The Wonderful Phantom Poodle: Appearance, Genes, And Price

The Poodle is one of the most famous dog breeds in the world. It is an intelligent breed known for its beautifully groomed coat. There are 11 Standard Poodle colors. But there are also some beautiful combinations of colored coats.

The Phantom Poodle is a Poodle that has a two colored-coat. One color is the base color, and the other one comes in a form of patches. But do they differ in any other way from the Standard Poodle?

What Is A Phantom Poodle?

The Phantom Poodle is your Standard Poodle breed with a curious mix of colors. Because it’s rarer than the one-colored Poodles, it is also a more expensive dog breed.

Where Does It Come From?

Standard Poodles originate from Germany, in the far 15th century. It is known that multi-colored Poodles existed from the very beginning. In 2005, in Germany, Phantom Poodles were restricted to in-line breeding. This means it was only allowed to pair up dogs with very similar genes. This was done to separate these multi-colored dogs from the one colored-ones.

This backfired when these new in-line bred dogs came with many genetic malformations. These included big jaws, overbites, an incorrect number of teeth, and premature color fading. This made the breeders change their minds and let one-colored Poodles breed with multi-colored ones.

But the AKC still doesn’t recognize these dogs, but they are allowed to compete in Agility and Obedience.

Genetics Of A Phantom Poodle

The genetic makeup needed to achieve this Poodle color is very complicated, which is what makes this dog so rare. To get it, you would need to have a pup with a recessive gene combination marked as ky/ky. These genes are recessive meaning that whenever a more dominant gene enters the pair, the phantom coloring will not happen.

Besides this ky/ky genotype, a proper phantom will need a few other specific gene markers. One is a copy of the E or Em gene in the combination to get the mask appearance of the Phantom. Other is the two copies of At on the A locus for the characteristic color spotting pattern.

Appearance – A Curious Mix Of Colors

The phantom-colored Poodle looks pretty much like any Standard Poodle but it differentiates in its coat color scheme.

Overall Appearance

Poodles come in a few different sizes, Toy, Miniature, and Standard. The Standard Poodle is the most common one. It is a middle-sized dog with 21-27 inches of height and 45-70 pounds of weight. It has a well-proportioned body with two floppy ears on the side. Because it was firstly bred for hunting it is a muscular dog with slender but sturdy legs.

What Is Their Coat Like?

The Poodle coat is a short, curly coat, that is also water resistant. What makes their Poodle phantom color different from other two-colored breeds is that the two colors have very specific placements.

These dogs have a base color and specifically placed markings that make them look unique. These unique markings are usually placed:

  • Across the chest
  • Legs
  • Paws
  • Beneath the tail
  • Above the eye or by the eyebrows
  • Sides of the muzzle or cheeks
  • Chin
  • Throat

What Colors Are There?

There are a few colors that are common with these Poodles. The most common is the black color paired with the other-colored patches. Other possible colors include:

  • Apricot
  • Red
  • Brown
  • Silver
  • Gray
  • Cream
  • White

Even though all kinds of color combinations exist, people group the dogs into these four groups:

  • Black Phantoms – a combination of the black Phantom Poodle with all other colored patches
  • Chocolate Phantoms – brown and apricot mix
  • Red phantoms – apricot and red mix
  • Silver phantoms – cream and silver mix

Temperament – The Intelligent Hunters

Poodles are known for their intelligence and glamour. They are smart dogs which makes them easy to train and connect to. They are loving and make great family pets. Poodles love kids and are safe to be around them.

They can get too attached to the family and a prone to developing separation anxiety if left alone for too long. Poodles are known for biting from a young age but this behavior can be changed with proper training.

But Poodles are also natural hunters. They were bred as hunting dogs after all. This means that they are quite high-energy and require regular exercise.

Taking Care Of A Phantom Poodle

Just like with any dog, phantom dogs also require good care from their owners. There are a few things to have in mind when caring for a Poodle.

Health Issues

The average Poodle lifespan is around 12-15 years. But there are a few diseases you should keep an eye on:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy – This disease happens because of a deterioration of cells in the retina. The usual symptoms are night vision problems, poor eyesight, and even blindness.
  • Bloat – Also known as gastric dilatation or volvulus is a gastrointestinal disease in dogs. Their stomach dilates and makes it hard for food or gas to be expelled which can be life-threatening.
  • Hip Dysplasia – The Phantom Standard Poodle can suffer from this disease that attacks its joints. It happens when its thigh bone doesn’t fit its hip socket. This makes it hard to move for them.
  • Thyroid problems – Hypothyroidism is a disease with a decreased function of the thyroid gland. They have less thyroid hormone and develop symptoms like a compromised immune system, hair loss, and excessive hunger.
  • Addison’s disease – This is a disease of the adrenal gland that causes it to produce less of the hormone cortisol than it should. Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, and digestive issues.
  • Epilepsy – Epilepsy occurs when a part of the central nervous system misfires and leads to developing seizures that go from short to life-threatening.


The amount of food your Poodle requires is different for each size. A Mini Phantom Poodle will require different amounts compared to Toy Poodles and Standard Poodles.

To make it easier, the recommended amount of food for each size is 1 ounce of food, for each 1 pound of body weight. This amount of food can be separated into 2-3 meals a day.

Be sure to include quality dog foods like Pedigree or Purina to achieve perfect nutrition.

Exercise And Training

Poodles need around 30 – 70 minutes of exercise depending on their size. They are high-energy dogs bred for hunting so this is understandable. You should take your dogs on walks, on hiking or swimming, or just play around at home.

You should start training the Phantom Poodle puppies from a young age. Poodles are a very intelligent dog breed so they will easily understand the training. The problem is that they are stubborn so training them will take persistence. Using positive reinforcement and proper obedience training is the way to go.


People consider the Poodle to be a high-maintenance dog. This is mostly due to its curly dense coat that needs regular brushing. Make sure to bathe your Poodle to prevent bad smells. Besides bathing and brushing to remove the dirt and debris from its coat, you should also give it regular haircuts. People give all kinds of creative haircuts to Poodles and take them to grooming shows so they can show off. 

Besides maintaining the coat, you should also trim its nails and clean its paws every 5-8 days. Also, it is common for Poodles to get tear stains and gunks at the corners of their eyes, so make sure to clean that as well.

Buying A Phantom Poodle

These Poodles are pretty rare to find but are very sought out. This makes them pretty expensive compared to the Standard Poodle.

The prices can range from $1000-$2000. Usually, besides paying for the dog, you will also have to be on a waiting list until new puppies are born. These dogs are more common in Europe so buying them in the United States will get pricier. Some colors, like the blue Phantom Poodle may be more expensive than the more common ones.

Of course, besides the price for the dog, you will also have to consider all the money needed for proper vaccinations, vet visits, grooming, food, and many other things.

We always recommend adopting as that way you will be able to give a home to already existing dogs. But these dogs are extremely hard to find in the rescue centers

Types Of Poodles Similar To The Phantom Poodle

Besides the phantom one, there are a few other bi-colored Poodles that might interest you.

Brindle Poodle

The Brindle Poodle has a striped coat with one base color and many striped patches of another color. An interesting thing about this Poodle is that it is genetically closest to the phantom one. This leads to Brindle Poodles birthing phantom puppies and vice versa.

Merle Poodle

These Poodles have a base color coat with loads of different color spotted patches. The patches are irregularly shaped and randomly distributed. There is controversy about these dogs as people believe that they are not purebred dogs. The gene that gives this color is also connected to a lot of diseases like deafness and blindness.

Parti Poodle

When we compare Phantom vs Party Poodles we will see the similarities, but there is also a clear difference. Parti Poodles have primarily white coats with 50% of their coat being white. Amidst this white coat are patches of another color that doesn’t follow any pattern, unlike the phantom. These patches can appear anywhere on its body and can be of different forms, making each Parti Poodle distinct.

Breed Summary – The Beautiful Phantom Poodles

Phantom Poodles are beautiful dogs with double-colored coats that can easily win over your heart. They are just like any Poodle with the difference being that their coats are mixed double-colored colors. 

They can come in all colors, but the most common base color is black. But there is also a red, silver, and chocolate Phantom Poodle. The patches of the other color can appear on their chest, legs, paws, chin, and a few other places.

When it comes to their personality and overall appearance, they are just like any normal Poodle. Intelligent and loving dogs with strong bodies bred for hunting.

Caring for this dog can be just like with any dog. Giving it a proper nutritious diet, enough exercise and training, as well as proper grooming are always needed.


Does the AKC recognize phantoms?

No. The American Kennel Club recognizes Poodles as one-colored and multicolored. This means that they can’t compete in conformation events and are only allowed to compete in agility and obedience.

Is the Phantom Poodle a Purebred?

Many people would think that this dog is not purebred due to its mix of colors. But this is a purebred Poodle that just has a fun placement of color on its coat.

Do the phantom markings fade with time?

In some of these dogs, the markings may fade with time. red or silver dog markings can turn to a lighter color like cream, apricot, or gray.

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