The “Parti-Poodle:” Word Origin

It isn’t for us to weigh in on Parti-colored Poodles (they’re presently not accepted by the AKC for the conformation ring, but are acceptable in performance disciplines) beyond why they may be called “Parti” Poodles. It’s not shorthand for the English word, “partial,” at least, not originally. But first, what is a parti-colored Poodle?

According to the United Kennel Club (which recognizes them), it’s a Poodle that is at least 50% white with patches or spots of other acceptable colors. The gene is recessive and requires two copies to produce a such a dog.

The term, “parti” is thought to have become popular around the early to mid 1900s when dog shows became especially popular. In French, the word for, ‘partially’ is “partiellement,” and some sources site that as the origin of the word, “parti.” Others point to the French word, “partager,” which means, “to divide” or “split” and that, of course, could refer to a Parti-Poodle’s color being split, or divided into two different colors. Partager would have been shortened into “Parti.” But wait, there’s a third theory, and that is that “Parti” refers to the dog being of “particular” colors.

To our knowledge, there were four Parti-colored Poodles that gained their AKC championships, but they were either Toy Poodles or Miniature Poodles who got their titles when both were still considered a separate breed from Standard Poodles (and thus, judged under a different standard. We always defer to breed experts and stand corrected if we’re wrong, but we think those dogs were Ch. Onne, Ch. Buddy, Ch. Wonderful Sensation, and Ch. Verrmilyea’s Candy Girl.

Image found on Pinterest and happily credited upon receipt of information




4 thoughts on “The “Parti-Poodle:” Word Origin”

  1. “The gene is recessive and requires two copies to produce a such a dog.” That sentence was copied/pasted from above article. By “copies” do you mean male/female? Despite multiple sources making this claim, it is NOT true. You can and will have Parti pups with only ONE Parti and one solid. In fact, desired markings are more easily controlled and achieved with only one Parti. The gene is also not truly recessive. Meaning; if two Parti’s or one Parti and solid have a litter with solids – those solids would have a rare chance of spawning Parti’s. Not impossible but improbable. The UKC’s recognition is appreciated but inaccurate for the definition of Parti, at least with future generations. Even the slightest splashes of color or ticking in any other area but chest IS a Parti. The dogs that were wasted or mistreated to achieve solids only is an overwhelming thought. The Parti title, as if it is breed specific, is angering, since true origins were NOT solid. I’ve had both and have both. Non-Solids are superior in size, strength, temperament, heartiness, and drive. They carry (in my opinion) a more traditional water and prey drive, they also have a zingier zest for life than solids. (Sorry for the book).

    • Craig, thank you for your comments, they’re truly helpful in expanding everyone’s knowledge of the topic, and we appreciate the time you took to share them. Genetics is easily understood by some, but more baffling for others. If you have the time, share pictures of your non-solids with us?

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