Parti Poodle Colors Chart Guide

Parti Poodle Colors

Though often spoke about as a color, "parti" actually describes the pattern on a poodles (or dog's) coat. A parti poodle has a white base coat and distinct patches of solid color. The general preference is for the dog's coat to look 50% white, 50% color, but more than 50% white is fine too as long as there is still distinct patches of color. 

If a poodle has mostly a solid colored coat and only a few small patches of white, the dog is a solid that just so happens to have some white and is generally known as an abstract. If the dog is, for example, solid red with just a small/tiny section of white on it's chest that would just be a "red poodle. In that case there would be no reason to call it an "abstract" unless you were entering the dog in dog club competitions  (UKC, CKC, AKC, etc) that called for distinct division by coat colors.  The opposite is also true, if a dog is all white and only has a very small amount of color, (less than 10% depending on the placement) that poodle would either be considered "abstract" in its coat coloring, or simply a white poodle that just happens to have a little bit of color. 

Note: Because "parti" is just a pattern, when referring to parti-patterned poodles as it relates to their color it is most proper to say the color first followed by parti. For example: Black parti, opposed to black and white parti, since a poodle being parti inherently says that it has a white base coat. You can also just refer to a black parti poodle as a black and white poodle. 

Poodles in all colors are beautiful, a true lover of the breed has to especially be able to appreciate parti poodles since they are the original coloring/pattern of the poodle. Parti Poodles can come in all the colors of a solid poodle, though some colors are more common than others. Like solids, parti patterned poodles come in all sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. They are more commonly seen in toy and standard sizes. 

Poodles Color Print, get it here. 

Solid Poodle Colors: Black, White, Brown, Cafe Au Lait, Silver, Gray, Silver Beige, Apricot, Cream, Blue, and Red.

Parti Poodle Colors: (below)


Black Parti, Black & White Poodle.
 Miniature Poodles in Modern Lamb Clip.

The first known coloring of the poodle, black and white poodles are classic. They can easily be found in every size and with many types of markings (tuxedo pattern, white blaze on the head, solid colored head, with ticking, clear coats (no ticking)). Black Parti's perhaps have the strongest lineage of any other color (besides maybe Brown Partis) and are bred in more countries than any other parti poodle color. Because of their indisputable original poodle title nearly all kennel clubs worldwide allow for them to be shown in conformation, even if their other color parti patterned cousins are not. Another name for Black and White Poodles are Harlequin Poodles /  Harlekin Pudles.

Brown or Chocolate Parti, Brown & White Poodle
Poodle in a beautifully feathered/styled Kennel or Sporting Clip.

A favorite of many, the brown and white poodle is a luxurious one. Their Hershey's colored coats contrasting with milky white always seem to bring exuberant delight to those who look upon them. Brown Partis are commonly seen in history books and in old paintings, even the famous painter Rembrandt was a proud owner of brown and white poodle. Because of their great lineage, some believe they may actually be the original colored poodle. Brown Partis can also be found in a lighter coffee colored variety known as Cafe Au Lait.

Silver or Gray Parti, Silver & White Poodle
Standard Poodle in Continental Clip

Truly a thing of beauty, Silver Parti's are probably one of the most elegant colorings for poodles. Easily the third most common color for standard sized partis, you can find them trotting around championship floors winning titles at their owner's heart's desire. Like blue poodles, silver poodles are born with black fur, but overtime they lighten to silver. Though their fur is black at birth, their skin is silver which can be seen by shaving down the face. So a Silver Parti will appear to be black and white initially, but will lighten to a beautiful silver and white poodle overtime.

See more Silver Parti Poodles, here.

Apricot Parti, Apricot & White Poodle
Standard Poodle in Continental Clip

Interestingly enough, Apricot and White type colored poodles can be seen in old paintings dated centuries back. When people talked of lemon and white poodles it is thought that in today's color standard it could possibly mean apricot and white poodles. (Both are fruits and the color are closely related). Like the silvers/grays/blues spectrum of poodle colors their can be many shade changes in the coats when in the cream/apricot/red spectrum of poodle colors. For example, as a puppy an apricot poodle may have been seen as a light red, but as the puppy ages and the color clears it may actually be an apricot or in some cases a cream. Solid colored apricot poodles are a newer favorite to those seeking to buy a poodle, making the Apricot Parti a wanted favorite as well.

See more Apricot Parti Poodles, here.

Blue Parti, Blue & White Poodle. 
Standard Poodle in Historically Correct Continental Clip (HCC)

The rarest of all parti poodles, Blue Parti's command attention whenever they're spotted. Blue poodles start off with a black coat, and the blueish coloring begins to show overtime. Many times people assume they have a black poodle until a year or so passes by and they began to see slight lightning in the coat. At a young age blue puppies will likely have brown highlights showing they are a blue and not black. In fact some blues go through a brown phase between year one and two. It may take two or even three years to clear, but the final color will be that of a "dusty black" "ashy black" "dark gun metal gray" or "blue-ish black". So Blue Parti Poodles will appear to be Black Parti Poodles, but by age two or three they should be a very lovely dark gun metal gray and white.

Red Parti, Red & White Poodle
Standard Poodle in Continental Clip

Both popular and chic, Red Partis are probably one of the most wanted poodles in recent times-- especially by breeders who are working hard to perfect their red and white parti poodle lines. Their popularity is undoubtedly related to the rise in popularity of red solid poodles. Red Parti Standard poodles can be more easily found these days and aren't as rare as they were in years pass. They generally come in two shades-- dark red and white -or- light/medium red and white.

See more Red Parti Poodles, here. 

Cream Parti, Cream & White Poodle
Toy Poodle in Puppy Clip

Rarely recognizable as a parti poodle, Cream Partis usually fly under the radar. Not because they want to, but because they're harder to recognize. A white and cream poodle could easily be grouped into solid creams since creams usually have some shading and take awhile to clear. While these fluffy milk and cream poodles are slightly hard to spot they are quite gorgeous.

See more Cream Parti Poodles, here. 


  1. Hi, Thank You for your Very Helpful & Informative site. It is Great & I learned a lot.
    We just adopted, (bought) a 2 1/2 yr.old female poodle, whose coat is 3 colors; mostly gray,4 white socks,w/mostly black--raccoon-looking face & white under chin & under tail, looks like shades of gray from a distance.

    Can you tell me if this is a parti/or harlequin??
    or just a 3 colored poodle. We have no papers for her. Thank You. Poodle parent in Vt.

  2. Hi poodle parent in VT,

    Congrats on the new pup! If she's 3 colors, then she's a "tri-color" or multi-color poodle. You mentioned raccoon coon looking face, so there is a chance that she's a merle or sable, but I'm thinking merle and those are gorgeous and rare.

    I'll do a post on those later on so you can compare, but I'm thinking merle or tri-color/mulit-color. Parti poodles are 2 colors, white and something else, and harlequin mainly just refers to black and white poodles (sometimes brown and white), but really just black and white like the harlequin great danes.

  3. Hi, wonder if you could help. I have a black bitch with brown patches. She is not a phantom as it is not just shading. It is in blocks, like a parti poodle, but i have never seen this colour before. Her Dam is black and silver and her sire is cream but comes from phantom and black and white parti. Her mum also has chocolate from her mothers side. Hope you can help, thankyou. Wendy U.k


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