All about silvers
A beautiful example of a silver miniature female
Cabryn American Princess Ines CACI B
Latvian Kennel Club International Show
Riga, August 14th 2005 CC and BOB
Breeder:Carolyn O´Rourke, USA
and Taija Nieminen, Finland
Princess Ines is a paternal sister to our Gigi and closely related on the dam side
to both our Gigi and Jersey.
Following are two articles taken from old books followed by many pictures.
For those not wanting to read all the information in the old articles but only a simple explanation of how to recognize a silver puppy at an early age, it is presented below under the photo of the puppy feet.
SILVER 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.
(See A Letter from the Poodle Club of America below)
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.
Since this article was written, breeders of Standard Poodles have had success in breeding very nice quality silver standards.
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Gray By Mrs Hoyt -The Book of the Poodle 1982
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.
Such 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.
Such 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 .
Such 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.
Such 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.
Some 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.
Question: Can gray be obtained by breeding whites with blacks?
Answer: 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.
Question: Is it easy to breed grays?
Answer: 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!
Question: Is it easy to breed away from gray?
Answer: Very. Gray is recessive to black. Breed to blacks unrelated to gray or even related on the black side.
Question: What colors should not be used with gray?
Answer: In-bred browns, apricots, and creams-in this order.
Question: What colors can be bred with gray? Answer: 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.
Question: What is meant by "clearing"?
Answer: 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.
Question: In buying a gray puppy as young as two months, can one be sure that it will clear?
Answer: 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 .
Question: Should a gray Poodle be more expensive than a black or a white of equally good type and breeding?
Answer: 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.
Question: Are grays popular in the show ring and with the public? .
Answer: 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 .
Question: 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.
The following was taken from A Letter from the Poodle Club of America, Inc.
The Color of a Poodle's Coat
Mrs. James Edwards Clark, President
Poodle Club of America
Ms. Doris Cozart, Chairman of the Judge's and Breeder's Education
Poodle Club of America
Since the early 1900's, published standards for the Poodle have stated-color: All White, all Black, all Blue, etc.
From that time forward all the approved AKC Standards have stated that the Poodle is a one colored animal.
Our present Standard states-color: The coat is an even and solid color at the skin. In Blues, Grays, Silvers, Browns, Cafe-au-laits, Apricots and Creams the coat may show varying shades of the same color. This is frequently present in somewhat darker feathering of the ears and tipping of the ruff. While clear colors are definitely preferred, such natural variation in the shadings of the coat is not to be considered a fault. Black, Blue, Gray, Silver, Cream and White Poodles have black noses, eye-rims and lips, black or self-colored toe-nails and very dark eyes.
This is the end of the quote from the AKC approved standard.
We are used to seeing the varying shades in a Poodle coat in the colors other than Black or the White, i.e. the clearing of the Silvers and Blues as they change from their birth color of black to the gamut of colors from palest Platinum to deep Gunmetal Blue. With the paler colors, if there is an injury, or a hot spot, the new coat comes in the original color and then clears to match the mature color.
The following statements are my opinion only.
One must keep in mind the years in which both The New Poodle &
The Book of the Poodle were written. There was a time when the miniature poodle breeders lost many lines in all colors due to blindness caused by PRA. Today the gene pool for silvers in miniatures is quite limited and must be opened up, preferably by using top quality creams and blacks. Thank heavens we now have a genetic test to weed out carriers and affected dogs with the gene for PRCDA, the most common form of PRA. If all breeders of toys and miniatures take advantage of this test and utilize it wisely, we can completely get rid of this disease within two generations without losing any more of our precious gene pool, especially for silvers and rid all colors in the breed completely of this nasty disease. To learn more about the testing and PRA see Blindness in poodles. Information about DNA blood testing for PRCD the major form of PRA in poodles can be found here : http://www.optigen.com/
All pups from two silver parents are usually silver with on very rare occassions one born cream or silver beige. These black pups from two silver parents always have white or silver hairs in abundance between the pads of the feet from a very early age, some even at birth. They will also have what look like shiny silver toenails. Theyclear (lighten) slowly from black to silver over their first year.
Here are miniature puppies born Sept 2006
Sire: Te-Awa's Sterling Karakter dam: Casa Strega D Majestic Black Magic
They have a black dam and silver sire.With this combination the pups can be silver
or black at maturity only if the black parent carries the silver recessive color gene.
These pictures were taken 9/27/06 You can see that they are both black
The puppy on the left has only black hairs between the pads of the feet.
If you look carefully, you can see the silver between the pads of the back foot
of the puppy on the right. see enlargement below.
The pups from a breeding of one black parent and one silver parent will show the silver or white with all the pups that will be silver the same as those from 2 silver parents. They too will have the silver toenails.
Those that will remain black will have no light hairs on the pads of the feet. If their toenails are light in the beginning, they are clear to white, not silver and darken rapidly. On occassion, there are a few pups with just a sprinkling of white hairs between the pads and the toe nails are not silver, Those will most likely be blue at maturity. They can take up to three years to completely change color, going through a brownish stage before clearing to a gun metal grey or blue.
Here are the puppies on 9/16/06
the black boy the silver boy
And on 11/11/06 you can clearly see the change.
The black boy
the silver boy
Below are silver miniature puppies born April 8th 2006 from two silver parents.
Sire: Te-Awa's Sterling Karakter Dam: Cabryn Gigi De Casa Strega
Casa Strega Sterling Silver Shine (Lucky)
Lucky at 10 weeks of age Lucky 14 weeks at home with Liz
You can see as Lucky matures how
he is getting lighter all over.
Here he is a dark silver at 4 1/2 months.
Casa Strega Sterling Silver Shimmer
Female: Shimmer at 10 weeks and at 13 weeks
on the move in first real short summer haircut close up sitting pretty
Shimmers dam Gigi at 4 &1/2 months and at maturity
To see Casa Strega Sparkle of Sterling Silver go to bottom of page of
Below is a beautiful standard size silver poodle, Rebelstar Moody Blue- call name Elvis
owned and bred by Annette Shepard of Rebelstar Kennels.
This is Elvis at age 8 weeks Elvis at 5 months
This is Elvis at 9 months on the left is the older blue brother & Elvis at 18 months is on the right.
Below is Karen Greens standard Ari at 18 weeks & at 3 years of age
I believe this is a good representation of silvers and the changes in color from birth to adulthood.