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What Is a Phantom Poodle?

| Updated September 26, 2017

A phantom poodle is not a frightening poltergeist or a new or rare breed. A phantom poodle is the same intelligent, lovable and entertaining toy, miniature or standard-sized companion who originated in Germany several centuries ago. Phantom is merely one of the color patterns that a poodle’s curly coat exhibits.

Poodles of Two Colors

Phantom and parti-colored poodles have coats that display two colors. The difference between the two is that a parti-colored poodle can display any two colors that may present in any pattern on the coat. A few examples of this two-tone color scheme include black and silver, black and red, white and red or blue and white. The pattern of a phantom poodle’s coat is more specific. The phantom coat is characterized as having a solid colored background with clearly marked points of a second hue.

Phantom Poodle Colors and Points

The solid background color of a phantom poodle’s coat may be black, brown, red silver, apricot, white or cream. The second color presents as specific points on the sides of the dog’s muzzle and on his chin, throat, chest, eyebrows, legs, paws and under the tail. These defined markings follow the same pattern as those found on a Doberman pinscher. Some examples of phantom color combinations include black with apricot, red, cream, silver or brown points, red with apricot points, silver with cream points or brown with apricot points.

Same Dogs with Different Colors

The United Kennel Club’s breed standards for solid-colored poodles and for multicolored poodles are the same, even though the two categories are shown separately. The only differences are in the coat color and pattern. The multicolored poodle category includes the parti-colored, abstract, sable, multipatterned and phantom poodles. Abstract coloring is defined as exhibiting less than 50 percent white in combination with any accepted solid color displayed on the remaining percent. This includes a phantom poodle who has abstract markings in addition to the pointed markings. The phantom poodle coloring may be seen on standard, miniature and toy-sized poodles. Standards for height, build, gait and other physical traits remain the same for all poodles.

American Kennel Club Still Disqualifies

Although the United Kennel Club recognizes the phantom poodle, the American Kennel Club standard allows only solid colored poodles in the conformation ring. Accepted solid colors include white, black, gray, apricot and café au lait, but parti-colored, phantom and other multicolored poodles are disqualified. The dogs can compete in the American Kennel Club obedience and agility competitions. Outside of competitive events, the phantom poodle provides his owner with the loving companionship and clownish entertainment for which poodles have long been admired as family pets.