In your web site I come across references to colors that I don’t understand. What do “Sable”, “Phantom”, “Parti-color” and “Abstract” mean?
“Abstract” basically means any color pattern other than a solid color. In the American Kennel Club’s narrow view of “acceptable” colors, only solid colored dogs are allowed in the show ring. If the dog has any color on it other than it’s basic color it is considered “an abstract” color and inadmissible to show in the AKC. Most other show rings (like the International All-Breed Canine Association, the United Kennel Club, and many others) allow abstract colors.
Examples of abstract colors and patterns:
From top left across: Brown and Red Phantom, Chocolate and Red Phantom, Black and Red Phantom with a lot of White, Red with White Markings, Black and Tan Phantom, Black and white Parti-color, Light Brown Sable, Red Sable with white, Black and Red Phantom with a little White, Red and White Parti-color, Tri-color Parti-Color.
As you can see — “phantom” isn’t a color, it is a color pattern. Base color on the body with a different color on the face, chest, feet and under the tail.
“Sable” can be both a color (dark, dark brown) or a color pattern (black at the end of another color of hair throughout the dog’s coat but especially the ears, muzzle and tail).
“Parti-color” is a dog that is either primarily white or at least half white with patches of one other color.
“Tri-color Parti-color” is a white dog with patches of two other colors in its coat. (very rare)
Note on poodle colors…. if someone says that they have a “Merle” poodle — either they have a mixed breed or they don’t actually know what a merle is. The merle color and pattern (blue, black, white, brown all on the same dog). (The colors kind of look like they were put in a blender and then poured on the dog….) Do not exist in the poodle breed. And that is a VERY GOOD thing. The merle gene also frequently carries serious genetic problems such as blindness, deafness, tiny eyes, allergies and other skin problems. DO NOT BUY a “merle” poodle. They don’t exist as purebreds and with that color on a mixed breed you could end up with a puppy with very serious problems.
Can I Show My Dog?
YES! and, maybe not…. It depends on what kind of show you are talking about. Our poodles are all registered with the American Kennel Club. But the AKC has some ideas about what colors should and should not be allowed in the show ring that other registries and countries don’t agree with. As far as the AKC is concerned, for poodles, no solid colored dog should have any other color on it’s coat. You can not show a poodle in an AKC conformation show ring if it has ANY other color other than it’s base color. So, no white patches, no phantom patterns, no sable or parti-color or ANYTHING other than one, solid, color.
“Boring” is what I (and a whole lot of other people) say. “Unimportant” is what a lot of other registries and countries say.
“There is no such thing as a bad color on a good dog” is what the smart old timers say. And I agree.
A good dog, a dog that is conformationally correct, has a great temperament, is physically suited to what it was bred to do and is genetically healthy should not be harshly judged on something as insignificant as color.
This is why we show our dogs in the International show rings — where color is not as important.
Here are three Powder Valley Poodles on the day they achieved their International Championships. All three dogs would not be eligible for AKC shows because they are not the “proper” color (by AKC standards), including the dog on the left — “Powder Valley Rowdy’s 2nd. In Command” (aka, “Chewie”), who is a multiple Best In Show winner in the international show ring.
We show our dogs in the International All Breed Canine Association dog shows. Where the dogs are judged against the breed standard based from where the dog originated.Many of our poodles have white markings, white chests, white toes, or come in genetic patterns like parti-color, phantom and sable. None of these beautiful dogs are allowed to show in the AKC conformation ring but CAN be shown in many other dog show rings. And you can always show your purebred dog — and mixed breeds — in obedience at the AKC dog shows.
Since we primarily breed for intelligence, temperament and health — we don’t really care if its color is different or there is white on it’s chest. We just want a good, solid, workable and healthy dog. THAT is why you will see us at the International dog shows and most likely not at the AKC shows.
Do You Socialize Your Puppies?
Oh, yes. We socialize our puppies. Our puppies have planned activity with all ages of people — from kids to my “3 Amigas”, three ladies in their eighties who have been coming to the ranch for over 12 years to hold, play with, and interact with the puppies (and load goats into the trailer, and herd llamas to a different pasture, and feed cows graham crackers, gather pigs, mend torn dog beds, hold puppies for pictures, help castrate lambs — I mean, really, who says you have to sit around all day and knit when you get older? — so yes, socialization is a large part of our program. The puppies are also exposed to as many sights, sounds, temperature changes and environments as we can safely expose them to given their age and lack of immunity.
What is a “Flat Coat Puppy” when referring to standard poodles?
What do Your Yorkie/ Poodle mix puppies look like?
How big will they get?
Is it true that poodles don’t shed?
Yes, it is true, poodles do not shed. They can have dandruff, which someone might be allergic to, but poodle hair just keeps growing out, as opposed to falling out and being replaced by a new coat as is the case of most other breeds. This is why people who are somewhat allergic to dogs are usually not allergic to poodles.
However, people severely allergic to dogs can sometimes still have a reaction to poodles (because of the aforementioned dandruff), and should do a “test run” with a friend or neighbor’s poodle before assuming that they can go ahead and bring a poodle puppy home. Simply testing your reaction to the puppy won’t be sufficient, as a puppy may not have been alive long enough to develop allergy inducing dandruff.
Please, before committing to a puppy, test out your nose, eyes and throat on an adult poodle if dog allergies are a problem for you or a member of your immediate family.
Are poodles good with kids?
Generally, a well-bred, healthy poodle will be good with children who are respectful of the poodle’s size and associated potential fragility.
However, children who treat the poodle disrespectfully by constantly picking up, dropping, teasing, and grabbing, are going to be treated accordingly. Even well-bred poodles are going to defend themselves against harm if they feel threatened by a child’s actions.
Usually, unless a poodle has been frightened by a child’s past actions, children and poodles are great playmates. They are generally gentle dogs who react accordingly to gentle children.
How often should poodles be groomed?
That’s really up to personal preferences. Since poodle hair just keeps growing, not grooming on a regular schedule will insure a matted, messy-looking little ragamuffin.Most poodle owners have their dogs groomed professionally about every 8 weeks. If you like a fuzzier looking dog, go every 12 weeks. If you like the more clean shaven look, every 4 weeks.
A professional grooming should (and usually does) include a bath, a hair trim in the style you desire, toenail clipping and ear cleaning.
Some groomers also make expressing the anal glands a part of the visit prior to the bath. I would discourage this, as improperly expression of these glands can lead to infected anal glands and surgery. Let your veterinarian deal with it if your dog has anal gland build up, not the groomer.
Have the poodle’s groomer gently pull dead hair out of the dogs ear canal with fingers only. Do not allow the groomer to pull ear hair out by the roots using a hemostat or other device. This can cause severe pain, skin ulceration and infection.
What about grains and seizure disorders in small and toy dogs?
Males or Females?
Temperament Differences in Poodle Gender
I am astonished by the frequent misconception involving the temperament of poodles in regard to gender. For some reason, people prefer female toy and miniatures because they think the girls are quieter, sweeter, and easier to housebreak.
After living with and working with hundreds of poodles over several dozen years I think that on the contrary, people have it backwards. Although both sexes are close when it comes to ease of housebreaking and noisiness, I think that on average, the boys tend to be more affectionate, less independent, and a better family dog than the girls. The girls sometimes pick out one person in the family and are glued to that person whereas the boys tend to spread their love to all members.
Of course, these are generalities, and you may have some aloof boys and super-affectionate girls (let’s face it – all poodles are very affectionate, regardless of gender.)
My advice is: If you want a family dog and have lots of kids, get a boy. If you want a little bit more independent dog, get a girl.
But, honestly, they are so close I don’t think it makes that much of a difference. With standard poodles I do see a more obvious difference.
Girls are usually more reserved and have less tolerance for the shenanigans of small children. Boys, on the other hand, seem much more tolerant of small children and other pets. Well-bred girls should be fine with kids when raised with them but female standard poodles not raised with children may want to hide under a table somewhere instead of having to put up with the noise and chaos that are a part of living with little kids.
Have a rowdy bunch at home and want a standard poodle? Get a boy. Want a quieter, reserved pet that takes less time to train? Get a girl. Again, these are generalities. However, if you are on the fence as to which sex to consider, this may help.
How can you register a Miniature Poodle / Toy Poodle mix?
Are the puppies still considered purebred puppies?
Yes, the puppies are purebred poodle puppies. The American Kennel Club only recognizes poodles as poodles, not sizes. Unlike some other breeds, such as Schnauzers, poodles are poodles, regardless of size, whereas the three sizes of Schnauzers are considered three separate breeds. The only time that size is considered is when showing a poodle. The three size designations are judged separately as Toy, Miniature, and Standard. Otherwise, size doesn’t matter.
What kind of health problems can poodles have?
Unfortunately, health problems run rampant in many lines of poodles. There are 26 recognized problems associated with Miniature and Toy Poodles. A few more for Tea Cups, a few less, for Standards. All in all, the poodle breed of dog is one of the most genetically disease-plagued in the United States. The reason for this high incidence of genetic problems is poor breeding standards.
Because the poodle has been a popular breed for a long period of time, breeders unconcerned with quality have created many lines of unhealthy dogs. These breeders breed only to make a fast buck. Not checking for genetic, inheritable problems in their breeding stock, they – sometimes quite unintentionally – produce puppies with severe health problems.
These problems frequently don’t show up until the dog is firmly entrenched as a member of someone’s family and the dog may have, in turn, produced a litter or two of it’s own puppies.
The only way to stop the cycle of unhealthy dogs breeding more unhealthy dogs is to test each potential breeding dog for the problems BEFORE they are bred. This is expensive, and is why many breeders don’t do it.
The 12 (out of 26) most common inheritable problems
associated with small poodles are:
- Eye lid and eye lash problems (resulting in recurring infection and discomfort)
- Immune system disorders
- Bone and cartilage problems
- Heart problems
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (resulting in blindness)
- Allergic Dermatitis
- Behavioral problems (excessive aggression, timidity, and fearfulness are some examples)
- Juvenile Cataracts
- Blood and bleeding disorders
- Intervertebral Disc Degeneration (extreme pain and eventual paralysis)
It is EXTREMELY important to breed ONLY dogs without these (and other) problems to ensure a healthy litter of puppies. Genetic testing is available for some of these problems and should be implemented before considering a dog as breeding potential.
Why is there such a big difference in the price of poodle puppies?
The difference, in most cases, is the quality of the puppy. “Backyard Breeders” can afford to produce cheap puppies because they don’t spend a lot of money to do so. Professional and hobby breeders producing good quality, genetically tested, clean and well-socialized puppies can’t afford to sell their puppies cheaply anymore than they could afford to give them away.
In a lot of cases, it’s true that you get what you pay for. Can you get a nice, quality, healthy poodle puppy cheaply? Yes, but you have a MUCH better chance at getting that good quality puppy if you spend more money.
Do Labradoodles and Golden Doodles Shed?
Yes, sometimes, depending on the individual dog. Golden Doodles are less likely to shed than are Labradoodles. In first generation crosses, there is no way to tell in very young puppies which puppies will grow up to be shedding dogs and which will not. If you can not live with a shedding dog you are best staying with a poodle or a dog that is at least three- quarters poodle. Or, consider an older puppy or dog who has enough age to determine coat type.
In any case the combination of poodle and another breed will lesson shedding dramatically. It just may not in some individual dogs eliminate shedding entirely.
Are Golden Doodles good with Kids?
A well-bred Golden Doodle is the perfect family dog. This means, yes, Golden Doodles are great with kids.
The sweet, gentle and tolerant nature of the golden retriever combined with the protectiveness, spirit and intelligence of the poodle can not be beat when it comes to being a family dog. Combined with low or no shedding how can you miss?
How are Poodles and Doodles with Other Animals?
Generally, GOLDEN Doodles are great with any other animals, with supervision, of course. Goldens and poodles both like to carry things around in their mouth and that can be detrimental to a small animal’s well being. Hamsters, pet birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, etc., should always be kept out of reach of any dog, hunting dogs, of which standard poodles and golden retrievers are classified, especially.
LABradoodles and purebred standard poodles are a little more predatory. Labs, and especially standard poodles, will kill small rodents, squirrels, small birds – anything small and swift if they can catch it. And they are sometimes quite good at catching them.
Most Golden doodles will be very good with cats regardless of whether they have experience with cats. However Labradoodles and standard poodles need to be watched carefully to make sure that the predatory nature of the hunting dog doesn’t interfere with the well-being of the new kitten or small-breed puppy being brought into your home.
Chasing and pouncing should be treated as murderous intentions as that is what may occur if you are not diligent with introductions. If there is any doubt what-so-ever about the safety of the new pet being brought into the home, or the established pet if the newcomer is the poodle or doodle, tie the transgressor to a heavy piece of furniture on a short lead and consult with a professional for advice. Do not allow chance encounters.
What are the Health Problems Associated with Golden Doodles?
A first generation cross between a Golden Retriever and a Standard Poodle is called a Foundation 1, or F1 hybrid. F1 hybrids – of any two breeds – are thought to be potentially healthier than either purebred parent. The reason has to do with genetics with the combination of unrelated genes being thought to produce healthier offspring. This healthier result is referred to as “hybrid vigor”.
All breeding dogs at Powder Valley Poodles are screened for genetic problems. Any dogs found with potentially life altering genetic problems are weeded out and never used as breeding dogs.
Not every breeder is as diligent as Powder Valley Poodles. I have seen Lab and Golden Doodles in my dog training classes that should be healthy because of hybrid vigor. Unfortunately, some of them are not. And some doodles, instead of being clear of the life-threatening genetic diseases rampant in both parent breeds, exhibit signs of carrying disease common to each parent.
An example would be a Labradoodle exhibiting Addison’s disease and hip dysplasia inherited from his standard poodle mother, AND progressive retinal atrophy and mast cell cancer from his Labrador father. Poor dog! This dog was a F2 hybrid. A result of crossing two F1s to create a litter. Done properly, this should create a healthy litter. However, if the parents of the original F1 dogs were carriers of the genetics responsible for these diseases then although their progeny may not show the signs of the disease, they can carry it. When mated with another carrier — disaster.
This is a perfect example of why it is so important to know linage on whatever puppy you purchase. It isn’t good enough that the parent dogs don’t show signs of genetic problems. You need to make sure that all dogs are clear as far back as possible.
Do you Dock Tails and Remove Dewclaws on your Puppies?
Yes — and No…. On goldendoodles and Yorkie/poodle cross puppies the answer is always no. On our purebred poodle puppies the answer is, “usually”. Many of our poodle puppies will do well in the International show rings. They simply look “better” as show dogs if we have docked their tails to the desired length (leaving two-thirds). Although we have achieved championships with natural tails the people who desire the option of showing their puppy may do better if the tail is docked. However, there are many cases where the tail of the puppy has an unusual or complimentary feature (like a white tip). We will then leave the tail as is. In almost every litter of standard poodles from Powder Valley Poodles you SHOULD be able to choose a puppy with a natural tail if you so desire.
Dew Claws are different. Barring our veterinarian not being able to make it to our house in time due to closed roads and inclement weather (has happened only once — he’s a brave soul) we WILL remove dew claws on all puppies at the age of 36 hours old. This is to insure that none of our puppies ever have a problem with the claw growing around in a circle and back into the pad — a very painful situation. When I was a professional dog groomer (many, many years ago) I saw this extremely painful condition too many times. Many owners of curly-coated dogs simply not understanding that leaving the coat a little bit long can — and does — lead to painful ingrown dew claws if no one is paying attention.
Can I Breed My Dog?
In most cases — no. When you purchase a puppy from Powder Valley Poodles you are purchasing a dog with “Limited Registration”. In the case of a purebred poodle the limited registration means that the American Kennel Club will not recognize any offspring from the puppy you purchase as being registerable. They know by the paperwork that when you purchased the puppy you purchased a puppy that was not to be bred.
With our mixed breed puppies that do not have registration affiliation the buyer will sign a legal contract that states the dog that is purchased is not to be bred. This contract also includes our purebred dogs. Violation of the contract by breeding dogs that are deemed “not to be bred” allows Powder Valley Poodles or our affiliate kennel Rocky Mountain Rawhide to repossess the dog and any of its offspring on the premises.
We have this clause in our contract for several reasons. First and most important is that not every dog is “breed quality”. It may be pretty, have an excellent temperament and be a good example of the breed, as most of our puppies are. But, if there is any flaw — however minor — the dog should be heavily scrutinized as breeding potential. Also, there are many genetic diseases that can skip generations and show up in offspring whose parents have shown no symptoms themselves. Breeding healthy, temperamentally sound and conformationally correct dogs is not something that should be attempted by the novice. Dog breeding has become a science. Not treating it as such and not putting in the necessary time, expense, and knowledge is what has created the rampant, deadly, painful, and debilitating genetic diseases that are so conman in dogs these days.
When Should My Puppy Be Spayed or Neutered?
Studies done at Cornell University (a veterinary teaching hospital) have shown a direct link between early spaying and neutering and physical and temperament problems at adulthood. Hip, joint, and ligament disease, as well as behavioral problems are far more frequently seen in dogs that were spayed or neutered “early”. So, what constitutes “early”? That depends on the breed of dog. Typically, the smaller the breed, the faster the rate of maturation. I think that it is safe to say that waiting until your puppy has achieved at least 90% of its adult height before spaying or neutering is a safer alternative to performing the surgery earlier. This means that some female dogs may go through their first estrus before being spayed. This isn’t going to be a big problem as long as she is kept away from intact (unneutered) male dogs to avoid pregnancy.
With male dogs — especially large breed male dogs such as standard poodles and standard goldendoodles — waiting for the dog to mature is especially beneficial. Male dogs need the hormone testosterone in order to fully mature into the bigger, bulkier frame that distinguishes a male from a female. They also need testosterone in order to develop confidence and protectiveness. A dog neutered too soon will still be protective — but without the confidence linked to the hormone testosterone working in his favor he may become what is referred to as a “fear biter”. A confident dog will use much more discretion while still being protective and is much less likely to have issues of fearfulness around strangers or while engaged in potentially fear-causing activities such as going to the vet or to the dog groomer.