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Old 09-22-2011, 08:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Red poodle fading and turning red again?

Hi everyone,

When I got my miniature poodle Blaze at 8 weeks, he was red. I know that reds will fade and I was not surprised to see his hair turn blond (apricot?) at the roots but I didnít think it would happen so soon. Both his parents are reds. However, Iíve notice recently that Blazeís hair is now starting to be darker at the roots (he's 4 months old now). I donít want to get my hopes up, but is this a sign that Blaze will end up being red after all (vs. light red or dark apricot)?

I found previous posts about black poodles turning blue and a cream poodle turning perhaps apricot but I couldnít find anything on reds becoming lighter and then darker again.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

p.s. I'm attaching pictures of Blaze's back, head and of him.
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Red poodle fading and turning red again?-blaze-red-apricot.jpg   Red poodle fading and turning red again?-blaze-head.jpg   Red poodle fading and turning red again?-blaze-4-months.jpg  
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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He's so cute!
My red's top knot shows the progression of color from light at the top and dark at the roots so I was wondering the same thing myself because he seems to also be getting darker in some places, lighter in others. I guess it can happen that the coat can get darker or lighter. I wonder what the scientific explanation is? Why do most get lighter, but sometimes darker?
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Just a guess here but could it possibly be the bleaching of the sun? I have a red spoo that's just over three months old and he has the same pattern - dark, a little light, and now it's dark again at the roots now that the sun is gone a bit more.

As a side note, Blaze's face is adorable!
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Ah thanks guys, we have all fallen in love with his cute face and temperament (even my non-dog lover mother!)!

I also initially thought that the sun could affect his coat color but we didn’t leave him backing in the sun. He usually finds a nice shaded area in the backyard while my husband and I are gardening. Come to think of it, I don’t think the sun can bleach his fur at the roots. Perhaps diet?

Are there any red poodle breeders on this forum? Maybe they would know if this color variation is normal.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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1st Blaze is absolutely adorable. I am a redhead. I am also very fair and avoid the sun and yet my hair will lighten up considerably in the summer if I get any exposure to the sun at all - even briefly and this happens to the roots. I think your baby is just sun bleached and as the sun weakens in the winter you will see Blaze darken up as I do. Oddly enough when I rode I did not notice this effect. It will be interesting to see what red breeders say.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What you are describing sounds like banding. This is a common occurrence with red and apricot poodles. The hair can grow and inch or so deep and then an inch or so lighter, if and when this occurs, it might take a couple of years for it to stop and be a final color. Seasons of the year might effect the change, hormonal changes will make a difference, pregnancy and weaning puppies can influence the process.

Some reds have been known to fade into a mauve shade of coloring to later in life go back to a deep red. My girl Chelsea was a very dark mahogany red up to about 2.5 years old, then she faded into a mauve, around 7 years old she turned deep red and stayed deep red till her death.

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Old 09-26-2011, 10:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks, Terry!

Antoinette's neck hair and top knot during her show career had noticable bands. I always tried to identify what was happening at the time (was she in season, food change, etc.) but could never pin it down. Michael Lobinski had looked at it with me and told me it was very common - we were just better able to see it in show coat - specifically the neck hair - as it had been carefully grown and protected throughout their lives to date.

After she was cut down I could tell Annie had lightened quite a lot. Butr recently (I groomed her this weekend) she seems to have darkened again. Another "band" I suppose!

Another thing I recently saw...a red pup (a rescue) who was attacked by another dog and lost hair in spots - has hair that is much darker than the rest of his body coming back in the places where the bites were. Much like a silver does!

Color is fascinating!

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Old 09-27-2011, 04:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi Tabatha:

Yes, whenever a red or apricot has an injury the hair in that area can and usually comes in much darker. I have seen apricot poodles have red "spots" where they were injured, this will normally go back to normal in that spot, but at first it looks bad.

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Old 09-27-2011, 05:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes...you would not want to get an S/A test done on a red in show coat. The spots end up looking like polka dots. The reds seem to be in a near constant state of flux. I like to use shaved feet as a gauge on how the colour will turn out.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I do get the SA punch on my reds, by the time the deeper color grows all the way to be seen it can be fanned out to blend in with the other color.

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