|A note about color:
NO breeder can absolutely guarantee a pup will not change color as he or she gets older.
We cannot guarantee the final color your dog will be as an adult. We do our best estimation but
we simply cannot guarantee it any more than we can guarantee how tall or how heavy your pup
will be as an adult.
Why so many different colors?
If we were to focus on producing just one color we would seriously limit the genetic diversity
of our breeding program.
Our primary focus is NOT on producing a specific color- Our focus is on producing balanced,
sound, healthy, happy dogs.
"Colour breeding" is a term that refers to breeding primarily based upon coat color.
We do not color breed! We want the whole package- without inbreeding!!
Our dogs do have genetic diversity which is why they also carry for such a spectrum of
beautiful and often unique colors.
Do colors affect health or temperament?
Absolutely not! There is absolutely no study that indicates that any color is healthier or of a
different temperament that another. The reason this faulty theory exists is due to the human
mind's desire to over simplify - discrimination and racism start this way!!
Blue or Apricot Sable!
Sable is a very unique color in the poodle.
It can be a blue sable or a cream/apricot/red sable
depending if the base color is Eumelanin or Phaeomelanin.
Eumelanin based sables look like the top dog what we
refer to as a Blue Sable. As the coat gets longer the tips
turn a silver color. When the coat is short- as it is on the
head and face- the coat is dark!
Phaeomelanin base is evident in the dog below. The coat
appears a cream or sometimes as dark as a red. The
ears are longer which show the sable tipping. Most of the
Phaeomelanin sables have a dark mask which may lighten
as they get older. This color is often referred to as Cream,
Apricot or Red Sable.
Only one parent needs to be sable to produce sable
pups. Sable is an incomplete dominant.
The markings are like Dobermans!
Although the Merle dilution does not affect the coat color in cream, apricot and red but it can still be passed
by parents that don't appear diluted! Sable coloring can also mask the Merle dilution. Some dogs are almost
completely black with just a very small amount of merling on its ear and tail. This pattern is discouraged
because it can "hide" the merle gene if the black covers up all the merle in the coat. Dogs with little or no
Merle can dilute all the black and brown pigment on a dog INCLUDING the color in the iris of the eye. This
dilution makes the eye or part of the eye blue. This does not affect their vision.
Black dogs with merle dilution are often called "blue merles" because the bluish color between the patches in
their coat. This term is misleading. They should be called black merles because they are able to make
normal eumelanin in their coat, so their patches are black. If they didn't have the merle gene, they would be
solid black. "Blue merle" is misleading because it implies these dogs have blue pigment when in fact they
A normal black merle becomes a "red" merle when it the color of the dog is brown. "Red merle" is also a
misleading term because "red" is usually used to refer to phaeomelanin (apricot, cream, red) rather than
eumelanin. A red merle should correctly be called a brown merle.
Sable is the hardest merle to see. Sable has black on the tips of the dog only. Often blue merles can only
be distinguished if they have blue eyes or silver hairs on their back along side of the black hairs. However,
the grey or silver hairs are hard to see against the red or cream coat.
Red in poodles is a recessive. A red dog means the dog is unable to produce eumelanin (except in its nose
and eyes), and can only produce phaeomelanin, so its coat is red all over (except for any white markings).
Merle only affects eumelanin, so if there's none there, there can't be any merle. Just like with clear sable, a
recessive red merle can be impossible to distinguish from a non-merle dog. It will simply appear solid red,
and the only giveaway is if it has one or two blue eyes.
A merle with the dilution gene will appear very washed-out. (ie blue, silver, cafe etc...)The blue or cafe
patches will be diluted almost to the same shade as the base colour. So a blue merle will appear almost
completely light grey with some faint darker grey patches, and cafe merle will be light greyish brown with
faint darker brown patches. Because the poodle has a long coat, it can be next to impossible to tell a blue or
cafe or other diluted merle from a non-merle.
Merle dilution needs to be handled with care. Breeding two Merle parents together CAN produce deaf and
blind puppies! Merle does not affect the health of puppies unless BOTH parents are merle then some of the
puppies will be affected. That is just another reason breeding is best left to those who understand
pedigrees and genetics!
Merle is probably the most mis-understood and hotly debated dilution gene in the poodle. Many believe it
must be a recessive gene because it doesn't affect the appearance of red, apricot and red or diluted colors
such as blues and silvers. In addition, it can be hard to see or not evident at all on black and brown dogs
Not only is its appearance illusive to breeders but it has confused scientists and it is still not completely
The merle pattern has been studied many times and the last study released in 2006 emphatically stated
that merle was caused by a mutation in the gene called SILV or PMEL17. The research was believed to be
so solid that tests were offered to breeders to identify Merle in their dogs. However, as of March 2009 the
company who owned the patent for the test, Idexx, stopped offering tests as they discovered the scientists
identified the wrong gene. SILV is not responsible for merle. The gene they decided was merle (SILV)
actually turned out to be for a form of piebaldism- not merle.
We have been saying for years that it can be difficult to tell by sight alone the difference between double
merle dogs and piebald dogs, and evidently genetic researchers could not either.
Any study or research quoting SILV or referring to the Idexx website is outdated and incorrect!!
What we know for certain is that Merle was likely a recessive gene at one point as it is still in many breeds.
Why it now expresses as a dominant in some breeds is unknown. (still to be studied)
Merle should not be bred to Merle in MOST breeds of dogs but there are some breeds of dogs that the
double merle is not an issue. There is some research in progress trying to determine what is really
transpiring with the merle to merle as there have been many merle to merle which have resulted in all normal
offspring. One theory is that piebaldism may be issue when connected to merle- or it may be piebaldism
itself that is the issue.
It has been long understood that a lot of white in animals can cause issues. Now, when we refer to
excessive white we are NOT referring to solid white in poodles. The gene or genes responsible for
producing a white poodle appears to be different than the gene responsible for piebaldism. There are NO
health issues associated to white poodles!
Until this is studied more throughly and understood we will be avoiding all Merle to Merle breeding.
Merle is called different names in different breeds and different species but it is believed to be the same
gene -Dachshund it is called 'dapple' in mice it is called 'roan'
Parti is a simple recessive. Both parents must carry for parti to produce parti pups.
Phantom is an simple recessive -
however it only affects some colors
(Brown, Black and their dilutes such
as silver and blue) But does not
affect apricot, red, cream or white.
The puppy on the left shows obvious merle dilution where the dog on the right shows very subtle merling
due to his coat being a brindle blue parti.
Both dogs are purebred and are Registered with the American & Canadian Kennel Club.
- There are a lot of cross bred Merle Poodles mixes who are NOT purebred dogs- Most cross bred
poodle mixes shed and are not registered with an official kennel club (such as AKC or Canadian
Kennel Club) The popular cross seems to be the Australian Shepherd / Poodle mix. Although they
may be cute, they do not have the allergy friendly qualities of the purebred poodle.
Paris Poodles does NOT breed mixed breed dogs. The Merle dogs born at Paris Poodles are the result
of Canadian Kennel Club Registered Purebred Poodle bred to Canadian Kennel Club Registered Purebred
Poodle. We have NEVER mix bred! All of our dogs are non-shedding, allergy friendly... as are all Poodles!
Merle dilution exists in many breeds of
dogs and other mammals.... Including mice!
Brindle is simply stripped. Color and thickness of the
strips varies with each dog.
Brindle typically appears as black stripes on a 'red' base.
The stripes are eumelanin and the base is phaeomelanin,
so the appearance of those pigments can be changed by
any of the genes which usually affect them.
- Eumelanin (the pigment making up the stripes) can be
affected by: merle (and harlequin), liver, dilution, greying,
and recessive red.
- Phaeomelanin (the pigment making up the base) can be
affected by: Intensity locus.
White markings and ticking can occur on any brindle dog.
Black Merle and Brown Merle
(also incorrectly called Blue Merle and Red Merle)
Merle is not a color but a dilution gene, that is, it
lightens whatever the coat color would otherwise have
been. The lightening is not spread evenly over the
coat, but leaves patches of undiluted color scattered
over the dog's body.
Merle dilution gene affects eumelanin. That means
that any black, brown, blue, silver, cafe in the coat will
be merled, whether it's the whole of the body, a mask
on a sable, shading, brindle stripes, or even a saddle.
Phaeomelanin (red, apricot, cream) is not affected at
all and will appear as normal.The lightening only
affects the black, brown or black & brown diluted
colors (silver, blue) pigment in the coat. This gene
does NOT affect cream, apricot, red.
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all content and all pictures on these pages are copyrighted. Use without permission is prohibited.
All rights are reserved
Paris Poodle Markings!
Page one discussed the colors of our poodles. This page covers the markings- that is
the genes that alter those colors which make unique and beautiful variety in our breed!!!
"1600s painting of the traditional poodle"
(Original source unknown)
Parti-colored poodles are recognized in poodle history
as the original coloring of the poodle.
Parti coloring is defined as at least 50% one color and
50% another color.
This means the dog will be 50% of the solid colors: black, blue, brown, silver, etc... and 50%
white. This also includes the patterns listed below!
Same dog as a puppy. Brindle can
start off appearing to be a sable!
Cream Sable as a Puppy
Blue sable as a Puppy
most often modified to "saddle" or "creeping"
tan. Saddle and creeping tan dogs are born
with the usual tan point pattern but the
eumelanin retreats as the dog ages.