Solid Colors and Their Explanations
All of the colors posted below are recognized by all kennel clubs and the breeds parent club, Poodle Club of America and are shown in AKC conformation. Any photos that are not mine, I have permission from owners to post. I will also include facts about new testing for modifiers and intensity genes that have been found within the last year or so. Some very exciting things will be coming our way for color testing!
There are three legitimate and ethical breed clubs that are the main registries in the US and Canada for solids and these are their breed standards.
American Kennel Club (AKC) , Canadian Kennel Club (CKC), United Kennel Club (UKC)
Clubs such as Continental Kennel Club (ConKC), Americas Pet Registry Inc, (APRI), and many, many others are not ethical clubs and they are not worth the paper pedigrees are printed on. Please do not be fooled by breeders trying to sell you dogs registered with these clubs. On the flip side however, dogs registered or shown in the clubs above do not guarantee quality dogs or an ethical breeder.
Any dog not owned by myself past or present, have been given to me with permission from their owners. Huge thanks to their owners for their permission and photos and their breeders for bringing these beautiful dogs into the world!
E locus-photo Harper Alue Poodles
Cream is a color that tends to fade into white as the dog ages. As puppies they can either have a cream coloring behind the ears or their whole body can be cream. As adults they can retain spots of cream behind the ears like Harper here. Some dogs do keep a cream tint into adulthood like the dog below.
Creams should have dark eyes and dark inky black pigment in their points; their nose, eye rims, lips, and pads. If you have a cream born with liver points, they have incorrect pigment. Creams should have black or self colored (ie clear) nails.
We have the last in the E series, white! White is timeless, white is classic. White Poodles should have dark eyes, nice dark inky black pigment on their noses and eye rims. They should also have black or self colored nails. Whites can also get what is called "snow nose" across many breeds; in the winter, their dark pigment will fade into a liver color that will then return in the summer. This is not the same as poor pigment.
You will see white Poodles with both dark, almost black looking skin when shaved in a Continental, and they can also have white skin. Dark pigment is preferred but there is nothing wrong with a dog with light skin.
With whites, there are a number born with a slighty creamy tinge to their coat but grow out into a white coat. True whites, called "ice white" in the breed, are rather rare.
Red is also on the E locus. Reds tend to fade to an apricot color or a light "washed out" red. There are of course reds who do not fade, but when purchasing a red be aware it's a possibility. There are breeders working towards breeding dark, holding reds, but that can also be a catch 22. Reds should have dark eyes and dark, inky black points; eye rims, lips, nose, and pads. If a red has liver pigment or spotty pigment, that is incorrect and is a major fault in the breed ring. Reds should have black or self colored (ie "brown") nails.
Apricot is a less intense version of red. Apricots tend to keep their color more, but they also can start out darker and fade to a shade of dark cream. Apricots should also have dark, inky black pigment on their points, however amber eyes and liver points are permitted but not desired. Apricots should have black or self colored nails as well.
Apricots and reds are the "newest" color in the history of the breed, so unfortunately the history with these lines and how the popularity of them exploded, they were bred for color for a very long time before temperament, structure, and health were put first. Because of this, one needs to be careful when searching for a red/apricot breeder; but there are numerous breeders that have dedicated their lives to bringing not only breed type and coat texture back, but they also focus on health, temperament, and structure.
Firstly it needs to be said that Poodles are not chocolate, they are brown. Brown is recessive to black, which is why it is "b" instead of "B".
Brown Poodles will always have lighter eyes, liver points, and self colored nails. Browns, like reds, are affected by fading. There are browns that are holding, but when purchasing a brown be aware fading will happen to a certain degree.
There are breeders that are working towards breeding holding browns, and there is inherently nothing wrong with that as long as temperament, health, and breed type come first before coat color.
Black Poodles. Timeless, classic, stunning!!
Blacks should be born inky black and should stay inky black. However, you will hear the term "bad black" which is different from a blue dog. A bad black simply refers to a dog that does not hold it's coat pigment. A black dog who's coat has been sun damaged does not mean it is a bad black.
Black dogs should have dark eyes, inky black pigment from top to bottom!
B locus/progressive greying
Blue is black with one copy of progressive greying (Gg). Blues will look black when they are born, but there is an "old breeders tale" that blue and silver puppies will have white hairs in between their toes, but that is not a blanket truth.
Blue Poodles will fade at varying speeds and degree. The two blues included are siblings but have not faded to the same degree. Most will fade into their 5th and 6th birthdays, but there are also some who hold onto a very slight blue tint for years.
Blues will have dark eyes and dark pigment on their eye rims, noses, lips, and paw pads. Nails will also be black.
B locus/ progressive greying
And last but not least on the dominate B locus, silver!! One that is my personal favorite and one that has stumped us for quite some time!
Silver is two copies of progressive greying (GG). Silvers are born black and by their first face shave their face should start to be silvering. Silvers, like blues, do not fade on a set scale. It is thought there are modifiers in play that determine how blues and silvers clear and to what degree. You can see silvers from a darker color all the way to platinum silver.
Silvers should have dark eyes and dark inky black eye rims, lips, nose, and paw pads.
Silver Beige "b"
B locus/progressive greying
And onto the last on the b locus, silver beige! My favorite brownies!
Silver beiges are browns with two copies of the progressive greying gene, and like silvers, you will see by their first face shave a silver brown color.
Silver beige Poodles are born brown and lighten with age, by two most are a beautiful silver color with a stunning brown hue, but all fade at different speeds and different shades. You can always know a silver beige is a silver beige and not a café from their faces at a young age.
Silver beige Poodles will have light eyes, liver points, and self colored nails.
Café au Laite "b"
b locus/progressive greying
Café is the blue of the brown colors!
Café is the result of the b locus with one copy of progressive greying gene. Cafés are easy to confuse with faded browns, but they are not the same. Cafés are born the same shade as a brown dog, but by the time they go home you will see their faces will be lighter than their body hair. Café dogs fade at varying shades through their life time.
Café Poodles will have light eyes, liver points, and self colored nails.