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Sable/Brindle... poodles.. :O

56719 Views 38 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  mvhplank
So after reading that these exist on another thread, I went on google images and got... like 5 pictures and alot were puppies.. and pups dont really help me get an idea of what one would look like as an adult.

Certainly someone on here owns/has seen a sable or brindle poodle, can someone please describe what these look like as adults and if possible post some pics? this really has spiked my interest
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Yeah, this is an 11-year-old thread, but I stumbled on it while looking for an article I read previously on the color genetics for brindle poodles.

What happen to the brindles prior to 1950's? 1950 is not that long ago. This makes me still believe brindles were added from other breeds. If you could find more info about brindles early one then I will believe this color to be orginal. I have old poodle books and they never mention brindles but then again these books are written by people who are breeding solid dogs so you know some history is left out.
My newest poodle is Hobbes, born September 2019, and is a brindle. I like to keep his body clipped to about 1/2 inch to better define the stripes, but his breeder tells me they will fade with age. I presume that's because the coat grows continuously and only new sable hair has the distinctive bands of color. But still, the stripes on his skin remain, and make a lovely chevron pattern on the shaved part of his tail.

He's fully registered in both AKC (as "black and silver") & UKC (as "brindle"). I also was wondering about the origin of the color variation. In the picture below he got his first two competition wins in UKC conformation (November 2020). [Note to self, continue training him to hold his tail up when gaiting.] His mom is a UKC Emerald Grand Champion and two of his littermates have finished their grand championships. I got him as an obedience prospect and my instructors all think he has loads of potential. He learns incredibly fast and is already starting to understand dumbbell retrieves, the full pile of scent articles, and short go-outs. Attentive heeling, as with any dog (I think) is a lifelong training and reinforcement task, but he's starting to get it.

I was reviewing his genetic report (Optimal Selection, now Wisdom Panel) yesterday and found some clues that might relate to the origin of brindle.

Coat Type:
Trait: MC5R c.237A>T
Genotype: C/T
Description: The dog carries one copy of the allele associated with heavy shedding and one copy of the allele associated low shedding. This genotype has no effect on a dog with furnishings, but non-wire-haired dog with this genotype is likely heavy or seasonal shedder. [NOTE: He tests AA/TT for furnishings, meaning he is likely to express them--as if you can tell on a poodle.]

Coat Colour:
Trait: Colour Locus K - Dominant Black
Genotype: KB/ky || KB/kbr || kbr/ky || kbr/kbr
Description: The dog is genetically dominant black or brindle.

Trait: Colour Locus A - Agouti
Genotype: ay/ay
Description: The dog is genetically sable.

[By the way, he does NOT a carry merle: m/m]

Trait: chr10:11072007
Genotype: C/T
The dog carries one copy of an allele typically associated with floppy ears, and one copy of an allele typically associated with pricked ears.

So, an ancestor that is sable, sheds heavily, and has prick ears would be the suspect. But, as with merle poodles, if you lie about parentage on the paperwork and breed several subsequent generations, the genetics are otherwise indistinguishable from registered poodles.

He tests "clear" of all the disorders found in in multiple breeds of dogs--starting at page 5 and continuing to page 14. The full genetic report runs 22 pages in PDF format.

But ya know, closed registries, especially in rare breeds, are damping down genetic diversity. My guy tests as highly diverse, though I can't check the current figures because Optimal Genetics hasn't restored that feature (scheduled for early 2021).


And here he is, earning 197.5 in his second CDSP Novice test at 13 months old:

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That is a good question, Roxy. I cannot recall ever seeing a brindle poodle of any size. Like merle, I suspect a cross to another breed has been made. It is sad that people are taken in by ads for colors/patterns that are not supposed to exist in a breed. Reputable breeders work very, very hard to breed to the standard (the written description of breed characteristics that is maintained by the breed parent club). For poodles, that means breeding dogs that are an even, solid color at the skin (that allows for natural shading in apricots and silvers).
I take exception to your comment. I consider the breeder of my boy to be a reputable breeder, doing all health testing and researching her breeding selections carefully. You don't have to breed ONLY solid poodles to be a reputable breeder, particularly since the multi-colors are fully embraced by UKC and reportedly more recently by some European kennel clubs. My boy's breeder raises the litters with Puppy Culture methods, which I think is critically important. She could have placed my boy in other situations, but she really wanted him to go to a performance home, which is what I aim to give him.

Please be aware that the earliest depictions in art of poodle-type dogs were parti-colors. The decision to concentrate on solid colors was made in Europe by FCI and copied in America by AKC, perhaps because solid colors were more "fashionable."

Parti-colors have always been part of the breed. But I'll admit that there's not similar evidence for brindles in the historic record. They appeared well before genetic tests were as widely used (one source says the 1950s)--and, importantly--there don't appear to be any health effects related to being a brindle, unlike the problems associated with the merle gene.

I do agree that breeding merle poodles needs to be discouraged, but it's an uphill battle. I'm a member of the UKC's United Poodle Association, which embraces both multi-colored and solid-colored poodles, but the UPA specifically discourages merles and will not recognize that color as a purebred. This is not only because of their questionable origin, but because of the health risks that are associated with the merle genetics.

On the other hand, closed registries like those in AKC and UKC pretty much guarantee reduced genetic diversity and greater likelihood of genetic diseases. (See an argument against closed registries here: Inbred Thinking - Terrierman - American Working Terriers) So my brindle boy, with very good diversity scores, may have had some ancestors that snuck into the registries by the side door, and good for him!
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