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Hi, I have just recently purchased a black standard poodle puppy. A few weeks ago, I noticed her muzzle has started turning brown. When we first purchased her six weeks ago, she was solid black with some white markings. I was surprised that her littermate was also black because her mother was a cafe-au-late (I think that’s how you spell it) and her dad was a sable. She is now four months old and seems to be showing brown only on her muzzle. Is it possible for her to turn brown or into a sable like her father? I never owned a poodle before, which is why this color change is a new thing to me.
Here’s a few pictures:

When we first got her
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Her now:
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Congratulations on your new puppy! Love the expression in that second photo.

It could be from the sun, but I suspect your puppy is actually a beautiful blue rather than black:

"When taken out into the sunlight or sometimes in the flash of a picture a blue puppy will almost look dark brown in color. This is almost a sure sign of a blue."

 

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Congratulations on your new puppy! Love the expression in that second photo.

It could be from the sun, but I suspect your puppy is actually a beautiful blue rather than black:

"When taken out into the sunlight or sometimes in the flash of a picture a blue puppy will almost look dark brown in color. This is almost a sure sign of a blue."

I just read the article you posted and it sounds like she will turn blue. I never even heard of blue poodles before I thought it was a shade of silver. When you look pictures up on the internet of blue poodles, it shows a lot of silver poodles. She does have a few white hairs in between her paws like the article also states. How do sable puppies start out? Just curious because from what I read they start out black and lighten up.
 

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Looks like a blue to me! You can see it starting around the nose. Here’s a couple pictures of my poodle, so you know what to expect. He’s a blue, too.
Without flash, at around 2 yrs old: 7D337699-751C-4ECB-84B6-D00FA9F4FFB1.jpeg
With flash, same age
65922051-F773-4C92-A85B-A8A57CE7A399.jpeg
You can see he’s got a brown tinge on his fur. And here’s him now at 4 yrs old in a couple of recent pics:
0F3F0CE5-132A-494D-8218-38F62566B5B0.jpeg
2425C622-7D59-4638-A71E-C37EDB1869FF.jpeg
He hasn’t completely finished clearing yet, but you can really see it on his tail and on his muzzle.
It’s super fun to watch it change, and it really gets going after about 3 yrs old. Your girl is really cute, and I hope you post lots of pictures to show us how it changes!
 

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I just read the article you posted and it sounds like she will turn blue. I never even heard of blue poodles before I thought it was a shade of silver. When you look pictures up on the internet of blue poodles, it shows a lot of silver poodles. She does have a few white hairs in between her paws like the article also states. How do sable puppies start out? Just curious because from what I read they start out black and lighten up.
I'm not too familiar with that colour, but PF member SamieNorman has a beautiful sable boy.

Scroll down through this thread for his progress photos:

 

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I would not bet on blue. I think it is more likely oxidation from sunlight on a wet muzzle. If you shave that face down and it looks black then pup is black. Pups that will be blue will likely have obvious light hairs on their foot pads and shaving or clipping will still show the brownish tinge. Either way that is a cute pup and you will have a lovely long life together regardless of color.
 

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I would not bet on blue. I think it is more likely oxidation from sunlight on a wet muzzle. If you shave that face down and it looks black then pup is black. Pups that will be blue will likely have obvious light hairs on their foot pads and shaving or clipping will still show the brownish tinge. Either way that is a cute pup and you will have a lovely long life together regardless of color.
Puppy's got white hairs between her toes. Does that not count? Do the paws themselves look lighter on a blue puppy?
 

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It looks like oxidation to me too. I have a black poodle, and he gets the brown on his muzzle and if I haven't trimmed him in a while (front legs and tail mostly- which are also the most often wet areas).
The difference is that oxidation starts off looking like 'frosted' tips, but when trimmed he goes back to jet black.
Whereas for a blue, when trimmed the short area are slightly lighter than the rest.
It's obviously pretty hard to tell the difference bin a picture, but you will get much better idea after his next groom!
Oh, and sables have a distinctly lighter undercoat that you would be seeing by now, and generally goes lighter on the body first. The ears, face, and often a stripe down the back tend to be dark for longest.
 

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Peggy I missed any comment from OP about white hairs on feet. That probably changes things in my thinking.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Looks like a blue to me! You can see it starting around the nose. Here’s a couple pictures of my poodle, so you know what to expect. He’s a blue, too.
Without flash, at around 2 yrs old: View attachment 467425
With flash, same age
View attachment 467426
You can see he’s got a brown tinge on his fur. And here’s him now at 4 yrs old in a couple of recent pics:
View attachment 467427
View attachment 467428
He hasn’t completely finished clearing yet, but you can really see it on his tail and on his muzzle.
It’s super fun to watch it change, and it really gets going after about 3 yrs old. Your girl is really cute, and I hope you post lots of pictures to show us how it changes!
I’ll be sure to update everyone her changes. I’m going to have her groomed again next week.
 

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It looks like oxidation to me too. I have a black poodle, and he gets the brown on his muzzle and if I haven't trimmed him in a while (front legs and tail mostly- which are also the most often wet areas).
The difference is that oxidation starts off looking like 'frosted' tips, but when trimmed he goes back to jet black.
Whereas for a blue, when trimmed the short area are slightly lighter than the rest.
It's obviously pretty hard to tell the difference bin a picture, but you will get much better idea after his next groom!
Oh, and sables have a distinctly lighter undercoat that you would be seeing by now, and generally goes lighter on the body first. The ears, face, and often a stripe down the back tend to be dark for longest.
Puppy's got white hairs between her toes. Does that not count? Do the paws themselves look lighter on a blue puppy?
My puppy does have some white on her feet. I’m not sure if it’s enough to be considered a blue though.
467437
 

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My puppy does have some white on her feet. I’m not sure if it’s enough to be considered a blue though. View attachment 467437
Here is a picture of one of Galen's paws tonight.
467438

I once had a black spaniel with the same amount of white between his toes, along with a few white hairs on his chest. The white wouldn't strike me as unusual unless I saw the rest of the dog.
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The picture isn't as clear as I'd like, but you can see he is getting a distinct light patch around his nose. He is also getting lighter rings around his eyes; they are more obvious in stronger light.

You said one of your dog's parents was cafe au lait. Your black dog, therefore, has at least a 50% chance of being blue. The same fading gene alters both brown and black. A single copy on a brown dog causes cafe au lait; two copies lighten the brown even further to silver beige. On a black dog like my Galen the gene fades him to blue; two copies would turn him silver.
 

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You said one of your dog's parents was cafe au lait. Your black dog, therefore, has at least a 50% chance of being blue. The same fading gene alters both brown and black. A single copy on a brown dog causes cafe au lait; two copies lighten the brown even further to silver beige. On a black dog like my Galen the gene fades him to blue; two copies would turn him silver.
I find this stuff equally fascinating and baffling. Peggy's sire is a brown parti and her mom is cream. Could she end up silver?

I’ll be sure to update everyone her changes. I’m going to have her groomed again next week.
Please do! I love watching poodle progress. You might consider starting a thread over here, where you post a photo a week:

 

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Here is a picture of one of Galen's paws tonight. View attachment 467438
I once had a black spaniel with the same amount of white between his toes, along with a few white hairs on his chest. The white wouldn't strike me as unusual unless I saw the rest of the dog.
View attachment 467440
The picture isn't as clear as I'd like, but you can see he is getting a distinct light patch around his nose. He is also getting lighter rings around his eyes; they are more obvious in stronger light.

You said one of your dog's parents was cafe au lait. Your black dog, therefore, has at least a 50% chance of being blue. The same fading gene alters both brown and black. A single copy on a brown dog causes cafe au lait; two copies lighten the brown even further to silver beige. On a black dog like my Galen the gene fades him to blue; two copies would turn him silver.
How old is Galen? When would you expect to see changes in my puppy? Since her father was a sable, would that give her another recessive copy?
 

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Galen is five months.

You have at least three confusing gene interactions in the parents.

One is the fading gene that produced the cafe au lair color in mama dog. 50% chance of your pup having it, unless mama was actually silver beige. Then it's 100%.

Another is brown vs black. Cafe au lait is just faded brown. Normally black is dominant over brown; the dog needs two copies of the brown gene to be brown. Since your pup is currently black, and you know she couldn't have got a black gene from her brown-based mama, she must have inherited it from papa dog.

The third is sable. It is a dominant gene. If your genetically black dog has one copy of the sable gene, it will be sable. Sable shows up very early. I haven't personally seen it in a poodle puppy, but the changing hair shaft colors were obvious on our sable mutt pup by 9 weeks. My guess is you would notice your pup getting splotchy by now if sable was present.

There's a pretty good description of colors at Dog Coat Color - Genetic Tests - AnimaLabs©. Just keep in mind that some of the gene variations are rare to non existent in poodles (recessive black, for example.) Additionally, the blue in other breeds, like pit bulls, has a different genetic basis than the blue in poodles. A dilute blue starts out blue with grey noses and stay blue. Blue poodles start out black with black noses and fade to blue with black noses.
 

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I find this stuff equally fascinating and baffling. Peggy's sire is a brown parti and her mom is cream. Could she end up silver?
I think she could end up blue. If her sire is a brown then he would not have been able to contribute a fading gene, but she could get to one from her mother (poodle colors are much more confusing than the other breeds I know colour genetics on, but I believe cream is red with fading).
 

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I find this stuff equally fascinating and baffling. Peggy's sire is a brown parti and her mom is cream. Could she end up silver?
I think Peggy is certainly going blue, but no chance of silver. If she was silver she would have had a pale muzzle from the start which would have been visible the first time her face was shaved.
 

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I think Peggy is certainly going blue, but no chance of silver. If she was silver she would have had a pale muzzle from the start which would have been visible the first time her face was shaved.
What is seal coloring? I ran across that today researching and didn’t understand it at all.
 

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I think Peggy is certainly going blue, but no chance of silver. If she was silver she would have had a pale muzzle from the start which would have been visible the first time her face was shaved.
Is there such a thing as light blue? So almost silver? Because I saw a photo on Poodle Forum of a Peggy twin that turned out super light. I wish I could remember the user name....
 
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