My go to example is Dalmatians and hyperuricusaria. In the 1970s, a British doctor with an interest in Dalmatians decided to outcross one of his Dals to a closely related breed (a pointer) in an attempt to breed out the gene mutation that causes hyperuricasuria (high uric acid causing kidney stones that have to be removed surgically) (read more about the genetics here).

He then crossed the offspring back to Dals for 14 generations, each time selecting for normal uric acid levels. After 14 generations, his Dals were 99.98% identical to those of a "purebred" Dal, but without the dreaded high uric acid gene. He petitioned the Dalmatian Club for entry and was approved, but you can imagine the outcry.

Even the AKC's Health & Welfare Advisory Committee wrote to support his petition:

“Because the introduction of the low uric acid dogs into the AKC registry gives Dalmatian breeders a scientifically sound method of voluntarily reducing the incidence of the condition, this committee strongly recommends some controlled program of acceptance of these dogs. Where the strict health and welfare of the breed is the over-riding concern, no other argument can be made.”​

Subsequent actions by the AKC seems to undermine their commitment to the health and welfare of their member breeds. (Here is an older WDJ article on the subject.)

I think about this example when I read or listen to discussions about heritable diseases in poodles. The genetics of these diseases may not be as simple, so the solutions may be more complicated than one outcross followed by 40 years of backcrossing. But I'm grateful that geneticists are now involved, and I wonder if multicolors will be part of the solution.
 
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