The speckled poodle origins come back a long way.
But it has never been taken into account in the poodle standards. From time to time, a bicolour would naturally appear in a plain litter. In the United States, breeders have tried to select this characteristic to improve the harlequin.
In America, the bicolour poodles are named « party poodles ». The dominant colour is white and the spots can be black, grey, brown, and apricot. The dominant colour is the Harlequin is white.
Several variants exist: 60% of white/40% of black or 80% white/20% black.The head is black; a fine line of the forehead is tolerated as well as a small white beard. The pigmentation of the skin must be rosy (light) in the white parts and grey (darker) in the black parts. The mandibles and the truffle must be black, the pigmentation is dark. Nails might be black or white. The eyes are dark brown.
The ideal pattern is: two or three spots. A black back is allowed (mantle). At exhibitions, the most common dogs wear the mantle as they are genetically dominant. They are also the most searched for in breeding. When we breed Harlequins with spots (2 or 3 spots), it happens that the spots disappear totally to give puppies with a black head and a white body.
In the white areas, small black dots may appear. They are called “ticking”. They are not searched for. Brown spots (tan points) on the black are forbidden.
The Harlequin colour is not recognized by the FCI. Only plain colours are looked for: black, white, grey, apricot and brown. This colour is well accepted and acknowledged in Germany, Chechnya Republic and in Austria. Harlequin can only participate in exhibitions on these national levels.
The miniature harlequin poodle and medium size one have been seen in Germany for several years but the king size ones are fairly new and have been seen in exhibitions for the past 2 or 3 years only. This variety is still very rare.
A poodle is an ideal dog for everyone, even beginners. He can learn anything in a second but it is not only a circus dog. Every discipline is open to this breed: dressage, scouting, guarding job, sports…
It is also a very good breed for people with allergy or asthma. His hair needs work to remain beautiful but it does not loose his hair!!!
In the Harlequin family, I have noticed that dogs are even more sensitive, attentive and reacting to voice order and feeling of their owner than any other poodle.
The poodle has a reputation of “lady’s lap dog” but don’t be mistaken: the poodle and even so the king size have their very own temper: a mix of German shepherd: for its obedience and good listener skill and a Golden Retriever for his friendship, good company, hunter and good sport dog.
As with my profession, dog groomer, the poodle had to attract my attention. I first adopted a black miniature dog “Lady” and finally offered my self in 1989 a dream: a king size black poodle named “Maestra” from the “di Felinissima” breeder.
My first plan was to succeed in exhibitions with my dog, but neither of us took pleasure in it.
Maestra loved to jump in the first water hole around, especially after hours of preparation for an exhibition. She loved water, the sea, duck hunting… her innate nature always showed even if several generations of ancestors have excelled in exhibitions. The poodle is by nature a good water hunting dog. It is certainly not a lap dog. So we have proceeded the way we felt right: walks, games, dressage…
Maestra left us at the age of 15. Her daughter, Pantera is following its lead.
And Upacha is the last in that lineage. After a small accident at birth, and due to an instable temper, we decided not to breed her.
After her accidental death, we did not want to take another black poodle and that how, while surfing on the Internet, we spotted the Harlequin and felt in love with them.