What Is A Phantom Poodle?
Just the name, Phantom poodle, suggests a rare breed of poodle is out there, known only to a few, and owned only by those with fat wallets. The truth of the matter is, the phantom poodle, while not your everyday poodle isn't all that rare. Not common certainly, perhaps a little uncommon, but not rare.
A Poodle Of Another Color
If you own a phantom poodle, you already know that it is just a poodle, only a poodle of a different color. The phantom poodle is not a different breed of poodle, or type of poodle, or size of poodle. It is a regular poodle, standard, miniature, or toy, which simply exhibits a specific color pattern. The phantom poodle is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a member in good standing within its breed, and meets the same standards that all poodles must meet.
The Tan Point Pattern
The phantom poodle exhibits a combination of colors, not just a single color. Certain combinations are recognized by the AKC, some are not. But in general, the AKC has standards for phantom markings, and if your phantom poodle meets these standards, all is well. Tan point patterns are standard on certain other breeds of dogs, such as the Doberman, certain spaniels, dachshunds, and black and tan coonhounds. Whereas the base color of the dog can be one of several colors, those with the tan point patterns will feature tan spots over each eye, on the undersides of the ears, on the feet or legs, and on the sides of the muzzle and cheeks. Markings may or may not be present on the chest. All phantom poodles will have this tan point pattern. Or looking at it another way, if your poodle has the same markings as does the Doberman, you have a phantom poodle.
The color combinations (not the tan point pattern) of a phantom poodle can vary significantly. The poodle may be basically black or black and gray, or black and silver. A combination brown with red or apricot coloring is not all that uncommon. No matter the combination, if the tan markings are there, the dog will qualify in most any show.
Poodle Sizes And Conformation
Three sizes of poodles, including the three sizes of phantom poodles, are recognized by the AKC. The standard size stands 15 inches or more at the shoulder, the miniature between 10 and 15 inches, and the toy size under 10 inches. Poodles in all sizes are active and extremely intelligent dogs. They could be describes as elegant in appearance, especially when properly clipped, and walk with an element of seeming self pride. The poodle cuts are not just something inspired by fashion designers but, in going back in time, have in many ways had a functional purpose of one kind or another. The eyes have much to do with the poodle's seemingly intelligent look. They are normally very dark, oval shaped, set apart, and positioned such as to create a look of intelligence and alertness. A long straight and strong muzzle completes the picture. The familiar coat is curly, dense, and of somewhat of a harsh texture, and sometimes hangs in tightly braided cords. The poodle by the way, is an excellent swimmer.
You may or may not be able to locate a poodle breeder in your immediate area, who has phantom poodle puppies for sale. There are many poodle breeders who do have them though, or specifically breed poodles for the phantom markings. Any pure bred poodle is going to be a bit expensive, though not necessarily much greater than other registered breed. But a phantom poodle puppy, being a bit scarcer and therefore harder to come by, may cost a few dollars more. If you can't locate a phantom poodle puppy, or find the expense of owning one too great, settle for an “ordinary” poodle. You won't be sorry.