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French KC changing Poodle standard to allow colours

Issue: 10/05/2024

100524-poodle
Photo by Gautier Le Roch

The French Kennel Club is changing its breed standard for Poodles so that multi-coloured dogs will be able to compete.
In a statement the Société Centrale Canine (SCC) said in a statement: “The multi-coloured curly-haired dog is officially becoming a poodle!
“It’s a decision that has not been taken lightly: after years of distinguishing the poodle, in uniform, from the multi-coloured dog with curly hair, the Canine Central wanted to officially add the latter to the poodle’s colour varieties.
“Thanks to the work of the breed club, at the request made by the Canine Central from the FCI, and on the recommendation of the Standards and Scientific Commission, it was done. The new standard, validated on April 5, 2024, will enter into force on August 1, 2024
“The poodle’s official dress colours, for all size varieties, are therefore:
• Unicoloured (white, black, brown, grey, light blue).
• Particular colours (two colours, dress with white puncture).
• Fauve marked (black marked Fauve, brown marked Fauve).
• Tricolour (Black and white marked with fauve).
• Brushed, brushed and white.”
Earlier this year the SCC called on the FCI to recognise non-uniform colours as a variety of Poodle.
They said: “Demand is growing for dogs with non-uniform colours, while retaining the morphological characteristics of the Poodle.
“It was therefore decided to modify the Poodle standard to accept ‘other colours’ as a new variety. Single-coloured Poodles will therefore keep their known varieties, to which the ‘other colours’ variety will be added.
“This modification to the Poodle standard is the fruit of many years’ work by passionate Poodle breeders around the world, and in France in particular.
“The FCI Standards Commission examined the French proposal at its last meeting in Montevideo (Uruguay) and accepted the new version of the standard, including the new coloured varieties, as submitted by the SCC and as written with the French breed club.
“Centrale Canine is now waiting for the final validation by the FCI General Committee.”
When asked at the time the FCI denied there was any plan for the FCI to allow non-uniform colours at FCI shows with FCI Executive Director, Yves De Clerq, telling OUR DOGS, “Had it been the case, we’d have published it. So, the answer is “NO”.”
There was support for the decision with one poster on social media saying: “Finally a smart and responsible decision for the poodle breed!” When it was first suggested by the SCC one person said, “I think it’s fantastic! All naturally occurring colours that aren’t associated with health defects should be standard in every breed. The multis are beautiful to watch in the US (UKC) and Germany.”
However, one person replying to that post said the decision would lead to the end of the breed. Another said, “So incredibly wrong. A very sad day for my beloved breed.” 
One breeder added, “Basically you are opening wide for the puppy farmers to have a ball with colours. Who knows what breed will be added to the poodle for a different colour.”
Multi-coloured Poodles have experienced a growth in popularity in the United States and the rest of the world. Within the past decade, there has been a resurgence of the parti-colour Poodle. Partis can be registered with the American Kennel Club.
It is said that in the early days of dog showing parti-colours were judged at shows. According to the Poodle Report, “Parti Poodles were the original Poodle breed. From the 1400s to the 1800s, Parti Poodles were the most common version of Poodle and were widely known. In the mid-1900s, culling Parti Poodles at birth while preserving solid-coloured Poodles was popular, quickly becoming the Poodle breed standard.”
The FCI said in a comment, “On the occasion of the FCI General Committee meeting held in Thuin, 19-20th March 2024, it was resolved to adopt the new breed standard of the Caniche (Poodle), upon request of the French national canine organisation - Société Centrale Canine (SCC), and recommendations of the FCI Standards and Scientific Commissions.
“In addition, it was approved to reconsider the distribution of the FCI-CACIB within the “Toy” size variety. The new standard and FCI-CACIB distribution are valid as from 1st August 2024.”
The KC has said it will not be following suit and that non-solid colours are “highly undesirable and should be heavily penalised.
A Kennel Club spokesperson said: “The last revision to the colour clause of the Poodle breed standard was made in 2009, with the introduction of a line stating: ‘Non solid colours are highly undesirable and should be heavily penalised.’
“The Kennel Club would only make a revision to a breed standard following an application by the registered breed clubs/council for the breed and/or in close consultation with them. We would expect to see evidence of formal approval by club members at a general meeting in order to consider a proposed revision.”