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Below is an article titled "Particolour Poodles" written by Ann Cambray Coppage of Vulcan
Kennels. It first appeared in "Our Poodle, Salute to Britain" edition, August 1977. (Pictures and
articles printed with permission from the author.)



Opposite: Vulcan Champagne Polka-Dot, a
parti-color Standard Poodle seen standing
under a painting believed to be by Stubbs

Polka was whelped June 21, 1953 and was
owned by Ann Coppage of Vulcan Kennels.

For more history go to:  Charlene Dunlap's Canine Horizons

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George Stubbs (1724-1803) was a famous
artist whose paintings are in practically
every major art gallery in the world. He
studied anatomy as well as painting and is
credited with being the first British animal
painter to depict animals as they really

The true particolour is by no means a Harlequin. The latter label is used to
describe the black and white Great Dane, and its markings in no way
resemble the perfect markings of the particolour Poodle. Vulcan Polka Dot,
standing under a painting of a particolored Standard Poodle (above), is
almost perfectly marked. Head and ears black with a white blaze; a black
saddle and black over the rump continuing part way down the tail, which
ends in a white tip. Some marking on the body and legs, but not obtrusively
so, and of course, the characteristic spotting of the skin. "Particolour"
came to mean "black & white" -- although in the early days there were
brown and white, blue and white, sliver and white, and lemon and white.

Many of the early prints depicting Poodles show them as particolour and
having descended from the "Waterdogge" and truffle hunters. In
Hutchinson's Dog Encyclopedia, there is a reference to the Truffle Poodle
and a letter is quoted from Miss Jane Lane of the famous Nunsoe Kennels
which relates that a friend of hers in Scotland had some interesting
photographs with particolours of the old original Truffle Poodle.

Apparently these dogs were imported into England at the end of the
nineteenth century. The photos (also, none were reproduced)
showed white Poodles with black heads and tails. Some had a few
black spots on the body. Miss Lane's friend showed the particolours
on more than one occasion with great success. Special classes were
put on for them and they were in great demand. Their owner was just
getting them established when the war came and he was unable to
keep on with his breeding and importing. The dogs were medium-
size and in colour black and white, brown and white, and -- very rarely
-- lemon and white. They were remarkable for their tremendous coats
of exceptionally harsh texture. Miss Lane saw a photo in an old book
of these black and white Poodles hunting truffles, aided by a
Dachshund-type dog. The Poodles found the truffles and the
Dachshund dug them up.

That particolours were accepted for exhibition in the
early days is borne out by a reference in one of my
books called Dog Shows and Doggy People,
published in 1902. The author writes about the Curly
Poodle (the other variety being the Corded Poodle)
and how the colours have been extended. When he
first judged the breed, white was the prevailing colour
whereas now there were black, black and white, blue,
blue and white, grey, fawn, brown, and red coloured

There is an excellent illustration in William Youatt's
book The Dog, published in 1854, showing the Poodle
as a curly, unclipped animal with black patches very
similarly arranged to those of Polka's. No colours are
mentioned in the text.

Miss Jane Lane bred many particolours, and as most of
the Vulcan Champagnes were descended from Nunsoe
lines, the particolour blood was strong at the Vulcan
Kennels. With many breeders ashamed to admit that
their dogs and bitches threw these attractive Poodles,
many pups must have been put down at birth. The
ignorant novice breeder and owners were told that only
solid colours were permissible and that the particolour
was a mismark -- a totally untrue statement -- a
mismarked Poodle being any solid colour with touches
of white, e.g. white toes, a white spot on the front, etc.
Thus, sadly, the particolour Poodle was ostracized,
except for those few breeders like the late Hon. Mrs.
Ionides and her partner, Miss Shirley Walne, who
continued to breed them for sheer pleasure.

The character of the particolours was always unique;
somehow they had an extra dimension -- just that bit
more clever, amusing or intelligent than their solid-
colour littermates. Naturally enough, it was always they
which caught the eye of prospective purchasers -- and
often there was a waiting list for the next one expected
in a litter.

Pedigree of last parti bred at Vulcan Kennels

Various colours at Vulcan carried the genes for
reproducing these attractive dogs: a strong line
through Champion Vulcan Champagne Wopper,
who was black: Vulcan Adolphus of Burgois sired
several partis to white bitches, and a male silver,
Vulcan Champagne Arnorist. All these dogs can
be traced back to the white import Duc de la
Terasse of Blakeen and Nunsoe Why Not -- a
particolour -- was the product of two particolours,
Nunsoe The Bawbee and Nusoe Oo'er.

I should be very interested to know if the Duc
ever sired particolours in America -- and find it
quite fascinating to speculate why it should have
come out so strong from mating him to English-
bred bitches, when he was white-bred for
generations back. The German whites usually
had a spotted skin -- in fact Miss Walne tells me
that was indeed the correct pigment until
someone produced a white Poodle with a silver
skin and gradually, as so often happens, this
became more fashionable and desirable -- until
the spotted skin became looked upon as ugly and

Bloodlines have become further diluted over the last
decade which has introduced a considerable amount of
American and Canadian breeding into practically every
kennel. To be truthful, I don't think many of the
present-day breeders would know what to look for in a
particolour, and have been so conditioned to abhor
mismarked Poodles that they would find it hard to
accept a two-colour dog. Mrs. Ionides caused quite a
furor when she exhibited two particolours -- I believe
they were Polka Dot and her brother Vulcan Dot and
Carry -- at a club show, even though they were entered
in "Not for Competition!"

There is no space here for pedigrees of the numerous particolour Poodles in the Vulcan archives, but below
are some of the Partis that were registered with the UK Kennel Club from Vulcan Kennels:

Copy write laws apply to this article; no part may be reproduced without express permission from the author.

Vulcan Champagne Camoflage, (dog, born 7-11-42), Vulcan The Panda (bitch, born 5-6-46), Vulcan Lord Motley
and his litter sister Vulcan Lady Tatters (born 5-20-51), Vulcan Champagne Ombre (bitch, born 6-14-51), Vulcan
Champagne Curio (bitch, born 8-18-57), Vulcan Camoflage (dog), Vulcan Champagne Captive (dog), Vulcan
Champagne Columbine (bitch), and Vulcan Champagne Checkers (bitch), were all litter mates with Curio as
their mother and Vulcan Champagne Stefan (black) was their sire (born 5-12-58) and were all parti-colours. An
entire litter: Vulcan Champagne Whiskey (dog, born 12-1-59), Vulcan Champagne Twosome and Tall Story were
born March 14, 1961; Vulcan Merry and Gay (bitch, 4-26-63), Vulcan Champagne Fiesta (bitch) and Vulcan
Champagne Carnival (dog) were born on Nov. 16, 1964 and were the last particolours bred at Vulcan.
For history of the Poodle see:


Twentieth Century