By Mackey J. Irick, Jr – The New Poodle 1986
Silver is a most appealing color in Poodles. It may vary from a glistening light platinum
to a light gray flannel, but a silver Poodle should be an even color all over with no shadings. Silvers should have black
eyes, nose and toe nails. To many people a pair of coal black eyes set in a frame of silver hair is almost irresistible. Silvers
are favorites with exhibitors and pet owners.
Silver puppies are nearly always born jet black except for a frosting
of white on the underpads of the feet. It is possible to tell the color of a silver puppy at six weeks of age when it is first
clipped. The lighter the face the lighter the puppy will be at maturity. The puppy lightens gradually from dark to medium
to its lightest mature color at about 18 months of age. Some breeders cut the coat back with a No.10 blade to get rid of the
softer dark puppy coat, Silver is a recessive color. Pamela Ingram of Sassafras Kennels, who has bred more silvers than anyone
else, states, "I have never known two silvers bred together to throw a color darker than silver-such as blue or black." Two
silver mates can, however, produce silver~beige, cream or white. Those colors bred to each other respectively will breed true.
Silvers have existed in Miniatures almost from the beginning. Silver Toys have inherited the silver color factor through their
Miniature ancestors. A few Standard Poodle breeders have tried to establish lines of silver Standards but have not as yet
met with the success that silver Miniature and Toy breeders have achieved either as winners or producers. It is more difficult
to breed good silvers than whites or blacks.
By Mackey J. Irick, Jr – The New Poodle 1986
SILVER AND BLUE From “The
New Complete Poodle by Lydia Hopkins – 1964”
Blue and silver
are, of course, the best-known dilutants of black, and as they are recessive they will breed true. At their best they are
beautiful dogs, but none of the other colors are as difficult to get correct in color, properly modeled in head, and sound
of structure. Even now they are not the equals of the blacks in Poodle type.
blue is a light, clear, unshaded blue, about the color of a light, not dark, blue Persian cat. And when it is correct and
carries black eyes and nose, it can be very lovely. However, this shade is extremely rare, and a dark, dismal steel, or even
merely unsound black, has very often been considered ideal, which is, of course, very far from being the case.
is the furthest dilution of black, should, in my opinion, be as near pale platinum as possible and with few shadings. However,
light shadings of a darker color, while not desired, are not too much of a drawback.
There is no
more popular color than silver or none as greatly misunderstood. Gun metal, taupe with a brownish tinge, a sort of dirty pewter,
and an all-over dreary, dark gray are very common, and, to my mind, neither silver, blue, nor black, and are very depressing.
made by Mrs. Campbell Inglis that the famous Miniature "Leila'; (see Family Ll) and her famous grandson, Ch. Flashlight of
Mannerhead, were both silvers with a distinct and beautiful lavender tinge, I believe is most interesting.
like the apricots that come from silver breeding, are nearly always born jet-black and then gradually turn lighter at the
roots of their hair. Very occasionally a puppy is born pure silver, but not often. The black disappears, sometimes rapidly
and sometimes with annoying slowness. Most fanciers cut the puppy hair down to the light color "to clear" the color.
blue may be bred to each other and will invariably produce silvers and blues. No other cross is permissible, though cat breeders
some-times use a cross of cream to lighten the blue. However, in my experience, you may get anything except paler silver in
such a cross. Nothing ruins the light, clear color more quickly or more effectively than a cross of black, except perhaps
a brown infusion. Nothing is gained by such a mixture and much is lost.
silvers have existed from the very foundation of English breeding and for this reason have also been present in Toys. But
until very recently silver Standards were extremely rare. A number of kennels have been experimenting with some success in
diluting blacks with white blood to produce silvers. Although a great number of mismarked Poodles have resulted, a few pale
silvers have appeared as well. Now there are enough of them so that they can be bred to each other and so avoid, to a great
extent, the mismarkings that occurred in the original cross.
apricots from browns, silver instead of white is now the accepted dilutant.
SILVER AND BLUE From “The New Complete Poodle by Lydia Hopkins – 1964”
Gray By Mrs Hoyt -The Book of the Poodle
A solid, even gray, lighter than an elephant but darker
than a Bedlington Terrier.
The lighter shades of gray are often called “Silver.”
The eyes are very dark, almost as dark as the eyes
of a white. Eye rims, lips, nose, and toenails are black. Skin compatible with the tone of the hair, a gray tone, but can
be almost black.
Common Faults: Such dogs vary in color . Some are quite dark, others very light. These tones, if even, are not a fault.
Such dogs can be almost white, an oyster- white in color. This is a fault in the ring, and the breeder should breed
away from it. That is, never breed a gray dog of this color to one of a similar color .
Such dogs may have these oyster-white areas on the inside of the legs, above the eyes, under the chin, on the inside
of the ears, and under the tail. This is a form of the black and tan pattern. Unfortunately it is quite common. It is a very
serious fault, and it is to be condemned by the breeder.
Such dogs may have many darker hairs throughout the coat, particularly on the back and ears. This is a minor show fault,
provided the black is not so numerous as to constitute streaks and patches. If the latter, it is a disqualification. This
is also a fault from the breeder's angle, but not serious.
dogs may have brown hairs scattered throughout the coat. If there are enough to give a "pepper and salt" appearance, this
is a fault in the show ring, but not to the breeder. If, however, there is enough tan to cause spots (in other words, a parti-color)
this is a fault to the breeder. Such a dog is better not used, for the color gray may not be inherited by the puppies.
a dog may have darker colored ears. This is a very minor fault and should not be penalized in the ring or by the breeder .
a dog may have a dark, almost black, spot back of the ears, or if it has had skin trouble or an injury such as to cause loss
of hair, a black spot will appear where the new hair grows in. In fact this is the new hair. This must, if noticeable, be
considered a fault in the show ring, but it need not trouble the breeder. Such a spot will eventually turn gray.
dogs, particularly if they are a very light gray, may have brown or hazel eyes. This is a fault and must be penalized in the
ring and somewhat, although not as much, by the breeder. Remember that although it can be done, it is not always easy to breed
out light eyes in light-colored dogs.
grays are whelped gray with gray eyes, eye rims, nose, lips, and toenails. The coat color of these dogs is extremely solid
and even, as well as being quite beautiful-a pale blue tone, somewhat like a platinum mink. It is not a correct color, however,
and should be penalized in the show ring. The breeder need not condemn this color, but should realize that it is so recessive
that it will probably not reproduce bred to an ordinary gray. Bred to a relative of this same color, the offspring will probably
be oyster-white with blue or pale gray eyes. Such dogs should be bred to a true, unrelated gray or to a related black.
Can gray be obtained by breeding whites with blacks?
Not unless the whites carry the modi- fying genes necessary to produce gray. The Labory grays are a good example of this.
Remember, colors in living creatures are not like paint to be mixed in a palette!
Question: How can one obtain this color?
Answer: Breed gray to gray or even to
a black relation related on the gray side.
Is it easy to breed grays?
With Miniatures, yes. There are so many related grays. In a number of these, however, the type could be improved. It is a
little more difficult to breed good Standard grays, as there are not as many available. In Toys both the type and color are
still mixed and uncertain. It would be advisable to stick to type, and the best is to be found in the whites and the blacks.
If one can find an excellent type gray Toy and an excellent black related to the gray-you're off!
Is it easy to breed away from gray?
Very. Gray is recessive to black. Breed to blacks unrelated to gray or even related on the black side.
What colors should not be used with gray?
In-bred browns, apricots, and creams-in this order.
What colors can be bred with gray?
Besides gray and black, white has produced some lovely creams, apricots, and even grays when the white has gray behind it.
Yet one often obtains in the same litter mismarked and parti-colored puppies. For the sake of future generations it is not
advisable to use white.
What is meant by "clearing"?
A gray is born black, not a deep in- tense black, but a rather mousy tone. In about three to four weeks the hair about the
muzzle and around the eyes turns gray at the roots. In about six weeks the roots of all the hair should be gray. The last
to turn gray is the hair along the top of the back. At two months of age even this hair should show gray at the roots. If
it does not, do not consider such a puppy for show purposes or for breeding grays. If the color around the eyes, muzzle, and
other parts of the body is brown rather than gray, or even if there is some brown in it, do not purchase the puppy for it
may never clear to a proper color. Of course this advice applies only to the novice buyer or breeder. The experienced will
know from their own stock and the considered puppy's pedigree just how much chance can be afforded. By six months the good
colored gray may be still somewhat streaky in color, that is dark hairs still in the gray, but it will be a definite gray.
At one year it should have "cleared" completely. That is, have become a solid, even shade of gray.
In buying a gray puppy as young as two months, can one be sure that it will clear?
If the gray around the muzzle and eyes is a clear true shade of gray, if the gray is already showing vividly on the legs,
if there are some faint signs at the roots of the body coat of this same color, and furthermore if the black color of the
coat is not a rich, true black but a mousey tone, the puppy will clear .
Should a gray Poodle be more expensive than a black or a white of equally good type and breeding?
Yes, if it already is equally good, because grays are harder to breed. But very few grays are as good in type as the good
blacks and whites.
Are grays popular in the show ring and with the public? .
The public, as a rule, loves this color . Next to black, it is the most popular. But this is not true in the show ring. A
good black, white, or even brown will usually defeat an equally good gray, for the latter is not a dramatic color .
Are there good gray lines? Answer: There are several. The most influential in Miniatures is the family stemming from Whippendell
Mouflon Bleu. Here is a line of grays that has endured for over 60 years. Among the famous Poodles which have come from this
line are English Champion The Silver Gnome, Champion Blakeen Invincible, and Vendas Blue Masterpiece, to mention just a few.
Gray By Mrs Hoyt -The Book of the Poodle 1982
SILVERS - From
article from Pamela Ingram, Sassafrass Kennels
At maturity a silver poodle is silver all over from the fringes to
the tip of the tail. The color may vary from a silver
so light as to be the color of a newly minted silver
dollar or so dark as to be pewter or like a grey flannel
suit. The light ones are called platinum the darker ones deep silver.
The eyes rims , nose and toenails are black. This makes for an appealing
contrast on a basically light colored dog -- color that
is both pretty and practical as silvers keep looking
clean and smart in between baths and clips.
Most silvers are black when whelped. You can, however, always tell
if the newborn will be silver and even how light a silver.
In between the pads of the newborns feet there should
be a tuft of all white hair. If there are also tufts
behind the pads, on what would correspond to our wrist, the puppy will
eventually be a platinum silver and start turning very early. If on the other hand there are many blk hairs sprinkled in between white tufts the puppy will be grey or blue depending on the proportion of blk hairs. All blk hairs will of course be blk. So you can tell at whelping.
COLOR AT SIX WEEKS
You can always accurately fortell color at six weeks of age. When
clipped a silver puppy MUST be silver on the face, feet
and tail stern-- the lighter the color at maturity. The
true silver puppy is adorable at six weeks.
With it's blk mast of a face framed by the blk hair on ears it is
Our silver puppy then proceeds to lighten gradually all over from
dark to light grey and finally at the age of 18 mon.
it has attained its lightest color. If some darkening
occurs later it is because of an increase of the coarser
blk guard hairs.
SILVER AT MATURITY
A platinum silver will have many white guard hairs, a deep silver
Usually the deeper silvers will have the best coats.
If a skin injury occurs either from a clipper burn, bite or skin condition
the new hair will come in blk and will take, from original
time of injury to complete color return, a year -- the
same length of time it takes for a puppy to turn from
it's blk birth color to an all over solid silver. We must remember
that silvers are basically blk. poodles carrying an early greying or silvering factor and this is why, with rare exceptions or planned breeding, silvers should never be bred to blacks as this will cause blacks to look faded very early in life.
Skin color in silver vary from pink to a deep mauve with the lighter
skin usually producing the lightest silvers. One of the
most confusing things to the new breeder is that few
poodle breeders of note seem to agree on anything, most
especially on color breeding. There is a good reason for this.
It seems that different lines of family of poodles throw different colors
and have different rates of growth. Whereas for instance some puppy coats from some lines do well cut back , others do not require this. Some lines can be safely mixed as regards color and others may produce horrible mismarked, spotted or otherwise poor color. However, the silver toy especially developed with careful scientific breeding over a 15 yr. period can be fairly well depended upon -- not in all lines but in many.
Silvers should be basic in a kennel. From them if one wishes, one
can achieve the most glamorous , subtle, paler colors.
For the first time in toy poodles whites have been consistently
as good or better winners than the good solid carefully
bred silvers they come from. In some parts of the country the
quality of the whites was deplorable, coming as most of them did through the undeveloped (by our modern day standards ) old fashioned high eared, large-eyed, long backed little white doggies called French poodles.
I decided to breed some good whites because I never saw a good one,
at either the puppy matches i judged -- let alone in
PRODUCING WHITES FROM SILVERS
The really valuable thing about whites is that irrespective of what
color they are derived from, bred to another white they
only produce white. If there are BIS winning whites from
the silvers there are also BIS winning silver beige --
another color that breeds true when bred together.
PRODUCING SILVER BEIGE FROM SILVER
You can see how useful and safe a color silver is. All silver puppies,
if you prefer, by one parent having no white or beige
gene or some white and some beige puppies if both parents
carry these genes. Whites or beiges only come when both
parents carry that color gene.
SILVER BORN SILVERS
Another variation of a blk born silver is a silver born silver --
a never to be forgotten excitement for those who have
had them. In this case both parents must carry silver
born gene and as in the case of the whites and the silver
beiges they breed true (all born silvers ) when bred together. In some
lines however, there are draw backs to the born silver. Care must be taken to keep the eye color dark and the coat coarse. This can be explained when one understands that the points (nose and eye rims ) are dark mauve and the coat platinum.
SILVER TO SILVER
In support of my experienc, I must say that I think I must of bred
as many silvers as any breeder known. Silver is a recessive
color, and I have never known two silvers bred together
ever to throw a color darker than that silver -- i.e.
such as blue or black.
Silver are safe, easy to breed and always, throughtout the year, there
is a great demand for both practical yet glamorous pets
and best basic color breeder to own.
From article from Pamela Ingram, Sassafrass Kennels