Parti Poodle

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parti poodle

The Parti Poodle is a special kind of coloring in Poodles. “Parti” does not refer to the Poodle’s joy of celebrating – but rather to a “part white, part black/brown/red/blue” coloring.

Parti Poodles can be found in all types of Poodles: Toy, Miniature and Standard Poodles.

parti poodle

What makes this Poodle so special?

Poodles most commonly are solid-colored. They are all-black, all-white, all-red, apricot etc. While it is quite rare, it does happen that Poodles are born with large patches of white.

Specifically, the Parti Poodle needs to have more than 50% of his body in a white color. The other part can be any of the common Poodle colors: blue, brown, apricot and others.

The patching on Parti Poodles is irregular and random. Every one looks unique, and if you have a Parti Poodle you indeed have a one-of-a-kind dog. Because this type of pattern pops up randomly when breeding Poodles, it is very sought-after.


Like all Poodles these dogs are highly intelligent and attach themselves closely to one person. They require daily exercise and interaction in order to be happy and well-mannered. A bored Poodle is likely to become destructive or show unwanted behaviors such as separation anxiety or reactivity. 

If you don’t have at least 2 hours of time every day to devote to caring for your Poodle (regardless of his color!), this is not the right dog for you. Poodles tend to be a “nervy” breed, meaning they can easily develop anxiety, excessive barking or unwanted habits of peeing inside if they do not have sufficient time and engagement with their owner.

Poodles are not known to do well when left alone for long periods of time. If you work a job with long hours or like to travel to weekend trips, this is probably not the right dog for you.

brown poodle puppy blue eyes

Training your Parti Poodle

Like all Poodles, Parti Poodles are highly intelligent and require daily mental and physical exercise. Training your dog from am early age is the best way to turn him into a well-behaved adult dog that is a joy to have around! You should only use positive reinforcement methods to work with your dog. 

Plenty of treats are the best way to show him how you would like him to behave. If your Poodle is food-drive, you can even use his regular dog food for training.
The most important skills to teach your Parti Poodle are:

  1. Coming when called (this could be life-saving one day!)
  2. Walking well on a leash
  3. Not running out the door
  4. Sitting politely when asked
  5. Not jumping up at people

If you have small animals in your home, work a lot on impulse control and managing prey drive. With the right training, Poodles can live with cats in harmony.


Many owners pick Poodles and their mixes for their hypoallergenic qualities and their non-shedding coat. 

This however does not mean that your Parti Poodle won’t need brushing or bathing!

It is extremely important to brush your Poodle’s coat several times a week and have it trimmed and bathed every one or two months by a professional groomer. Matting can happen quickly in their dense, coarse coat, and it can become so bad that the dog needs to be shaved down to the skin.

Every Poodle owner should start bringing their dog to a groomer from puppyhood on – that way the coat is always well-maintained and looking great.

senior dog
three brown poodles outside

Where did Parti Poodles come from?

Curiously, Parti Poodles actually are not a novel fad, but a very old form of Poodles. Many paintings and drawings of Poodles in the 1800s and earlier clearly show brown-and-white or black-and-white dogs. The most famous early record of Parti Poodles is from 1631, when Rembrandt was painted with his own brown-and-white Poodle.

As dog shows and breeding for certain looks became more popular, parti became an unwanted coloring of the breed. The AKC does not allow them to be shown, so many breeders actually took to culling them right after birth.

Are Parti Poodles purebred?

Yes. Parti Poodles can pop up in litters of two purebred, solid-colored Poodles. While Parti is common in many kinds of Doodle mixes (such as the Sheepadoodle or Bernedoodle), it can also be seen in purebred Poodles.

It is possible to have a litter consisting of solid colored puppies with one Parti Poodle in the mix – or a litter that has half solid colored puppies and half patched pups, or even a litter that only has Parti-colored puppies.

Because of the AKC’s ban on the coloring (more on that below), breeders are usually careful to not produce Parti Poodles if they are planning on producing show dogs.

Because this beautiful pattern is becoming more and more popular though, some breeders are starting to specifically select and breed Parti Poodles.

standard poodle

Can you show Parti Poodles?

The American Kennel Club currently does not allow them at conformation shows. This however does not mean that they cannot be registered. Two registered AKC Poodle parents can produce a Parti-colored offspring. 

While Parti Poodles are not popular among dog show enthusiasts for this reason, they are very sought-after by many pet dog owners and often actually sold quicker than the solid-colored Poodles that can be entered in conformation shows.

If you are planning on attending a conformation show with your Poodle, you should stick to solid white, brown, apricot, blue or black Poodles.

How long do Parti Poodles live?

Parti Poodles live just as long as their solid-colored counterparts. For a Standard Poodle this is around 13 years, for a Miniature Poodle 15 years and for a Toy Poodle as much as 17 years. (Small dogs tend to live longer lives than larger ones, this holds true in any breed or mix)

Their coloring does not affect their lifespan or health in any way. It is just a different look!

black and white poodle

What is the difference between a Parti Poodle and a Phantom Poodle?

A Phantom Poodle has a coat of a solid color and bits of a secondary color. This secondary color however only covers small parts of the body. It might be present on the dog’s chest, eyebrows, or on the legs. Many Phantom Poodles look similar in appearance.

A Parti Poodle on the other hand needs to be at least 50% white and have patches of a second color distributed across his body. The colors are more uneven and the pattern will look random and always unique.

Are Parti Poodles more expensive?

As always, the demand can and will determine the price. Many dog owners are looking for Parti Poodles because they are so exotic and cool-looking. Many breeders sell Parti Poodles for higher prices than solid-colored ones. In many dog breeds the rare colors sell for higher prices. You can expect to pay upwards of $2,000 for a Parti Poodle.

You should always make sure that the breeder you pick is reputable and does not only breed for a certain color or pattering. Ask the breeder if the parents have health tests and reliable temperaments. Don’t ever buy a puppy from a breeder who only selects for a certain color. It is very important that the parents also have calm and friendly demeanors and are genetically healthy.

parti poodle puppy
black poodles and white poodle

Which color should you get?

Whether you get a Parti Poodle, a solid-colored Poodle or a Phantom Poodle will come down to personal preference. The temperament and disposition of the dogs is the same regardless of the coloring.

Do not make color your only criterion when choosing a puppy though: You should always make sure that the puppy is healthy, has a friendly character and fits in well with your family. 

If you want to take your dog to AKC dog shows, a Parti Poodle won’t fit the bill. If however you are looking for a uniquely colored companion dog who will be by your side anytime, any place, the Parti Poodle is the dog for you!