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

Polka (opposite) was whelped June 21, 1953 and was owned by Ann Coppage of Vulcan Kennels. The photo was originally published in a book written by Shirley Walne (of Vulcan Champagne Kennels) titled "The Standard Poodle" and was published in 1976.

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

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.

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

 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.

 colour whereas now there were black, black and white, blue, blue and white, grey, fawn, brown, and red coloured specimens.

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. (See picture opposite.)

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 Parti Poodle