What Is a Phantom Poodle?

According to Windswept Poodles, phantom poodles exhibit all the markings of the Doberman pinscher, such as light-colored eyebrows, muzzle and throat, legs and feet and below the tail area. The term "phantom" applies only to color and markings not to a specific poodle breed or size. The classic black color is often combined with apricot, brown, cream, gray, red or silver or apricot mixed with brown and red.

The lighter phantom markings or tips are called points. Stunningly Sweet Standards, a poodle breeder, illustrates some popular body and point combinations as a silver body with white points, a chocolate coat with cream or classic black accentuated with tan. Ditto Standard Poodles points out that phantom poodle breeding is similar to that of a Parti poodle whose white body is splashed with irregularly shaped color patterns as a result gene inheritance. Phantom poodles are not commonplace, but like the overall poodle breed they are intelligent, healthy and beautiful. As an experienced poodle breeder, Ditto advises that phantom poodles are often born a solid color and slowly develop the contrasting color points that spread as the puppy matures throughout the first year of growth.

During the 1950s, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy kept company with a phantom poodle, Gaully, named to honor the French World War II general, Charles De Gaulle.